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Old 11-24-2009, 10:07 AM   #1
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New axles - lower-maintenance bearings?

Apologies if I'm missing something overly logical here:

If I get a new non-Henschen axle, can it be equipped/specced with bearings that don't need to biannually repacked? My T@B's Alko axle has such bearings, and moving to more "modern" lower-maintenance stuff would be nice.

Thanks
Tom
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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The T@B is built on what many call the "Euro" Frame. It is designed for light weight trailers only. The Euro Airstream also uses this frame... I have looked at and studied the Alko Axle too. It, from my understanding comes in three sizes only! So very few if any older Airstreams would work.

As far as Biannually repacking bearings.... It is a good thing because it makes you look at many other things with your trailer at the same time... breaks... tire... ext... I think it is a good idea to check all of these things and keep them at tip top shape...

How do you like your T@B?
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Apologies if I'm missing something overly logical here:

If I get a new non-Henschen axle, can it be equipped/specced with bearings that don't need to biannually repacked? My T@B's Alko axle has such bearings, and moving to more "modern" lower-maintenance stuff would be nice.

Thanks
Tom
Dexter now has such a system.
Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - Nev-R-Lube Bearings
This is what my new classic came equipped with.
Regards,
Ken
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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I liked the T@B a lot for what it was - simple and easy and basically new (even though I still had to repair stuff on it) - but the extra space, bathroom, and hot water in our Argosy is delightful.

Sorry if I was confusing - I wouldn't adapt an Al-ko axle to the Argosy. I want a Dexter or Axis axle with different bearings (like those on the T@B) that didn't need repacking.

So, do all modern trailers - lightweight or not - require periodic bearing repacking? I appreciate the inspection angle of needing to repack them, but honestly, having one less maintenance task (that I don't want to do myself) would be appealing.

Tom
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #5
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Ken, thanks. That's what I was looking for. Much appreciated.

Tom
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #6
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Ken, thanks. That's what I was looking for. Much appreciated.

Tom
Be aware that should you need in-field service for those bearings, according to Dexter, the parts are always a special order as no dealer stocks them.

That could cause unnecessary delays in a persons trip.

Andy
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:31 PM   #7
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Andy... Help me out on this one... Dexter is not the only Axle company to use NEV-R-LUBE bearings. Is it true that the NEV-R-LUBE bearings are a "sealed unit" and that they work... or like Airstream found don't work so well. I have been told that the spindle with bearings are a bolted on as a unit and if there are any problems you really need to purchase a entirely new axle! Furthermore, NEV-R-LUBE bearings were designed for light weight trailers and that this is why they did not work on the Airstreams? There seams to me no real info out there that I can find to back up or dispute what I have been told!
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Got to say, a brief web search turned up enough angry owners of NEV-R-LUBE bearings to raise flags. The spindle is different, so you can't replace out the bearings with "normal" ones. A spare cartridge is pretty close to half the price of an axle. And when they fail, they fail big - with the wheel going a different direction. Finally, supposedly Dexter still recommends an annual inspection.

Sigh. Sometimes I wish that trailers have reached automotive-quality levels of reliability and trouble-free-ness...

Tom
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:12 PM   #9
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Andy... Help me out on this one... Dexter is not the only Axle company to use NEV-R-LUBE bearings. Is it true that the NEV-R-LUBE bearings are a "sealed unit" and that they work... or like Airstream found don't work so well. I have been told that the spindle with bearings are a bolted on as a unit and if there are any problems you really need to purchase a entirely new axle! Furthermore, NEV-R-LUBE bearings were designed for light weight trailers and that this is why they did not work on the Airstreams? There seams to me no real info out there that I can find to back up or dispute what I have been told!
The only thing I can tell you is that they came stock on my 2010 31 classic. So I am guessing they work on Airstreams. My advice is, if you can find no facts to back up what you have been told, disregard what you have been told. Did you look at Dexters web Site?
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
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... moving to more "modern" lower-maintenance stuff would be nice...
and NICE it is!

go LOOK at the dexter site as ken suggests,

they've got VERY high duty set ups with these 'modern' bearing packs.

several folks here have them and LIKE THEM.

on BIG HEAVY streams...

old posts and threads on this...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/513367-post18.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/481777-post15.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/347033-post2.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...sic-34386.html

i'd have NO hesitation using QUIK change NON serviceable bearing paks...

except the hensc' axles/spindles don't offer this option.

yes annual brake inspections are still needed,

but one could UPGRADE to disc brakes on that 'gosy...

service AND inspection would be easier, performance MUCH better and so on...

sometimes 'modern' is good!

cheers

2air'
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:27 PM   #11
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Andy... Help me out on this one... Dexter is not the only Axle company to use NEV-R-LUBE bearings. Is it true that the NEV-R-LUBE bearings are a "sealed unit" and that they work... or like Airstream found don't work so well. I have been told that the spindle with bearings are a bolted on as a unit and if there are any problems you really need to purchase a entirely new axle! Furthermore, NEV-R-LUBE bearings were designed for light weight trailers and that this is why they did not work on the Airstreams? There seams to me no real info out there that I can find to back up or dispute what I have been told!
We do not recommend the Nev-R-lube bearings.

