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 Trailer / Towing Tips

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Smiley
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PostSubject: Trailer / Towing Tips   Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:12 am

One thing that may get overlooked but needs just as much attention as your wheeler is your trailer. I've been working on and maintaining trailers at my job for about 6 yrs so this is all second nature to me, but fresh grease and good seals are key to keeping good bearings in your trailer axles.

If you are in the market to buy a trailer, I recommend you purchase one with Dexter Brand "EZ Lube" spindles.

If you have bearings go down on you on the interstate on your way to a ride....you're not gonna be a happy camper.

Here is some key things to look for when inspecting your hubs:

1. If there is grease splatter visible on the outside of the wheel this indicates your dust/grease cap is faulty and needs replaced.

2. "Bad" grease can present itself in several different forms:
-- Grease is fully BLACK with a burnt oil odor and thin for grease is a sign of overheated hubs, check bearings and races for a rainbow of colors...if so replace all.
-- Grease is WHITE (milky) is a sign that the rear grease seal is faulty allowing water to get into the grease and bearings leading to bearing faulure and rusting parts in the hub. Replace bearings and races if there is any sign of rust.
-- Grease is BROWN is tied to the above WHITE grease but also has a penatration of dirt along with it.

3. Check the rear of the hub/wheel for a grease / dirt buildup indicates the rear seal is leaking and allowing the grease to seep out.

Always use a quality double lipped seal with a spring retainer....if there is no spring around the inside of the rubber seal...give it back to the parts man and insist on one with a spring on the inside of the rubber seal.

I'm sure there will be more tips to come, please feel free to add your own.

Questions are also welcome, so bring'em on.


Last edited by Smiley on Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pwm
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:43 am

Good job Smiley

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Bald Eagle
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:21 am

I criss-cross my safety chains. Also, if the chains are too long, I twist them to remove some of the sag and it keeps them off the road. I always lock the coupler onto the ball.

Check to be sure the ball is tightened, I've seen several where they came loose from the vehicle. I use a receiver hitch and once the ball is tightened in the mount, I get the nut spot-welded to the threads. This also deters theft of the trailer while you're riding. Don't forget the locking hitch pin.
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Vamped450
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:41 am

To start with, buy a high quality ball. Don't buy one of the cheap ones. If you have a brand name ball, they have a saftey rating of two times of what they say. If you do happen to overload one, you don't have to worry about the ball breaking. I have seen some cheap balls break at the top of the threaded stud and not because they were overloaded.

Also if the threaded stud happens to be bent any at all, discard the ball because the steel is already fatigued and it is just a matter of time before it breaks.
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Smiley
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:36 pm

Here's a good site as a guide for trailer light wiring. Trailer Light Wiring Depending on how big of a trailer you have will determine the size of electrical plug you might need on your vehicle. Most all single axle utility trailer would only require a 4-way flat connector to connect the appropriate lights. Larger trailers with tandem axle, trailer brakes, and/or extra optional lights would require larger connectors like the 1 1/4" round 6 pin connector or the larger round 7 blade RV style connector.

One way of getting the electrical connections from your vehicle to the trailer is custom T-style connectors made to plug into your vehicle's wiring harness, it is a lot less agrivation than splicing wires at the tail lights and running wires. I have one on my truck and wouldn't go any other way. T-style connector
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Smiley
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:07 pm

Here is a couple of sites with good information on tires. The first lets you know what the numbers and other markings on sidewall mean and the second lets you know what your tires are telling you by the wear patterns on the tire.

www.goodyear.ca (tirespecs)

www.goodyear.ca (tire problems)

As far as trailer tires go, I recommend running the max air pressure listed for the weight rating on the tire....if your tire pressure is low that will cause the sidewall to buckle over and then fishtailing and / or blowing a tire will follow shortly. All tires have the designation on the sidewall as to what the max weight the tire is rated for at a specified max air pressure, sometimes it can be hard to find but it will be on the lower half of the sidewall near the rim...I've found shining a flashlight across the side of the tire helps me find and see the writing easier.
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:33 pm

How to tell if you have a quality wheel bearing grease

The easiest test I know of is put a small amount of grease on a hard metal surface like the top of a vise, then strike the grease with a hammer....a good grease will stick to the hammer head, a lower grade grease will splatter and disperse from the location of the hammer strike leaving only a thin film on the hammer head.

