Saturday, September 23, 2023


Brand-new RV is barely off the lot when it starts falling apart

The post below is from our Facebook group RV Horror Stories. We post it here to remind you to always have a professional technician inspect an RV, new or used, before you purchase it. If this buyer had done that, there’s a good chance the original damage (that was apparently repaired without notifying the buyer) would have been noticed and brought to the buyer’s attention.

The post
“We purchased our brand new Cedar Creek 35LFT on March 2, 2020, from a dealership in Houston, Texas. On March 22, we pulled into a parking lot with a very, very small incline and it ripped the back cap loose from the trailer. We were going approximately 2 mph; this should have never happened.

“I made a post on Cedar Creek’s Facebook page and they picked it up and brought it back to their factory to repair it. The driver that returned it to the factory for us was actually the same driver that delivered it to the dealership we purchased it from and he said the same thing happened to him and he had to bring it back to Cedar Creek to be repaired. (The dealership never disclosed the previous damage to us.)

“So our unit has been repaired by Cedar Creek twice now for the same issue. A woman reached out to us after seeing our post on Cedar Creek’s Facebook page informing us that the same thing happened to them after leaving the dealership last week with their 35 LFT.

“The rear of the fifth wheel sits entirely too low to the ground and this is obviously a design flaw and is going to continue happening. I just want our money back. I’ve already reported this to NHTSA and have spoken to a few lawyers with no luck. Anyone have any recommendations on a lawyer that can handle this in Texas?”

EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend Ron Burdge at


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. THERE is a lawyer, Ronald Burdge so if you Google Atty. Ronald Burdge, you will find him. He seems to specialize in RV lawsuits against dealers and manufacturers. IF there was a NON Disclosure from the dealer about the back end repair before you bought is a suit alone and then the backend falling apart again is another suit. KNOW that many RVs are junk when new these days.

  2. I can name alot of places that have quite a drop with rain run off systems that would have cause this damage so I think bull to comments to this professional driver crap. Even those that want to give themselves such titles. The word is seasoned driver and still learning. I watch a so called professional driver 35 years experience take 1/2 the side of his 34 ft motor home off leaving with a tree. There should be more clearance given to those larger trailers and the manufactures should constantly be reviewing new pick-up design in height set up. Then build one and test it in all situations. I wouldn’t buy any thing that doesn’t have a lot of clearance for I’m headed for the back woods, desert, boondocking.

  3. This is a very misleading title for driver error. I saw a fifth wheel driver pull into an exit only to a convenience store. The exit was a curve to keep people from driving in so it was impossible for this fiver to make it, He ran a wheel off into a ditch and buried it so as a wrecker had to lift it out and it did damage the side of the RV. I have thought and thought and I still can’t figure out a way to blame the dealer or manufacturer so this driver can get his RV fixed under warranty because it fell apart.

  4. So now we need to be professional drivers to own an rv? Don’t think so. This was not a specialty unit or custom make, it came off of an assembly line with no specific instructions or warnings about driving. I call bull hockey on this one.

  5. Our 45 foot Monaco class A because of the length will twist when going in and out driveways. If it twists enough it will crack the front windshield. That is not a design error. That is operator error for not understanding how to drive my rig. I know, I have replaced the windshield three times over the years and each time was my fault for not considering the slope of parking lot drive ways or how to take the slope with my rig. If you can’t drive it, don’t buy it.

  6. just for the sake of argument go out and look under your unit (5TH wheel) and see if the back wall dosen1t stop at the bottom of the frame rail, mine dose , the one I had before did and I’ll bet this unit dose to, at the bottom of the frame rail as most if not all do. Your side skirt might drop an inch or less below this to cover the frame up. This is under stood. Then go check and see if your just a tad nose high when towing, I was, then I lowered it by 2 inches and noticed the back came up considerably….. bingo The manufacture has set the back at a minimum height that has been around for ever when you are level, Just because you don’t know how to tow and under what conditions with these big rigs dose not make the manufacture at fault. You have to look at what you have and adjust your driving accordingly. I have in the past driven by more than one parking lot that had a rise in the level of asphalt for this very reason you will get in the lot easily as your tires hit the rise and your tail comes up with it but when you leave your tires drop into the dip and your tail drags on the rise when you leave, lookout!!!! Given how far your tail is behind the axles on these units this makes understanding your limitations very important. And I suppose it’s the manufactures fault for not warning you about this. Or is there more to towing RV’s than you thought.

