Lippert Frame Failure on 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH

Hi all! As many of you know, we have a 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH that we live full time in, traveling for Allen’s job as a broadcast tower technician. We bought this camper 3 years ago today!  We thought we made a good choice. 

Since the beginning, we’ve had some problems with the bedroom Schwintek slide (made by Lippert Components).  We stopped at the Lippert factory in July 2016 and Emily, the Lippert/Grand Design rep, recalibrated it for us.  Which is basically just syncing the motors.  With the Schwintek slides, you have to move the slide all the way in or all the way out, or else the motors may get confused and you’ll have problems.  In January 2017, we had the front motor replaced because we were still having problems getting it to close all the way, even with the syncing of the motors, trying to do the manual override, etc.  Lately, the slide has been getting worse and more difficult to close.  So when we had our annual inspection done this year, we thought we would need a new motor again. Schwintek slides are junk in my opinion so I figured the motor was just going bad again.  When the mobile tech came out to look at it and do our inspection, he noticed the wall on the outside flexing when the slide moved.  He said it was a structural issue and not something Discount RV Parts & Service in Hutchinson, Kansas was going to get into.

I called Grand Design and got a hold of Dewayne Jordan.  I relayed that information to him and he told me we needed to take it to a Grand Design dealer for further diagnosis.  We made an appointment with Four Seasons RV in Abilene, Kansas (about 100 miles away) and took it up there on Monday.

They looked at everything and found a crack in the frame.  You can’t see the crack when it’s sitting on the jacks, but when it’s lifted up, as if it is hooked to the truck, ready to tow, it’s visible.  That’s something I would never have thought to look for!  The crack is inside the propane cubby on the driver’s side, under the Schwintek slide.  They said they saw a hairline crack starting to form on the other side in the same spot.DSC01889-min

The outside wall moves up and down as well as in and out when switching from the jacks to the truck.  You can see this up and down movement from the tape lines they drew and also from the trim that separates when the camper is switched from the jacks to the pin.

Under the slide, the black surface material has ripped on the rollers, causing water to get to the plywood.  And on top of the slide, the tape is all chewed up.

The pin box sags a couple of inches after the jacks hit the ground and you release it from the truck.

We had them look at our ramp door also, because the floor of the ramp is bubbling up and when you close it recently, you have to yank it to one side to get it to close, otherwise it wants to go crooked.  They got some photos of that, and photos of the outside, where you can also see it’s rippling, which we didn’t notice either. DSC01937-min

Four Seasons RV sent all the photos to Grand Design and spoke with Dewayne Jordan, explaining what they had found, and they believed it needed to go back to the factory.  They told us it will just get worse the more we move, putting the slide in and out, hooking and unhooking from the truck, and bouncing down the road.  So at this point, it almost feels like a liability…

I called Dewayne Jordan at Grand Design yesterday and left him a message.  I’m still waiting to hear back and see what they are wanting to do.  When I talked to him the first time, he told me the factory was backed up until July.

I Googled “Lippert Frame Failure”… oh my.  I’m wondering what else is broken that we can’t see.

I’ll post updates as we get them!

8 thoughts on “Lippert Frame Failure on 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH

  1. Hope they can just weld it up and get you back on the road. I was thinking where the trim is on the outside of the trailer under the slide is a typical place to have cracking in the fiberglass as well.

    Hoping that is covered under their three year structural warranty. Others have been telling me at least Grand Design is good at working with customers and dealerships compared to other manufacturers whose trailers have the same problems. made more complicated by poor customer service.

    I’ve followed three other bloggers that had frame issues and they all worked out iif that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We believe we have a similar problem with ours as when we put the weight on the bed of the truck the whole front of the pin box shoves up into the front cap. The trim then breaks apart and the whole underside of cap lifts up and leaves a big gap. We took it to dealer after having it looked at by a speciality RV place who looked at it and refused to touch it saying they feel our trailer is going to split in half due to frame compromise. Took it to dealer after completely emptying it to lighten load on frame. Dealer looked at it and agreed something is not right, sent pictures to Lippert and via pictures, as Lippert would authorize nothing more, said our trailer is fine and safe to tow. When I asked for that in writing everyone dealer and Lippert refused. We were then asked to come pick up our trailer as they couldn’t/wouldn’t help us. We have a 2013 Cedar Creek Silverback 35QB4. We have towed this trailer maybe 3000 miles and no accidents what so ever, only left the state of Michigan with it once to Indiana and then down to North Carolina rest all travel in Mi. I’m glad they are helping you as they blew us off. Good luck and best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That’s completely not acceptable by any means. I hope they help us. We barely made it inside of our 3yr warranty period so we got really lucky there. I don’t feel too safe now knowing ours is broken, but yours sounds like it’s a whole lot worse. Good luck to you as well… Stay safe.

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      • Our only option at this time, as we still owe a lot on this, is to park it up at a campground we are members of and leave it. Traveling with this is not an option, so we are loading it with the bare minimum to keep weight down and very carefully towing it up there. At least that way we can still use it a little instead of being stuck in our driveway.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry I misread the last part. Let me change my statement I hope they are more helpful with you than they have been with us. At least your dealer was willing to tear it apart to get to the bottom of what is going on, ours wouldn’t without the go ahead from Lippert so we have no idea where our trailer is failing up front just that it is. Best wishes to you.

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      • Oh, the dealer wouldn’t take it apart. They refused. They just looked and took pictures of what they could see from the outside. It’s yet to be really looked into. The crack we saw was inside the propane cubby door. So I’m a little nervous what else they’ll find once they get the outer skin off.

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