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Old 05-22-2007, 10:48 AM   #1
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precorguy
water heater & bearings!

alright - i love these forums --- but now i have questions:

1. before i purchased a sunline we had a rockwood and it had a suburban water heater that required an anode rod --- so thinking i was doing a good thing - i purchased an atwood anode rod and put it in the heater before we left for florida in mar 07 ------- noting the comments under "anode rod yes or no" it seems to indicate that i should get the rod out as soon as possible!!!!! i do think that will install some sort of similar drain so that i can drain the tank easily -- instead of putting the plug in and out all the time ----- seems reasonable?

2. we are in our first full sesaon with this new sunline - we love it - we stop and look at other manufacturers products all the time and quite frankly, we still love the sunline the best - layout etc.

since we finally have a unit that we are very happy with, i know there is likely some maintenance that we should be doing regularly --- one thing that is likley a good thing would be greasing the bearings --- now how do i do it --- is there a fitting and will allow grease to go in and somplace that old grease goes out? i remember greasing a car many many years ago but i don't think that this is the same thing.

has aonyone done this and what was involved?

your help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:45 AM   #2
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Precorguy

Yes our forum here is a good place. A lot of nice folks willing to help.

1. Your anode, yes take it out ASAP. And adding a drain fitting or drain hose is a very doable option. By adding the drain fitting or hose, you are not screwing and unscrewing all the time in that Alum tank and messing up the threads. Attwood used a nylon plug so the plug threads would get messed up in place of the tank. A few members have used a drain valve that is very small and fit in there. I can't recall their post, but it was a few months again here on this forum.

I went the hose route. In case you have not seen these already here on the forum, See my solution.




Now to your TT axle bearings. Yes the bearings and brakes need normal maintenance.

On a brand new TT or after a new brake job, they need to be adjusted after the first 200 miles of towing. (They seat it) and then every 3,000 miles. Most all TT's do not have self adjusting brakes. Some do, but not many. It is like stepping back many years before autoís had self adjusting brakes. If you do not do the adjustment, soon the lost motion of the linkage in the brakes will get so far out that the brake no longer brakes very well even though you keep boosting the power on your brake controller.

The bearings need a repacking every 12,000 miles or annual if you go by the Dexter recommendation.

Some axles have what they call, easy lube hubs with a zerk fitting in them to make the greasing a little easier, but you still need to change out the grease every so often. This feature was made for boats to keep the water out and has made it into TT and cargo trailers. They are very popular now on the Rubber ride axles. (TorqueFlex)

And then there are the older leaf spring axles and the bearings types that you have to pull apart, clean, inspect and re-grease.

I am preparing a procedure on brake adjustment and axle greasing with pics just for this forum. I have it posted on another forum but I will clean it up soon for just our Sunlines. I'm actually doing this right now. With the holiday it may take me a week or so, but I will get it.

Until then you can see this version I have on RV.Net. which may help. That is my 2004 T2499 in the pictures.

Annual brake inspection and re-lube on RV.net

Good luck and let us know if you need more.

Thanks

John
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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Hi John,

You hit the nail on the head about wheel bearings. I can't tell you how much I've seen bad wheel bearings. On all three trailers I've bought (all in sig minus 2653), each one had bad bearings, very little grease, and bad brakes. This simple maintenance procedure is looked over by so many people. On my 2363, the LR magnet had no power to it because the wires were broken! I got a brake controller with that, but didn't use it until recently plugging it into my Ex. It's a Draw-tite Activator II, which I'm familiar with, and was set to 7.0 when I plugged it in! Once the brakes were replaced on the 2363, I normally kept our other Draw-Tite around 4.0. I'm glad I didn't get on the highway with it when bringing it home for the first time, because I distinctly remember the trailer pulling to the right whenever the brakes were applied. Now I know why.

Precorguy, I cannot stress enough how important maintenance to all the axle and brake components are. I never have travelled home on the highway with a new (to me) trailer, since I have no idea what the condition is of everything. I don't repack the bearings annually because I don't put many miles on per year, but it's a good idea. Last year, I took it upon myself to have my BS Troop's trailer serviced. It was the middle of winter, so I went over to General RV in Wixom, MI and found they would service it for the troop and only charge for parts! I took it over and they welcomed me with open arms, completing the job in a few hours. I really would have like to watch them do everything, but that wasn't possible. I knew it was due for service since it was built in the fall of 1999 and it hadn't had anything done to it since then. That trailer puts on quite a few miles going everywhere from Hinkley, OH to Cadillac, MI, and everywhere in between.
Here are some pics of my solution to the drain plug:




Jon
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:55 PM   #4
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Jon

Ah Ha!!!

You where the guy with the little valve.

Grease in the bearings. When I took mine off the first time I was shocked at how little grease was in them direct from the Dexter factory. It only coated the rollers and race. Yes it was barley adequate, but if I drove that camper a full 12K miles on it, there would not have been a lot left in there.

