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Old 09-21-2020, 07:47 PM   #1
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Trailer maintenance. Suspension.

What on my Sunline Solaris should I have checked on a regular basis? And how often. This pertains to brakes,wheel barings ect.
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:37 PM   #2
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If you just bought the camper, I suggest a complete suspension check so you know what your are starting with.

Brake and wheel bearings for sure need to be checked and repacked to start with. New grease seals and use the double lip seal with the garter spring. Trailer brake pads are thinner then auto brakes even when they are new. Dexter recommends when the brake lining wears to 1/16” then it is time to replace them. If you end up replacing the shoes, they sell the entire new brake plate with shoes, magnets and all cheaper then just the shoes. And this is with genuine Dexter parts.

On the grease packing, if you do the grease pack yourself and you know how well you did it, then this comes down to miles and or years. If you only tow 1,000 to 3,000 miles a year, you used high quality grease and packed them yourself, then you may go 2 to 3 years on grease. Dexter recommends once a year or 10K miles which ever comes first I “think”. Do not have the book handy to confirm. I know my grease pack can go 3 years and the grease is still good. I would not trust the brakes to not be checked any more then that though.

Standard manual adjust brakes, need to be tweaked/adjusted every 2,000 miles as Dexter states and I can agree with that. It will still work longer then that but the truck then starts doing more braking then it should.

Shackles, spring bushings and spring pins. Dexter recommends that every 6,000 miles these parts be checked. While you can do a visual on the shackles links to get a big picture view of the wear, you really cannot tell if the bushings are worn through, or the shackles are worn to the point the spring pins spin as the serrated teeth area is shot and no longer holding. You have to take apart the suspension to inspect the bushings and pins. This whole suspension is a sore topic on how cheap trailer suspension is on campers. The standard nylon bushings wear through between 8,000 to 10,000 miles and they are about gone. Once the bushing wears out, then the spring pin starts wearing on the spring eyes wallowing them out and the equalizer center pin hole. Once the equalizer housing or the spring eye is worn, then a new bushing has a very short life as the hole is no longer round. There are ongoing posts here on the forum on how to over come worn or non round spring eyes. The choices to date are, ream out the spring eyes for new oversized bushings, epoxy build up trails which are ongoing, shimming the worn hole and all new springs.

A common upgrade on suspension is to upgrade to 1/2” thick heavy duty shackles,( in place of the standard 1/4” thick )with bronze bushings and grease-able pins. The equalizer will need to be replaced if there is any wear in the housing. If the spring eyes are worn heavy, then you have to make a choice on what to do. Dexter and MorRyde sell HD shackles kits with grease-able pins.

Whatever you do, look at the standard 1/4” thick shackle links annually as when they wear, they can elongate the pin hole and then break off the ends of the link allowing the suspension to drop while under way. This has happened to several members not realizing it. It may take 15 - 20K miles for that to happen, but left unchecked it can make for a bad day camping.

Not sure how old your camper is, odds are favorable if it never had the suspension checked, the spring eye bushings are already worn out and steel on steel from the pins to the equalizer or spring eyes is occurring. The suspension is out of site and out of mind and often never gets looked at.

I did the grease-able bronze bushing conversion before my spring eyes were worn. In my case, I have more then tripled the life of the standard nylon and still counting. Part of the issue though is the roundness of the spring eye when new. If the spring eye hole is not true round and full bushing length from day one, then even bronze can crack due to not being 100% supported. There is a better reported nylon called NeverFail bushings, but reports are mixed if they are better or not. I have 1 never fail bushing in test, but not enough miles to confirm they are better, yet anyway.

I know this is more then you may have thought about, but you are at least asking, which is good news! If you can do the work yourself, this is a fixable situation at moderately lower cost.

Hope this helps. We have many posts by members on rebuilding, repairing all this with pics if you are interested.

John
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:26 AM   #3
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Thank you for the information. I wouldn't want to have a breakdown when on the road. My Sunline is a 2000.
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