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Old 07-09-2007, 10:11 PM   #29
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internal tooth washer (tongue washer) on axle spindle

I think Beginner was talking about the use of an "internal tab washer" that is placed between the outer bearing and the slotted nut on the spindle. On my 2001 Bambi with a 4300lb Henschen axle, this is a simple flat washer with a single small tab that engages the slot milled along the length of the threaded end of the spindle, and prevents potential rotation of the bearing from torquing the slotted nut. It is not intended to stop rotation of the slotted nut- that is done by the cotterpin.

Interestingly, my parts manual and the Airstream online manuals show this washer and the nut, but do not describe the parts in the parts list nor give part numbers. I am waiting to hear from Airstream customer service on this. One solution could be from Redneck Trailer: http://www.redneck-trailer.com/2006/B/B2-B5.pdf , and see part RG05-020 on the bottom of page B-4. Note that they call this part a "tongue washer."
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:08 PM   #30
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Question How often to repack bearings?

Are the bearings on my Safari different than the bearings on my Ford pickup? Never have to repack the Ford bearings except when the drum is removed.

If they are different and require periodic repacking how often should it be done?

Thanks for any information.

Pops
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:19 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Pops View Post
Are the bearings on my Safari different than the bearings on my Ford pickup? Never have to repack the Ford bearings except when the drum is removed.

If they are different and require periodic repacking how often should it be done?

Thanks for any information.

Pops
Do not relate passenger vehicles bearings or their care with your Airstream.

Why?

You use you vehicle, frequently. Water that collects in the bearings is removed by the heat from the bearings.

Your trailer is used far less frequent. Therefore the water that collects in the bearings, stays there until the next trip, which could be months.

Trailer bearings "AND" brakes must be serviced every 10,000 miles, or once a year, which ever is first. Part of your brakes need replacement every 20,000 miles, or there abouts.

The grease seals should be replaced every 10,000 miles.

These are standards in the RV industry, especially with Airstream, to assure long life for those components, other than brake magnets, which last usually 20,000 miles, or brake shoes, which last about 50,000 miles.

If you chose to ignore that care, you, your pocketbook, and your Airstream, will pay penalties.

Andy
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #32
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The real difference between your Airstream wheel assy. and your car is the use of electric brakes. Electric brakes seem to need a lot closer observation and maintenance that modern brakes found on cars. In order to check the brakes on your Airstream you need to take the drum off, if you are using the normal drum brakes. While you are at it, you might as well check the bearings. The majority of Airstream and other wheel bearing failures are usually the result of the improper maintenance by the last person who serviced the brakes. The usual problem is the person used inadequete amounts of grease, contamenated the grease, used the wrong grease, mixed greases, or improperly adjusted the end play on the bearings. Here are some links to infro on doing it right. Bearings

A Grease Adventure - Repacking Trailer Bearings

Installing Tapered Wheel Bearings

Even some less experienced Airstream dealer technicians have been known to cause problems, so it might serve you to watch what goes on or use a very good experienced dealer.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:18 AM   #33
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this was an excellent thread
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:27 AM   #34
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Even some less experienced Airstream dealer technicians have been known to cause problems, so it might serve you to watch what goes on or use a very good experienced dealer.
A very large reason bearings fail, is because they run "OUT" of grease.

How can that happen?

Very easy.

Just reuse the grease seals, and watch what can and will happen.

Grease seals are very cheap, and certainly far cheaper than the cost of an axle and hubs and drums.

Not even to say, what the cost of being inconvenienced might be, when your stranded away from home.

Yes, some people reuse them and get away with it, just like people that smoke cigarettes. But that "day" of "I wish I had replaced the grease seals" will happen.

Owning a travel trailer, carrys with it certain requirements.

Repacking bearings "PROPERLY" and brake service, is a must every 10,000 miles, or once a year, which ever is first.

Andy
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:50 AM   #35
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The bearings on your TV usually give you a warning that something is going amiss. Crunching sound, an occassional wobble, a rumble on a smooth roadway are examples. No such warnings can be transfered through the hitch will give warning to a TV driver....until it is too late. I inspect frequently even close visual, sniff and touch inspections at each stop on the road. This is a great thread.
Neil.
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