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Old 10-10-2020, 08:38 PM   #1
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Easiest way to verify type of wheel bearings?

2015 23' Flying Cloud serial # 1STK9AG29FJ533030 with Dexter axles serial 122971250 and 1229712550 (model # 3000). Do I need to remove a wheel, call Airstream, or call Dexter to determine what bearings are installed? I have 30 k towing miles on the trailer so probably need to have repack or replace before next trip. Nice to know what I have before seeking a source for maintenance. Do you take your trailer to an RV dealer or elsewhere for this type of maintenance? Thank you. Robere
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:46 PM   #2
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With the bearing cap off, this is a standard re-packable bearing.👍

Bob
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Old 10-10-2020, 09:25 PM   #3
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I pack myself, except I use a bearing packer instead of pushing the grease in by hand.
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:35 PM   #4
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Did that last year. Brought back memories of my dad teaching me that 50 years ago. Hadn’t thought about repacking wheel bearings for decades.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:31 AM   #5
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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That was done once in 17 Seasons of ownership.
With yearly inspections.

"Cloudsplitter" got two new axles last August. Not because of the bearings waring out but because the rubber in the axles had pooped out.
Old school...I prefer doing the maintenance and know the condition, than doing no maintenance and not knowing.

Bob
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:38 AM   #6
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Best way is to pull a wheel and cleanthe seal and bearing off to get the numbers which you can take to any auto parts store and they can cross reference them for replacements. Bearings will probably be good and just need new seals.
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robere View Post
2015 23' Flying Cloud serial # 1STK9AG29FJ533030 with Dexter axles serial 122971250 and 1229712550 (model # 3000). Do I need to remove a wheel, call Airstream, or call Dexter to determine what bearings are installed? I have 30 k towing miles on the trailer so probably need to have repack or replace before next trip. Nice to know what I have before seeking a source for maintenance. Do you take your trailer to an RV dealer or elsewhere for this type of maintenance? Thank you. Robere
If they are Never Lube, it will say that on the grease cap and on the Dexter label. Otherwise, they are standard bearing you can get from etrailer.com. They will send you a chart on the measurements you can make to identify the specific bearings, races and seals. They can probably also tell from the Dexter part number on the axle label.
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:08 AM   #8
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
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Chinese Wheel Bearings! Get Rid of 'Em

In answer to one of the main questions poised by the poster...either Dexter or Airstream installed during the mid 2015's period Chinese wheel bearings. Surprised? You should not be if you had hung around Thor RV products for very long. These Chinese bearings may have been installed in a far greater number of Airstream chassis than I know about...all to our detriment and to the profit of Airstream. Remember Goodyear Marathon tires? The amazing fact is that Good Ole Made in America Timken bearings are available for nearly every Airstream you can name through Amazon for perhaps $22/axle set...plus or minus...so why Airstream would feel comfortable in using Chinese metallurgy for a savings of nearly nothing is totally beyond me. On my first wheel bearing re-greasing I discovered this anomaly and threw those OEM bearings in the river. Figuratively speaking, you should too!
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:18 AM   #9
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
If they are Never Lube, it will say that on the grease cap and on the Dexter label. Otherwise, they are standard bearing you can get from etrailer.com. They will send you a chart on the measurements you can make to identify the specific bearings, races and seals. They can probably also tell from the Dexter part number on the axle label.
Not really...there are standard bearings, (see above), E-Z lube bearing with a grease fitting on the bearing cap and Never-Lube with a sealed bearing that cannot be externally re-greased.

Our new axles had 'never adjust brakes'.👎 with standard bearings.👍

Bob
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Old 10-11-2020, 12:34 PM   #10
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Good or bad, my trailer has Japanese made Koyo bearings in it.
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Old 10-11-2020, 01:08 PM   #11
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1996 25' Excella
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30K miles should not require new bearings... even Chinese made
I take of the hub, up end it over a coffee can and wash out the grease on the main bearing until it spins freely. By pressing on the bearing with your fingers while turning it, there should be no sensation of irregularities. Wipe out the interior of the hub with a clean rag and press fresh grease into the main bearing while turning it. Same for the outer bearing
I find that I don’t need to replace seals more than every 5 years. If you can’t feel any rough spots on the lip it will be fine. Wipe a small amount of grease on the lip before assembling the hub. Be careful to Center the bearing over the spindle and not drag the seal on the spindle when replacing the hub.
BTW I have Timken bearings on one front spindle is my TV and Chinese cheapys from Amazon on the other
Both have 150 K kilometres and no evidence of wear or running hot.
JCW
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Old 10-11-2020, 01:10 PM   #12
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I have a 2006 30' Classic purchased new with Nevr-Lube bearings. Have towed it approximately 30,000 miles. Is there any kind of maintenance or inspecting I should be doing? What is the expected life cycle of the Nevr-Lube product? What are the signs that the bearings may be failing or needing replacement? I understand that replacement is not a do-it-yourself type project. What typically are the costs involved with servicing/replacing this type of bearing?
Thanks to all for your input.

