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Old 02-14-2020, 09:30 AM   #1
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Brakes and bearings?

I have an Airstream Flying Cloud. I am new at this. How often should I have the brakes and bearing inspected? Is there a trailer maintenance schedule similar to what a car has?
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antnee51 View Post
I have an Airstream Flying Cloud. I am new at this. How often should I have the brakes and bearing inspected? Is there a trailer maintenance schedule similar to what a car has?
I don't have survey results to back this up, but most people service their bearings and visually check their brakes annually before the beginning of camping season. The bearings are lubed at that time. If you really run up a lot of miles you might want to do it more frequently.

Any mechanic should be able to do this but that means you'll have to pull the RV down to the shop and leave it there.

I think most owners do it themselves but that depends on your mechanical ability. It's not a complex job.

Personally I have found it is cost effective to just replace the whole shoe style brake assembly than it is to replace parts. Also I hate working on that type of brake. Replacing the whole assembly only requires removing 3 or 4 bolts pulling the old one off and sticking the new one on. Plus splicing the wires. No messing around with all those #$@!^ springs.

Disk brakes are easy.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:44 AM   #3
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I go by the 2 years or 15,000 miles plan and have had no issues. I always stop after a few miles and feel the rims near the bearings for temperature. A hot one indicates impending trouble. At the same time I feel the outside edge of the drum and If one is cold then I know the brake on that wheel is not working. You also get a feel for whether they need adjusting by how warm each wheel is, they should be all very close in temperature.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:15 PM   #4
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An infrared thermometer is your friend on the road, at fuel stops, rest stops etc take a second and check hub & drum temperatures.
Temperature is the tattletale of bearing issues, if a hub is markedly hotter than the others chances are a bearing is too tight, lacks lubrication etc. Check it asap. Same with drum temps.
I do my wheel bearings at the start of each season (clean, repack and new double lip seals).
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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Once a year is safest. I have been full timing for 10 years and Have heard many people talk about thermal temp guns. I have found that I'm quite happy with my TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system). This will tell you pressure and temperture.
Now before you folks start telling me that the gun is much cheaper than the TPMS I agree with you. I also believe that the gun will not get used after a couple of times. I know I wouldn't. I lube and check things every 3 - 6 months.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:48 AM   #6
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I get out at every stop and place my hand on my MH and tow dolly tires. If one is hotter then the other, I will be concerned.

I don't need a thermal gun to do that.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:45 PM   #7
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Tire temps dont correlate in the least to hub/bearing/drum temps. Tire temp can be in a normal range while your bearings are turning blue, purple and straw colored. They typically come apart shortly thereafter.
Temps of all 3 items should be paid attention to IMO.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:55 PM   #8
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We've had our TT about 3 years now. It doesn't get taken out as much as we'd like, and usually not far.
The first spring we had it, we took a big road trip, NC to SW AR, over to TN, then back to NC.
Last year, we we're heading to our annual family reunion in ME. I redid the bearing and replaced the brakes.
We're heading to NJ this summer for the big shin dig, so I'l redo the bearings and check out the brakes while I have the wheels off.
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