PDA

View Full Version : Trailer Maintenance


dvsone79
01-02-2013, 01:01 PM
I'm wondering what you guys do for trailer maintenance. Particularly, the wheel bearings. Sometime this past season, one of the trailer buddy bras came off one one of the wheels of my trailer, so the grease was exposed to water and such (not sure when it came off, but it was there at the start of the season). I've got a replacement coming, but how often do you guys replace wheel bearings/grease/etc., and are there any products you recommend?

thatsmrmastercraft
01-02-2013, 01:31 PM
The Bearing Buddy, if properly filled, is under a slight amount of pressure and won't let any water in if the dust cover falls off. Under the FAQ section on the Bearing Buddy website, they address the time and replacement interval. As long as you keep the grease filled properly, and you don't feel any amount of play with the axle jacked up and attempting to move the wheel in and out, or feel any roughness while turning the wheel, there isn't any real need to do anything. I always recommend that a good quality grease should be kept in the grease gun and used on everything. A guy doesn't go through so much grease that paying a few bucks extra for the better grease makes a difference.

Skipper
01-02-2013, 02:16 PM
Each season I clean and repack the bearings on my '95 trailer. That little rubber cover on the bearing buddy is great for keeping dust and debris out of the mechanism. They can be purchased separately from the bearing buddy.

mikeg205
01-02-2013, 02:26 PM
Each season I clean and repack the bearings on my '95 trailer. That little rubber cover on the bearing buddy is great for keeping dust and debris out of the mechanism. They can be purchased separately from the bearing buddy.

^^+1 - I do the same. Also I use a good grease like Thats... recommends...a synthetic has better hot performance and better anti-washout characteristics.

I use http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_Grease.aspx

Regarding the water intrusion, there's some that get's in depending on the temp of the hub and the temp of the water. Coming off the road and dropping in the water will cause a quick change in temp which will cause some water to get sucked in....hence the pressure on the bearing buddy mechanism.



I trailer from Chicago to Kenora, Ont. every year 1400 miles round trip so I always inspect and repack.

Don't forget your tires on the trailer maintenance - they need a good inspection as well if over 2 years old... I know a guy who can get you a deal on tires ;)

thatsmrmastercraft
01-02-2013, 04:41 PM
^^+1 - I do the same. Also I use a good grease like Thats... recommends...a synthetic has better hot performance and better anti-washout characteristics.

I use http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_Grease.aspx

Regarding the water intrusion, there's some that get's in depending on the temp of the hub and the temp of the water. Coming off the road and dropping in the water will cause a quick change in temp which will cause some water to get sucked in....hence the pressure on the bearing buddy mechanism.



I trailer from Chicago to Kenora, Ont. every year 1400 miles round trip so I always inspect and repack.

Don't forget your tires on the trailer maintenance - they need a good inspection as well if over 2 years old... I know a guy who can get you a deal on tires ;)

Remember to look for any cracks in the sidewall (don't forget to look at the inside sidewall) as well as tread separation and bulges in the sidewall (again both outside and inside). Check DOT code for manufacture date. Running any tires over five years old is working on borrowed time.

byronic
01-02-2013, 10:44 PM
^^+1 - I do the same. Also I use a good grease like Thats... recommends...a synthetic has better hot performance and better anti-washout characteristics.

I use http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_Grease.aspx

Regarding the water intrusion, there's some that get's in depending on the temp of the hub and the temp of the water. Coming off the road and dropping in the water will cause a quick change in temp which will cause some water to get sucked in....hence the pressure on the bearing buddy mechanism.



I trailer from Chicago to Kenora, Ont. every year 1400 miles round trip so I always inspect and repack.

Don't forget your tires on the trailer maintenance - they need a good inspection as well if over 2 years old... I know a guy who can get you a deal on tires ;)

Kenora,originally called Rat Portage. Can't wait to hear that story.

mikeg205
01-02-2013, 11:03 PM
Kenora,originally called Rat Portage. Can't wait to hear that story.

what story?...;)

GoneBoatN
01-03-2013, 12:20 AM
Good info about bearing inspection and replacement at http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wheelbearingpack.aspx.