I use a waterproof crimson grease, a lot of different manufacturers carry this red grease, I've found it holds up against the heat of wheel bearings better than your less expensive tan or yellow wheel bearing greases. When your grease gets too hot it will actually liquify into a oily state, but it will not return to a grease consistency, so having a grease that can withstand and disperse the heat of a wheel bearing traveling 70 mph down the interstate is very important.

At work we've gotten almost twice the life of a grease job with the crimson grease versus the yellow grease. I service over 50 towable items in our fleet and having to repack bearings only once a year rather than twice makes a big difference to us.
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scooter
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:39 pm

well spokin
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g-man
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:01 am

What brand of crimson grease do you use?
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CanAmChris
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:49 pm

g-man wrote:
What brand of crimson grease do you use?

I use mobil 1 synthetic

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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:26 pm

I just want to point out something about trailer tire sizes. Over the years I have seen many trailer wrecks, mostly small utility or boat trailers with the smaller 10 inch wheels.

The main reason for these wrecks is often speed related . Besides the loss of control due to sidesway,the speed itself eventually freezes up the wheel bearings. Even with the best of greases, these tires are not meant to be driven at the speeds some try to take them.

Think about it! If a 17 t0 20 inch truck tire is driven at 75 miles per hour; the little 10 inch tires of the trailer are spinning at speeds more like a sustained 120 mph. A good reason to keep to that 55 MPH towed vehicle speed limit.

Drive Safely
The life you save, may be your own! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:39 pm

bubbanewf wrote:
I just want to point out something about trailer tire sizes. Over the years I have seen many trailer wrecks, mostly small utility or boat trailers with the smaller 10 inch wheels.

The main reason for these wrecks is often speed related . Besides the loss of control due to sidesway,the speed itself eventually freezes up the wheel bearings. Even with the best of greases, these tires are not meant to be driven at the speeds some try to take them.

Think about it! If a 17 t0 20 inch truck tire is driven at 75 miles per hour; the little 10 inch tires of the trailer are spinning at speeds more like a sustained 120 mph. A good reason to keep to that 55 MPH towed vehicle speed limit.

Drive Safely
The life you save, may be your own! Smile

I agree with you on the Smaller trailer tires, I won’t run a trailer with the little 10” trailer tires on any long ATV hauls where interstate is involved. The most I Will pull one of those small tire trailers is around 50 miles round trip. On my last trailer it was equipped with 15” light truck tires and they were balanced perfectly to help with those long hauls to Wind rock I would make monthly. I cringe when I see one of those trailers( 10” tires) on the interstate
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powerbomb400
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:08 pm

I see alot of those trailers from up north. They haul snowmobiles on them. They call them deck over I think.
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S.C.
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:11 pm

did you say decks ? from up north ? Don't tell teresa !

S.C.
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Smiley
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:22 pm

g-man wrote:
What brand of crimson grease do you use?

I think Valvoline makes the grease I use.
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GIP
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:12 pm

bearing buddies is the way to go

http://www.bearingbuddy.com/
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:22 pm

GIP wrote:
bearing buddies is the way to go

http://www.bearingbuddy.com/

Some people may like them, but I've seen them blow out the rear seals on the hub because it is forcing the grease into a space with no release for pressure and I've seen them leak grease out of the front side making a mess on the wheels. Plus if grease comes out...water can go in. If you don't have the Dexter EZ-Lube spindles that I mentioned in the first post I would recommend doing the grease job the old fashioned way, packing the bearings (by hand or a press greaser) and then manually filling the hub with grease before putting it back on the spindle. It is a little more messy as far as while your working on it, but you're not doing any damage to the rear seal without knowing it. JMO.
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PostSubject: Re: Trailer / Towing Tips   Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:53 pm

or we could just drop our trailers over at your house and let you call us when they are ready????

Are the EZ-lube spindles expensive???
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