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Old 02 October 2014, 17:28   #1
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Anyone use seperate road hubs?

I tow to Cornwall 350miles each way a couple of times a year.

I have Alko pressed in "sealed for life" bearings. I'm sure there's only so many times you can press new bearings in to the hubs?

About 3 seasons ago I thought, after 4 or 5 replacements, I should buy new hubs. Then I thought - the old bearings aren't grumbling so I could continue to use these for putting in and taking out and use the new hubs (they came complete with bearings) for long road trips.

Sounds like a faff but I already had a trolley jack and torque wrench in my travel kit and I rarely do single boat days. I usually do weekenders in wales and leave the boat in or Cornwall a week at a time on a mooring also.

This year I got another wheel so (I know this may sound crackers to some!) I've now got a pair of road wheels bolted to a pair of road hubs c/w bearings that have never seen salt water. Probably got 6,000miles on and look like new.

I can swap the lot in about 15 min. Only ongoing cost is a set of one shot nuts for each return journey.

For those with this type of bearing who tow long distance, it gives great piece of mind. And, by default, I'm checking the condition of my break parts each time I launch.

So......anyone else carry road hubs in this way or do you all think it's overkill !?!

Admittedly, this wouldn't work if you do regular single day trips to a crowded slip where there's no faff area nearby!
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Old 02 October 2014, 17:43   #2
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Never heard of that one before! I don't have a slip where we go but since getting a braked trailer I just eat lots of spinach and don't get my wheels wet !! More of a faff but easier on my pocket and I sleep better.
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Old 02 October 2014, 17:48   #3
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So much easier having bearing savers and taper rollers.

Really, I don't understand why everyone doesn't do it.
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Old 02 October 2014, 17:54   #4
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Quote:
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So much easier having bearing savers and taper rollers.

Really, I don't understand why everyone doesn't do it.
Completely agree. Easy to work on and cheap but these 'sealed for life' seem to be everywhere & fitted when you buy a trailer !!

Is it a big job to swop to those ?
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Old 02 October 2014, 18:06   #5
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It's the way ahead,

I'm in the same boat (excuse the pun) I'll be towing a long way after dunking the trailer.

A few years ago I'd towed my RIB back from Scotland and four chavs in a Nova wound their window down at a roundabout and said "your wheel's on fire". I thought they were winding me up- my wheel was belching smoke which wasn't obvious until I'd stopped at the roundabout.

I was only a mile from where I stored it and was on my hands and knees trying to cool the brake drum with wet leaves (the drum was buggered after).

I got quite good at changing bearings coming back from Scotland on the M6 in the pouring rain on the hard shoulder.

To be fair I had fitted cheap bearings and didn't have bearing savers.


It's not a daft idea, I'm building an unbraked trailer and I've got a selection of old suspension units off traffic lights/trailers which will do for launching after a long drive and keep the new units for the 400 odd mile drive back.


All the best,

Jim
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Old 03 October 2014, 01:23   #6
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ive got two sets of parts. brand new wheels drums and backplates for on the road (twice a year) and old drums along with old wheels which i had galvanised for use when launching. last winter i modified my brakes so that the backplates are removable. i always used to remove all the internal parts of the brakes anyway for the summer (kept on caravan site) but the backplates and adjusters were always a mess even with flushing, the job is now only around 20 mins instead of over an hour to swap everything over as the shoes and even the cables stay mounted to the plate.
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Old 03 October 2014, 01:59   #7
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Quote:
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So much easier having bearing savers and taper rollers.

Really, I don't understand why everyone doesn't do it.
With a spare hub along that is already greased and ready to go, sure it is a good design. Any trailer bearing can fail.

One of the tricks with bearing buddies is to let them cool some before launching and give it a couple pumps of grease right before launching.
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Old 03 October 2014, 02:11   #8
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I've done a few spare wheel carriers that involves welding a stub axle to a bracket, then fitting a fully made up hub and wheel.
If you have a problem with the bearing, one big nut in the middle, change the lot and rotate your wheel in the process
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Old 03 October 2014, 02:11   #9
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So much easier having bearing savers and taper rollers.

