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Old 01-28-2019, 02:36 AM   #1
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Brakes / Bearings Routines

Just responded with my suggestion in 5er forum concerning newbie brake mistake. I am curious to what others do as far as maintenance and being proactive.

What I do / have done:
I replace brake assemblies. Rebuild and prep the 'old' assemblies. On the bench. I can do a 4 wheel complete brake overhaul on side of the road in about an hour. Brakes already broke in, bearings replaced and greased. I vacuum seal in Ziploc spacesaver bags, assy are wrapped in old bath towels. Each assy marked for position. I swap brake / drum assy annually unless trailer hasn't moved *and* brake current is within specs. I modified axle wiring with locking waterproof WeatherTite connectors. Very reliable, beats wire nuts, wire clips, spade connectors, whatever else manufacturers are doing.

I always replace bearings. If I am going to go through labor of pulling, cleaning, inspecting, packing etc then I should just change them. A full set per wheel is less than $10 for my dexter axles using Timken bearings/races. Lots faster as well. I order off Amazon now, no issues so far. Time saved means more adult beverages.

I always have a full spare set of bearings and races on hand. Usually earmarked for fellow traveler, Justin Case. I also keep a spare magnet and bag of magnet clip / retainers.

My breakaway switch has warning features now.
I added a red marker light to where I can see in rearview mirror (windshield). Its wired into brakes after switch. Now features dual 921 LED bulbs that strive to burn out my retinas with the focused lens.

Then I added an electronic flasher in series after switch before light. Light flashes made it a bit easier to notice when breakaway is pulled out. Just a bit during the day but grabs attention quickly at night.

Then i added a darn loud noisemaker in parallel with light since it can be hard to see at times during the day. Mallory Sonalert. 130dB or similar. Very damn loud. Used to get at radioshack. Make sure is 12volt. Buzzer pulses with light, just depends on if buzzer is connected on supply or load side of flasher.

Last mod I did was to add a current shunt into ground side of magnet wiring. When I pull the pin, I can see what current is being drawn on companion current meter. If deviates more than 10% (due to voltage, temp) from 11.7Amps @ 13.vdc converter output then I get concerned and investigate. Usually caused by road debris severing wiring. Amp meter and shunt have come way down in price in last few years. At least for low-side shunt. High-side cheap ones are quite elusive. I test by pulling pin whenever I think about it and prior to hitching and departure. Neighbors in next site are mildly inconvenienced, but zi am leaving anyway. Meter reads anytime brakes are engaged, but I don't ask the missus to climb out and look while underway. Eventually I want to mount so I can see in rear or side mirrors. Will be backwards tho in mirror.


Yeah, old man Murphy rides with me a lot of the time...I try to keep him happy.

So...What do you do? Just bare minimum schedule and service? Or are you lucky to have brakes at all? Are you as anal / paranoid as I am? Oh yeah, I do carry the spare brake plate assemblies with me, under the trailer, in custom made box. Fits between frame rails. Was an old and freshwater tank.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:16 AM   #2
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Mine goes in once a year for bearing and brake maintenance. To each their there own, but you seem to be going the belt and suspenders approach.

I do suspect many do nothing until they feel something is no longer working properly.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:19 AM   #3
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Wow! Somebody must have lots of trouble.
I pull my hubs once a year to look at the shoes and pack the bearings. I put the brakes on in '05, wired the magnets just like I was working on trailer lights. And one trailer has run over 100,000 miles a year for over 20 years. I check every day I tow, but do not expect trouble.
I carry spare bearings, races and seals. (The bearings are packed, and stored in the can of grease.) Also carry magnet and clip.
I think if I needed lights and siren to tell me the breakaway pin was pulled I would need to stop driving...
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
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Switched to discs....break away pulled out, I'd be stopping!....And I do carry an extra bearing set and a seal......but, I like your deal....
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:50 PM   #5
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I pull the hubs at the beginning of each season, inspect and repack the bearings plus clean, inspect and adjust the brakes. I also test the break-away switch. When traveling I carry a complete set of bearings/seals along with everything necessary to replace them. I also carry an IR thermal gun and regularly check hub temps to ensure nothing is amiss. I've caught the brakes starting to drag a couple of times now with the IR gun so there is definitely value in knowing what normal temps are and then keeping track of them.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:07 AM   #6
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Have the brakes and bearings checked at the start of each season. Do a close visual inspection of each tire when the trailer comes out of storage and pressure them up to correct pressure. Install the the TPMS monitors. I carry an IR thermal gun for the occasional roadside check.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krbjmpr View Post
Are you as anal / paranoid as I am?
Since you asked...no I'm not.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:23 PM   #8
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Krbjmpr said:

"I always replace bearings. If I am going to go through labor of pulling, cleaning, inspecting, packing etc then I should just change them. A full set per wheel is less than $10 for my dexter axles using Timken bearings/races. Lots faster as well. I order off Amazon now, no issues so far. Time saved means more adult beverages."


I did the same thing when I had trailers back in the olden days.
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 60sumtin View Post
Since you asked...no I'm not.
Lol, ditto
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