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Old 10-29-2018, 05:26 PM   #1
BAB
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2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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ProPride Issue and Service

In 2012, I installed a ProPride 3P on my brand new (then) 28’ International CCD. Awesome experience.

When I purchased my ’15 Classic I installed another ProPride 3P because of the performance on my ’12 Airstream -- and the outstanding service I’d received from Sean Woodruff.

Last Wednesday I headed to Alumalina in Marion, NC (about 150 miles from home). At this point, I had towed the ’15 Classic about 55,000 miles. When I entered the campground, one of my fellow Airstreamers came up to my window and handed me a bearing cover that had just popped off my ProPride.

After parking, it was pretty obvious that the lower roller bearings in the upper left pivot had failed. As I examined this, I could see rust (and a few loose roller bearings). My guess is that water infiltrated the bearing housing and rust did it’s inevitable destructive act.

I took a picture and sent it to Sean. 30 minutes later, he called (apologizing for the delay.....as he was in the dentist’s chair). His first question, “where are you, and can you give me an address so I can ship you a new hitch head.” I gave him the address and 15 minutes later I had the FedEx tracking number. 2 day delivery of a 70 pound box.

The new part arrived two days later. We had some serious issues with locating EXACTLY where the FedEx delivery had been made, and Sean spent a lot of time talking to FedEx. I hung out at the delivery location making myself a regular nuisance. “The FedEx tracking system said it was delivered at 10:41 am, but you can’t find it?”

Anyway, the hitch was located, and I installed it without further drama. All Sean asked was that I return the broken unit. I did that today.

If you have a 3P you know there are no Zerk fittings on the two upper pivots. I’m religious about lithium grease on the lower pivots (where there are fittings). Greasing the failed bearings would be similar to a wheel bearing grease job, though I’m not sure this would be an easy task. My immediate remediation has been to run a band of silver Parbond between the cap and the bearing housing.

I can’t vouch for the service after sale of a lot of manufacturers. With one enormous exception: ProPride.

Yes, the ProPride is a spendy hitch. BUT, you get what you pay for -- worry free trailering and beyond EXCEPTIONAL service. Even LL Bean dumped their forever warranty for their signature boots. ProPride has a lifetime warranty for the original owner. Sean Woodruff sets the manufacturing bar extraordinarily high for the manufacturing community.

I’ve kept track of all of the improvements (“Airstream doesn’t make changes, only improvements!”) I’ve made to SilverLeaf II. I’m right around $15K. The best add-on I made to my trailer is the ProPride.

The best service I’ve had on anything I’ve bought in the last 20 years is from Sean Woodruff.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:40 PM   #2
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I clicked on this thinking you were going to be complaining, and I was going to ask whether you had called Sean. Can't say I'm the slightest bit surprised at how well you were taken care of. I've received the same level of service from him consistently, albeit for much more minor issues.

I don't know where he finds the energy, but the longer I have the hitch, the happier I am with it and the less I care about the amount of my initial investment.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:05 PM   #3
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We've also had excellent customer service from Sean, and we love towing with our Pro Pride!
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:49 PM   #4
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ProPride Issue and Service

I have eliminated water infiltration by slicing a large diameter pool noodle about 1/4 inch thick and punching a hole in the center. I then slit the foam ring so I could wrap it around the shaft and held it in place with a tie wrap. The foam ring prevents water from getting to the bearing seal.

I also added a clinch nut to the bottom bearing cover and close it with a screw. I remove the screw to check for water and have not found any in 4 seasons since installing the foam rings and having to rebuild my head due to water infiltration after the first season.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:21 PM   #5
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@slow Any chance you have a pic of your “noodle hack” to share?
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for sharing positive feedback. We, as humans in general, tend to be quick to complain but not as quick to compliment!
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:23 AM   #7
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@slow Any chance you have a pic of your “noodle hack” to share?
Unfortunately I did not take any pictures and the TT is now in storage for the winter. I will post pictures next spring.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:21 PM   #8
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Thanks to the original poster for starting this thread. Glad to see your service was handled the way it was. Mine not so much. To preface, I've had my PP hitch over three years and towed my FC28 over 75,000 miles with it. Prior dealings with Sean have been great.

