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Old 07-22-2013, 12:25 PM   #1
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** Bearings went bad and hub is damaged **

hey guys,
Went on a 500 mile road trip and the bearrings failed tore up my hub and im sitting on 3 wheels. Does anyone know of an airstream repair facility that is noteworthy in San Diego area? I was told San Diego Trailer Supply was good, but they dont specialize in airstream.

Also, I have dual axle. should I remove the opposite wheel that sits on the same axle for transportation to the repair facility?

Sooooooooo SUPER bummed! Keep your fingers and toes crossed that this is an easy/inexpensive fix!!
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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A mobile mechanic can fix you up.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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The axle isn't strictly Airstream, parts are available by cross-referencing the numbers stamped on the individual parts.

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Old 07-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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ANY Mechanic, auto or trailer can work on that. I would not tow the trailer more than a mile or so with only one tire on one side. You may heat that tire and blow it on the way.

The important thing to look at before any repair is attempted is the condition of the spindle. If it is Worn, out of round, or colored Blue you may be looking at an axle in which case you will have to order that in.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:28 AM   #5
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how often do you pack bearings

I was told I should pack my bearrings every 12 months or 5-6k miles??? Im wondering why when I dont even touch my tow vehicles bearings???
Someone pls educate this newbie...thanks a bunch!!
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwheels View Post
I was told I should pack my bearrings every 12 months or 5-6k miles??? Im wondering why when I dont even touch my tow vehicles bearings???
Someone pls educate this newbie...thanks a bunch!!
Why pack bearings? To avoid what happened to you.

Grease seals can leak, contaminants can get in, one or more bearings could be defective - bearings can burn up and damage the hub. Inspecting the bearings and greasing them while you inspect is preventative maintenance.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:40 AM   #7
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was I quoted the correct time frame for inspecting/repacking them?
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by silverwheels View Post
was I quoted the correct time frame for inspecting/repacking them?
It depends on climate and usage. I think the 5,000-6,000 mile figure is a bit low, but most of us don't pull their trailers that far every Summer, anyway.
If you live in the dry Southwest, you can probably go 2-3 years between repacks. Someone that live in Florida or Louisiana should probably get them done every year, even though they might not go more than a few hundred miles. The differences are heat and humidity, if it's hotter and more humid, cooling off quickly nightly, you will get condensation in the hub, which can quickly ruin the grease in the hub. The same with extreme hot and dry conditions, though this is more from airborne contaminants getting past seals and grinding up the bearings.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:43 AM   #9
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was I quoted the correct time frame for inspecting/repacking them?
It depends on how good of grease you use.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:44 AM   #10
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The outer bearing usually fail first. Which one of yours failed? It helps to have an IR thermometer so you can check hub temperatures. Just pulling off the grease cap can sometimes give you a heads up on how often they need to be repacked. If you are seeing any signs of rust from condensation you need to repack and inspect for pitting. I have found that many mechnics don't use enough grease which is going to greatly reduce the time between servicing. The more the trailer sits in a damp climate the more often the bearings need to be packed. If you were full timing and the bearings got hot enough to boil out any water you could go several years between packings.

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Old 07-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
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thanks guys.... knowledge is power! so thanks for educating me so this doesnt happen again.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:19 AM   #12
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Thanks, silverwheels, for sharing your problem, and to others here who have offered good advice.

I note that in another AirForums' thread, "Mobile repair in San Diego area?", two repliers indicated that they had good mobile service from:

Abe Hernandez
RV mobile service 2u
760-802-3238
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:15 AM   #13
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Not to change the thrust of the tread but a common cause of bearing failure is the fact that they are all to often put on TOO tight.

Tapered bearings require a little play. While tightening the castle nut you spin the wheel and run the nut in till just snug and then back it off about 1/8 of a turn. Afterwards you should be able to grab the wheel top and bottom and feel a slight movement as you attempt to wiggle the wheel. If there is No movement the bearing is TOO tight.

A common problem is the kids in many shops have not been taught how to set a bearing and you have an overheated hub while traveling.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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RV Solutions is an Airstream dealer in San Diego. They have a service department that can take care of this. If not, the only other Airstream specialist is way up north (Long Beach) area. C & G Trailer Services.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
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RV Solutions is an Airstream dealer in San Diego. They have a service department that can take care of this. If not, the only other Airstream specialist is way up north (Long Beach) area. C & G Trailer Services.
Hi guys Abe the mobile repair guy came out yesterday. Highly recommend him. Looks like the nut was too tight or cross threaded. Since the original work was done in AZ I'm pretty much stuck with the bill. Lucky for me Abe's hrly rate is $30 cheaper than most shops!! And he comes to you!! Awesome!!
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:41 PM   #16
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I just got a call on my Classic. On the way up to the Moraine View rally I heard a high pitch squeal coming from one of the wheels. It quieted down and I haven't traveled since. Took the trailer to the local dealer and they just called telling me that a broken brake spring trashed the backing plate and also damaged the hub. Both are getting replaced. The bummer is that just over 2 1/2 years ago that same wheel had a backing plate fall apart which required replacement. No hub damage from that. Probably have 4,000 miles on the trailer since that last repair so it's pretty disappointing.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
I just got a call on my Classic. On the way up to the Moraine View rally I heard a high pitch squeal coming from one of the wheels. It quieted down and I haven't traveled since. Took the trailer to the local dealer and they just called telling me that a broken brake spring trashed the backing plate and also damaged the hub. Both are getting replaced. The bummer is that just over 2 1/2 years ago that same wheel had a backing plate fall apart which required replacement. No hub damage from that. Probably have 4,000 miles on the trailer since that last repair so it's pretty disappointing.
Bummer!! Sorry to hear that.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:44 PM   #18
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Very true

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Not to change the thrust of the tread but a common cause of bearing failure is the fact that they are all to often put on TOO tight.

Tapered bearings require a little play. While tightening the castle nut you spin the wheel and run the nut in till just snug and then back it off about 1/8 of a turn. Afterwards you should be able to grab the wheel top and bottom and feel a slight movement as you attempt to wiggle the wheel. If there is No movement the bearing is TOO tight.

A common problem is the kids in many shops have not been taught how to set a bearing and you have an overheated hub while traveling.
Ask any mechanic how he does it. You will get completely different answers nearly every time. There is only one way to ensure there is proper axial movement of the bearings. That is to measure it with a dial indicator.
I check the axial movement (play) with a dial indicator. It should be between .001'-.010" I aim for .007"
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:18 PM   #19
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What a MESS!! After several days of contacting NUMEROUS people we have made a final decision! We are purchasing the Dexter Axle directly from Dexter of Indiana because Dexter of Ohio doesn't make the axle per Airstream specs.

Indiana will put a 48 hr rush order on the manufacturing of the axle. They will ship to me directly and the cost is only $30 more than Airstream of Los Angeles parts price!

As soon as the axle is received Abe the Mobile Mechanic will install along with repacking bearings and replacing breaks on the second axle. Labor will be performed at a price consistent with Airstream of Los Angeles.

** Note: Dexter manufacturing plant said it would be less expensive to go through a local distributor but this wasn't the case. Do your homework and make several calls because each shop charges different prices and some will not order per Airstream specs.
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:58 PM   #20
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Just a thought if you need to replace brakes. After ordering my new axles from Axis, and getting complete new brake assemblies, I found that I couldn't get them adjusted properly. I ended up taking them off and buying six Dexter Nev-R-Adjust brake assemblies. It made a huge difference.

When I replace the axles on our new to us 1970 it will be with the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust.

You may be able to get a better price if they are ordered with the new axle.
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