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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Wheel Bearings

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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/20/22 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

aftermath wrote:

I purchased a used Airstream and took it in to the local dealer to have them check the bearings and the brakes. I have done this on my 55 Chevy, 64 VW, 62 Chevy and 64 Ford PU. Not really all that complicated but I had no experience with the electric brakes on the trailer. Remember this is a dealer who seldom worries about charging high prices. I asked them how often I should have the bearings repacked and he said, every 10K miles. More often, unless you consider this a hobby isn't really needed.
As far as EZ Lube axles, I am not a fan. I think these are the improved version of Bearing Buddies that were designed for boat trailers. Do you back you trailer into the lake? No worries, just use our Bearing Buddies and you will be fine. We installed a zert to pack more grease so you will never run dry! IF, and I really mean If, you follow the recommendations and guidelines with your EZ lube setup you should be fine. I think more people than you think, just pack the bearings full and feel good about things.


EZ lube setup was an improvement over bearing buddies which was originally designed for use on boat trailers where the entire wheel along with brakes and bearings get submerged in water immediately after a drive on the road.

The sudden cold water dunk at the boat ramp causes the heated air, grease and even bearings inside the hub to contract, the contraction then pulls water from the river or lake right into the bearing space.. That water then degrades the grease and eventually rusts and damages the bearing surfaces..

The idea is if you fill the entire cavity with grease, then you arrest most of the reasons why water can get pulled in from the river or lake.

Bearing buddy only worked up to the point the grease seal could no longer hold back the grease and the extra grease ended up on your brakes.

EZ Lubes were simply adopted by trailer manufacturers for non boat trailer uses because of the appeal to the RV masses of "never ever needing to remove the drums".

RVs since you are not submerging the wheel and bearings in cold water bath are more about the marketing aspect to the lazy or less knowledgeable folks.

It is a sales gimmick on RVs.

The reality is you STILL have to eventually pull the drums to INSPECT the brake shoes and all moving parts inside the drum periodically. EZ lube does not negate the need to inspect and replace wear items like brake shoes or drums.

As I have mentioned I have a TT with standard axles and a flatbed with EZ Lube.. I personally have a hate for EZ Lube when it comes time to remove the drum.

In PA we have to take trailers of 3,001 lbs GVWR and higher in for a annual safety inspection. Inspection mechanic is required to pull one drum on each side at the inspection.

One yr I had a mechanic pump two cartridges of grease into the EZ lubes over two axles.. While I appreciated his thoughtfulness, I was in hate mode the next yr when I pulled the drums to check things before I took it in for inspection.. Took a dozen gloves and a complete roll of shop towels to clean out the excess grease and to prevent the unneeded grease from getting on the brakes or drum surfaces.

I like to be proactive and repair things before I drag a trailer for a 40 mile round trip for inspection.. Hate having a rejection then have to drag back home, fix and return..

Bearings properly hand packed only takes at most 1-2 ounces of grease per bearing, not the half cartridge of EZ lube per wheel..

klutchdust

Orange, California

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Posted: 08/21/22 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is the EZ lube believers also have the siphon pump that you put in the dipstick holder and suck out all the used oil so you do not have to drain the oil pan and also used the JC whitney toilet paper oil filter device.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/21/22 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do have a siphon pump. Very handy in different situations.
But you probably know it all and I’m sure you’d find fault with it.
Is there anything you actually do like?


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/21/22 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

klutchdust wrote:

My guess is the EZ lube believers also have the siphon pump that you put in the dipstick holder and suck out all the used oil so you do not have to drain the oil pan and also used the JC whitney toilet paper oil filter device.


I sure EZ lube believers also believe in these..

[image]

Fuel line magnets to increase their fuel mileage also.. [emoticon]

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/21/22 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, the experts have spoken. EZ lube is a gimmick.
Now let’s talk wdhs. Gimmick?

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/21/22 04:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Well, the experts have spoken. EZ lube is a gimmick.
Now let’s talk wdhs. Gimmick?


Sure,

I buy vehicles with excess cargo capacity to deal with not overloading the rear axle, not taking excess weight off the front axle which IS what WD hitches were originally designed for..

Vehicle manufacturers have also backed down on WD, they no longer recommend full weight "restoration" on the front axle any more. Instead they now recommend no more than 1/2 restoration..

Basically I don't buy into the idea a couple of metal bars magically make a F150 into a F250 or F350.. What happens when the WD has a breakdown and you are in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday evening when no RV supply stores are open?

1,100 lbs on my 2020 F250 hitch drops the rear less than a inch, front barely moves, maybe 1/4".. Not enough to be cause of concern.. Truck doesn't even flatten out (IE bed still rides higher). My 2020 has 3800 lbs of cargo capacity so even at 1,100 lbs hitch weight it isn't going to break in half without WD..

Yes, there IS life without WD.

Bird Freak

Dallas Ga.

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Posted: 08/22/22 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't get all the concern about repacking bearings. OP has 800 miles since serviced. How often do any of you repack the front bearings on your car or truck?
Its the same bearing set up.


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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 08/22/22 05:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bird Freak wrote:

I don't get all the concern about repacking bearings. OP has 800 miles since serviced. How often do any of you repack the front bearings on your car or truck?
Its the same bearing set up.

Not the same ball game! The front bearings on a car or truck do not see any of the huge side loadings that double axle trailers put on their bearings when they turn or back into a campsite. If the trailer wheels turned like a cars, then the side loadings would not be there and the recommended service interval would likely be much longer than it is now.


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Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD


Bird Freak

Dallas Ga.

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Posted: 08/22/22 07:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BarneyS wrote:

Bird Freak wrote:

I don't get all the concern about repacking bearings. OP has 800 miles since serviced. How often do any of you repack the front bearings on your car or truck?
Its the same bearing set up.

Not the same ball game! The front bearings on a car or truck do not see any of the huge side loadings that double axle trailers put on their bearings when they turn or back into a campsite. If the trailer wheels turned like a cars, then the side loadings would not be there and the recommended service interval would likely be much longer than it is now.
Really it is about the same. On our class 8 trucks and trailers we would check and service bearings at about 100K miles. True the bearings are bigger but so is the load. I'm not a rookie mechanic as you can tell from my profile and I do believe some folks take the bearing service a little to far.

wnjj

Cornelius, Oregon

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Posted: 08/22/22 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bird Freak wrote:

BarneyS wrote:

Bird Freak wrote:

I don't get all the concern about repacking bearings. OP has 800 miles since serviced. How often do any of you repack the front bearings on your car or truck?
Its the same bearing set up.

Not the same ball game! The front bearings on a car or truck do not see any of the huge side loadings that double axle trailers put on their bearings when they turn or back into a campsite. If the trailer wheels turned like a cars, then the side loadings would not be there and the recommended service interval would likely be much longer than it is now.
Really it is about the same. On our class 8 trucks and trailers we would check and service bearings at about 100K miles. True the bearings are bigger but so is the load. I'm not a rookie mechanic as you can tell from my profile and I do believe some folks take the bearing service a little to far.

Sitting a lot where the grease can separate or overloading creating excessive heat are probably the more common issues with trailer bearings. I tend to not worry about bearings generally either.

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