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 > Travelling from Nevada to Alaska in the Middle of Winter

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Pipsfc

Nevada

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Posted: 01/19/21 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Pipsfc wrote:

Geez!! I was just looking into a local guy who can repack my bearings and he charges $125 per hour. I just learned about ez lube fittings and wondering if mine has them. I'll have to check when I get home.


Be careful with EZ Lubes or bearing buddys. They're good as long as you dont' overfill and blow out the rear seal.
I'd think any trailer shop would do it, but yeah, probably cost a couple hundo for $4 worth of grease and a couple hours of your time.
Hope you send a trip report, I LOVE that drive. Did one in mid "spring" and only hit snow for maybe 500mi of the trip. Towing a trailer, but driving in snow doesn't bother me.
Chains are good, if you hit some warmer weather and ice. Otherwise, cold weather aint that slick.

Since you're taking the camper, I'd have a small generator and the propane filled. Worst case, you have warm shelter to "camp" in if something happens.
Your truck will be fine. OE block heater is good down to -40 I'd say. All the other stuff, pan heaters, battery heaters, trans pan heaters etc, we used in the Arctic, but it was daily cold starts every day. Change the oil to 5W40 synthetic, other maint up to date and hit the road.
One imprtant thing for traction, figure out your approx axle loads on the truck and don't air up the tires any more than they need to be for the weight.
Good luck!


So I discovered I do in fact have zerk fittings (EZ Lube) for my bearings! I feel so much better! And I think they already have the Red #2. I'm adding a picture to see what you and others think. I mean... it is red... so yeah. If anything, I might get a grease gun that is hand pumped and not anything that might be powered in order to prevent blowing out the seal. I did read about that, so I thank you for mentioning it.

I also greatly apprecaite the additional advice and piece of mind. I'm looking forward to this trip and I will definitely have to post pics and reports as we make the journey.

I can't figure out how to embed my image without a URL. Anyone know an easy way?

* This post was edited 01/19/21 08:11pm by Pipsfc *

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 01/19/21 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you must use the ezlube... pump very slowly while the wheel is turning. I would just go. I don't like major maintenance right before a long trip.


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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 01/20/21 05:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

MORSNOW wrote:



We just had to provide the required documentation (no quarantine required) at the border and received what I called our "Scarlet Letter" that was placed on the dash for the entire transit (the reflection in the windshield was a hazard in itself), and were restricted to 5 days to cross. We did it in 3 long days crossing back into the US at 11:00pm


So what do they do if you don't make it in time?? Turn you around and send you back to see if you make better time on the return trip? LOL


look at the reasons why, issue a fine if you did somthing you shouldnt have. doesnt sound like a big deal but inadmisability to canada can go with that which means you cant drive home.

Steve


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Wadcutter

IL

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Posted: 01/20/21 08:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A good thing about packing your bearings is the bearing can be inspected to be sure it's not worn or needs replaced.
In 2019 we pulled a camping trailer on our trip to Alaska. 12,103 miles total. I inspected and packed my own bearings. Not a big job really. I've done it for years. All the bearing appeared fine.
Then a Saturday afternoon just north of Wasilla heading south a bearing came apart. Before I could get stopped it took off the castle nut, outer bearing came apart in pieces and the hub rubbing on the axle totaled the axle. When I jacked up the camper the wheel fell off. There was nothing any longer holding the wheel and tire in place. We were lucky we didn't lose it going down the road. That would have damaged the trailer and put other travelers at risk of a lose tire in the road.
Fortunately we were about 1/4 mile from a repair shop altho he did not have an axle. It was just a 6000 lbs axle, nothing special, but no one near Wasilla had one. We had a 2 axle trailer and were able to slowly limp it to the guy's shop on the 1 axle. Since it was Saturday afternoon we had to wait until Monday, drive to Anchorage, and luckily we found a place that carried axles. We were back on the road by Monday evening. It was not a cheap repair.
There's a lot of miles in Alaska and Canada where if we had that problem in other locations it could have been very bad time and a lot more expensive getting repairs.
Even a bearing that looks good can go bad. For that long of a trip and the remote places you'll be traveling if you don't want to do the inspection and repack yourself paying a few dollars before you leave can be a lot cheaper than losing a bearing in Alaska.


Camped in every state


Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/20/21 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

If you must use the ezlube... pump very slowly while the wheel is turning. I would just go. I don't like major maintenance right before a long trip.


