Trailer bearing lubrication - frequency? - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Trailer bearing lubrication - frequency?

My manual states lube the bearings (12" wheels) every 2500 miles.

OK, I have done this after the last two trips, each in excess of 2500 miles.

Each time I tear them down, there is no evidence they need grease...they look pretty much like the last time I greased them.

On the other hand, I see boats and RV trailers ALL THE TIME on side of the road with bad hubs due to bearing neglect.

So....what is a realistic bearing lube interval on these little M/C trailers? Clearly 2500 is not a realistic number but it keeps the MFG out of trouble.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 07:09 PM
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My hubs have a grease nipple. I grease them in the spring/ visually inspect every 2-3 years.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 07:20 PM
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just so we don't have allot of redundant information, and my fingers get wore out from typing it all over again.

please read this thread ...
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 07:58 PM
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The Tailwind recommended service intervals are 150,000 miles.

The fleet leader, my demo, now has 268,000 miles on it and has never been serviced. It is planned to do its first service at 300,000 miles which should be in 2014.

It has had 5 sets of tires and a set of Taillight bulbs.

Double drilled spindles, correct seals, Genuine Timken bearings,

The Demo Tailwind is in daily service as a pickup truck.

Below, first two layers of steel tube have been unloaded and two more to go of larger tubes.

Bearing Buddies or other pressure lubricated systems for trailer wheels are not recommended for long distance highway work. What they are good for is trailers that are submerged like to unload boats and he pressure inside keeps the water out.

When going down the highway, these pressure systems cause high lip loading on the seals and they in turn wear themselves and the seal surface of the spindle. Short hops in the slop and rain, fine with these pressure systems.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Tom Finch;3851178]The Tailwind recommended service intervals are 150,000 miles.

So what is different about tailwind hubs that they don't need service except at 150K? I mean, in my life, I would NEVER put that many miles on the trailer; I do maybe 3k every year, at best.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 11:29 PM
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It is not just the hubs. The Tailwind is a fairly complete machine. The trailing arms are carried on widely spaced sealed ball bearing sets. The Wheels rotate on genuine Timken tapered roller bearings that are mounted on precision 1.0000- 0.9995 diameter spindles that are double drilled to provide 12 positions of the adjusting nut for accurate positioning. The Seals are exactly the correct size, a rare happening in most trailers. The Toggle Beam pivots on precision sintered metal flanged bearings. The lid Hinge is mounted on a torque tube which contains sintered metal bronze bearings pivoting on a 29.5" stainless hinge pin.

The Body is made of aerospace pre preg 7781 E Glass Cloth and is thermally cured with 501 epoxy system which provides a tensile strength in the range of 90,000 PSI and it will not creep, so the lid and body remain in the same relationship for life.

The tires do wear out in about 50,000 miles. The Gas Springs that hold the lid up last from 5 to 7 years. The Demo Tailwind has 268,000 miles on it and all three shock absorbers are original and still fine.

The tire servicing system has an air compressor with long life parts that is designed to produce 150 PSI, but we limit it to 65 PSI via a precision pressure transducer from Transducers Direct. The Battery in the trailer is an AGM unit that has very long life. The wiring is protected by two 10 amp automatic resetting circuit breakers. The battery, compressor, taillights, turn lights, and brake lights are all operated by 30 amp Bosch type relays. The air system is a demand type and is activated by an LED annunciated rocker switch. There is a charging port also and all items in the trailer run only from the Trailer's battery. This battery is automatically charged when the bike is turned on.

I hope you get to do a lot more miles when the golden years come. I guess it helps to be a motorcycle touring addict like me but even as busy as I am, I still put on abut 25,000 miles a year and I never ever ride without a trailer.

You will hear that most Tailwind owners do not take the trailer off the bike. The bike/trailer rig becomes the primary transportation unless bad weather or the need to transport children dictates a larger vehicle.

I realize that life's various stages dictate our transportation more times than not. I count my blessings.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 09:37 AM
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Tim - I'm just starting out trailering with the Wing but I've pulled trailers with cages for many years. This service certainly is a function of miles and conditions but my plan is to pack the bearings (do you have a bearing packer?) correctly and replace the seals each spring. Seals are just a few dollars each. If I end up trailering more than expected I'll pack the bearings again mid summer. I wouldn't hesitate to use my trailer 5K - 7K between bearing services and I probably won't pull it that much each year.
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