View Full Version : Axle problems continue in 2008?

03-31-2007, 06:59 AM
We just took delivery of our 2008 Bighorn 3400RL 2 weeks ago. Took it on a little shake-down cruise and I have to say that we will love this coach! Very comfortable and all systems worked great- except... the rear axle tube appeared to have been "crushed" during assembly where the shackle bolts attach it to the spring stack. This caused the wheels to have an odd camber which destroyed the tires in no time. It is back at the dealers and I will now have my chance to experience how Heartland will respond to the warranty. The service tech at the dealer said he had just received a notice of recall for "soft" axles. Anybody else ever hear of this? Oh- one other thing. The method required for winterizing the pump and lines looks rediculus. Pretty much have to empty the entire storage bay and remove a 4' panel- about 8-12 screws- to gain access to the valves, pump and hot H2O heater. Does this seem kosher? Thanks for any input...

03-31-2007, 07:42 AM

Try to obtain a copy of or the numbers from this supposed recall. If it is real, I will obtain a copy of it for posting on this site.

There was one axle recall on Bighorns that was related to a missing weld of the axle at the hub. Here's a link to that one (//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php?t=2148).


03-31-2007, 09:39 AM
A lot of us have come up with ways to remove the panel without tools. I have a channel that the bottom of the panel slides into, and a slide bolt at the top to hold in down. Makes for a pretty easy removal.
Heck, winter hardly ever comes but once a year.

03-31-2007, 11:11 AM
My panels on both sides fit so snug I don't have any screws or fasteners holding them on. Just pull them off and push them on. Make messing with things a whole bunch easier.

03-31-2007, 04:37 PM
If you want to find out if your coach is involved in a recall, here is the site to check it out. http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallsearch.cfm Most axel manufacturers give instructions not to use a jack on the axels as they are thin wall tubing. Check to find who manufacturered your axels and then check their website for jacking and maintenance instructions. I know that my Dexter axels are very specific on do's and do nots.

03-31-2007, 07:47 PM
RVs for less installed a round access port in the panel. I didn't request it, it's just one of those extrathingsthey do.....Obviously if you need to get in to do major work you need to remove the whole panel.

04-01-2007, 10:02 AM
5er got and pitures of that access hole?

04-01-2007, 03:38 PM
Thanks to all for the responses. I will try to get that recall number Monday. I had thought of cutting another access hole in that panel also but will re-evaluate things when I get the coach home. TimK- for us here in Montana winter can come way more often then once a year so I often have to winterize several times a season. But I'll get it fugured out to where it's no big deal, I'm sure. I'll keep you posted on the results of the axles. Thanks again :)

04-02-2007, 07:23 PM
I used the industrial strength velcro to hold the panel in place, no more screws !!

04-05-2007, 09:43 PM
I have talked to the dealer and apparently there is no recall for the supposed 'soft axles'. The service manager must have been mistaken. Heartland is shipping 2 new axles and 3 new tires and I may be up and running this week, which will make me ... well, a happy camper. Thank you to all for the comments and the help.

04-21-2007, 08:01 AM
I got the rig home yesterday- 2 new axles and 3 new tires. I asked the service guy how Heartland was to deal with and he said they were good- but they had immediately shifted the problem to Lippert ( appropriate, I guess). Lippert had tried to do some ducking and diving- statements like " the customer has obviosly overloaded the coach". I told him (service guy) the only thing in there was a pair of socks and a half gallon of Black Velvet. I guess Lippert thought my rig was aToy Hauler instead of a 3400RL. No One can figure out what happened on the original axles. Time will tell on the new ones.

04-30-2007, 10:27 PM
I had what sounds like a very similar problem. Had to have the back axle replace and a tire. Jim Fenner at Heartland got me in out and on the road in short order.

05-22-2007, 04:09 PM
Just had to take my '08 3055 to Dixie Trailers (couldn't get to the dealer - the dealer, Bates, set it up). The spring keeper crushed the axle and let the axle spin. This put the tire on the right side against the shock. Had to jack trailer, rotate and somewhat align the axle to take it 3 miles. Sent pictures to Lippert and Bates. I hope that Lippert doesn't mess this up and gets the replacement axle to the shop.

05-22-2007, 10:51 PM
You might make sure you touch base with Heartland also. They can assist you

06-05-2007, 09:41 AM
Lippert air freighted the axle to the repair shop. Got it back together and am going to take it out this weekend. I still have some concerns about the strength of the tubing that they use to construct the axle. But we shall see.

