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macdaddy

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The last 2 1/2 years have been pretty stressful with my trailer. Burned up both bearing on the driver side of trailer.  Lost a tire to lugs breaking loose.  Broke the front axel …had both axels replaced and had problems with bearings on the way home from my latest trip to Norris. 
  Today I went and weighed my boat and with the gear I take with us to the lake, I am right at capacity of the limit of the trailer axels.  If I fill the coolers or fill up with fuel…I know I am several hundred pounds over.  Could this be the reason for so many of my trailer problems?  I am thinking so.  The only option I have is to go to 5200lb axels and hubs.  I am also thinking of going to oil bath hubs.  I would like the crews thoughts.  Tired of working on the boat in a parking lot or the side of the highway.  Anybody else dealing with this issue?  Thanks.

mac

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I lost an entire hub going down the road due to a leak with oil bath. Switched to grease for that reason. If a seal goes bad I can still get down the road. Just my .02

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ThinBuLine

I am OCD about trailers so take what I say with a grain of salt. I have a 5th wheel and the boat that I maintain...
 

All trailer components require maintenance and if you keep up on it, you avoid 95% of problems.

The maintenance I do regularly:

-Fill bearing buddies with grease after every outing (if some washed out)

-check hub temps throughout long trips to ensure one isn’t hotter then others

-check brake fluid

-check brake system (surge for me)

-inspect tires for delamination

- jack up trailer and inspect bearings by checking tires for side to side and up and down play.

-check tire pressures

-check lug nut torque.

 

yearly maintenance:

-repack all bearings

if I find a bearing slightly worn or loose, I replace the bearing and races.

 

as far as weight, if you are overloading the trailer, that absolutely could be the cause of your issues. I don’t let the weight get within 20% of any max weight rating on the hitch, tires, axels etc. gives some room for fuel or extra gear/people  

greased bearings are far better then oil bath as long as you maintain them using bearing buddies and a grease gun. Easy to do and easy to repack by hand. 

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44 minutes ago, macdaddy said:

The last 2 1/2 years have been pretty stressful with my trailer. Burned up both bearing on the driver side of trailer.  Lost a tire to lugs breaking loose.  Broke the front axel …had both axels replaced and had problems with bearings on the way home from my latest trip to Norris. 
  Today I went and weighed my boat and with the gear I take with us to the lake, I am right at capacity of the limit of the trailer axels.  If I fill the coolers or fill up with fuel…I know I am several hundred pounds over.  Could this be the reason for so many of my trailer problems?  I am thinking so.  The only option I have is to go to 5200lb axels and hubs.  I am also thinking of going to oil bath hubs.  I would like the crews thoughts.  Tired of working on the boat in a parking lot or the side of the highway.  Anybody else dealing with this issue?  Thanks.

mac

Losing so many bearings has to mean there is some other issues going on. How did a front axle "break"? I dont think it's a weigh issue or just about everyone would have similar issues. I haven't used oil bath systems but they seem to have more problems that bearing buddy types.

Steve B. 

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16 minutes ago, macdaddy said:

Torsion axel broke.  So dexter sent 2 to replace both axels.

This could certainly be overloading, but it could also be improper tongue height.  I much prefer an equalized system over torsion in a tandem.

Burned up bearings is probably poor maintenance.

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ThinBuLine
43 minutes ago, justgary said:

This could certainly be overloading, but it could also be improper tongue height.  I much prefer an equalized system over torsion in a tandem.

Burned up bearings is probably poor maintenance.

Invest in an infrared laser thermometer. 
 

you can check the temps of the hubs with it. If one is hotter then the other, it’s a major indication the bearing is about to fail and needs to be replaced. 

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I do my best to keep the boat level when traveling.  I have helper bags on my excursion to level the boat.  Get bearings repacked every other year.  I make sure they have grease.  Probably travel maybe 1500 miles per year….and that is a big maybe.  Do I need them repacked every year?  Bottom line…something has got to give.  On my previous boat I had oil bath and never had any problems. I can’t imagine 3 wakeboards, 2 hydrofoils, 2 surf boats, jackets and gear pushes meso close to the limit of the trailer…. But the maximum weight is 7000 lbs total and I am running 6900lbs with gear.  No fuel added in there and nothing in the cooler.

