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Old 03-25-2013, 08:22 AM   #1
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Driving through flood!

Yesterday, leaving Charleston and driving to Myrtle Beach in a thunderstorm, we had no choice on a major downtown road (4 lanes each way) but to drive through two flooded sections of road. Each was maybe 500 feet long, and I drove through dead slow.

The water was just about up to the top of the step rail of our 4x4 truck and so I'm pretty sure the hubs of the trailer would have been submerged.

Everything seemed fine for the rest of the journey. I was a bit concerned rake wires might have been ripped off due to the water even though i went very slowly, but the brakes seemed fine after.

I am a bit concerned about water getting into the wheel bearings. I suppose it would have been worse if we had already been driving a lot and the bearings were hot - ie., as they cooled in the water they might be more likely to suck in water past the seals.

But sill, I am wondering. My plan is to carry of for the rest of the trip but then, when we get home, to pull at least a couple of wheel and if i see any indication of water, then dismantle and repack all wheels - even though I just did it before this trip!

Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. Am I being paranoid, or would you do likewise? I suppose boat trailer bearings are submerged all the time - don't know if the design is any different for them?

I do have TPMS on the trailer which also is supposed to monitor temperature - although I wonder how accurate that could be with teh sensors on teh tire valves.

On our trip home I will monitor wheel temperature even more than I usually do to keep an eye out for any signs of bearing distress.


Brian





Luckily we had only just started our drive for the day so the hubs had not heated uo
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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This may be terribly naive, but i like to consoder those experiences a freshwater rinse for the undercarriage.


Maggie
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
I am a bit concerned about water getting into the wheel bearings. I suppose it would have been worse if we had already been driving a lot and the bearings were hot - ie., as they cooled in the water they might be more likely to suck in water past the seals.

Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. Am I being paranoid, or would you do likewise? I suppose boat trailer bearings are submerged all the time - don't know if the design is any different for them?
Living in the New Olreans metro area, I deal with localized street flooding after EVERY thunderstorm. I know so many different ways to get home from work, depending on where the flooding is for a given rainstorm…

I'd be as concerned with your tow vehicle as your trailer. One the trailer, I'd at least check the passenger-side front wheel bearing. Given the way most roads are crowned, that's the one most exposed to water. The passenger-side rear wheel was in the wake of the front wheel, and the driver's side was in slightly shallower water. So, if the passenger-side front bearing shows water intrusion, then repack them all and be safe. If it's in good shape, then likely they're all in good shape.

I'd also check the brakes to make sure there's no water damage.

Ditto on your tow vehicle. The brakes and wheel bearings are probably no higher out of the water than those on your trailer, and just as susceptible to water intrusion. HOWEVER, I'd also check the oil, transmission fluid, and differential to make sure no water got in.

And if you've got a standard transmission, check the clutch plate as well. I had a clutch plate ruined by water intrusion once.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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Boat trailer bearings use a waterproof grease. I would not automatically assume that the same grease is used on your trailer bearings. The bearings on boats also use seals, and very often something like a Bearing Buddy that keeps slight pressure on the grease to prevent water from entering the bearings.

Given that you are a long ways from home you might consider dropping by a friendly RV serivce center to have them pull a whell and check for water in the bearings. If there is water in the grease it is possible for it to thin out as any water gets hot.

Better safe than sorry.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
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Living in the New Olreans metro area, I deal with localized street flooding after EVERY thunderstorm. I know so many different ways to get home from work, depending on where the flooding is for a given rainstorm…

I'd be as concerned with your tow vehicle as your trailer. One the trailer, I'd at least check the passenger-side front wheel bearing. Given the way most roads are crowned, that's the one most exposed to water. The passenger-side rear wheel was in the wake of the front wheel, and the driver's side was in slightly shallower water. So, if the passenger-side front bearing shows water intrusion, then repack them all and be safe. If it's in good shape, then likely they're all in good shape.

I'd also check the brakes to make sure there's no water damage.

Ditto on your tow vehicle. The brakes and wheel bearings are probably no higher out of the water than those on your trailer, and just as susceptible to water intrusion. HOWEVER, I'd also check the oil, transmission fluid, and differential to make sure no water got in.

