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Old 07-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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She's dead, Jim.

My partner and I were on our way back from Galena IL yesterday, and we suffered a catastrophic hub failure of the driver's side hub. The wheel sheared through 3 of the 4 axle bolts, throwing the wheel up into wheel well above the remains of the hub.

Two of the lugs were brand new, as this exact same issue happened Friday night as we pulled into the campground. We chalked it up to mechanical failure on the axle bolts, hunted around Dubuque, IA on Sunday and got her up and running again. A second opinion at the time confirmed my analysis that the hub was okay - grease looked good, spun freely, bearing packs were not significantly worn (since they were repacked two years ago and only had about 200 miles on them), and there were no other obvious issues.

Once we left the campground, she pulled straight and fine behind us. A brief check after about twenty minutes on the road showed the new axle bolts holding fine and true, and we were under way again.

As we came around the big turn into Elizabeth IL, the driver's side wheel sheared loose repeating our experience from Friday night. We were stuck, all of our gear in the trailer and four adults in the truck. I managed to get a look and a feel underneath, and the hub was frozen. What grease was still present was the equivalent of 10w50 motor oil.

Faced with this situation, and the fact that a tow + new axle for the trailer would have easily cost more than the trailer itself three times over, we made the difficult decision to scrap her on the spot. We stripped out what we could, and let the salvage guy have the rest.

So, while we are extremely grateful that neither us nor anyone else was hurt or injured, we are a bit sad that our faithful companion has gone to the Scrapyard in the sky. We learned a lot from her about the things that work for us, the things that don't, and the things we want/need in our RV. now, it's time to save some more currency and find a new Companion.

Be safe out there folks. Despite our best efforts, the risk of disaster is never far away.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #2
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Free spirited...

Sounds like a great adventure, I am sure there is something great out there for you.
Keep us posted what you find.
I use Craigslist a lot.
Good Luck Jim
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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Free spirited...

Sounds like a great adventure, I am sure there is something great out there for you.
Keep us posted what you find.
I use Craigslist a lot.
Good Luck Jim
Aye, thank you for the warm wishes. After all, it isn't the destination, it's the journey.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Well, what a bummer. Sorry to hear that the Trailstar has gone to that big salvage yard in the sky. Hope you can find a new rig soon.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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After all, it isn't the destination, it's the journey.
You've got the right attitude This could be just the opportunity you've been looking for to get something totally different to restore and enjoy

- Randy
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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Dang that sucks. I live in Galena. Never an easy decision to let old faithful go
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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Sounds like grade 5 bolts to me.. Grade 8 harder to snap.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:06 PM   #8
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You've got the right attitude This could be just the opportunity you've been looking for to get something totally different to restore and enjoy

- Randy
Couldn't agree more, Randy. In retrospect, this did save us a potential disaster on our honeymoon in September, and made our (potential) relocation plans a tad bit easier.

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Dang that sucks. I live in Galena. Never an easy decision to let old faithful go
Small world indeed! We stayed at the Palace Campgrounds, and their hospitality was amazing. Especially when we broke down in their driveway Friday evening. Highly recommended to anyone passing through that area.

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Sounds like grade 5 bolts to me.. Grade 8 harder to snap.
Aye, the old bolts were Grade 5. We replaced the missing ones with Grade 8's, but I can't help but wonder if the damage was already done and the strain was too much.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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That is possible, sometimes when bolts snap like that the hole enlarges.. When that happens there is some movement that should not be and teh shock snaps even the better bolt. There are some other considerations as well, Like how much of the bolt is threaded..

I use quarter inch grade 8 bolts as shear pins in my main slide out, Used to call them toothpicks cause they snapped like toothpicks, Finally learned about theads (keep them out of the shear area) and got longer bolts, added washers to make up for the lack of threads and started replacing them far, far, far less often. I stil buy 'em by the dozen though.. just not every year. Thanks to another forum member for the info on the smooth v/s threaded portion of the bolt.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:44 AM   #10
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Bummer, as you said though, I am glad you are safe!
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