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Old 07-08-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
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OutdoorsRV Bearing and Hub Heat

Does anyone test the heat coming off their Rv's hubs with a thermometer? Today while at Costco I noticed a Laser Thermometer on sale for $20.00 and thought it maybe a great thing to keep track of (I've already lost a bearing going through the mountains - really big repair bill . I do the finger test on the hub but couldn't tell you if from one time to the next if there is a difference. I've been thinking about this and think I'll create a chart showing outside temperature, road conditions and hub heat. When my dad was alive we used to pack our own bearings but not having him around anymore it's easier to take it in, but then I wonder about how well they are done.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:00 PM   #2
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I can't speak for TT owners but I use one on the tires and wheels of my DP frequently. I'm primarily looking for temps which are way out of line. The sunny side of the coach gets much warmer than the shaded side.

These are also really fun tools to find areas of the coach where you might be losing cooling/heating.

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Old 07-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #3
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Does anyone test the heat coming off their Rv's hubs with a thermometer? Today while at Costco I noticed a Laser Thermometer on sale for $20.00 and thought it maybe a great thing to keep track of (I've already lost a bearing going through the mountains - really big repair bill . I do the finger test on the hub but couldn't tell you if from one time to the next if there is a difference. I've been thinking about this and think I'll create a chart showing outside temperature, road conditions and hub heat. When my dad was alive we used to pack our own bearings but not having him around anymore it's easier to take it in, but then I wonder about how well they are done.
I use a Harbor Freight infrared thermometer every time I remember when we stop. I measure the temp at the studs or hub and primarily check for about the same temp at each wheel. In the winter they can be pretty cold, depending on the outside temperature. With outside temperatures in the 80's, I might see 100 deg. Usually the side in the sun will be a few degrees warmer. So far the process has never alerted me to an impending problem. I guess that's good!

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Old 09-21-2014, 09:48 PM   #4
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I drive an 18 wheeler for a living with over 2 million miles. I almost always check my tires and hubs every time I stop. One thing I do is rest the back of my hand on the tires and touch the wheels/hubs with my finger tips. If there is a problem that may be indicated by temperature it will be so hot you can't keep you hand/finger tips there for more than an instant. Tires can get so hot they will catch on fire. Hubs can get so hot they melt metal. Bottom line is if you can touch it and leave your hand there it is go to go temperature wise. If you can't, start looking for a problem.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:39 AM   #5
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I check temps also. But I wonder how long it takes to go from OK temp to a failure. If it only takes a few minutes then checking temps will just be luck to catch it before something fails.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:52 AM   #6
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Keep looking in your mirrors. If you see smoke obviously stop immediately! It is important to stop frequently and do a safety check especially when just starting out on a trip. I stop after just a few blocks when starting out and do a double check and then again after a few miles. I have caught things like I forgot to crank the television ant. down. I also keep my window down when starting out and at lower speeds and listen. A bearing going bad usually makes lots of noise... Some things can't be avoided, but it don't hurt to try and head things off. Again, if you don't look, you won't know.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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Many TPMS systems come with heat readings as well. I actively monitor the pressure and temperature of my trailer tires the entire trip. Any anomalies show up and alarm at a specific threshold. Good insurance. Right now I have one tire that was 20 degrees warmer than all the others. I'm going to be checking for a dragging shoe before I winterize.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:44 PM   #8
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Many TPMS systems come with heat readings as well. I actively monitor the pressure and temperature of my trailer tires the entire trip. Any anomalies show up and alarm at a specific threshold. Good insurance. Right now I have one tire that was 20 degrees warmer than all the others. I'm going to be checking for a dragging shoe before I winterize.
Don't forget that a TPMS attached to the tire's valve stem is measuring its own temperature. There will be a long time delay for the heat from an overheated wheel bearing to be seen at the TPMS sensor. The same is true wrt to the temperature of the tire itself.

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Old 09-23-2014, 12:32 AM   #9
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That's my point. You go from no heat to heat and failure before you know it's happening. Even if you have a warning, it's too late, the bearing is shot and must be replaced. So maybe you would not loose the hub and spindle but you're not going to go very far before you do. I usually go at least 200 miles between stops, lots can happen in that many miles.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:34 PM   #10
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That's my point. You go from no heat to heat and failure before you know it's happening. Even if you have a warning, it's too late, the bearing is shot and must be replaced. So maybe you would not loose the hub and spindle but you're not going to go very far before you do. I usually go at least 200 miles between stops, lots can happen in that many miles.
I check tire/hub temps every time I stop (if I remember). I actually found a bearing in the process of failing, just about 200 miles after Camping World (Houston) had repacked all bearings. So, even though the odds are long on finding an impending failure, I'll keep on checking.

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Old 09-23-2014, 11:02 PM   #11
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^^^^ Me too.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:49 PM   #12
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That's my point. You go from no heat to heat and failure before you know it's happening. Even if you have a warning, it's too late, the bearing is shot and must be replaced. So maybe you would not loose the hub and spindle but you're not going to go very far before you do. I usually go at least 200 miles between stops, lots can happen in that many miles.

Highway...when you stop at least 200 miles between stops don't forget to get fuel...funny you didn't do it before??lololol

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Old 09-28-2014, 09:35 PM   #13
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I carry one of those laser thermometers. I check every time I stop. I will sometimes use the back of my hand to check tires for heat. Looking for all of them to be about the same.

I stop and check the first 10 miles or so. Then about 30 to 40 miles later. After that, I check mirrors and check when I stop for a break or fuel.

Note: If you burn the back of your hand it hurts but you can still use the other side.
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