Archived Trailer Guys Questions
Five years ago I bought an almost new Bear brand dual axle trailer for my Manitou 24' pontoon boat and Johnson 70 HP outboard. The trailer is their model 24T. I have kept the bearings greased faithfully, have recently put Buddy Bearings on all wheels. The trailer data plate indicates that the max load for the trailer/boat/motor is 3500 pounds with the factory 20.5x8-10 tires. The hubs are 5 bolt, and the distance between one bolt and the next adjacent bolt is 2 & 9/16?. I took the boat and trailer across a set of commercial scales recently and got a normal towing weight reading of 3850 pounds with 1/2 tank of fuel for everything combined. Over the past 3 years I have had nothing but problems with the bearings in this trailer. The seals seem to be constantly leaking and when I get to my destination, the wheels are covered with grease. I've had one bearing failure and replaced all of the bearings when that happened. I just can't trust the trailer anymore and I don't feel confident with taking it on long trips to Arkansas from Iowa anymore either. I had a mechanic recently tell me (in Arkansas), after he packed the bearings for the trip back to Iowa, that the bearings were pretty "light" in this trailer and never meant to carry the weight that I have on it, and with the high revolution speed - due to the small diameter tires - the bearings aren't going to hold up. I can't afford to buy another trailer, nor would I want to sell this one to someone else to have the same trouble as me. The trailer is like new otherwise. D. Brees, Lehigh, IA
I have an Eagle Trailer under a 20 foot Grady White. The entire rig weighs about 4,600 lbs. The trailer and boat were purchased new in February of 2001. The trailer is equipped with tandem torsion axles. The front of the trailer is about 1 inch higher than the back of the trailer when it is attached to the tow vehicle hitch, so it is fairly level. The problem is as follows: The trailer came equipped with Carlisle tires (205/75 R14 load range C). This spring when repacking the bearings I noticed the left front axle tire had a deformed tread area. The local trailer shop said it was belt separation. On the way up to Canada (about 7 hours into a 10 our drive) the right front axle tire (Carlisle) had what appeared to be a serious belt failure because the tire disintegrated where the tread meets the sided wall. Upon return home after the trip, I inspected all the tires. I noticed the left tire (Carlisle) on the front axle (only about 25 hours of road time - spare that replaced the first tire problem) was showing belt separation also. The Goodyear tire that replaced the tire that failed in transit was fine. The two original tires on the rear axle are Carlisle and are fine. What is causing the tire failures on the front axle? M. Manion, Cleveland, OH
I have a dual axle trailer and I make it a point to always check tire inflation. But the front tire on the right side of the trailer is wearing on the inside while the other three tires are fine. What am I doing wrong? D. Everette, Rockville, MD
Do trailer tires have a guaranteed mileage as car tires do? I ask because a dealer I am thinking about buying new boat trailer tires from says these will be good for 3,500 miles. I did a double take and asked if he meant 35,000 miles and he said no, its 3,500. What gives? D. Sanders, Oklahoma City, OK
I have taken the wheels off my trailer and covered the hubs with plastic. The trailer sits outside. My son came home today and said I oughta poke a hole in the bottom of the plastic since moisture can accumulate. Does he have a point? D. Johnson, Collier, CO
This is a question about lubricating the wheel bearings. On my trailer the hub cap has a rubber cover that when removed reveals a grease fitting. This grease fitting directs the grease between the hub and axle between the two bearings. The manual directs that grease be added until the overflow comes out the outer bearing. What I want to know is if I can use a bearing buddy on a hub like this? The bearing buddy will fill up the cavity outside the outer bearing. Does the grease fitting need to be removed to allow the grease under pressure by the bearing buddy find its way into the axle and then the hub and bearings?
Guys, I have been told that I should have my trailer's wheel bearings repacked every other year. I have owned my current boat for two seasons now and am wondering if this repacking is necessary. I had the factory install bearing buddies when the trailer was manufactured. I have not had any seal leaking problems and always check the temperature of the bearings on the way to the lake (about 200 miles one way). I have made it a practice to squirt in a shot of grease before leaving the ramp to displace any water that might have entered the bearings. As this season approaches I am wondering if I need to add this to my list of pre-season checks. We are using our trailer in freshwater. T. McCauley, Grand Junction, CO
What is better to do: disassemble and repack my bearings at the end of the season or do it at the beginning of the season? The trailer sits outside for about four months (Nov-March) without being moved.
Mike/George: I'd like to install Tiedown Engineering's TURBO-LUBE oil filled hubs with Tiedown's GALV-X free backing brakes on my Venture tandem axle trailer. However, searching the catalogs/websites, I can not detremine where/how the brake drums are installed? Can the TURBO-LUBE hubs be used with surge brakes?
My tandem trailer tires are 5 years old and I store the boat outdoors. Starting to see small cracks in the sidewalls so I am going to replace them. Is it a good idea to replace the galvanized rims too? Is there any value to getting the same size tire with a higher weight rating - 1760#s vs 1820#s?
I have a 1989 TeeNee trailer,model vl600, 600lb. capacity and want to put complete new axle hubs on it but can't find out the specifications for them because the company is no longer in business . I've searched on-line but can't find the info anywhere, can you HELP! Its been very frustating. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of oil filled bearings versus bearing buddies on a boat trailer that is put in both fresh water and salt water and sees at least 1500 miles of travel per year. Single axle trailer with about 1500 lbs of boat.
I've owned my Custom Haul trailer since 1996. It came with Bearing Buddies. I check them everytime I tow. I keep the grease at proper level and check the temperature before backing into water. Everything has always been OK. I've never repacked the bearings. Am I living on borrowed time? The Bearing Buddy people say I'm OK.
I have a dual axel trail w/ bearing buddies on it. I have been filling they up at the beginning and end of the season. Should I still add more grease during the season even though the "blue" inner part is mostly showing, If so how often? monthly, or after each tow???
Hi Guys, I removed my trailer wheels and put them inside for the winter. now I'm looking at the rusting hubs. I thought I read I should wrap them in plastic for the winter. Should I wire brush them and then coat them with grease first? or do nothing? thanks, fishnmitch
I want to change my wheel bearings from grease to oil filled. Do you have a list of manufacturers of oil filled bearings? I am 71 and have arthritis in my hands. Want to make my trailer maintenance a little easier.
I WAS BRING MY BOAT HOME FOR MAINTENANCE, A TRIP OF 30 MILES. AFTER LOADING THE BOAT AND TRAVELING ABOUT 20 MILES I CAME TO A STOP SIGN AND WAS IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING A RIGHT TURN. AS I STARTED MAKING THE TURN I HARD A SCRAPPING NOISE AND THE TRAILER'S LEFT TIRE WENT STRAIGHT AHEAD AS I TURNED. I HAD NO WARNING THAT ANYTHING WAS WRONG. ALL FIVE LUG BOLTS HAD COME OUT AND AS THE WHEEL CAME OFF IT TOOK THE BEARING BUDDY WITH IT. THE WHEEL AND TIRE WERE RECOVERED ACROSS THE HIGHWAY I WAS TURNING ONTO. I DID NOT FIND ANY OF THE LUG BOLTS OR THE BEARING BUDDY. I HAVE LOST LUG NUTS ON TRAILERS IN THE PAST. UP TO FOUR OF FIVE AND HAD TIRE WOBBLE, BUT NOT LOST THE WHEEL. THIS IS THE FIRST TRAILER I HAVE HAD THAT USED LUG BOLTS. DO YOU THINK THAT IF I HAD STUDS AND NUT I WOULD HAVE HAD SOME WARNING BEFORE THE WHEEL CAME OFF? GEORGE, DO YOU USE LUG BOLTS OR NUTS AND STUDS OR A MIX AT AMERICAN? JERRY GRANT, ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Hello. I will be trailering my 16' Carolina Skiff to Florida - a distance of some 1,000. A few days ago, I replaced the old bearings, the races, and the rear seal. I tried to be sure to pack the bearings well with marine grease. I then drove the trailer (without the boat) for about 20 miles at 60 MPH. When, I got back home and put my hand on the hub, both hubs were warm. Question: Is it normal for the bearings to heat up somewhat in this short distance, or do I have a problem (maybe too tight? - though if I unscrew the axle bolt one knotch so that the cotter pin fits, the hub seems too loose). Another question: With bearing buddies on the hub, how can I determine the proper amount of grease being put in without damaging the rear seal? Thanks, Richard
