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Old 06-25-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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Leaf support bracket

We broke a suspension leaf bracket this past weekend, resulting in a flat tire. Darn Pa roads!! An RV repair man is welding a new thicker stronger bracket on site. Is it is a good idea to have a strong bracket only on one side? Model 299ds
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
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A lot of people have installed the heavy duty shackle/wet bolt kit. They allow the shackle bolts to be greased and help prevent them wearing out.

CLICKY
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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Thank you. We will look for the kit.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stink View Post
Thank you. We will look for the kit.

Click the link in my post... Lots f places carry them.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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Hi Stink,

I'm assuming this bracket that is being welded on is a U shaped spring hanger. Looks like this?

Rear Weld C-Hook Leaf Spring Hanger #HG-103

If this is the part your are referring to, having one side with a heavier/thicker spring hanger and the other side a standard thin spring hanger is not a functional problem. The thicker hanger will need a longer spring bolt but once it is installed the system will work OK.

Since one of your hangers broke off, were they heavily rusted where they are welded to the frame? If so, a good close inspection would be a good idea to check if the others are starting to crack.

The heavy shackles EMD_Driver linked you to are a good upgrade. I have them on my camper when I upgraded to a new rubberized equalizer system.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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Hi John, Yes that is exactly what it was replaced with. One of the shackles was almost ready to let go too on the same side. That has been replaced. I'll have to consider the upgrade EMD_Driver recommended. I will post a pic of the broken bracket. It appears the weld let go and twisted the bracket. I couldn't believe my eyes. All the other brackets appear ok. Thank goodness we were on back roads going under 25 MPH and not on the highway. Could have been a lot worse.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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Here is a pic....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg June 2012 007resize.jpg (53.0 KB, 7 views)
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:21 PM   #8
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Stink,

Wow...not good....

I can't tell from the 1 pick, is your camper a single axle or a tandem?

Is that the front or rear spring hanger that let go?

Do not know if you still have the old part of the hanger or not, a few good clear pics of the snapped ends may tell a story. You "may" have had a hanger crack in the bend corner and over time it kept flexing the bracket until that nasty road you were on did it in.

Look for rust witness marks on the break line. If it is rusted in places along the break line and then all shinny new looking metal on one end, it started to let go a while ago where the rust started on prior broken areas.

While a one shot overload and snap off is not impossible, I would think the bracket had a rip already started in it from some time ago.

Just trying to learn from this as you are. If we understand the failure modes then we are all better prepared of where to go looking on an annul inspection.

Glad this happened going slow like you said.

Thanks

John
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
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John it is a tandem axle. 2007 Solaris 299DS. It is not a light weight 7,780 dry 10,000 GVW. Front and bedroom slide. It broke on the opposite side of the slides. It was the rear spring hanger. The rear axel shifted forward and rubbed the front. The smoke from the tires rubbing was the clue something was wrong. No load noise or a jolt. If it was not from the smoke I would have had no clue anything was wrong. The rear tire ended up blowing as well.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:25 PM   #10
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What a scary situation! Did you buy chance get your 299DS from Four Seasons in Hagerstown, MD? I knew of one there when it was brand new with the SE package. It was loaded up, and I think it was the most expensive Sunline TT I've seen!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #11
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Sunline fan,
Yes it was purchased in Md. We have a one of a kind find. It is like the "Airstream" of Sunline.This coach will be with our family for a long time. Unless of course we switch to a fifth wheel someday.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stink View Post
John it is a tandem axle. 2007 Solaris 299DS. It is not a light weight 7,780 dry 10,000 GVW. Front and bedroom slide. It broke on the opposite side of the slides. It was the rear spring hanger. The rear axel shifted forward and rubbed the front. The smoke from the tires rubbing was the clue something was wrong. No load noise or a jolt. If it was not from the smoke I would have had no clue anything was wrong. The rear tire ended up blowing as well.
Hi Stink,

OK you have a T-299DS. Yes I know that camper. Been in a 299 with the single slide sort of from the inside out. Kitty and EMD_Driver had a damaged one they acquired for parts and I ended up with some of the parts and getting to see the camper.

Your frame and mine are the same. Mine is a 10,000# GVWR camper too.

I did some upgrades to the hangers as they where bending on me. I can see from your pic you may have this issue as well in time. On this frame size they use a RV 10" I beam main frame rail with ST225/75R15 tires. The Sunlines, even the slide campers are low riders. The axle is on the bottom of the spring pack. In order to get that combo to work and not have the tire hit the floor they use 5" long hangers.

The 8,600# GVWR Sunlines have this same setup but they are not as heavy when loaded as the 10,000# GVWR campers. The problem may or not not occur on the 8,600# camper.

The 5" long thin hanger is only part of the problem. The RV I beam lower flange that the hanger is welded to flexes a lot. It flexes so much that many other brands of campers using Lippert frame have cracked the I beam from the flexing of that lower flange.

Now how to stiffen this up. I went the full blown route on mine but I did it in stages.

Here is stage 1. Adding this gusset to help stop the lower flange from flexing.




The good news is Sunline at least put a gusset on the equalizer hanger on mine. Yours should have it already. The equalizer area flexes more as there are 2 ends there from 2 springs pulling on it. See the Sunline gusset.




I also added tubes between the hanger to stiffen the long hanger up. I bolted mine but that was from another upgrade. You can weld in a plate and it looks like yours has a plate on the equalizer hanger. Just the end hangers did not get that stiffening plate. The 5" long hanger flexes a lot.


The gusset and the spacer in the hanger really stiffened up the long hangers. If you have access to your welder guy and you want to keep this camper a really long time, my want to think about those 2 upgrades to help the lower flange flex issue. There is also an upgrade to weld in 2 x 2 x 1/8" wall square tubes between the hangers to help stiffen up the entire area. I went round pipe but others have used the square tube.

Here is my bent front hanger that started me researching into all this, that and a tire wearing problem.


Now knowing what you have, odds are high that hanger of yours did not fail all at once. It had been flexing for a period of time and that bad road to camp kicked it over the edge.

If you want to see my entire suspension series of upgrades... see here: This all started with wearing tires.... Get a cold one and some time. You can look at the pics quick and see what I was up agasint.

Tire Wear Pattern-Tandem Axle TT (Pic's) Where to look next

TT axle alignment - Details (long with lot's of pics)

Dexter EZ Flex Equalizer Upgrade With Many Pic's

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f6...del-12081.html

Spring Hanger Stiffening Upgrade (lots of pic's)

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:11 AM   #13
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Talking

Thank you for the very detailed response. Our coach is in for the yearly inspection. We are very fortunate that Sunline did add extra support to the frame. It looks like normal wear and tear. Very happy and very fortunate as well! Thank you all for your posts
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