We've had other experience with metal fatigue in our RV career – and you may have as well. If you have a travel trailer or fifth wheel, you've got several spring shackles, a critical component in your RV's suspension system. In fact, any rig with a leaf spring has spring shackles. Repeatedly jostled and strained by bouncing down the road, spring shackles can give way, with consequences ranging from minor to catastrophic.
Metal fatigue isn't limited to support systems and LP platforms. Ever had a window crank break off? Yeah, maybe they are "cheap junk" but it's just another example of fatigue. In that case, it's largely a nuisance. But for areas where limb or life is involved, the matter is far greater than just a nuisance. It simply underscores the point of regularly inspecting your RV, or having it done. An annual look-see of all suspension system parts is a good idea. If you don't know what you're looking for, hire it done. Would we have thought to look at the propane support platform. Never. But maybe if we'd crawled under the rig with an eye toward "what could be out of order" we might have spotted the problem before it nearly got away from us. Crawling around under the rig would also give a chance to inspecting the welds on the trailer frame. Happily, its a rare day when you hear of something like a frame coming apart, but hey, for my peace of mind, it's worth a few hours of inspection.
photos: R & T De Maris