Leaf Springs, Support Members, and Bandaid Fixes

Hey everyone! Just a quick update on our situation. Our fifth wheeler is still parked at an alignment shop in Montana. The manufacturer of the trailer (Forest River) and the axle maker (Lippert) are working towards “repairing” our rig. For those of you who don’t know, we found out that while our trailer’s dry weight is 11,680 pounds, our axles are only rated for a combined 10,160 pounds, and our tires only for 10,000 pounds. In other words, Forest River built a big rig and slapped a little axle on it. As a result, we ended up with a flat leaf spring and a broken support member. Lots of mechanic mumbo jumbo, I know. In simpler terms, the axle and tires weren’t built to handle the weight of the body and now our frame is so messed up we have doors that won’t even latch. Forest River wants to let Lippert send a team to the alignment shop to repair the broken support member and see if they can repair the frame enough to fix the doors. They are hoping that along with stronger leaf springs, our swaying issue will be resolved. What they don’t get is that we know it’s only a bandaid fix. The axle and tires were never intended to carry the weight the trailer puts on them, let alone a family of six. We won’t be settling for a bandaid fix and will continue to press for a fair resolution to this dilemma.  In the meantime, we are settling in to a nice little three bedroom rental house in Thermopolis, Wyoming. We took this contract with the anticipation of exploring Yellowstone, the Tetons, and Jackson Hole. Not having our home on wheels changes things. The weather here is already turning, temperatures are dropping, and tenting with an almost two year old at 9,000 feet and 31 degrees is tricky. And not super fun. We decided to remedy that by purchasing a small used bunkhouse travel trailer to do our exploring in. I shopped around and purchased it in Washington while Erich was in Wyoming working and making trips to Montana to start collecting our belongings. The kids and I were finally able to head back to Wyoming this last Sunday and even tested out the new camper in Montana before finishing the 15 hour drive on Monday. It’s so good to be all together again! The kids were excited to set up their new rooms in our rental house, boys in one and girls in the other. Even Cooper (the family dog) is thrilled to be back in Wyoming with us after spending a couple months with my parents. And today we head to the Tetons for our first explorcation in quite some time. We are super excited to see what God has in store for us! Losing our home on wheels has been rough. On our way through Montana, we stopped by the alignment shop where it is parked to grab a few more things. Seeing it all empty-ish was so sad. But I keep reminding the kids that God always leaves us better off than we were before. He is always good and I can’t wait to see the kids’ delight when He surprises us with our next home, whatever and wherever it may be.


  1. So exciting to read about God’s provision along your journey! You’re right, He never leaves us in despair and His next thing is always better than the last! The pics are gorgeous as always! Miss you and look forward to reading your next post!


  2. I found your little painted rock today in the driveway next door to the house on Bighorn Ave in Thermop…I’ll place it somewhere around here…on the shore of Boysen or up in the bighorns at Willow park…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, my daughter will be thrilled you found her rock! Thank you for checking out our blog and for passing the rock on. It’s so fun to hear from someone in Wyoming, our whole family is looking forward to getting back there. Thanks for making our day!


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