06-05-2007, 10:44 AM
Glad to hear that you got your parts and that you are back on the road. Don't be concerned about the thickness of the axles. There are 10's of thousands of them out there and doing fine. Get on Lipperts website and read up on the care and maintenance and jacking procedures and you should have years of trouble free miles from them. http://www.lippertcomponents.com/Service%20Owners%20Manuals/Trailer%20Axle/Trailer%20Axle-Web.pdf


07-01-2007, 02:31 PM
I also have a heartland 2008 3055RL purchased on 30 May and returned to the dealer for axle repair. The left rear of the unit was tracking in the left traffic lane and the rest of the trailer was behind the tow in the right lane. Took back to shop on 5 Jun and I'm suppose to pick up from River City RV in Little Rock on the 5th or 6th of Jul (if they remember to call me when its ready). Apparently Heartland and Lippert had a hard time coming to a solution/fix to my problem. Does it really take a month to diagnois and repair an axle??????

07-02-2007, 07:09 AM

Good luck with River City RV. YOU will have to be the one keeping in touch and staying on top of things. That's where we bought our BH 3400RL and it sat at their shop for about six months off and on total while we waited for parts and went through personnel changes, etc. The best thing that happened for us was getting directly in touch with Jim Fenner at Heartland and making the long trek to Elkhart, IN to RV Capital Services where they took care of us in a matter of a few days and even redid many things River City RV techs were supposed to have done. We found that the River City techs are overly swamped with work on other brands and have not been trained on Heartland units - owner is not following through with materials sent by HL to the dealerships. Training tapes provided by HL could help the techs immensely but owner is not passing them along is what we have been told by HL.

Any future repairs we need, we will most likely drive to San Antonio or to RVs for Less in TN. It will have to be a real emergency for us to let River City have a go at our rig again.

Lippert fixed our problem during the Goshen Rally - we had different sized hubs on our unit (we originally thought different sized axles) that caused damage to brakes and something else but all is well now for the time being.

When you have a problem, it is very important to make sure the dealer or yourself takes pictures and sends them to HL along with any requests for parts or warranty work.

Good luck. If you need any further information about our experiences, feel free to email us.

08-08-2007, 03:33 PM
JD, thanks for the info. Yeah when I got mine the tech who gave me the walk around gave some pretty unconventional info, like crawling under the rig with a crescent wrench to pull in your slides if the button on the control panel doesn't work (what size hex wrench do I use on the hydraulic pump to get it working); also the owners manual doesn't say anything about how to exactly to winterize; i.e., bypass the hot water heater (what panel do you take off, what on off valves do you turn, this is not explained in the owners manual.) Good gosh its 102 degrees outside, I must be insane to even discuss this right now.

Anyway I've got one axle replaced and its in the shop again for various other ailments. Dropped a lot of money on this one and still afraid to take it out of state with the china tires on it and various other problems.

However, I love the design, the interior, the storage, and I'm sure once I get the bugs out of it I'll be the happiest guy to park it under a tree.

08-09-2007, 11:42 AM
Glad to read other post from Arkansas. I too purchased from River City RV. We have a 3500 and got it in April 2005. Since then River City has had many new people. Never took mine back to dealer for any thing. Every thing that needed attention, i did my self.
Oh by the way, is that a Camping world being built I40 east of NLR?

08-09-2007, 02:44 PM
Yeah a Camping World right across the road from River City. I've used Camping World's mail order for over 20 years. Its about time we got a store.

10-28-2009, 09:41 AM
Pictures sure show problems. How did the springs get so rusty. Looks like they have been sitting in deep water. Is the problems fixed.

10-28-2009, 10:10 AM
I was on the bighorn site and it says that the axles are powder coated and stainless steel hardware to stop rust. Does not look like it to me. It also states that the frames are powder coated. My dealer says that I should get my trailer undercoated because of the rusting problem. What did the rest of you do?


10-28-2009, 10:21 AM
Looks more like the coach was sitting in salt water than being powder coated.IMHO

10-28-2009, 06:19 PM
Our BH is almost rust free. Have had the underbelly off several times. No rusty frame parts..........yet.

10-28-2009, 11:34 PM
I installed 4 slide bolts to hold each panel in place. Remove and replace in no time at all.

10-29-2009, 04:54 AM
Could you post a picture of how that turned out? Sounds like a handy fix.

10-29-2009, 04:58 AM
Pulled our Augusta home after 8K axles and Center Point upgrade. Forgot to take the coffee pot off the counter. It was still there after traveling I80 and several back roads including gravel. Center Point air is certainly worth the money. No Chucking at all anywhere along the route.