In general I agree with not needing to replace the bearings unless an issue. However, bearings and races don't cost that much. I had an old boat/trailer that was neglected by previous owners. I decided to replace the bearings because I figured it had not been done in 15 years. The trailer needed a lot of other TLC so doing the bearings at the time just made sense.

If your trailer is stored outside then every year or two it may be worth replacing the brake fluid. I was told that brake fluid likes to attract water and is worse if subjected to quick temperature changes and humidity. I store my trailer in a garage but still flush and fill the brake fluid every couple of years just to be safe. Given the number of times I hear about rusty master cylinders I think this practice is justified.

thatsmrmastercraft
01-03-2013, 12:31 AM
Good info about bearing inspection and replacement at http://www.etrailer.com/faq-wheelbearingpack.aspx.

In general I agree with not needing to replace the bearings unless an issue. However, bearings and races don't cost that much. I had an old boat/trailer that was neglected by previous owners. I decided to replace the bearings because I figured it had not been done in 15 years. The trailer needed a lot of other TLC so doing the bearings at the time just made sense.

If your trailer is stored outside then every year or two it may be worth replacing the brake fluid. I was told that brake fluid likes to attract water and is worse if subjected to quick temperature changes and humidity. I store my trailer in a garage but still flush and fill the brake fluid every couple of years just to be safe. Given the number of times I hear about rusty master cylinders I think this practice is justified.

Brake fluid is designed to absorb water. Condensation shouldn't be an issue in a brake system, but since this isn't a perfect world, changing it once in a while is not a bad plan.

dvsone79
01-03-2013, 11:01 AM
Great info guys. The trailer seems to be in overall good condition, and it is stored in a detached garage year round. I've got it jacked up right now, but my jack stands weren't quite tall enough to get the tires completely off the ground. Its just enough to take the pressure off of them. So I'll have to lift them up one at a time to do the rotation test.

Lumbergh
01-03-2013, 01:44 PM
.... Running any tires over five years old is working on borrowed time.

The guy I bought my boat from bragged about how awesome the tires looked and that they were original, from 1991!

I just laughed it off and bought new tires asap when I got it home. Glad it made it across town after the buy!

GoneBoatN
01-11-2013, 12:01 PM
The maintenance manual for Reliable Running Gear has a maintenance schedule on page 29 - http://www.reliablepmw.com/downloads/running_gear_manual.pdf

thatsmrmastercraft
01-11-2013, 12:50 PM
The guy I bought my boat from bragged about how awesome the tires looked and that they were original, from 1991!

I just laughed it off and bought new tires asap when I got it home. Glad it made it across town after the buy!

Original tires from 1991..................YIKES:eek3::eek3::eek3:

bsloop
01-12-2013, 11:37 PM
Maintance prob depends on how much you travel.

I trailer about 3-5k mi per year and the idea of working on the side of the highway or losing a day at the lake due to bearing issues is unacceptable.

I pull the bearing buddies every year to inspect for water intrusion (repack if found) and repack every 2yrs regardless.

As mentioned, brake fluid is hydroscopic. It will pickup water and rust your brake system from the inside out.
Get a kit like this - http://www.harborfreight.com/brake-fluid-bleeder-92924.html
or this - http://www.harborfreight.com/mityvac-vacuum-pump-39522.html
On repack years, suck out fluid from resivior, add new then bleed brakes. It is a super easy one man job, especially with boat unloaded.

Spray tires with protectant twice a year, just like you would a car.

medicmoose
01-13-2013, 08:14 AM
Kenora,originally called Rat Portage. Can't wait to hear that story.

Yup, there is a story. This place used to have 3 "towns/settlements/reserves"...Keewatin, Norman and Rat Portage. There was a flour mill at one time and they didn't like the name of the town as they thought it would hurt their sales of flour. So, the deep thinkers they were, took the first 2 letters of each of those "towns" to come up with Kenora.

