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Old 08-27-2018, 09:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sharpsburg (ATL) GA
Posts: 124
Just finished my 14th summer

Lots of people buy 5th wheels without any idea what is important. I read posts where people are buying this brand or that because of the floor plan or the size of the TV or the color of the carpet or curtains. What we are buying is a trailer. The important stuff is mostly out of sight. Axles, brakes wheel bearings frame, electrical connections and a whole lot of other stuff that will make your life pleasant or miserable as you travel. So, with the 14th summer just completed I will post a little info on how the mobile suites is holding up.

I bought this used but it was in good shape and three years old. The owner was gone and the widow didn't want it. The mobile suites may be the best built 5th wheel around all things considered. They have good bones. That is not to say a 14 year old trailer is trouble free.

This summer I had two big problems and a couple small ones. First big problem was a brake spring that broke or just fell off and lodged in the hub of the passenger side rear wheel. I got the first clue at our first rest stop on the first day of the trip. I did my routine temp check of the wheels and oh my, one wheel was at 230 degrees which is about double what I expected. Well lets go awhile and see what happens, maybe a brake hung up a bit as I was stopping. So at the second stop check again and still in the 230 degree range. OK, I find a place to jack up the wheel and give it a turn and I can hear something rolling around in the hub. Not my first rodeo and I figure maybe it will scrape away to nothing and the problem will solve itself. That did not happen so by about two PM I find a nice quite corner of a truck stop, jack it up and remove the wheel and the hub and there it is, a brake spring came loose and is rolling around and every rotation it is jamming under a brake shoe and making friction. I don't have the parts to fix that and the brakes on that wheel aren't working so I take all the loose stuff out, cut the wires to the electric brakes, put her back together and head on. I left the house with 10 wheels under brakes and now I have 9. Just don't follow too close. I get to indy and it turns out there is a place there that sells brake assemblys from dexter. I get one for each side install the one on the bad wheel and I'm good for the rest of the summer.

When I get ready to leave indy my landing gear won't extend. Oh great. So I jack up the trailer with two bottle jacks I carry and play with the switch and the gear start working. Hook up and a little bit of a late start but heading for Port Huron MI. When we unhook the landing gear work fine but I'm still worried about them. When it's time to leave the landing gear will not lift the trailer so I let them down some and mess with them and then they do lift. OK. so we head for the top of the thumb. Landing gear work OK unhooking but when we get ready to leave I have to use my bottle jacks again. We made a couple more stops with the landing gear but clearly they are toast. Because I had removed the rear stabilizers and had them rebuilt a couple years ago this was not totally un expected. I stopped for a few days back at Port Huron and tried to get someone to fix them but all I got was the old "I can get to them in a couple weeks". So we made two more stops and then home. This morning I removed them and dropped them at the hydraulic shop.

The small items were an awning that is acting crazy. it goes out normally but sometimes gets halfway in and stops like the motor is hot. Wait a little while and it will come in the rest of the way. I put a new motor on it about a year ago so I'm not too happy about that. The other minor thing was the furnace which we used two mornings somewhere does not shut off when set temp has been reached or passed. In fact it does not stop until I get up and shut it off.

So a little trouble this year but not too awful. I will go ahead and order the brake assemblies for the other two wheels and have them all replaced. The wheel bearings were all done last year so that should be good for a while.

All in all I have to say that for a unit it's age the MS continues to be a solid trailer. I take the blame for the landing gear, I knew it need done and just put it off. The brake spring is fair wear and tear. When I see new Mobile Suites selling north of 100 thou and Montanas and Cardinals nearing 70,000 I just wash my trailer and smile.

stanleyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2018, 08:24 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Wherever the Suites is
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Come on, Stan--you really need to contribute to the economy in a bigger way then parts...
Just this am, the main AC seems to have stopped cooling on my '15...just another glitch in the RV life.
2015 38RSSA #7382
2005 TK3 #1869, 10 yrs of memories
2017 F450 KR--one more Ford is it
2009 F450 4x4-died; 2010 F450-retired
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