    • This post must have been from a Ceder Creek rep. Just look at the recalls, it’s poor workmanship at best.

    • Your comment is true to a point, but must a driver have to be a professional driver or engineer to enjoy an rv?

      • The comment is absolutely true and accurate. The title is misleading and sensationalist. Should a driver have to be a professional driver or engineer to enjoy an rv? Dunno, maybe there is a need for greater regulation (sure hope not, there already exists an excessive number of rules in general for a free country), but, I submit that no responsible adult should undertake to pilot anything, and I mean anything, that is beyond their experienced capabilities. Freedom as in free country does not guarantee entitlement, only opportunity. Perhaps the driver simply needs to further their education and understanding of the vehicle they are piloting. There exists opportunities for that education.

  7. I’m curious if this is a design failure, because the loft space required them to ‘lower’ the floor for the rear space. Would the frame rails extend far enough back that using some form of Ultra-Fab’s skid protector would prevent this situation?

  8. Did the buyer not notice how low the unit was? Unless his unit sits lower than every other unit of his model, I don’t think this is a lemon law case. But he might want to investigate if air shocks might help. And do more research on his next unit.

  9. If you bought a new unit and it wasn’t disclosed that it had been damaged and repaired was that fraud, is a previously damaged and repaired unite considered a used unit. Laws vary from state to state but weren’t you sold damaged goods?

  10. VERY DECEPTIVE Headline in this article.


    The owner driver tore it apart!


    • I agree that the article title is misleading at best and sensationalistic at worst.

      Seeing it was a new unit, I can’t help but wonder if it was also a new tow vehicle. For a few years now it’s been very difficult to get a fifth wheel to tow level. It appears to me that the truck builders in their efforts to increase payload have enhanced the springs, shocks, frame etc to get the better numbers. This results in truck beds being higher.

      Not all 5th wheel hitches have enough adjustment to compensate and produce a level tow. Even if the hitch can adjust down, you run the risk of the reduced gap between the trailers nose and the trucks bed rails causing damage. I’ve seen solutions like inverting trailer springs or adding solutions like LCI’s alignment adjusters that effectively raise the trailer 2″ and this helps.

      This accident wasn’t a manufacturing defect, it was a mis-marriage of the truck-hitch-trailer selection or installation.

  11. Is there no longer a difference between “when it starts falling apart” and “when the driver damaged it by hitting something” regardless of the underlying cause?

  12. There is only the one photo of the rear of the trailer, but where is the rear bumper? And it looks as if there’s barely 12 inches body clearance from the pavement, looking at the photo, and that’s not looking at the ripped away (hanging?) panel but gauging the exposed bare wood of the body behind the panel. That body corner is very low. It seems the buyer assumes the trailer will always traverse level pavement, with no deep curbside drainage channels or aggressive slow-me-down ridges common to parking lots. Obviously this trailer was never intended for boon-docking, or even many of our older RV parks or state parks with gravel roads, uneven terrain, and drainage channels. Truly, buyer beware… walk around and exercise judgment before buying!

    • So that makes it a “design flaw”. The engineers and designers of this model know more about clearance issues than anybody and they chose to ignore them.

    • A buyer should not have to be a professional driver or engineer to have SOME assurance of quality especially at rv prices. This sounds very much like a case of taking an existing wheel base and adding to much to it in order to save the expense of not designing and building a new wheelbase. Profit is good .. but gouging is not.

    • As an earlier poster stated “was it being towed level or was it nose up?” If a 35 foot 5th wheel is towed with the nose high, it’s definitely going to be scraping a lot of “little” inclines since it probably hangs about 10 feet past the rear wheels.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.