I have heard others say the same thing on the new axles. Almost no grease or very little. Now over greasing is about as bad, but gee, grease does not cost that much in the price of a new axleís.

My dealer never said anything about adjusting the brakes or axle greasing. They talked up the camper well, but nothing with hitches, brakes or bearings. A sore topic with me.

John
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:45 PM   #5
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Axle Bearings

John,
I have a T2553 with EZ lube hubs. I towed my trailer home from Butler, PA last year to Southern Calif. I've had the trailer out several times and totalled approximately 3000 miles. Before my last trip to the High Sierra I decided to lube the axle bearings. To my suprise I had to pump almost a whole tube of grease in before I pushed all the old grease out on each axle end. These hubs hold a lot of grease. I was suprised to hear that your bearings had so little grease. What year was your 2499 manufactured? I thought it would have had the EZ lube axles.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Joe

Sorry this had taken so long to get back to you. Been doing what us campers do. Camp and work tooÖ

My Camper was built in May or 2004. That year they did not offer the rubber ride with Easy lube as standard.

In 2005, they started to offer it I d believe.

It is not shocking about your greasing. I had a brand new 7 x 12 cargo trailer with easy lube and the first time it too was almost empty.

If you are making thousands of axles, saving a tube of grease on each one saves big $$. They only need to grease the bearings to pure minimum for shipment.

John
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:02 PM   #7
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Indy-Jim
OK - You guys scared me to death with your talk about dry bearings and worn brakes!! So - I grabbed my floor jack and tools and headed out to start pulling wheels. The first wheel I pulled off was really globbed full of grease (that means well lubricated). I went ahead and cleaned the bearings,etc and lubed them. Those bearings looked like new. Then was also surprised to find that I have self-adjusting brakes, and the linings looked very good. So, I put that wheel back on. Then pulled the next wheel off and found it to be also fully globbed with grease, so decided to put it back on, stop there and schedule a lube job maybe next year. My trailer has the Dexter Torflex suspension (rubber torsion suspension) of which I would highly recommend as the trailer pulls with great ease and very little vibrations. I ordered the trailer in Sept. '03 and took delivery in Oct, '03 so I think I got it before the new management took over and started to shave production costs (perhaps). We love our Sunline and are looking forward to it lasting as long as our camping days hold out. The quality is tremendous and we have had no problems at all. I have made some modifications to it that makes it more personal to our needs and will share some of these one of these days.
Hope you guys get your bearing and brake problems taken care of and have smooth sailing from hereon.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:13 PM   #8
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Indy

Self adjusting brakes?? Really! WOW. Normally self adjusters only start on 12 1/4" dia x 2 Ĺ wide brakes. Which are normally above 3500# axles which are normally 10 2 ľĒ wide. H'mm maybe learning something new here.

Did the inside look like this? These are NOT self adjusters.


The adjuster


If you actually have the self adjusters, lucky you. Wish we did.

Your rubber ride axles, are they also Easy Lube? The dryer ones so far seemed to have been on the standard take it apart to lube ones. They may have been more grease friendly on the Easy Lubes.

John
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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Indy-Jim
Hi JohnB - first let me say that those are excellent pictures. I guess I am somewhat confused, however, my brakes do not have the adjusting sprocket assembly that you see below the electric brake magnet. I also felt around on the back of the back plate to see if there are slots for the insertion of a brake adjusting tool and could find none. I went to the Dexter website and viewed all the information there and it seems that nothing that they show matches what I have. I think I will pull another wheel off and make a more detailed look at what I have since I did not pay that much attention as to the total makeup of the wheel assy. Also, I did not see anything that would indicate EZ Lub capability as indicated in the Dexter manual. I was surprised however, that when I removed the cotTer key, the key does not go directly diametrically (center) through the spindle, as it goes in so far and then is bent back out at less than the diameter distance (I hope you can visualize what I mean). That makes it very difficult to remove and replace the keys.I will get back with you when I figure this thing out.

Jim
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Old 06-24-2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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Hi JohnB - Looks like I have been barking up the wrong tree, as the old saying goes. I finally determined that I do not have Dexter axles. I only assumed that I did since Dexter Operations and Service Manual, and a separate warrantee sheet were included in the tech data pack that came with the trailer. Yesterday, I thought to check the final production checkoff list included in the pack and under "Axle" the name "Kober" and P/N 035 were hand written in the blocks. One thing that got me to be concerned is that the front bearing washer that goes on between the bearing and the nut was not a "D" washer as indicated in the Dexter info, it is a full circle inside. I've gone to the Kober website to try to determine what I do have. They do not indicate any self adjusting brakes, however, the wheel that I removed does not have the adjuster assembly included. Perhaps it was inadvertently left out during build up (I would hope not). I am going to contact Kober to see what I can find out. Would like to hear from others as to the type of axles they may have, if not Dexter.
AlsoI think this discussion should be re-identified as wheel bearing maintenance instead of being under water heater and bearings as that is mixing apples and oranges, so to speak.
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