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Old 03-18-2024, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Need a quick reminder: tire replacement intervals, bearing repacks

Hi all,

I'm plotting the needed work to get the 24'er on the road for the upcoming season. The tires on it are at about 5 years, low miles. Is the general consensus push them to 5 and replace? Or take a look for any cracks and general condition and let them go another?

I'm also always tempted not to pull all the bearings off again and repack ... it seems like they should be okay if they're kept dry and don't have very many miles on them since I did them last 1.5 years ago.

But, this is where you can give me some motivational talking-to and tell me to get to it because it's cheap insurance to pull them all apart, check and repack. Assuming I do it right
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Old 03-19-2024, 08:41 AM   #2
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Two great questions!! And I am sure you will get numerous opinions on what is ‘right.’

My opinion, and I assume no responsibility or knowledge or facts to back this up. But since you keep your camper under roof, in the shade, and the tires are only exposed to minimal UV light, and there is no cracking on the sidewalls or face, and they are a decent brand and not a China Bomb, then I would consider running them another year.
Also, take into consideration how many miles your are planning this summer. If you were heading out to cover the 49 States and beyond, then yes I would change them. If you are taking shorter trips, then air them up, and roll-on.

My opinion on pulling the bearing and repacking them. Since I am sure you did a great job the first time around packing them, I would probably pop the caps off and see how they look visually. If they have a good amount of ‘fresh’ looking grease in there, I would run it on the first trip and periodically check for any ‘warm’ hubs (like at bathroom breaks or snack stops.) Since you have minimal miles since last repack I think you will be fine.

I carry a infrared thermometer/ laser temperature gun and when we stop for a break, I check tires and hubs for consistent temps.

I will add, it isn’t a bad idea before you head out, to raise each tire/wheel off the ground and see if it wiggles laterally. If it does, you want to snub up the nut a little bit.
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Old 03-19-2024, 10:29 AM   #3
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I like Rahn's thoughts on this.

In my experience, the bearings in my trailer have always looked in great shape every time I've repacked them. I use high quality bearing grease and they are not put underwater like the ones on boat trailers. For these reasons, I generally don't do any bearing work each year, but do it in two year intervals, if I've taken the camper out each year. If the camper is not used, I don't see how the bearing condition can degrade. That said, I DO spin the wheels before a camping trip and check for looseness and unusual noises/unexpected friction.

My tires are covered and out of sunlight when the trailer is in storage. I've also got tires mounted that have a higher load range and are larger than OEM, since I had the axle relocated to give me more room. And, I only rarely have the trailer out for more than one trip per year. I have tire pressure/temperature monitoring on ALL my tires (trailer and tow vehicle). For these reasons, I feel they are good for more than 5 years, and am not afraid to use them for 6-7 years. Beyond that, I would change them.

I DID mount Goodyear Endurance tires on the trailer prior to my trip to Utah last summer and was very happy with those tires.

- Jack
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Old 03-19-2024, 12:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input on this everyone. I don't like to take on unneeded risk, but I also hate to waste time redoing things that are perfectly fine.

I like the idea of popping the caps to check out the grease quality and condition. I can give the wheels a spin and thorough visual exam of the rubber at the same time. The tires are Maxxis which was well liked when I was looking into these things a few years back so I think we're good there at least as far as quality goes.

I've also started running temperature and pressure sensors on the valve stems (well, I did it once for a 200 mile trip last year). Any experience on whether the temperature recordings from those can act fast enough to tell you anything about bearing heat? I always put my hand next to the hubs when we stop on trips too ... I'm that guy. Trust but verify?

Thanks again.
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Also in the garage, some stuff to pull it:
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1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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Old 03-19-2024, 10:00 PM   #5
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Default Bearing and tire opinions.

I think you have been given some good guidance. Our HiLo dealer doesn't change our bearings ever year when we go in for inspection. DH hates this messy job and has never done it. Make sure your spare is aired up and in usable condition. We did some repairs on another HiLo owners rig. The spare tire needed a fair amt. of air. On one of their trips they got a flat. They are elderly and the wife is the only driver. They were close to a rest stop. It would have been forever before AAA could get to them. A family pulled in to switch drivers and they were kind enough to change the tire for them. Angels around them.
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Old 03-20-2024, 05:02 PM   #6
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Thanks Sam, yes, it is a messy job.

Back in 2018 or 19 when I was doing some final prep and restoration work, I went through and replaced the spare tire ... it could have been original! It was so old that the mount strap to the tongue had left a permanent mark in the old rubber.

