Worries about long distances for my popup...

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by flyboy718, May 15, 2019.

  1. flyboy718

    flyboy718 Member

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    This might be a long post. I have a 1989 Coleman Roanoke popup; second owners for 12 years. I took it on its longest journey from Dallas to Durango, another 400 or so miles in other areas of Colorado and then back home to Dallas. Before we left, I purchased new hubs/bearings from Northern Tool and brought spare hubs/bearings with us. So, around 2,000 miles total, give or take. I worried about those little wheels, and the bearings the entire trip. Every time we stopped for gas, I was under the camper looking for a blown oil seal and feeling how hot the hubs were. When we got to our first campsite, I couldn't stand it anymore and took a tire off and popped the cap on a hub and inspected the bearings and much to my satisfaction they had plenty of grease and all was well. All the worrying was for not because we never had a problem and made it there and back just fine. I said all of that to say, I am still worrying about those little wheels! We are going again this summer, as we do every summer. I told my wife and kids we are tent camping this year and they have flat out refused. I hate going so slow....I go 65 mph and I know I should really be going like 60 mph but that's just entirely too slow! And the little wheels/bearings I can't stop worrying about! Anybody else think about this and what are your thoughts, tips, pointers?
     
  2. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I use a laser aim temp gun from HF for around $20.00. Just point, aim and shoot
    the main thing to look for is a big difference from one side compared to the other side. Saves time is is a heck of a lot more accurate than feeling with the hand. The side of the tire should give you an indication of the recommended speed and make sure you have the tire pressure as stated on the side of the tire, Take when cold)
    under inflated tires can / will cause a blowout.
     
  3. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Haha. Yes. Just yes. Absolutely. A few years ago I had a '74 popup with itty bitty 10" wheels. It did fine...Our "new" popup has bigger ones that are rated for higher speed but yeah. It bugs me. Have you thought about getting larger wheels if they fit? Then you could worry maybe 5% less.

    You might be a smidge overly concerned. But just a tad. :p
     
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  4. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure the tires are not older then 5 yaers, grease the hubs and check at stops for overheating. I don't have the heat monitor, but i put my hand on the hubs to see how hot. Radials run cooler. You will be fine.
     
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  5. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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  6. flyboy718

    flyboy718 Member

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    What is the normal operating temp for a hub? A few times we stopped to get gas and I couldn't keep my fingers in place for very long.
     
  7. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    I think you might be a bit fixated on an issue that isn't much of an issue. Taper roller bearings are a time tested technology. The total number of miles traveled on tapered roller bearings without issue far exceeds the occasional problem. If you're maintaining them, they will be fine.
     
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  8. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    IR Temp gun as mentioned above

    Wireless TPMS lets you monitor tire pressure

    Bearing buddies are a cheap way of making sure you can add grease on the fly if you need to - and a mini grease gun is easy enough to throw in the TV

    I do Montreal to South Carolina (and back) just about every year. I’ve had eventless years and bad ones. The lessons I’ve learned are

    1. Age of tires matters. I keep it to 3 years or less. They are cheap enough to swap out early.

    2. I added a second spare - hangs under the tongue. It’s good peace of mind. After a flat, I found myself stressed that another would happen and tires of that size aren’t always available. Two spares is insurance
     
  9. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    If you are really worried about the wheel bearings then you should buy some quality bearings. Not sure if I would trust bearings from Norther Tool.
     
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  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    Quality bearings are a must. I would use Timkin bearings or something similar from NAPA. I also use a laser temp gun. If you grease the bearings and have them adjusted properly, I wouldn't worry about them for a year.
     
  11. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    The hubs should not be much warmer than outside temps. There's plenty of cooling air flowing while towing. The hub that is in the sun may be a little warmer. If you can't hold them, it's past time to pull the hubs and check the bearings.
     
  12. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I took my 2008 New purchase StarCraft 14 R/T on a few long trips early on. My work let me travel on the weekends with my POPUP trailer. I would get to camp the weekends... Probably the longest trip was from here to Wichita Falls TX/Oklahoma... No problems what so ever with anything... There was a long stretch of Interstate in Northern ALA that had buckled concrete sections on the road and you couldn't drive more than 40MPH on it haha... I would look back and my popup was hoping along... Even the big truck traffic along this section was driving down the side of the road in both directions haha... I made a few trips down this section of road and one day I noticed my roof mounted air conditioner didn't look right. I checked and it was almost completely loose. Those four mounting screws through the roof were almost unscrewed haha... I would have lost the whole air conditioner on my roof... So now I check that on a regular basis...

    The only other problems I encounter early on with my POPUP trailer was my two tires were wearing funny. Had to replace them early. The problem was the angle of the shock absorbers was almost at a 45 degree angle which didn't do much for the tires... I replaced the shock absorbers as well and also repositioned the shocks at a better angle which required some new welding for the bracket... All is well now in that respect..

    [​IMG]
    Roy's image

    I am not a speedy driver when pulling anything...

    Now days I just go a couple of hundred miles on my off-road high country trips staying inside Virginia for the most part... Love the area behind Harrisonburg Virginia along the Virginia/West Virginia wooded State line border. This is a Natl Park mtn high country not too far from a popular place called FLAGPOLE Ridge... Got a great view of several mtn ridges to the West and no one bothers me... Occasionally a forest ranger guy will drive by for coffee is about the only folks I see...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson Member

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    I fussed over wheel bearings when I had my boat and trailer because the bearings were in the water so often. But as to my camper I just don't see the need to worry.
     
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  14. hometownhiker

    hometownhiker Active Member

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    I've been all over the U.S. and to Canada and back with mine, and never have had a bearing problem. I inspect for wear at the beginning of the spring, squirt a little grease in the bearing buddies and go. I always do a walk around to check for heat when I stop. Never have had to replace the 1st bearing, and literally have 10s of thousands of miles on them. Knock on wood!

    Now tires, that a different story. They wear out quickly, and need to be replaced every few years, regardless of wear or use. I always carry two spares, I've come to expect some tire changing duties on long trips,lol.
     
  15. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    You'll be fine. We take 3-6K mile trips each year and they keep on rolling. Change / repack them every few years and you will be good to go.
     
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  16. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    for comparison - us oldies remember the originall front wheel drive "Mini" - 10 INCH WHEELS: Most Minis produces before 1984 came with 3.5″ x 10″ rims and 145/80-10 tires. So 10" wheels are not inherently a problem :)
     
  17. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    This!! I think you should just relax. They will be fine. We put on new tires every 5 years and don't even replace the bearings every time, just repack them. No problems. I see people are saying new tires every 3 years, but I've never done that in all the years we've had pups. We don't even check the bearings in between tire changes and they are always full of grease. It's just not the issue it's sometimes made out to be. The only thing we do is check tire pressure before each trip.
     

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