 

 

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I'd prefer more margin than at limits or slightly over, but I also would not think you should be breaking axles and having this many problems at or near limits unless something else is off; like trailer not level or bad suspension or just nailing potholes or flying over speed bumps.  That said, at limits sure doesn't help when other issues crop up.  I would probably be looking hard at the 5200lbs. axles right about now.

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If you are at 6900 pounds boat/trailer weight, you still have some margin of error on the axles as you have at least 500 pounds of tongue weight.

I don't like how close the trailers are to their weight rating (I'm in the same spot - 7000ish pound boat on a 7000 pound GVWR trailer), but short of swapping the axles out to something heavier duty, or completely changing the trailer, I'm not sure what to do.

I tow a lot.  Probably 5000 - 8000 miles/year.  I've also had a bent axle that I replaced.  I swapped out the Vault system to a traditional grease system, and upgraded to electric brakes.  I have my trailer serviced every other year.

If your surge brakes are sticking (a known issue with them due to the actuator) that can cause bearing failure (speaking from experience).  Lugs breaking loose can happen from improper torquing (either too little or too much, again, from experience).

 

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65-70 mph.  I do not like driving faster than that.  Appreciate everyone’s comments…. That’s why I love this group!

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ThinBuLine

I’m pretty strict about not going faster then 65. Although your speeds shouldn’t be causing such often failures. I really think weight is a factor here. Trailers are designed to be driven at 55.
 

The faster you go the more things are amplified such as weight, the outside temperature, distribution on hitch etc... 

 

I think you have a lot of good input and unfortunately, you have to be OCD to prevent failures especially If I was you. Nothing worse then being stranded!!!

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1 minute ago, ThinBuLine said:

I’m pretty strict about not going faster then 65. Although your speeds shouldn’t be causing such often failures. I really think weight is a factor here. Trailers are designed to be driven at 55.
 

The faster you go the more things are amplified such as weight, the outside temperature, distribution on hitch etc... 

 

I think you have a lot of good input and unfortunately, you have to be OCD to prevent failures especially If I was you. Nothing worse then being stranded!!!

You are correct.  Nothing worse than being stranded.  The first set of bearings I had problems with, I got them replaced and repacked.  When I got home I actually bought a complete hub assembly in case I ever needed it.   2 weeks ago I smoked the left front bearing coming into Kentucky after crossing Jelico mountain.  Used my extra hub assembly to get home.  Had to baby it on one tire and axle to the nearest exit …changed the hub in the parking lot and headed for Ohio.    I must admit I was white knuckled until we pulled into the driveway.  

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30 minutes ago, macdaddy said:

You are correct.  Nothing worse than being stranded.  The first set of bearings I had problems with, I got them replaced and repacked.  When I got home I actually bought a complete hub assembly in case I ever needed it.   2 weeks ago I smoked the left front bearing coming into Kentucky after crossing Jelico mountain.  Used my extra hub assembly to get home.  Had to baby it on one tire and axle to the nearest exit …changed the hub in the parking lot and headed for Ohio.    I must admit I was white knuckled until we pulled into the driveway.  

You really need to check the surge brakes actuator.  Sounds like it is sticking.

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I am having the whole system looked at.  I know I gauged the spindle pretty good trying to get the races off to out the spare hub on.  We will have to see what the trailer center says when they inspect it.  Thanks for all the input.

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12 hours ago, ThinBuLine said:

Invest in an infrared laser thermometer. 
you can check the temps of the hubs with it. If one is hotter then [sic] the other, it’s a major indication the bearing is about to fail and needs to be replaced. 

I just use my thumb to test wheel hubs at every stop.  I also lay my palm across the tread of each tire to make sure the belting isn't getting too hot.  Hubs and tires should not be much more than just warm.

9 hours ago, macdaddy said:

I am having the whole system looked at.  I know I gauged the spindle pretty good trying to get the races off to out the spare hub on.  We will have to see what the trailer center says when they inspect it.  Thanks for all the input.

I upgraded our Scout troop trailer to 6000# axles last year because one of the leaders had it weighed.  We were at 5200# before any personal gear was inside and it had 3000# axles.  I also put E rated tires on it and changed the ball to 2-5/16".  One of the leaders wanted torsion axles because "they ride better," but I overruled that and kept the equalized system.  I upgraded the springs as well.

In your case, make sure that your tires are also up to the job.

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