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Old 03-24-2014, 07:27 AM   #1
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What do you do for maintenance on your TT?

I would just like to get some input on what you all do to keep your trailers like new. Do you rotate the tires? how often do you grease the bearings? Exterior maintenance? Interior maintenance?

I would like to get some sort of annual schedule in place for mine, but I need some input.

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:50 AM   #2
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Wax the exterior once a year.

If you don't have wet-bolts on your suspension have them installed with some decent (not plastic) bushings. What's a wet-bolt? A bolt with a hole drilled through the center and a zerk fitting on the end so you can grease the bushings. Most TT's come with plastic bushings. Ours were worn out after just 2,500 miles of driving.

Hand-pack the axle wheel bearing about every 2-3 years and use a good synthetic grease. If you service them every year as they recommend you are either wasting money or opening up yourself to potential mistakes. We didn't service front wheel bearings on our vehicles every year so why do it on a TT??

If you have a zerk fitting on the end of the axle for ease of greasing the wheel bearings don't use it. Check the forums. Many a guy has serviced his wheels only to see blown out inner seals because of over and/or improper greasing.

IMHO tires, axle bearings and suspension are the most critical service issues with any TT. The very first thing I did on every TT was to remove the China bearings and install a good quality bearing. I packed them with Amsoil synthetic grease and correctly adjusted the wheel bearings clearances. I performed bearing service every 2-3 years so I could inspect the condition of the drums, shoes , magnets and other brake parts.

Protect your tires with a good tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). You will travel with more comfort. If you have a flat or low tire by the time you know (smoke or a passing motorist waving frantically at you) it's to late.

Keep in mind that your axles and tires are at their limits of carrying capacity. Our last TT had two axles rated at 3,000 lb maximum carrying capacity. Our TT was rated at 7,000 lbs. The tires were in the same category.

There's one more item that needs to be addressed. you didn't tell us what year,kind,model to TT you have. The axles used are marginal. If overloaded or if you hit a curb they are very easy to bend. That may result in bent or out of alignment ales. That will accelerate tire wear and they will wear very quickly. Always monitor your tire wear as you travel.

If you have any other specific questions just PM me.

Safe travels,
TeJay
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:39 AM   #3
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IMHO, the most important thing is checking for places where water can get in. Check the roof for cracks, holes, low spots, soft spots, etc. and repair. What you repair with will depend on the material on your roof. Other threads have discussed this. Check the seams between the roof and all penetrations for cracks. Any cracks found should be thoroughly clean and dry before resealing.

Make sure the gutters are clean and clear all debris from under the A/C shroud, antenna, etc.

Check the window frames, reefer access panel, hot water heater access, etc. for cracks or openings in the seals and reseal if necessary.

I would check these items whenever you can, not just on an annual basis.

Cheers!
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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Balancing the tires will go a long way in helping with carriage maintenance. My plastic spring bushings are fine one my 7k axles.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:03 AM   #5
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Maybe a quick tire balancing will be worth while. If I do that, can the leveling jacks support the trailer while the tires are off, or should I jack stand the axles?

The trailer is a 2012 Keystone Passport Express Super Lite. 20 foot. Everything is pretty much new, less than 1000 miles give or take. I will get under there and check the bushings and weight ratings some time soon.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
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I've never balanced tires on a new trailer. When I get replacement tires I will have them balanced. Never had an issue with original tires either. GY Marathons. If I had some off brand Jujistu tires then I would replace them.
I inspect all my exterior seals and caulking every month or so. I just take a couple mins to walk around and look. I'll drag a ladder out and check the tops of the widows and roof edges a couple times a year.
I climb on the roof a couple times a year also.
I don't worry about the wheel bearings either. I will go two seasons before checking them.
I adjust the brakes once a year.
Wax once a year.
Check the anode rod once a year.
Check the battery water every couple months.
Other than that just use it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:21 PM   #7
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is the anode bar?

I know what that is in my profession (metal finishing) but not on my camper
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goneracin View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but what is the anode bar?

I know what that is in my profession (metal finishing) but not on my camper
The anode is in the water heater. It is attached to the plug on the bottom of the tank accessed from the door on the outside of the camper.