There you go...you learn something new every day.

MikeyOrange88
01-14-2013, 02:06 PM
Original tires from 1991..................YIKES:eek3::eek3::eek3:

Not bragging and don't want to start any flamethrowing, but I just replaced the last two of what I believe are the original tires (Goodrich CLM ST) from my dual axle trailer on my '88 Tristar. I'm the second owner, but I've had the boat since '98 and I think they were still the original tires when I bought it. I don't trailer very far at all. The better of the two, and one rim that was rusty, is now the spare. I'm embarrassed.:o

mikeg205
01-14-2013, 02:21 PM
Yup, there is a story. This place used to have 3 "towns/settlements/reserves"...Keewatin, Norman and Rat Portage. There was a flour mill at one time and they didn't like the name of the town as they thought it would hurt their sales of flour. So, the deep thinkers they were, took the first 2 letters of each of those "towns" to come up with Kenora.

There you go...you learn something new every day.

www.gokenora.com if you want to take a look and see where medic buys his groceries at the safeway.... ;)

thatsmrmastercraft
01-14-2013, 02:24 PM
Not bragging and don't want to start any flamethrowing, but I just replaced the last two of what I believe are the original tires (Goodrich CLM ST) from my dual axle trailer on my '88 Tristar. I'm the second owner, but I've had the boat since '98 and I think they were still the original tires when I bought it. I don't trailer very far at all. The better of the two, and one rim that was rusty, is now the spare. I'm embarrassed.:o

I guess you got your money out of the tires. Might consider picking up a used but serviceable spare to replace the antique. Watch craigslist for a deal. Nothing worse than needing a spare and find out it's flat or have it fail.

homer12
01-14-2013, 04:26 PM
Bought my '89 Tristar from a guy last summer and he only used the trailer to put the boat in/out every year and it had the originals on it. He owns a body shop and said he could get a good deal on tire, so I paid his asking price in return for him having the tires done. When I went to pick the boat up, they clearly had the original tires on them and I was like - what's up with this?! He said, oh yeah I had my tire guy look at them and he said they were in "great shape", but they were clearly dry cracking. I said I don't think so, a deal is a deal. I had them replaced and he sent me a check. A man of his word after I held his feet to the flames... :mad:

thatsmrmastercraft
01-14-2013, 06:56 PM
Bought my '89 Tristar from a guy last summer and he only used the trailer to put the boat in/out every year and it had the originals on it. He owns a body shop and said he could get a good deal on tire, so I paid his asking price in return for him having the tires done. When I went to pick the boat up, they clearly had the original tires on them and I was like - what's up with this?! He said, oh yeah I had my tire guy look at them and he said they were in "great shape", but they were clearly dry cracking. I said I don't think so, a deal is a deal. I had them replaced and he sent me a check. A man of his word after I held his feet to the flames... :mad:

Always hate it when a perfectly fine transaction ends this way. Good for you to hold him to his word.

homer12
01-15-2013, 09:18 AM
yeah, and he tried to play dumb at first as if I was a moron and wasn't going to remember our deal or wouldn't notice.

Miss Rita
01-18-2013, 06:36 PM
http://www.harborfreight.com/mityvac-vacuum-pump-39522.html

Did you know that MityVac makes a very similar product to help with delivering babies? The kid contains a soft plastic suction cup with a T-handle that attaches to the baby's head. The MityVac is then used to create a vacuum, the doctor pulls on the suction cup, and out comes the baby. (usually)

thatsmrmastercraft
01-18-2013, 07:44 PM
Did you know that MityVac makes a very similar product to help with delivering babies? The kid contains a soft plastic suction cup with a T-handle that attaches to the baby's head. The MityVac is then used to create a vacuum, the doctor pulls on the suction cup, and out comes the baby. (usually)

Then you can take it home and use it as a dent puller.:rolleyes: