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Old 01-16-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
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Well, we know where the one in the picture above was allegedly made.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:43 PM   #16
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Timken has plants in other countries and I would use bearings from there as well. I am not totally hung up on the made in USA thing, but I will never again buy anything but a brand that is known for quality. Fafnir, SKF, NTN and FAG are some that I would consider.

Here is eTrailer's take on bearing quality: https://www.etrailer.com/question-95733.html

I haven't got back to them, but I will let them know that I was sold junk.
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:09 PM   #17
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Ok, thanks.

Now that I've read what eTrailer says on the matter, would you use the TruRide brand bearing kits eTrailer sells knowing that the kit you get was likely made in China?
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Old 01-16-2016, 06:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bigmess View Post

Now that I've read what eTrailer says on the matter, would you use the TruRide brand bearing kits eTrailer sells knowing that the kit you get was likely made in China?
Not a chance, I am done with Chinese bearings. Yes, there are good reviews on eTrailer about that kit, but then there were great reviews about my trailer and dealer. I learned the hard way about reviews. When I started this thread, I just wanted to state facts with supporting photos. When someone points out an issue with a product that should give the buyer an idea of what may be a problem.

I could have been a member of the "never had a problem" crowd, and just ignored the faults. There are some that would shoot the reporter because they don't like the news. I had no obvious signs leading up to finding these issues. I inspect the parts every year. It would have been easier to "add a few pumps of grease" and road off into the sunset or whatever.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:30 AM   #19
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iynnmor,

I have reported not some much on this forum but on the Heartland and Forest River forums my specific thoughts and educated guess regarding TT's and their poor quality.

We had 2 TT's and they were both junk. The first one had a 6" sag under the fresh water tanks before we took our first trip. There was nothing but metal straps holding the tank in place which broke because the dealer filled the tank full to test the water system. Then we read in the owners manual that it is not recommended to have the tanks full when traveling. They are not designed to carry all that weight. WHAT???? How stupid can a company be??

We did get a 2,000 miles trip done and when we got home i decided to check the axle bearings, bushings etc. Well the plastic bushings were completely shot and it is almost impossible to find or install real bronze bushings in the bushing areas. There were no wet (grease able) bushings.

I was in a fairly large utility trailer shop the other day and could not find anything but plastic (nylon) bushings.

I replaced the china bearings with TOYO and used synthetic grease. I never use the grease gun for fear of blowing out the inner seal. That's just a lazy man's way of not doing the proper service IMHO.

Most TT's are delivered with insufficient tires or axle capacity to carry any safety margin for the load they are expected to carry. In my educated opinion they are, "Designed on the Edge of Destruction."

When we had mostly rear wheel drive vehicles we only packed front wheel bearings about every 30,000 to 40,000 miles. Why does the TT industry feel that the owners do this service every 12 months or 12,000 miles????

IMO Either they are afraid that something is going to fail or they use such cheap crap that they know something is going to fail. They are aware that most TT's after the initial newness wears off will most likely be setting next to the shop, barn or in storage and used a few times a year for a weekend here and there.

Then when many try to use them for a lot or full time travel things fail quickly. If you do some research on other forums you will read about many who have bought a good high priced unit which they had planned to use frequently. Once they realized the poor quality they invested 6,8,10,upwards of $15,000 more so they could travel with some degree of safety, comfort and confidence. That was usually: bearings, tires, rims, axles, springs etc. Sometimes upgrades in brakes like disc.

That's a sad commentary on how the consumer is treated. You really have to do your homework and have a decent understanding of the technical aspect of what is involved. I have a lot of experience and was shocked when I found out that most TT's don't have shocks or self-adjusting drum brakes. WHY was I so surprised?? Shocks and self-adjusting brakes have been standard equipment for 50 plus years I never bothered to look. To me that's like asking the salesman if the vehicle you are looking to purchase has a heater, AC and window washers.

TeJay
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:18 PM   #20
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TeJay,

Thanks for the reply. You are one that gets it, others just accept and defend the junk that is produced.

Where I really messed up was not replacing the 10" brakes with 12" when I replaced EVERYTHING else from the frame down, shortly after I bought the trailer. Long, long story.

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Old 01-17-2016, 03:37 PM   #21
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One story I didn't report was this. When bought our second TT we got a FR product. It was very nice. Still in the shorter than 30' range with three slides. It didn't break the bank either. I did really like the Dexter Tor-Flex independent suspension. I was about t install some shocks when the DW said, "Lets get rid of the TT and get a MH." I didn't need to hear that again. WE got a 31' WBGO and never looked back.

Back to the TT. It was very nice. We took it to FL for our Spring trip. When we set up in FL at our permanent sight (for 30 days) I put the 4 "Equalizer Jacks" down. Then I put 2-scissors jacks under the center of the frame and installed two jacks under the full kitchen slide. That's 8 support jacks under a 28' TT with three slides. The darn thing bounced and undulated like a trampoline.

Anybody thinking of a TT of any sort take a Digital caliper and measure the thickness of the steel in the frame. Begin to get a feel for how thick they are. Fine a company who uses some thicker steel so your frame won't fracture from constant flexing which it will experience as you travel.

We got home April 5th and immediately started a search for a decent MH.

TeJay
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:55 PM   #22
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Over 18,000 miles it looks like you could afford a low maintenence disc brake system. abt $1250
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:49 PM   #23
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And others will go for decades and never check any of this stuff. Go figure.

Since the average person trades TTs every six or seven years I doubt many will even give it a second thought. Those who keep there TT long enough to need such repairs just consider it part of the RV life.

I bought a three year old 25 ft TT. I have no clue how many miles were on it. I put 15,000 miles on it in a little over two years. I just replaced the six year old tires and had the bearing greased and the brakes adjusted. The brake shoes had 50% left and the EZ lube bearings had no slop.

We're headed for AZ in a few weeks so we will see how it goes.
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:41 PM   #24
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lynnmor,
I agree with your solutions, luckily my unit has the disk brake option and even then I pull everything apart and repack the bearings yearly and do a 5 tire rotation at that time. This year I am adding the Dexter E-Z Flex equalizers and thicker links along with the bronze bushings and wet bolts. My 5er has over 20,000miles and probably over 30,000 miles so I would imagine there is not much left of the plastic bushings. I have 7000# axles and am very close to the limit on the weight. I switched to 17.5" wheels and tires almost 4 years ago and that eliminated any tire problems. I totally agree with all your bearing choices. I wouldn't be concerned about any of the European made bearings, quite a few are made in Austria and I haven't had any problems with any of them.
You had a good write up on what you did, and I am sure that you have saved many RVer's from having troubles.
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:34 PM   #25
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I bought a Passport 2011 238ML in Aug 2014, do not know how much it was used but due to condition it was not much. The winter of 2014 - 2015 I traveled from VT to FL to AZ and back to VT. During the summer of 2015 I decided that the equalizers should be replaced with Dexter's E-Z Flex Equalizer Suspension product. I got the box of the old parts back and all the plastic bushing were total destroyed. I went back to AZ for this winter I could not believe the difference in towing the TT. Best upgrade I made.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:46 AM   #26
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dgwpassport,
I know what you are talking about, I put the E-Z flex on my last 5er, the equalizers only had a 1/8" of material left before the spring bolts would have worn completely through. Couldn't see anything wrong until you took it apart. That's why I am going to change to the wet bolts and bronze bushings before we leave in the spring..
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:50 PM   #27
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Frank,
I knew nothing about equalizers until I read an article "Underworld" in Trailer Life mag from Sept 2015. When I learned that a lot of RV manufacturers use the low end products available from good companies. I researched the Dexter product number and found a few better replacements. I went with the top of the line and glad I did. I have talked with a lot of people and they know nothing about their equalizers and what there functions are.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:25 AM   #28
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My point on my previous posts was to alert new buyers as to the short comings of TT's. We as American consumers assume that the manufacturer is giving us a product that will do the job and they do have our interests in mind. I realize that they are not perfect. The Capitalist system almost guarantees that poor quality will not survive because we won't buy them again. Not true.

In the travel trailer industry that's just not the case. There are not the consumer groups that are looking out for the consumer. The Feds are not to involved with them either.

Several on this thread have upgraded to larger brakes, axle capacities with independent suspensions, disc brakes, bigger rims and tires with greater carrying capacities. How much additional $$$$ was spent so they could travel safely and more comfortably???

I may be a bit outspoken and opinionated on this subject but it is based on facts, education and experiences. Maybe these comments along with others experiences will help those considering a TT. Kust understand it is not the same as buying a car, truck, SUV or a MH.

Why was I so stupid when we bought our first TT?? Why didn't I check to see if it had disc or drum brakes?? Why didn't I check for shock absorbers?? Why didn't I raise the TT up on it's support jacks and walk around the trailer and notice the weak floors and flexing frame?? Why didn't I ask other TT owners why the spring bushings were plastic (not bronze) and would wear out within 2,000 to 3,000 miles??? Why didn't I realize that the axles and tires were marginal in their ability to carry the expected weight ???

After all I taught automotive repair at the HS level for 35 years. I had taught and worked on cars, trucks, SUV's for 35 years and we owned two motor homes. I should have known.

The answer is simple. I expected the TT industry to treat me as all the other transportation industries had treated me.

Everything that I had previously owned and experienced had good brakes, (mostly disc in recent years) shocks, good tires, suspensions with bronze bushings, solid frames, good tapered roller bearings that would last 80,000 to 100,000 miles and only required service every 30,000 miles.

WHY WOULD I EXPECT THE Travel Trailer INDUSTRY TO BE ANY DIFFERENT????? That was my mistake and I'll admit it.

Actually the bearings requiring service every 12 months or 12,000 miles was my first clue. We already had a TT and I was to busy adding wet bolts, changing the bushings, bearings and adding shocks.

TeJay
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