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


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1 month ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

Brian Holmes
3 months ago

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.

Jeff McCaffrey
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian Holmes

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

3 months ago

That is operator error. That is not a design flaw. Please change the name of the article.

Robert Mosurinjohn
3 months ago
Reply to  Tnc

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

3 months ago

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.

Jeff Craig
3 months ago

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?

3 months ago

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.

James LaGasse
3 months ago

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?

3 months ago

VERY DECEPTIVE Headline in this article.


The owner driver tore it apart!


2 months ago
Reply to  Bull

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.

3 months ago

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?

3 months ago

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!

3 months ago
Reply to  Gray

Many rv trailers today do not have bumpers

3 months ago
Reply to  Gray

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.

Robert Mosurinjohn
3 months ago
Reply to  Gray

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.

3 months ago
Reply to  Gray

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.