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Old 05-16-2018, 07:08 AM   #1
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Brakes Inspection Help

The History: This is our second Airstream. Our first was a 19777 Tradewind that we ended up gutting and rebuilding from asles to A/C. We purchased our 2012 27 FB Serenity in Feb., 2017 from the Tampa RV deaership. Prior to delivery they ran a full inspection and relayed that all systems (including brakes) were in good condition. After an 8,500 mile trip out and about in the west last year, we're ready to take off again up the east coast to Maine and Nova Sctia.

The issue: Dropped the Airstream off at the dealer in Fort Myers to have the tires rotated, the A/C serviced and the brakes inspected (since they would be removing the wheels anyway). I get a call that the only way to inspect the brakes on these Nev R Lube Dexters is to basically disassemble the whole wheel, requiring replacement of bearing races and everything. The job was estimated at 4 hours at $145 per.

The question: Do these guys know what they're doing? Is there no visual inspection available? I was advised to wait until I heard noise or skeaking and do the job then. In the meantime, they did pull the wheel sufficiently to pack some grease in the bearings (Nev R Lube) before reassemply but not enough to inspect the brake pads (for about half the first estimation). Am I being hosed?
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:12 AM   #2
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No, the bearing does not have to come out of the drum. Removal of the drum is very similar to old fashioned loose bearing drums. I would guess 2 hours, in addition to the time already involved with rotation.

Assuming no additional brake work is required.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:23 AM   #3
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On my Airstream, the bearings are sealed and come off when you take the brake drum off. There is no way, unless you try to take a cover off of the bearings, to put grease back in the bearing. The bearings don't have a tapered race and then a tapered roller that goes into that. They are roller bearings. The hardest part of taking this apart, is trying to get the torque back on the axle nut. It is a lot. Dont remember the exact figure. If they said they got it apart enough to put grease back in, which I would be suspicious of, the brakes are easily examined. Just my opinion, for whatever thats worth. Mike
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mike S. View Post
On my Airstream, the bearings are sealed and come off when you take the brake drum off. There is no way, unless you try to take a cover off of the bearings, to put grease back in the bearing. The bearings don't have a tapered race and then a tapered roller that goes into that. They are roller bearings. The hardest part of taking this apart, is trying to get the torque back on the axle nut. It is a lot. Dont remember the exact figure. If they said they got it apart enough to put grease back in, which I would be suspicious of, the brakes are easily examined. Just my opinion, for whatever thats worth. Mike
What...? Take nut off....the bearings stay in the hub....they have to be pressed out...pull hub..check brakes and replace...tighten nut...it is not difficult
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:46 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I called the factory this morning too. After a quick "on-hold" they told me that the brakes should be easily inspected. I'll let you know how I come out at the dealer later this morning. This dealer has not been associated with Airstream for that long, but I'm not paying for their learning curve.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:00 AM   #6
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send the dealer the instructions

http://www.dexterpartsonline.com/fil...20Bearings.pdf
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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Yea TJ. Thats what I was saying. the bearings come off with the hub. No way to put grease in them. I think thats what the op was asking. Oh well. Whatever.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:57 PM   #8
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Finally met with a service manager who knew what the &@:$ was going on. He admitted that the Svc tech on the job did not. He was familiar with Nev-R-Lube but not Nev-R-Adjust so heís looking into it. Thanks for the input. I can always count on you guys.

Now I need to crawl under the trailer and look for the number stamped on the axle so I can find a manual for my unit. I didnít get one with the trailer last year.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FL Crackers View Post
Finally met with a service manager who knew what the &@:$ was going on. He admitted that the Svc tech on the job did not. He was familiar with Nev-R-Lube but not Nev-R-Adjust so heís looking into it. Thanks for the input. I can always count on you guys.

Now I need to crawl under the trailer and look for the number stamped on the axle so I can find a manual for my unit. I didnít get one with the trailer last year.
Call Airstream Inc. with your VIN they can look up the build and tell you the model and serial number of your axles.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:46 PM   #10
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Well, it's the end of the day and I didn't bring the ole girl home. The manager stayed involved with the inspection process through all four wheels and we learned that there had been some brake work done before we owned her. Seems the right side Nev-R-Adjust brakes were replaced with adjustable brake parts, but the left side was still Nev-R-Adjust. Makes you go "Hmmmmmm!" I wonder whether the PO even knew that the right side was replaced with different spec equipment, cuz he took pretty good care of this baby everywhere else.

Although the pads appear to have enough life to get us through our next trip, I'm going to go ahead and replace all four backer plates with new Nev-R-Adjust. I have no plans to turn this trailer over so I'm looking at it as a long-term, worry-free, frugal investment.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:00 PM   #11
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Smart choice. Whole new backing plates all around and no need to worry about it.
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