Only 30 miles from home or where's my wheel?

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by mtmdc2, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. mtmdc2

    mtmdc2 New Member

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    We went on a last minute trip to itchetucknee springs campground near Lake City, Florida for Labor Day weekend. I'll do a separate post rating the campground. We were able to get last minute reservations thanks to Hurricane Herminone. Unfortunately that led to lots of rain but Sunday and Monday were decent.

    While driving home (yep, only 30 miles from home) literally one exit away from our turnoff I felt a sudden but gentle jolt from the pop up. I thought we'd hit something on the road. I checked the rear view mirror and the pop up was clearly tilted low on the passenger side. I pulled into the breakdown lane very quickly and went back to check it expecting a flat tire.

    Instead I found the entire wheel had separated and all the lug bolts had sheared off at the hub! The wheel and tire (undamaged except for some widening of the lug bolt holes) were trapped in the wheel well a bit toe out. Fortunately the rain squall had the road wet and I think the tire hydroplaned as we pulled over.

    So there we were, about 6pm on Labor Day broken down on the side of I-275. thank God I had AAA with the RV extra package. A flatbed arrived about an hour later and got it to our neighborhood mechanic. I was sorely tempted to attempt repairs myself but I thought it would be better to have someone who does this for a living check for damage to bearings, brakes, axle, etc.

    The mechanic told me my wheels were loose and the right one was probably wobbling which sheared the lug bolts one by one and caused the failure. When he checked the other side he said the other wheel was loose and told me the lug nuts should be torqued to 100 ft/lbs before every trip since he says they can loosen over time. He also recommended re-torquing the lug nuts after every 500 miles of driving. Seems like overkill to me but hey, I'm no mechanic.

    He also replaced my brake assemblies (he said right was damaged but better to replace both) put on new bearings on both sides, greased everything up and then put on Bearing Buddies on both sides. I'm not sure I like those. They block the zerk fitting for greasing the bearings (easy lube axle) and I'm not convince the pop up needs them. They are more for boat trailers which can get water intrusion in the bearings. I may remove them.

    He also advised greasing the Bearing Buddies before every trip and re packing the bearings every year. Again isn't that a bit of overkill?

    All in all it was about $700 in repairs. An expensive lesson I'd better learn from!
     

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  2. jjmac

    jjmac Member

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    Tightening lug nuts before every trip and repacking your bearings once a year aren't overkill, it's pretty much accepted routine maintenance. Tightening every 500 miles is not bad advice either if you're on a trip that's going to cross that threshold, it only takes a minute of your time to do.

    I can't say anything about bearing buddies, I never had them nor have I ever thought I needed them on any of my pups.
     
  3. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    All you need was a new drum that comes with lugs. and lube maintenance as well. Bearing buddies are for trailers with boat... not popup... You still have to take the bearings out annually to clean them out and relube them.
     
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We had a wheel fly off on our first pup - less than 25 miles from home. We had not re-tightened the lug nuts after having new tires installed. We now have a torque wrench as part of the tool kit, and check torque when we get home from the tire place, after 10, 25, and about 50 miles. On our second pup, after the third check, the lug nuts were stable. On the TT, it seems to be after the first or second one.
     
  5. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

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    bearing buddies are for any trailer, my pup came with them, you just use different grease for the different type trailers..(water proof for boats )
    I have them on all my trailers...but I also re-torque lugs after every trip when I park it..none have ever been lose.
     
  6. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Bearing Buddies keep 2-3 pounds of force on the grease pushing it against the inside seal I don't need that.
    I wouldn't use them.
     
  7. mtmdc2

    mtmdc2 New Member

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    That's what I thought! Thy are to prevent water getting into boat trailers. The guy who installed them does a lot of boat trailer work. I think I may remove them.
     

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