Frame and Suspension

Might want to look at my research on pin boxes for now.


  • 2018 – Lippert announces their new Road Armor suspension. First saw it on a Montana fifth wheel that previously used the MorRye 3100 or 4000 system. Here is the video about Road Armor. Looks interesting.
  • I’m leaning towards the Morryde suspension.
    • Can use their pin box for chucking and suspension for the up and down movement.
  • According to a trusted source “The only real axle system normally available for  RV’s that allows true wheel alignment, like a car, is the MOR/ryde IS axle system.  I had this retrofitted to my first big 5er.  Worth every penny.  It is standard on NH trailers.  Comes in various sized 7-8-9K, etc.  Most rigs have two 8 K’s or three 7Ks “depending.
  • Research may turn into a Correct Trac vrs Morryde.
  • Here is an answer when I asked someone with experience about the Mor/ryde 4000 and 3000 system compared to the IS (independent system):
    • The MOR/ryde 3000-4000 system improves the spring suspensions but there is still one major problem: springs. While expensive, the IS is simply the only way to cure the interaction problem with springs… The improvement is rather dramatic and can actually be felt (or actually not felt) in the truck.
  • Here is a post where someone’s shackles broke. I’m not sure yet what all the suspension parts are. Apparently this is prevented by having parts that can be lubricated such as wet bolts. I think maybe the leaf springs attach to the shackle which is bolted to the frame. But not sure yet.
    • Maybe I can find a diagram by manufacturer by system. So far I’ve heard of three builders of suspensions, MoRryde, Lippert and Dexter.
  • Here is April 2016 I read two posts on blogs I follow where their shackles failed. Replaced with heavier duty shackles and greaseable bolts. .  Here are the links for the blogs: ExploRVistas and Camper Chronicles.(Good diagram at Camper Chronicles)
    • Heavy duty shackles are the way to go. I can see why some might buy an older trailer because they plan to upgrade suspension anyway. Why buy new and weight for something to break before upgrading.
    • Also need to be able to grease the bolts which a must per someone that knows.
  • Here is a great blog post concerning maintenance. The photos are also great examples explaining bushings, shackles, greasing bearings, wet bolts and equalizers.
  • Dexter axles are preferred over the Lippert axles and that’s why Dexter axles are offered as an option with some trailers.


  • For sure going to have to support the suspension and a lot more the unit comes with and any anticipated upgrades that come later.
  • Here is the answer I received from an experienced person:
    • For many reasons I don’t recommend going lighter than 16,500 or really 18,500 trailer weight. You can upgrade a bigger frame, but if you go light you can’t upgrade the suspension as the frame won’t take it… if you’re going to travel it just “is what it is.” Karen and I plan to pull our trailer all over the country rather than buy it and sit in it for a year at a time.
  • Look up the 10” G- Channel by MORryde used in the Vilano 5th wheel.
  • Leaning towards a 12″ I beam minimum. Augusta RV’s Ambition uses a slightly thicker piece of steel. That is a consideration as well.  I know most say having a box frame is best. Also need to pay attention to the portion of the frame where slides are connected.
  • This could be the best quotation I could find on the forums regarding frame size “I get a kick out of everybody measuring the frames of the trailers to determine whether a trailer is good or not. — There are many things that all have to come together for a good RV — The question is……does the particular rv have a history of frame failure? If not then it’s a mute point. Thankfully frame issues are few and far between on the full time 5th wheels —.” (Dave&ginny at

Cargo Capacity

Link to my blog post

I know people full time in about everything and can make due with whatever. However, I wanted to know what others consider to be a minimum amount of cargo capacity necessary for all the stuff many full timers what to haul around. In the past I heard more often 3,000 pounds quoted as the minimum. Karen and I want the capacity to haul what we want such as bikes, combo washer/dryer, inflatable boat, generator, camping gear, maybe solar panels, full water tank when heading out to boondock and more that might not otherwise be among the absolute necessities. To that end, here are some quotations I’m finding posted in forums from those that have been living full time:

  • I know we carry about 3500 lbs, but have found out that the more CCC that you have, the more you will carry. (12 years living full time)
  • We’re carrying slightly over 3300 pounds. Probably could shed 4-500# if we could find the time to work on it, but we’re having too much fun traveling around to stop and work on it. (2.5 years full time)
  • The cargo we are actually carrying weighs 3,894 lbs. (10 years full time)
  • Well no washer dryer, pot pans cloths and we at about 1,200 to 1,300# already getting ready have about 800# of capacity left before hitting GVWR .
  • My 36 footer was listed at 9800 dry and a 13,750 GVWR. Guess what? Were at 13,500 on many trips, and we don’t full time. Stuff, especially for full timers tends to add up really fast. (13,750 – 9,800 means this trailer has a capacity of 3,900 and they are hauling 3,475 and not full timers)
  • Our 5th wheel has a CCC of 3435# with a GVWR 14,375# and when we FTd we had a scale weight of 13,873# (appears they are hauling 2,933 pounds of cargo).
  • When we got our coach we had it weighed before we registered it – came in at 25,961 pounds and its GVWR is 31,000#, so 5000# of us and stuff could go in. Weighed it a couple of years ago about 700# left on the front axle and around 900# on the back axle.(5,000 – 1,600 remaining means hauling 3,400 pounds)
  • 2 adults…CCC is 4157#,5vr GVWR is 14,375#.We scaled at 13,873# with full fresh water tank, both 30# propane cylinders full, 128 gallons of grey & black and all of our stuff. (is hauling 3,635 pounds of cargo with full water and waste tanks).
  • Our DRV Tradition has a CCC of a little over 3,400 lb. We got the rig last year and weighed it after we got everything transferred from our old motorhome. We’re using just about ALL the available CCC, and there are just 2 of us.
  • We have 2800 pounds and that is not quite enough. We would like to have 3500.

Summary concerning cargo capacity: If you take the above comments and average them out it appears 3,448 is average cargo they are hauling or would like to haul.



One thought on “Frame and Suspension

  1. I am enjoying reading your Blog,we are in the process of researching a 5th to live in part time while traveling.
    looking very close at Cedar Creek and Grand Design.

    Liked by 1 person

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