Really, I don't understand why everyone doesn't do it.
Never felt the need
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Old 03 October 2014, 02:39   #10
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I've done a few spare wheel carriers that involves welding a stub axle to a bracket, then fitting a fully made up hub and wheel.
If you have a problem with the bearing, one big nut in the middle, change the lot and rotate your wheel in the process
That is one of my future projects as I now have the axle and hub in hand. Unfortunately there is a home remodel in process, so it will be when I take a break. In the mean time, I throw the hub and greased bearings into the tow vehicle for now.

A couple weekends ago we spied an Avon on a trailer missing one hub, wheel, and bearings, left in a fairly safe parking lot. That could make for a miserable outing if it can not be fixed on the spot in a location that is not good to leave a boat and gear.
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Old 03 October 2014, 11:10   #11
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Well it's good to know I'm not the only one that's got wheel bearing OCD!

My nerves start jangling on new bearings even after a couple of launches. Mainly because I had a trailer years ago that I wouldn't get a season out of the bearings. To be fair that turned out to be overloaded aswell as being dipped in saltwater pretty much every weekend.

Festinhouse - your set up far exceeds mine and sounds like the ultimate piece of mind for long trips.

Nos 4r2 - Paddler is right.... Sometimes the boat you want comes with the trailer you don't want and I reckon my method is the only way to be completely confident those sealed for life bearings are gonna go 400 miles without self combusting!

Only trouble is that 2 x wheels and hubs can be a pain to store when you've got 5 peoples camping gear in the back of the truck so I reckon Biffer's spare wheel bracket x2 could be next project.
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Old 03 October 2014, 12:37   #12
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+1 for biffers bracket. I have been gathering bits to do just this to one of our trailers that is currently under modification.

PS. I was going to use a large 1" bolt welded to a plate rather than a stub axle as a carrier .
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Old 03 October 2014, 14:22   #13
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Anyone care to share some spare tire/hub carrier photos please?

Here is one I found for purchase. Spare Tire Carriers with Hubs


Most boat trailers today come with a spare tire mount, and small trailers just need a U bolt. I have had a spare for every trailer. Plus I always carry a tie down strap to tie up an axle on a tandem, or the many other uses tie downs have. I have carried spare bearings and a seal, but swapping races in the field requires more than a few tools. Swapping a hub requires one tool. You need a hammer to knock the bearing buddy off (Adjustable wrench), a tool to bend the cotter pin straight and push it out to be reused/or replaced (Adjustable wrench), and a wrench to loosen and tighten the axle nut (Adjustable wrench).

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PS. I was going to use a large 1" bolt welded to a plate rather than a stub axle as a carrier .
There is always a possibility the spare stub axle could be cut off the spare tire mount, and used to get you home. Welding businesses are not always that hard to find. Heck some Jeeps and other 4x4's are set up to weld. In our rock crawlin' crew we had three welders and enough spare parts to fix the common failures.
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Old 03 October 2014, 14:33   #14
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That pic says it all really, mine were in stainless but more or less the same
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Old 03 October 2014, 14:36   #15
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welding at home is all well and good.....but on the side of the road !, this is the point that I would call the big yellow taxi in.
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Old 03 October 2014, 14:48   #16
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I reckon ribnetters are in the minority when it comes to spare equipment for trailers.
You wouldn't believe the amount of boaters I've come across that don't even carry a spare wheel!!

Seems Peter C is on his way to having a mobile engineering works in his emergency kit!

I say whatever you can do to keep everyone safe and your trailer moving has got to be a good idea.
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Old 03 October 2014, 14:49   #17
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welding at home is all well and good.....but on the side of the road !, this is the point that I would call the big yellow taxi in.
To us the cost difference is substantial. Maybe $90 for taking it to a welder, or a little more for calling a welder out, vs $450 for a tow ride home, depending on distance.
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Old 03 October 2014, 15:24   #18
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The main problem I have with the 'sealed for life' bearings is the lack of access to grease and service the damn things!
Bought an SBS ex demo trailer last year and I'm really pleased with it. Do the usual on our run North, stop after an hour for a coffee/cigar/pee and check the hubs for heat/straps etc. Usual checks prior to setting off check the handbrake and jack the trailer up & spin the wheels . BUT when I had a twin axle un-braked I could remove all the hubs visually check them re-grease then put them back happy or replace as needed for a few quid !
As a result I don't put the wheels in the salty stuff at all. A bit of a chew but manageable where we launch on the beach.
Is this OCD or paranoia ???
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