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Old 05-13-2015, 08:26 AM   #1
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Bearing Buddy Bearing Protectors

1. Does anyone use bearing buddy on their airstream?
2. Can someone help me understand what the pros and cons are?
3. Would the bearing buddy not keep bearings better lubricated?
I have read where some say no on the airstream but okay on other travel trailers. I do not understand the difference. My understanding is they keep water, dirt, prevent corrosion and pitting on the bearings. The more I read the more I get confused about bearing buddy, not sure I understand why they would not work well on the airstream to keep bearings lubricated. Can someone help clarify?

Thank you,
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:58 AM   #2
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Bearing Buddies are designed to keep standing water out of bearings as in boat trailers. Not really an issue with travel trailers under conditions of normal use.
I was under the impression that newer Airstreams use sealed never lube bearings.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:24 AM   #3
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If you over fill bearing buddies on a boat trailer the excess grease exits through the grease seals. Not a problem if the trailer has no brakes. Our trailers usually have drum brakes. If you over fill the grease gets in the brake drum and on the brake shoes. therefore the brakes become non-functional. Not a good idea to put brake or bearing buddies on an Airstream.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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Thank you for the replies. I was not aware of it being a problem with bearing grease getting on your breaks, however, I can see where that would not be a good thing.
I have a 2015 Sport 16 ft, however, does not have sealed bearings.


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Old 05-13-2015, 05:54 PM   #5
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If you have disk brakes it is not so much an issue. If you remove the grease cap once a year and look for signs of water and corrosion. If you find it, the clean and repack. I am not in the pack once a year crowd. I think packing that often caused more problems than it solves. The chances of a mechanic missing something or messing something up is large. Many repack jobs are done with too little grease.

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Old 05-13-2015, 07:53 PM   #6
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Thank you Perry. I've spoken with someone else that says they were not fond of repacking wheelbearings ever year. I guess that's what made me think about the bearing buddies.


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Old 05-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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If you don't let your trailer sit for years at a time the need to pack bearings every year goes away. Also best to make sure grease hubs are covered to prevent water getting in there directly.

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Old 05-14-2015, 12:42 PM   #8
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You need to lube the wheel bearings; forget Bearing Buddies

Grease the bearings. Forget the bearing buddy.

Here's a story about our nearly new Airstream that had a catastrophic wheel bearing failure. We bought a new 28 a few years ago - probably 2007. About 7 months after we bought it the unit had a catastrophic wheel bearing failure; the driver's side rear bearing/brake drum/tire/wheel came off and disappeared somewhere, the unit oscillated and swung the entire rig across a 4-lane median to stop facing oncoming traffic, and the Airstream wrinkled up like a beer can, the interior splintered from the distortion. No injuries. The truck was fine.

I called the Airstream factory to squawk about it and claim the damage under warranty, and was asked if I had the repacked the bearings after 6 months as specified in the manual. I said no, but the unit was only 7 months old. They said sorry, that I had voided the warranty.

I replaced that bent AS with a '99 25, and grease the bearings every spring,before any trips. Apparently the bearing loadings caused by the trailer and the rubbery axles is hard on bearings; I just replaced an outer bearing this spring that was only 1 year old and was about to fail.

This AS bearing situation is a pain. Recently we have been looking at Elkhart offerings. All of the trailers have beam axles that have grease zerks on the ends of the axles, not requiring disassembly to relube the bearings. Much better solution.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
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Semi trucks and trailers use oil filled hubs and they last a million miles or more.. As I am dealing with bad bearings on my farming tools and trailers I am slowly converting them all over to oil bath hubs.. Several companies sell hub caps with a plastic window so you can monitor the oil level in the hubs.

To do the job right one needs to update the hub seal to a higher grade seal. Most stock seals are single lip type,, and most can be converted to the 3 lip type with a spring holding tension too the hub spindle.

The thing is,, going down the road at speed the oil slings too the outside of the inner hub and the bearings run flooded in sync. gear oil all the time. The hubs I have converted ,, have worked great.. Sodbust
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:50 PM   #10
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My as has life time packed bearings,may be good or may be a problem , 2 years and 16000 miles so far so good, my car trailer has a grease zerk in the end of the axles one pump and it's good for a year
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron A View Post
1. Does anyone use bearing buddy on their airstream?
2. Can someone help me understand what the pros and cons are?
3. Would the bearing buddy not keep bearings better lubricated?
I have read where some say no on the airstream but okay on other travel trailers. I do not understand the difference. My understanding is they keep water, dirt, prevent corrosion and pitting on the bearings. The more I read the more I get confused about bearing buddy, not sure I understand why they would not work well on the airstream to keep bearings lubricated. Can someone help clarify?

Thank you,
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:20 PM   #12
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I've often wondered why my truck front hubs go for 1000's of miles without attention and the AS (or any other SOB) require at least checking and change every two years. Can Am suggests change every 10,000 miles but I have seen the grease looking pretty black long before that. Grease is cheaper than bearings or failure and loss of a wheel, so I just do it!
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:10 AM   #13
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I have used Bearing Buddies (BB) for years with drum surge brakes. I never repack them, but the secret is to install them along with Spindle Seals. This is a stainless steel sleeve that fits over spindle on the inside bearing surface. It comes with a seal that is high grade and rides on the stainless steel sleeve. Every so often when the BB piston has moved in some, give it a shot of grease. If you use (BB) Bras you will eliminate any grease that slings out of the BB onto the wheel. I am also thinking about putting them on my Airstream.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:43 AM   #14
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I did read on bearing buddies website about there spindle seals to be used with any trailer with brakes.
biyak269 thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad you and family were not injured in the accident. I can certainly see were bearing failure and tire coming off could be dangerous and scary.


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