It was also at that point that I realized what an awful placement the spare gets on any of the HiLo tongue mounts. I've kept it in the back of the pickup when I had it, or I'll find a spot for it in the 'burb this year. Anywhere except a place that requires one to lift the trailer top to get to the tire. I can only imagine how awful that would be in some situations.
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Old 03-20-2024, 09:48 PM   #7
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Default Spare tires.

DH keeps both the truck and trailer spare tires in the truck bed. Ford mounts the tires underneath for all the snow and road grime to get on the tire. Had a friend that went to change tires and found his spare had been stolen.
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Old 03-28-2024, 04:11 PM   #8
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the For me I have installed the caps with grease fittings but in any case I do not over grease them because if I did i was informed could get onto the brakes. Also for the tires I installed tire monitors and the RV is 28 feet so I had to put a repeater on and the monitor is in the cab of truck so I know what the air pressure is at all times and if to low it will beep an alarm.
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Old 04-01-2024, 08:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lwwilltravel View Post
the For me I have installed the caps with grease fittings but in any case I do not over grease them because if I did i was informed could get onto the brakes.
For those wondering how this would all transpire I will attempt to explain it.

There are two different types of axle caps with grease zerks on them.
One cap is plain with just a grease zerk on the face of it.
The other cap has a type of spring loaded plunger in it. This is usually found on boat trailers where the pressure from the spring and grease will usually prevent water from getting into the bearings and hub.
You can also buy hubs that have the grease zerk made right into the casting of the hub itself. This one will place/shoot the grease in between the two bearings.

Both of the cap-grease zerks have a few downfalls. (Actually all three have issues.)

The first major issue with the cap method is that you pump enough grease into the cap and it may pass through the outer bearing but typically will not reach the inner bearing. As well as the hub-zerk method, you pump grease in there, was it enough, did it even reach the bearings? There are also the people that will pump grease into the hub and keep pumping until the seal starts to expel excess grease. At that point the seal has been compromised, trouble is just down the road, around the corner, and over the hill!

The second issue is what Lwwilltravel mentioned. When you get real aggressive, and pump grease into the hub until it is packed, as soon as the hub starts spinning (i.e. rolling down the road) the grease starts heating up. This allows the grease to soften and expand. And that creates a problem. Once it starts to expand the grease has to go somewhere. With the spring loaded cap the spring may compress some and allow for expansion (maybe.) The non-springloaded caps will possibly push themselves off the hub and bounce out into the ditch and weeds never to be seen again.

If the cap of either system doesn’t give, or if you have a weak seal by the inner bearing, the grease will push out there. Ounce the seal has been compromised and grease is coming out, the centrifugal force of the spinning wheel will throw grease outward and there is a good chance the brake drum and then the brakes will be coated and stopping power will be reduced to white knuckles and standing on the brake pedal praying. This can also be a very real experience by pumping too much grease into the hub zerk as well.

It is a messy job doing it the right way, and don’t buy the cheapest grease you can find. There is grease made exclusively for axles and is well worth it. (Good grease is made to stay tacky and firm when heated up and expansion is reduced.) Also, by packing the grease into the bearings manually, you know each bearing is lubed and ready for a trouble-free trip. A little time and grease goes a long way! And is more satisfying than sitting on the shoulder of the highway waiting for someone to come to your rescue. (Especially if the hub and axle got so hot that it scored either one or both and that means that you are not going anywhere soon.

You don’t have to travel very long to see a trailer parked on the shoulder with either bearing or tire problem and most of these issues are easily avoided with a little time and care.
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Old 04-18-2024, 08:26 AM   #10
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Default Dexter EZ Lube Axles

In my previous post I explained why I would pull the hubs off an axle and repack the bearings with grease. I still think that is the #1 way to assure that everything is well in bearing land.

I was also going through the stack of manuals that came with my camper and scanning a number of them to post in our library. I came across the Dexter Axle Maintenance Service Manual and started thumbing through it. (Trying to decide if I wanted to scan all 80 pages.) Well, I came across the picture below, and stopped to read about it.

I didn’t know that Dexter had designed a path for the grease to follow as it is pumped into the axle. A pretty ingenious design and I was impressed!

Impressed enough to admit that I wasn’t completely correct in my theory previously. I still like the idea of ‘handling’ the bearings, but this EZ Lube system is pretty innovative!
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Old 04-18-2024, 08:33 AM   #11
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So, now I go to the Library and under Axles and see Neal and Bev already scanned the booklet and all the information.

Thanks Neal and Bev!!


https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f54...ce-manual-102/
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Old 04-18-2024, 04:11 PM   #12
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That is a nice design, thanks for posting that (and to Neal and Bev who had it up there already).
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1993 Roadmaster wagon (well, it probably won't pull it)
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