I have a 24' Four Winns on a tandum trailer. I had to replace two of the tires while out of town and could not find a trailer tire. NTW put two car tires on the trailer and the weight rating is within the weight of the boat. I was wanting to be sure that a car tire will work on a trailer, it pulled good on the way home. It just does not have the T on the tire. Any help would be appricated, before I start out this season. Mike Nall
I have been having terrible luck with Goodyear Marathon trailer tires. I have a tandem axle Owen and Sons custom trailer with 215/R14 load range C Marathon tires that are only 6 months old and they have been blowing every other trip. I keep the 23' boat stored inside and well maintained. Are there problems with this brand of tire and are there other brands or different models for 14 inch rims. Any recommendations would be great. Thanks for your time, Jack
I have two trailers one 8300 lb trailer and a 1000 lb trailer. Could you tell me what the torque should be on the lug nuts on the wheels and is it the same on both trailers. I am looking at buying a air impact wrench to put them on with because my hands and arms have arthritis in them so it is painful to tighten with a wrench. Do I need a torque wrench. How do you know if it is torqued enough without a torque wrench. I have not had a problem with lug nuts coming off or loosening up. I do put them on pretty tight buy hand. Arthur Gilford, N.H.
I have just completed installing new bearings, new pads, new capilers and a new brake actuator on my trailer. The trailer has disc brakes on both axels and a "Disc Brake Ready" actuactor. After a short test drive, the rear axel gets hot while the front axel is much cooler. I can only hold my fingers omn the rear axel for about 3 seconds. System has been bled and all wheels are spinning freely although the front axel wheels seem to spin more easily then the rear wheels when the trailer is jacked up, about a 1/2 turn more. Do you any idea what could be causing the rear axel to run hotter then the front? Is this normal? Thanks in advance. Dennis Leary Randolph, NJ
Even though I've been really good at lubing my single axle trailer bearings - I did have a blow out the other night. Friends have suggested I simply replace the entire hub assemble rather than trying to replace the older and /or borken parts. I was wondering if you knew of anywhere on the net that provided a simple instruction on replacing the entire hub - thanks
I notice that trailer tires of the same size designation vary in diameter between manufacturers. Example: for ST205/75D15 tires Carlisle shows a diameter of 27" & TaskMaster 27.91". Question 1)Will this difference in diameters cause a problem on a single axle trailer if a Carlisle tire is on one side & a TaskMaster on the other (the trailer mfg thinks it is ok)? 2) Why aren't the specs the same or is this within accepted tolerances? Tks
I have a MagicTilt trailer with unusual tire wear patterns on the curb side. (I am trailering a 20' Carolina Skiff with a 4stroke, 90hp Honda) Tire wear pattern appears to be excessive wear and cupping the inside 2 inches of the tire and simply excessive wearing on the second tread from the outside. Tire is balanced and I have maintained proper inflation at all times. Showing this wear at less than 3000 miles on a new tire.
I pull a tandem axile Rolls Axile co. trailor rated at #6000. The boat is a 82 22' Cobia Cutty. Wt approx. #4000 loaded with gear and fuel. I've had 3 blow outs on the rear tires of the trailor. They are Goodyear Marathon r205 14. The tires have been replaced by Goodyear and one of the replacemnets even blew. The trailor is level and appears to have even wt on front and back tires. Whats up? The tires have very low milage. Worst problem the blow out also distroyes my lights from all the tread flying.
It's time to service my bearings, etc. and am seriously considering replacing them with those from Turbo Lube. Would love to know your thoughts on them. I mostly sail in freash water and my boat does a lot more sitting than traveling. I probably average 3 or 4 100-200 mile trips each season. Thanks............RGS