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  1. #1
    Left The Driveway
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    2015 Reflection 27RL 5th Wheel Suspension Problem

    We have a 2015 Reflection 27RL5th Wheel bought new in August 2014. Aside from the expected and annoying warranty issues that always seem to be a part of new RV ownership, seemingly as a result of minimal quality control, our unit displayed a sagging suspension tendency as well which manifested in the form of having to block up its left side wheels to achieve a side-to-side level floor at every campsite we attended, during its warranty period. It became clear to us over time that we were experiencing a malfunctioning suspension system, something we had never been exposed to before with other RV's we have owned over the past 20 years or so.

    On delivery of our Reflection unit to our dealer for warranty repair work, we provided a written list of deficiencies, including the side-to-side floor leveling problem. On retrieving it subsequent to completion of repairs and upon reviewing the dealers findings and corrective measures, we were advised that the suspension system displayed no malfunction and the floor leveling problem was corrected by adjusting one of the front jacks. We questioned the efficacy of using the front jacks to achieve a side-to-side level floor bur were told we were good to go and side-to-side floor leveling should no longer be an issue.

    Further use of our Reflection unit revealed the floor leveling issue to be unresolved. We thus undertook to inspect its underside and suspension system ourselves and take some photographs. We noted the left side springs to be noticeably flatter than those on the right side. We also discovered that the top of the left side wheel well had been stripped of its waterproofing membrane to expose severely abraded plywood substrate where both front and rear tires had been in rolling contact. It was apparent that during travel, road surfaces had generated vertical movements of both left side wheels, sufficient to allow impact of tires on the top surface of the wheel well, and beyond the capacity of the axle control springs to restrain them from doing so. There was no such damage exhibited within the right hand side wheel well.

    So, it was back to the dealer with our Reflection in mid October of 2015. There was much going back and forth between Grand Design (GD) and our dealer without very much happening. We finally ended up contacting GD ourselves and were told that photos had been taken of the springs which showed overloading by the trailer and furthermore it was out of its warranty period and the springs would not be covered. We responded by agreeing that the springs had obviously been overloaded but that occurred because they were either marginal, under capacity or faulty. Under no circumstances had we ever overloaded our trailer and the sagging spring issue was brought to the dealer's attention within the warranty period, at which time the dealer failed to attach much importance to it.

    Finally, after a month of emails back and forth and phone conversations with our dealer, we were advised that all springs on our Reflection would be replaced with larger upgraded springs at no cost to us. The work of installation was completed recently and we once again retrieved our unit on December 10, 2015. It now sits level with somewhat more clearance above its tires to the top of the wheel wells.

    With the exception of the sagging springs problem, we have found our Reflection 27RL to be the most satisfactory RV unit we have ever owned in terms of quality, appearance, functionality and operation. Difficult to understand how the springs as installed on it were under capacity. Maybe in error or perhaps due to a design flaw, who knows. In any case, there may be other Reflection owners out there who have experienced similar sagging problems as we have described. If so, we urge you to have them attended to ASAP and check for any wheel well damage.

  2. #2
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    Your's is the first complaint I've read about with a spring issue. As a matter of fact, I've not read or heard about any other GD manufactured RV (Reflection or otherwise) that had a spring issue. Offhand, I'd say you had a defective spring.

  3. #3
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    I'm pretty much agreeing with you, but- our 337RLS was shipped with 5200 lb. axles, replaced by 6000's Tarpley RV in Durango, CO. The new axles came complete with springs, but the inner fenders are scuffed probably through the waterproofing layer, likely due to undersize springs. If you read my Texas flood postings in the tech section, you know I have purchased some Eternabond tape for slideout seams, and I may consider using it on the scuffs. I am quite surprised that dvskil had such a hard time getting heavier springs, this does not seem to be typical for GD customer service and warranty. It certainly is great advice to do a thorough inspection of the suspension!
    AKA Steve and Lynne
    Storm the Black Lab
    Reflection 337 RLS vin 573FR3628E3300393
    2008 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab Longbox
    6.7 Cummins, 68 RFE transmission
    B and W Companion, Air Lifts

  4. #4
    Fireside Member
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    You can buy a can of rubberized spray and spray the wheel well area.
    Since I'm on several forums, I have heard of several issues with the Lippert brand springs either sagging or having the eye ends shear off. Bad batch of metal, badly rated materials were used. Not related to one axle set either, I've seen failures in the 5200, 6000, 7000, and 8000lb spring sets.