They lead into a false sense of security about your brakes.

No one carries the replacements.

If you have a problem on the road, you will be stuck for days.

Mutcth could fill you in on some other reasons.

We like to stay with the tried and true systems, namely keeping it simple.

Andy
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Apologies if I'm missing something overly logical here:

If I get a new non-Henschen axle, can it be equipped/specced with bearings that don't need to biannually repacked? My T@B's Alko axle has such bearings, and moving to more "modern" lower-maintenance stuff would be nice.

Thanks
Tom
Tom, you can order Dexter axles with the sealed bearings. You will still have to check the brakes every year, but you won't get your hands full of grease.

Sealed wheel bearings have been used for decades on cars and trucks with much lower failure rates than similar vehicles equipped with non-sealed bearings. If that's your F series pickup in your profile picture, it has sealed front wheel bearings. That doesn't mean Dexter's sealed bearings are good or bad, but the technology is well-proven.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:23 PM   #13
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If that's your F series pickup in your profile picture, it has sealed front wheel bearings. That doesn't mean Dexter's sealed bearings are good or bad, but the technology is well-proven.
It's a 2009 Ram I borrowed to pull the T@B to DMV, but I sure do get the point. It's been years since I crawled around under a car (ah, that old 81 Buick Electra) with a grease gun.

I'm wondering if Dexter dealers don't stock them because they aren't exactly treated as wear items - or if Dexter dealers don't stock them because they're unpopular.

I'm also seeing that these bearings have been around for 10 years-ish in RVs. Like many items, they appeared to have growing pains early...

Tom
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:28 PM   #14
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EZ Lube

What about these instead.Seems like a good alternative to the never lubes.
Dexter Axle - Trailer Axles and Running Gear Components - E-Z Lube System
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:07 PM   #15
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...I'm wondering if Dexter dealers don't stock them because they aren't exactly treated as wear items - or if Dexter dealers don't stock them because they're unpopular...

Tom
My local dealer stocks the complete hub with bearings, the option is hugely popular with the big dollar horse trailer crowd. They report never seeing a bearing issue but has had a few brake drums outta round. I have heard of a fulltimer needing an assembly for that reason and getting it overnight from Dexter.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:23 PM   #16
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Safety Lube spindles

The Axis version of axle that I sell comes with their version of EZ lube. They call it "Safety lube" & I believe it's a great idea. It was developed for boat trailers that get submerged on a regular basis. This system allows the owners to purge the water from the bearings really easily. As Airstreamers tend to use their trailers more than the "white box" crowd, it allows you to replace the grease & or keep tabs on the bearing condition without removing the wheels. This system displaces the old grease & pushes it out around the grease fitting on the end of the spindle. This system doesn't eliminate the need to disassemble & flush the bearings out occaisionally.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:09 PM   #17
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I had that type of lube system on my boat trailer and it failed -on a boat ramp in the Minnesota boundry water area ,28 miles from the nearest town. You can only imagine the fun I had getting things back in working order. Needless to say both sides of the trailer now have the basic bearing system on them. The hour and a half repack job is a minor inconvenience.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:10 PM   #18
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I had that type of lube system on my boat trailer and it failed -on a boat ramp in the Minnesota boundry water area ,28 miles from the nearest town. You can only imagine the fun I had getting things back in working order. Needless to say both sides of the trailer now have the basic bearing system on them. The hour and a half repack job is a minor inconvenience.

63air,

What part failed, the bearings, the spindles or ?

Bill
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:21 AM   #19
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We do not recommend the Nev-R-lube bearings.

We like to stay with the tried and true systems, namely keeping it simple.

Andy
Now is that due to a personal issue with the product or that you do not sell them? I suspect the latter.

If we were really into keeping it simple we all would still be using the leaf springs.

Anything made by man can and will fail eventually. The question is weather the road to failure is smooth or not.

Tom, unfortunately you have asked a question that will result in very strong opinions that in the end will lead you to severe frustration. Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:20 AM   #20
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Now is that due to a personal issue with the product or that you do not sell them? I suspect the latter.
That same vendor sells disc brakes, which are anything but simple, so you may be correct.
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