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Old 01-25-2012, 06:01 PM   #1
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Bearing Buddies

Hi guys,
Just wondering what is your input on the Buddy Bearings.
We use them on the boat trailers and any other trailers with really good results, especially on real long distance trips where we like to grease them at least every 500 miles.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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If you have good grease seals they are fine. Otherwise they are going to pump grease into your drums. If you have disk brakes a little grease leak is not so bad.

Perry
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:39 AM   #3
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Hi Perry
Well that is true, but if the seals are bad that wouldn't that be causing leaks anyways and therefore bearings & spindle issues?
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:01 AM   #4
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Bearing Buddies ?

Some of my buddies are unbearable -- real a&^ho*#$!
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:08 AM   #5
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Leaky seals are tested to a greater degree with any product like the bearing buddies. Bearing buddies and other similar products create a pressure inside the hub. (through heating and cooling action and a spring) Only for a few pounds of pressure however this is greater pressure than no bearing buddy. In a non-pressureized system the grease does not tend to pass through a seal as much and there is less grease in the system. The issue becomes when enough grease passes through the seal and on to fricton material. (Braking surfaces)

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Old 01-27-2012, 09:12 AM   #6
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Bearing Buddies are used primarily on boat trailers. They provide a pressurized cavity for the bearings and grease that prevents water from getting in when the trailer is submerged while launching and removing the boat from the water. I do not see any advantage to having them on a travel trailer.

You mentioned adding grease every 500 miles. If the Bearing Buddy is working correctly, you should not be able to add any grease since the area is. If you can add grease, where is the old grease going? Most likely out the rear seal and all over the trailer. Also when you are adding grease it is pushing the dirty grease out of the inner bearing and eventually into the inner bearing.

A periodic packing of the bearings not only ensures that the bearings will last a very long time, bit also gives you the opportunity to inspect the brake components.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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I installed Bearing Buddies on my last travel trailer (21' Bigfoot). I used that trailer for 9 1/2 years with no hub maintenance except periodically adding grease to the bearing buddies. If I was not very careful about cleanup afterwards, I would have a little grease slung onto the wheels. That would wipe right off with a rag. It sure beat 9 x 4=36 wheel bearing repacking jobs.

That is real experience not "I heard someone say once that .........."

Ken

P.S. I would recommend using the Bearing Bra accessory dust covers with them.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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Bearing Buddies aren't really needed on trailers that don't go in the water, otherwise cars would have them. Wheel bearings last a long long time if not abused (usually setup too tight, but sometimes overloaded), and adding more grease doesn't help with either of the above.

Boat trailers (I have one w/ bearing buddies) need to keep water out of the bearing spaces.

In my opinion the primary benefit of repacking bearings is catching problems before they cause on the road issues. The actual utility of replacing the grease frequently is pretty low.

- Bart
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:27 AM   #9
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The problem with bearing buddies, is that you have no way of knowing when the drum cavity is filled with grease, "UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE".

Small boat trailers do not have brakes, therefore it makes no difference if excessive grease is released from the drum.

Granted, there is usually an exception to every rule, and certainly for those that know exactly what's going on with the grease quantity.

Andy
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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Well bearing buddies are for folks that don't know how to launch a boat. The trailer has rollers and a winch for a reason. I have never had to submerge a trailer to get a boat on and off.

I would think that they might be good for trailers that sit a lot to keep moisture out of the bearings. Those stock grease caps are not all that water tight.

Perry
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
Bearing Buddies aren't really needed on trailers that don't go in the water, otherwise cars would have them. Wheel bearings last a long long time if not abused (usually setup too tight, but sometimes overloaded), and adding more grease doesn't help with either of the above.

Boat trailers (I have one w/ bearing buddies) need to keep water out of the bearing spaces.

In my opinion the primary benefit of repacking bearings is catching problems before they cause on the road issues. The actual utility of replacing the grease frequently is pretty low.

- Bart
Bart.

We totally agree.

It's amazing, how many times someone calls to purchase grease seals, that tell us of other problems they found after they removed the drums.

Things like, worn out magnets, busted wires, fractured brake shoes, brake adjuster spring broken, scored drums, etc.

To us, "ASSUMING" what is behind a brake drum, is like kicking safety, to the curb.

Owners should be at all times, totally aware of exactly the condition of the running gear, whenever the trailer is being towed.

That, is easily done, when the bearings are repacked.

Andy
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The problem with bearing buddies, is that you have no way of knowing when the drum cavity is filled with grease, "UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE".

Small boat trailers do not have brakes, therefore it makes no difference if excessive grease is released from the drum.

Granted, there is usually an exception to every rule, and certainly for those that know exactly what's going on with the grease quantity.

Andy
Hi Andy
You can probably be a big help here also.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f349...ml#post1099534
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:29 PM   #13
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I use them on my boat trailer as the constant pressure will keep water out and I would use them on a small trailer without brakes. I don't use them on my Airstream because no matter what I want to inspect everything at least once a year.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Well bearing buddies are for folks that don't know how to launch a boat. The trailer has rollers and a winch for a reason. I have never had to submerge a trailer to get a boat on and off.

I would think that they might be good for trailers that sit a lot to keep moisture out of the bearings. Those stock grease caps are not all that water tight.

Perry
Perry:

You may get a lot of flack with your boat ramp comment! Ever tried to launch a 24' (---or longer) pontoon boat off a trailer with dry bunks and a less-than-perfect ramp slope??? Many boat owners (---and not just pontoon boat owners) wouldn't have a trailer with roller bunks. At the same time I know a lot of boaters (---myself included) who launch off a shallow beach rather than a ramp. It can be done with a roller-equipped, tilt-bed trailer - but it's hard with dry bunks without submerging the wheels.

George
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