It is a sacrificial anode meant to reduce the effect of corrosion inside the tank, extending the life of your heater. Since it is sacrificial, it will wear out relatively quickly and will need to be replaced on a periodic basis. YMMV depending on how much hot water you use.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:05 PM   #9
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Wax wax wax...

I'll wax my tt with a product called Gel-Gloss. It's both a cleaner and a wax. I'll use their Gel-Gloss HD ( heavy duty) which has added UV protectors on the decals. I use the pink labeled stuff for most of the exterior fiberglass side walls and the HD (white label) for the areas with decals.

Camping World has the stuff on sale right now. $17 for the 1/2 gallon jug is a good price. I'll wax at least 3 or 4 times over the season. If you don't wax your decals, expect them to start to fad and peel after 3-4 years. This might sound weird. But as soon as I took delivery of my new tt back two years ago, I used my fingers to press down all the edges of all the decals and warning decals on the whole unit, especially the pointed tips or leading edges of the decals.

I'll also use silicon spray on all the rubber door seals storage door seals and slide seals. To get the inner slide seal I'll stick my hand in behind the front seal and spray silicon on my fingers as I move my hand down the inner slide seal. This will keep the seals flexible and not let them dry out. I'll do this about every 2 months during the season. I'll just use the Wal-Mart red can silicon, about $2.50 a can. Just take a look at a 5 or 10 year old RV where nothing has been done and you will see the difference.

After I wash my RV I might only wax one side, or just the front end. I'll do the front cap more often to keep the bugs off.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:37 PM   #10
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Goneracin,
If you have a fifth wheel you might have leveling jacks. Usually leveling jacks can support trailer weight but not always. If you have a TT you have equalizer jacks and they are not strong enough to support the weight of your coach. Use safety stands in either case.

I forgot tire balancing as somebody mentioned. Even small vibrations that you don't feel will accelerate wear on bushings and other items as well.

TeJay
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:04 AM   #11
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The best way to keep your RV looking new is to store it undercover. I keep mine in a metal building. Weather is your enemy. You can wax, and check caulking, etc., but if you get it out of the UV when you aren't using it, you reduce all that maintenance and everything will look better longer.

As a preventative measure, get yourself one of those heat measuring gizmos so you can check your wheel bearings and tire temperatures without touching them by hand. Excessive heat is a bad sign. I check mine every few hours when traveling. Never had a problem, as I run 16" tires, but I want to catch it early if I do. My Vantage has two 4400 lb axles on a trailer that weighs 4900 lbs. That's one of the highest margins I've ever seen.

All problems are a lot easier to deal with if you catch them early.

Great advice in posts above if you've bought a rather cheap trailer. Upgrade the axles, bearings and wheels if you can. The rest of the box may be cheap, but if you have a stout frame and good undercarriage, your trailer should last, or at least be safe to travel with.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:54 PM   #12
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Easy, if it moves, lube it. If it doesn't move, clean it.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:04 PM   #13
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Is a spray 'wash & wax' liquid sufficient? or are you talking old school waxing....wax on/wax off??
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:07 PM   #14
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Annual maintenance, hand pack wheel bearings, check and adjust brakes, completely check tires for bad spots, cracks, road damage, air pressure, wheels for cracks, curb damage, etc. Check electrolyte level in batteries and add distilled water as needed.
Sanitize fresh water tank, check to see if all systems are working properly(make sure no critter nests in any of the appliance exhaust ducts), check for water leaks, change anode rod if hot water heater is Suburban (Atwood has no anode). Wash roof and treat if needed, check caulking on all seams and recaulk as needed. Wash outside and wax. Lubricate steps. Check all lights and rebulb or repair those that aren't working(inside and out).
Clean inside as needed, such as sweep carpet(scrub if needed), scrub toilet, and shower, wash down walls and ceiling if needed and material is washable. wash and wax flooring that isn't carpet.
All of the above is spring maintenance.
Wash and treat roof, wash and wax outside. winterize, clean inside for winter storage.
This is fall maintenance.
Frank
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