  5. #5
    Big Traveler
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    Interesting that they accused you of over loading the trailer. We broke a spring on our 29RS returning from a trip. GD asked for pictures which I sent. They turned it over to Lippert and they wanted more pics which I sent. After all the pictures were sent in I was also admonished for over loading the trailer which we never have. The spring that broke was obviously defective but all the springs appeared a little saggy or overly flat. Lippert sent a technician to our house and replaced all 4 springs in our driveway under warranty. No mention was made of them being "new and improved". They had the same part number as the failed spring. This all happened in Sept. so maybe they do have and upgraded spring now.
    Jim & Georgianne
    N. California
    2016 Reflection 29RS
    2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty PSD
    B&W Companion hitch
    Rubber turtle with no name

  6. #6
    Site Sponsor Cate&Rob's Avatar
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    All Reflections lean to the left because of the heavy slide with appliances and storage on that side. This is not new . . . but contacting the surface above the tire . . . that's not right.

    See post #5 of this related thread.
    http://www.mygrandrv.com/for...ighlight=level
    Nick has had success with increasing ride height (tire clearance) and minimizing side to side lean . . . wit heavier springs.

    Rob
    Cate & Rob
    2015 Reflection 303RLS

  7. #7
    Left The Driveway
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cate&Rob View Post
    All Reflections lean to the left because of the heavy slide with appliances and storage on that side. This is not new . . . but contacting the surface above the tire . . . that's not right.

    See post #5 of this related thread.
    http://www.mygrandrv.com/for...ighlight=level
    Nick has had success with increasing ride height (tire clearance) and minimizing side to side lean . . . wit heavier springs.

    Rob
    Thanks for the response. Yes, it eventually became clear to us that our Reflection unit and others as well, suffered from asymmetric loading of interior equipment and storage, causing a tilt to the left hand side (LHS). Unfortunately, the tilt results in even more weight from the trailer superstructure, especially the roof structure and rooftop equipment, being transferred to the left hand side suspension system as well. As a consequence, the LHS tires suffer not only increased loading but also reduced clearance to the top side of their wheel well enclosure while the RHS tires get reduced loading and increased clearance. Under static conditions, with a stationary or parked unit the increased LHS along with reduced RHS suspension loading is not likely of concern, except for the strange appearance of a sideways tilt. Nevertheless, the sideways tilt or sag is indicative of an incompetent suspension system, in my opinion, offering the possibility of exposure to a situation such as we experienced with our unit.

    Under travel conditions at highway speeds, over uneven or rough road surfaces, dynamic loading of suspension systems can be very much greater than static loading, possibly 3, 4, or 5 times, depending on roadway conditions. Thus if a certain trailer spring deflects say an inch vertically under the static weight of a particular trailer, it could be exposed to vertical deflections up to 3, 4, or 5 inches depending on speed and highway conditions.

    Such dynamic loading is transient and usually over quickly because either one slows down or the rough road surface is very limited in extent, but if the affected spring has been deflected beyond its design limit of vertical movement, even momentarily, the possibility exists that it may have become permanently bent, even if only very slightly. Should this spring be exposed to repeated such loading over a period of time, the number of slight permanent bending events are likely to accumulate and result in a very noticeable deformation of the spring. As the spring's permanent deformation increases so does the tilt of the trailer it supports along with diminished clearance of tires to the top of the wheel well enclosure nearest the faulty spring(s). I'm quite certain that the LHS springs on our Reflection 27RL unit pretty much demonstrated the above described spring behavior. Leftward tilt certainly increased over time and clearly the clearance between LHS tires and the top of their wheel well enclosure diminished to the point where contact and scuffing eventually occurred.

    An additional concern regarding under capacity trailer suspension springs exposed to repeated overloading relates to the possibility of fatigue and catastrophic failure. Very fortunately we avoided that scenario.

    I would urge you and others not to accept the leftward tilt of a Reflection trailer as a benign quirk. It certainly turned out not to be so in our experience and could have been much worse.

  8. #8
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    Hey dvskil, what time have you scheduled the examination at the end of this course ?

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor Cate&Rob's Avatar
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    Hi dvskil,

    I sent you a private message . . . I want to bounce some ideas off you . . . before bringing them public on this forum, or throwing them out completely . . . because they make absolutely no sense !.

    Rob
    Cate & Rob
    2015 Reflection 303RLS

  10. #10
    Left The Driveway
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    minnow101, LOL!!

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