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Lippert Trailair Rota-Flex 5th Wheel Pin Box Review

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Review of the Lippert Trailair Rota-Flex 5th Wheel Pin Box


Randy: Hey guys, Randy here at etrailer.com. Today we're going to be taking a look at the Trailair Rota-Flex from Lippert components. Essentially, this is going to save you a lot of the headaches that you run into when you haul a fifth wheel trailer. Basically anytime you take off or stop, you're going to get some chucking effect. This one has a built in large, nice thick, dense, rubber absorber right here, so this whole plate is allowed to flex forward and back. It's going to help to absorb that, so it doesn't get transferred into the vehicle where you'll feel it.

This is also going to help to reduce the road shock, as we head down the road we hit bumps and stuff like that. It absorbs it right in this area, so that doesn't get transferred into the truck where we feel it. But it also isn't going to get transferred up through our pin box, into our side plates, and then weaken the front end of the camper.So anything we've got loaded in the camper is going to have a little bit of a smoother ride. We don't have to worry about all that standard stress and strain that we get from a standard pin box. And we have this available in three different configurations.

This happens to be the 1621 pin box. This is the 18,000 pound version, there's also a 21,000 pound version. So just match that most closely to your camper, it's going to give you the weight rating that you need. And also, it'll give you that rubber in there to support those weights. And then this is also available in a 19,000 pound weight rating and the 1116 version pin box.

Now, since this is going to be a direct replacement, the good thing there is, you have no modifications to make to your brackets that come down, there's going to be no drilling or anything like that.You do want to hang on to the hardware when you remove your old pin box, just so you have it to put it back in, the Rota-Flex does not come with it. If you don't have it, or if you want to upgrade whatever you want to do there, you want to be sure you're using 5/8 diameter hardware. We put a flat washer on the outside, lock washer on the inside with a nut, which you'll see when we install it. Now I've used the Rota-Flex before and I really enjoyed it, but we're going to take it out, we're going to test it. We're going to take it through our test course, we've got alternating and solid speed bumps that's going to do plenty of that forward and back.

We'll do some accelerating and some stops just so you can see how well this goes is going to work at absorbing that.So as you can see, it does a good job. There's a lot of absorption that takes place up here. And the thing I like about this one is that we don't have an airbag to maintain. There are other options out there for a cushioned style kingpin, and having that airbag in there is okay, generally they hold pressure fine, but if you start getting leaks you're going to be maintaining it more often than what I like. As another option Gen-Y does have a fifth wheel, it uses a torsion flex system. So it's almost like a torsion flex axle, which is tried and true on a lot of different trailers. It's just a square tube inside another square two with rubber in there to absorb it. I think that system works out really well too. I think it's a good idea, but I think it's kind of a 50/50 between the two.I think the Gen-Y is going to be a little bit better at the absorption, because it has more travel up and down, where I think this one's slightly better at the chucking or that forward and back jerking feeling that we get. The overall construction on it is really nice. It is slightly heavier than what the standard 1621 was that we took off. I think the plate steel is just a little bit thicker all the way around, it seems like the main body of it it's just a hair thicker than the steel that we had on the old one. I really liked the paint finish, I've never seen any of these come through with any chips or anything like that. They're going to last for a very long time. And again, it's a bolt on installation. So there's not a lot of stuff that you'll have to do to get it installed, we'll go ahead and take a look at that now.All right, we've got our old pin box out of the way. We remove the five bolts that we're holding it in or four bolts on each side that we're holding it in. You want to hang on to those, the new trail layer does not come with hardware, so it makes sure it's in good condition. And we've also, of course, the breakaway switch was mounted on the side, our seven pole wiring, you got to watch for that. Sometimes it can be mounted to the backside of the pin box, so you want to make sure you remove any of that. Ours didn't have that situation, so we didn't really have to worry about it. But now with this one out, what we're going to do is bring our new one in, when we lowered the old one out we use two guys, one on each side just to stabilize it, and we're going to do the same thing when we put our new one back in.What I like to do is get a guy on each side of it, get it slid up and then sometimes you get to work it in there a little bit. These side plates can come in a little bit, so you're going to get a force it up in there. And we're just going to realign using the same holes that worked out with the old pin box. This is the same design, so it should go in there without any issues. And all of the pin boxes are going to be just about the same, whether it's the 1621, the 1116, you're going to have original hardware, you'll save it and remount it back in that same location. I'm going to get a couple of bolts started here, one in the front, one in the back just to hold it in place. We'll get a couple bolts started on that other side as well.Now we're just going to go through and get the rest of our hardware in place. We're going to be using a large flat washer on the outside, on the inside you want to use a lock washer and a nut. We'll just go through and get them all started, then we'll snug them down and torque them. Now we're going to get our breakaway attached. I'm going to go in the side plate here, that way we're not running any holes into the pin box.Okay, it's nice and secure. Just stuck our seven pole up there and be ready to go. Overall guys, I really like this setup. I think that the no maintenance is a big feature that I really like. I don't like constantly checking things over and over to make sure it's in good shape. I like the way it's constructed, it's fit in here really well. And it offers a lot of bang for the buck, when you compare this to just a standard non cushions style of king pin or pin box, there's a little bit of difference in the cost, but it's not significant. So this could be a pretty cost-effective upgrade, kind of smooth everything out and make your travels a little bit more enjoyable.


Questions and Comments about this Video

Info for these parts were:

Employee Jeff D
Installed by:
Jeff D
Employee Randy B
Installed by:
Randy B
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Jonathan Y
Video by:
Jonathan Y
Employee Clayton O
Test Fit:
Clayton O

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