Not to give all of the details, we were about 4-5 weeks from the end of a 13,000 mile summer trip. Heading toward NM for Balloon Fiesta and was entering Eastern CO when we heard a load clunk. Checked, all seemed fine. Continued on and a few miles later another clunk. Looking in the mirrors, trailer is pulling sideways down road. Limped into Yuma, CO to a tractor supply and looked at hitch and two of the four bearings were gone and hitch was locked in a crooked position. Had to dismantle to remove, buy a hitch insert and ball at Tractor Supply to be able to at least tow the trailer.

Called PP in the morning and asked for Sean. He was not available and they connected me to Brent. Explained the story and sent him some pictures. He said he would call me back. Called back in a few minutes confirming what I knew at this point, bearing failure and that I needed to send him the hitch head. Again explained we were still weeks from being home and not at any location for a lengthy time and had to be in NM on a certain date. Said that they would return it as soon as they could rebuild it which would be around 10 days. No offer for any other manner to handle. I specifically asked him then if they could send me a unit to get me back on the road with a hitch. He put me on hold, coming back saying they had no rebuilt available to send. I then asked, what about sending a new head? He said I would have to buy it and it cost $875, and would either just keep new head or send back damaged one and they would return it and I'd have a backup. I basically said that was unacceptable as I needed to continue our trip and I would buy a Blue OX for $645 and have an extra hitch (which my daughter could use and change the Equalizer she is using out). I ended up ordering the Blue OX, got it in a couple of days and continued our trip.

With us having other travel plans and the Holidays I have not yet sent the head back to PP. That's in the plans for this week. I'm sure it's going to cost a bit to get it sent there as it weighs around 70 lbs, which I'm informed they will not pay for. Once sent, we will see how long it takes to get back. I do want to discuss with them about the possibility of having grease fittings on those bearing housings and see what their thoughts are.

I am glad BAB had the positive experience they had with Sean. As described, a little different from Brent. I wish our situation could have been handled like that described by BAB as it would have saved us some money and frustration.

Safe travels to all and watch those niches for water intrusion around those bearings.

Chuck
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slow View Post
I have eliminated water infiltration by slicing a large diameter pool noodle about 1/4 inch thick and punching a hole in the center. I then slit the foam ring so I could wrap it around the shaft and held it in place with a tie wrap. The foam ring prevents water from getting to the bearing seal.

I also added a clinch nut to the bottom bearing cover and close it with a screw. I remove the screw to check for water and have not found any in 4 seasons since installing the foam rings and having to rebuild my head due to water infiltration after the first season.
Two great ideas! I have been trying to think of a way to stop the water from getting in. I was going to put zerks in the bearing caps but I like your idea for the bottom ones better.

Al
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BAB View Post
In 2012, I installed a ProPride 3P on my brand new (then) 28’ International CCD. Awesome experience.
...
If you have a 3P you know there are no Zerk fittings on the two upper pivots. I’m religious about lithium grease on the lower pivots (where there are fittings). Greasing the failed bearings would be similar to a wheel bearing grease job, though I’m not sure this would be an easy task. My immediate remediation has been to run a band of silver Parbond between the cap and the bearing housing.

...
Hi Barry,
I think the only zerks on my hitch are the ones on the bushing cavities for the WD bars. Are you saying your hitch has zerks on the lower pivot bearings?

Thanks,

Al
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Old 11-26-2018, 06:42 PM   #11
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I think some (including me) are considering installing zerks in the caps in order to fill the bearings with grease to keep water out.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:06 PM   #12
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I think some (including me) are considering installing zerks in the caps in order to fill the bearings with grease to keep water out.
I am also in that club. I even have had the zerks for a while, just haven't gotten the round tuit yet.

Al
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:18 PM   #13
BAB
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I’ve been off this site for awhile. Sorry for Silverlabs very different experience. One of the conversations I had with Sean was if there was a safety issue with the destroyed lower bearing if I towed with it while broken. His response was, “no, it would just be noisy.” I suspect I may have actually been towing for an undetermined period with the broken lower bearing and never realized it.

I believe ProPride generally replaces a broken hitch head with a remanufacture CS model—-and I suspect my old one is on the front if someone’s rig right now.

I believe my main learning is the need to prevent water intrusion.

As far as Zerk fittings, mine only lube the weight distribution bars.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:36 PM   #14
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Ya Sean is great and I am not sure why anyone buys anything other than a ProPride on a six figure trailer...
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