How many crossmembers do I need for my trailer?

February 27, 2024 — by Jack Enfield
That’s a question we are increasingly hearing from travel trailer and 5th wheel owners.  Before we answer that question, some of you may be wondering what is a crossmember and why would I need one?
What is a frame crossmember? When a trailer frame is built, each OEM will specify the number and location of frame crossmembers that are welded into the frame. Typically they are spaced 48″-52″ apart, however in some cases where holding tanks or other items are in the way, they can be spread further apart. These crossmembers provide lateral support to the frame structure.
Why should I consider an aftermarket crossmember?  An aftermarket crossmember is one that is added after the RV is built. While the OEM crossmembers do supply lateral support, the combination of larger and heavier trailers and rough roads, and the location of the OEM crossmembers  have shown that many times more support is needed in the area of the spring hangers. The spring hangers are welded to the frame but do flex especially when backing a trailer up and in side to side movements like lane changes. Many trailer owners have experienced crossmembers with busted welds or bent/broken spring hangers as a result. Prior to the availability of an aftermarket crossmember, the fix for these situations was to have a custom crossmember fabricated by a local shop.
What does the aftermarket crossmember do? The aftermarket crossmember attaches to the leaf spring hanger and spans to the other side leaf spring hanger. It features an easy attachment with no welding required.  The crossmember is made of high strength, low alloy steel and provides added lateral support to greatly reduce frame stress wherever it is installed. The crossmember provides up to a 90% reduction in lateral strain. This helps make the foundation of the trailer stronger and more secure.

How many crossmembers do I need? A crossmember can be installed at each of the leaf spring hanger locations. On a two axle trailer there are 3 hangers per side, and on a triple axle trailer there are four hangers per side. An owner can install a crossmember at one location or he can install a crossmember at each location if he desires.  We recommend starting at the rear hanger and then moving forward. The rear axle typically sees the most lateral strain, especially when backing in tight to a campsite. If only one crossmember is installed, it should be the rear axle. If two are installed, you would then move to the center hanger. One other factor is whether there is any interference side to side between the hangers. If there is interference, it may be possible to use a drop down adapter kit to help clear the interference (which is usually some type of tank).
Can I install them myself? The aftermarket crossmember from MORryde is all bolt-on with no welding required. The kit is adjustable to fit different frame widths. For part number information, visit

The installation of the aftermarket crossmember is a good step to help improve the foundation of a trailer. RV trailers are essentially houses and wheels, and it’s important for the house on wheels to have a strong, secure foundation. The aftermarket crossmember is a simple, low cost product designed for added durability to help trailer owners enjoy their RV even more.

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