And if you've got a standard transmission, check the clutch plate as well. I had a clutch plate ruined by water intrusion once.
Good thoughts about the tow vehicle! Luckily I did open a door to check the height of the water against our step rail so I can do a bit of checking of heights on the two vehicle and probably should. My initial thought that was with the 3/4 ton 4x4 anything vulnerable to water ingress should be high enough to stay above the water ..... but maybe not!


Brian
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
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This may be terribly naive, but i like to consoder those experiences a freshwater rinse for the undercarriage.


Maggie

My wife always tells me I am an incurable pessimist! It is probably true that as an engineer (retired), I do tend to "Plan for the worst but hope for the best" in my thought processes!

Brian.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #7
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My wife always tells me I am an incurable pessimist! It is probably true that as an engineer (retired), I do tend to "Plan for the worst but hope for the best" in my thought processes!

Brian.
Agreed! Just like flying an airplane; you don't run the engine up before take-off to check the mags, carb heat, etc. because you KNOW IT WILL FLY?
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #8
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Hi there, my wife and I were camped near you in the 78 polished Sovereign. I tried to stop by a few times to chat with you but your truck wasn't there when I happened by. I clicked on this thread because I was wondering if you were talking about Charleston. Man what a crummy morning! Of course it stopped raining right at 11:45, when checkout was 11, ha!

We're down at Edisto now and there are still several sites completely under water and unusable. Yikes!

Anyway, cheers and what a great rig you have there!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
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I used to own an old VW bus and remember going through some high water during a flood we had years ago. The bus sat high and I smugly drove on a flooded street where the storm sewers had backed up. About a week later I remember hearing squeaking sounds and something sounding like a rubbing sound. I took the bus to my VW shop and I was informed that I had ruined the bearings on all four wheels. So I learned a then expensive lesson regarding high water.

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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Hi there, my wife and I were camped near you in the 78 polished Sovereign. I tried to stop by a few times to chat with you but your truck wasn't there when I happened by. I clicked on this thread because I was wondering if you were talking about Charleston. Man what a crummy morning! Of course it stopped raining right at 11:45, when checkout was 11, ha!

We're down at Edisto now and there are still several sites completely under water and unusable. Yikes!

Anyway, cheers and what a great rig you have there!
Wow! When we first arrived at Edisto the last week of February, there had been heavy rains then and a number of sites and/or the surrounding areas were flooded.

Then, it rained some more over several days and our surrounding areas were flooded, although our site was high enough that we were not parked in water.

We took careful note of the sites that were NOT flooded, for future reference.

Y'all have heavy rain there, we are covered in many inches of snow here.



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Old 03-25-2013, 12:14 PM   #11
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I would also be concerned if water entered the bellypan. I could just picture what over 200 square foot of soaked batt insulation looks like
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:43 PM   #12
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We took careful note of the sites that were NOT flooded, for future reference.
Maggie
You're one smart cookie... we did the same thing this morning on a bike ride. While you may have snow up there, it's not really all that pleasant here either... 48 degrees with a SOLID 25mph wind, gusting to 35-40. If the wind weren't present, it'd be absolutely perfect because the sun's out in full force and beating down, 50 would feel like 70 without the wind right now. Brrrr!
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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There were a number of tent campers packing up the Sunday we arrived. Those tents would have had the floor submerged, as deep as the standing water was in some of those sites.

Were you at Alumalina?

Maggie
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:10 PM   #14
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You're one smart cookie... we did the same thing this morning on a bike ride. While you may have snow up there, it's not really all that pleasant here either... 48 degrees with a SOLID 25mph wind, gusting to 35-40. If the wind weren't present, it'd be absolutely perfect because the sun's out in full force and beating down, 50 would feel like 70 without the wind right now. Brrrr!
We had below-normal temperatures almost our entire time at Edisto. We still walked on the beach twice a day. Even a cold day at Edisto is a good day, in our opinion.

The weather is so something you can do nothing about that we just never let it upset us, ya know.

Maggie
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