-Gary-
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Old 10-11-2020, 03:27 PM   #13
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Per the manufacturer, the Never-Lube bearings should be good for about 100k miles. I am going to get new axles next year and I am specifying them as I am just too old and cranky to repack bearings anymore. I average about 7000 miles a year so the bearings will probably outlast me...
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Old 10-11-2020, 04:22 PM   #14
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Reno

Search on Dexter site for Nev-R-Lube inspection technique.

I’m sitting at a campfire too lazy.

Gary
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:16 PM   #15
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We had bearing failure at less than 2,000 miles due to improper grease job at factory on our 2015 23D International Serenity built in late September 2014. We put five lug 15”SenDel wheels on the original 10” brake drums that we upgraded to auto adjust drum brakes. To preclude future bearing issues, we installed made in USA Timken #4 and #17 bearing sets along with Timken #441151 seals.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:01 PM   #16
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You can call Dexter, give them your axle serial numbers, and they will email you a free copy of the actual build sheets for your axles showing the components (product numbers and descriptions).
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:04 PM   #17
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I did what prather1 above said, except I sent an email to Dexter. The build sheet will have all the information you will ever need.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:41 AM   #18
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Very timely post, I just had a bearings issue in a wheel that caused me to lose said wheel and break an axle. 2017 Sport, not sure why this would happen so soon reading all of these older, wiser owners posting about expected lifespan - of themselves and bearings Any insight or guidance for the next few years of travel?
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Old 10-20-2020, 09:26 AM   #19
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To expand my prior post.

In the first week of July in 2015, I took delivery of our new 2015 23D International Serenity at the Airstream dealership in New Jersey. It had been trucked in late September 2014 to the dealer from the factory. It did not have the notorious Never-Lube bearings installed or the auto-adjust drum feature on the 10" brake drum system used with the stock 14" tires and wheels. We upgraded to 15" SenDel wheels with 15" Michelin tires (at 44 psi) before leaving the dealership.

I drove at a max speed of 55 mph (where allowed) from the dealership past Niagra Falls enroute to CanAm in London, Ontario, Canada to fine tune the towing setup. I continued past Detroit to Indianapolis and finally to A&P Vintage Trailer Works in Paradise, TX which is about 25 miles Northwest of the DFW airport. A total distance of about 2,000 miles in less than five days.

At my request, we checked the wheel bearings. One set was completely scored from the lack of adequate grease. If we had not checked the bearings, the axle could have been sheared off. Two pf the other bearings had insufficient grease. This reflects a Quality Control failure at the Dexter plant and a failure of Airstream to verify the wheel bearings are properly lubricated.

We replaced all the original bearings (undoubtedly from off shore) with USA made Timkin bearing sets and seals. We also converted to auto-adjust drum brakes at a cost of less that $15 per wheel. Another penny pinching move by Airstream even on an upgraded trailer to the mid tier "International Series" price level.

Airstream/Dexter would have blamed me for the failure down the road to avoid any responsibility for defective manufacturing that included not doing QC inspections on incoming critical safety parts.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCWDCW View Post
30K miles should not require new bearings... even Chinese made
I take of the hub, up end it over a coffee can and wash out the grease on the main bearing until it spins freely. By pressing on the bearing with your fingers while turning it, there should be no sensation of irregularities. Wipe out the interior of the hub with a clean rag and press fresh grease into the main bearing while turning it. Same for the outer bearing
I find that I don’t need to replace seals more than every 5 years. If you can’t feel any rough spots on the lip it will be fine. Wipe a small amount of grease on the lip before assembling the hub. Be careful to Center the bearing over the spindle and not drag the seal on the spindle when replacing the hub.
BTW I have Timken bearings on one front spindle is my TV and Chinese cheapys from Amazon on the other
Both have 150 K kilometres and no evidence of wear or running hot.
JCW
Some blow grease out after washing w/solvent, some also blow spin, that can cause scoring, NEVER SPIN W/AIR, but I have seen ase certified mech. do this.
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