^ This and it won't matter if it's a hand pump or pneumatic/electric gun. Either will push grease past the rear seal easily.
Look at a cutaway pic of an EZ lube spindle.
Spindle is gun drilled and then cross drilled at the rear bearing, so it deposits grease to the rear bearing (by the seal).
In theory it pushes the grease forward throughout the cavity between the hub and spindle.
In reality it can push out the back (seal) pretty easily.
If you must use, I wouldn't put more than 10-20 squirts in the EZ lube and then force some grease through the front bearing from the front.

Helps if the hubs/grease are warm and spinning wheel while pumping grease.
Packing the bearings manually is not difficult, just messy. That said, I've had many trailers that I've never taken apart. I just hit them with a little grease once in a while. Front and back like explained above.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Pipsfc

Nevada

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Posted: 01/20/21 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wadcutter wrote:

A good thing about packing your bearings is the bearing can be inspected to be sure it's not worn or needs replaced.
In 2019 we pulled a camping trailer on our trip to Alaska. 12,103 miles total. I inspected and packed my own bearings. Not a big job really. I've done it for years. All the bearing appeared fine.
Then a Saturday afternoon just north of Wasilla heading south a bearing came apart. Before I could get stopped it took off the castle nut, outer bearing came apart in pieces and the hub rubbing on the axle totaled the axle. When I jacked up the camper the wheel fell off. There was nothing any longer holding the wheel and tire in place. We were lucky we didn't lose it going down the road. That would have damaged the trailer and put other travelers at risk of a lose tire in the road.
Fortunately we were about 1/4 mile from a repair shop altho he did not have an axle. It was just a 6000 lbs axle, nothing special, but no one near Wasilla had one. We had a 2 axle trailer and were able to slowly limp it to the guy's shop on the 1 axle. Since it was Saturday afternoon we had to wait until Monday, drive to Anchorage, and luckily we found a place that carried axles. We were back on the road by Monday evening. It was not a cheap repair.
There's a lot of miles in Alaska and Canada where if we had that problem in other locations it could have been very bad time and a lot more expensive getting repairs.
Even a bearing that looks good can go bad. For that long of a trip and the remote places you'll be traveling if you don't want to do the inspection and repack yourself paying a few dollars before you leave can be a lot cheaper than losing a bearing in Alaska.


I don't even have 2k miles on the camper. I feel like I sound be good. I hear what you're saying though.

Darryl&Rita

Grande Prairie, Alberta

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Posted: 01/20/21 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:



So what do they do if you don't make it in time?? Turn you around and send you back to see if you make better time on the return trip? LOL

You get a nice piece of yellow paper, with the charges listed as well as the court date. At the end of the court case, done over video link, you'll be told what the fines amount to. You may also be informed that you are no longer admissible for reentry to Canada. Chuckle, chuckle, indeed.


***UPDATE 2006 3500 SRW MegaCab pulling a 2007 fleetwood 5'er

gmckenzie

BC

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Posted: 01/20/21 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pipsfc wrote:

Wadcutter wrote:

A good thing about packing your bearings is the bearing can be inspected to be sure it's not worn or needs replaced.
In 2019 we pulled a camping trailer on our trip to Alaska. 12,103 miles total. I inspected and packed my own bearings. Not a big job really. I've done it for years. All the bearing appeared fine.
Then a Saturday afternoon just north of Wasilla heading south a bearing came apart. Before I could get stopped it took off the castle nut, outer bearing came apart in pieces and the hub rubbing on the axle totaled the axle. When I jacked up the camper the wheel fell off. There was nothing any longer holding the wheel and tire in place. We were lucky we didn't lose it going down the road. That would have damaged the trailer and put other travelers at risk of a lose tire in the road.
Fortunately we were about 1/4 mile from a repair shop altho he did not have an axle. It was just a 6000 lbs axle, nothing special, but no one near Wasilla had one. We had a 2 axle trailer and were able to slowly limp it to the guy's shop on the 1 axle. Since it was Saturday afternoon we had to wait until Monday, drive to Anchorage, and luckily we found a place that carried axles. We were back on the road by Monday evening. It was not a cheap repair.
There's a lot of miles in Alaska and Canada where if we had that problem in other locations it could have been very bad time and a lot more expensive getting repairs.
Even a bearing that looks good can go bad. For that long of a trip and the remote places you'll be traveling if you don't want to do the inspection and repack yourself paying a few dollars before you leave can be a lot cheaper than losing a bearing in Alaska.


I don't even have 2k miles on the camper. I feel like I sound be good. I hear what you're saying though.


Then check them. The factories are notorious for being cheap with the grease.


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Pipsfc

Nevada

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Posted: 01/20/21 01:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gmckenzie wrote:

Pipsfc wrote:

Wadcutter wrote:

A good thing about packing your bearings is the bearing can be inspected to be sure it's not worn or needs replaced.
In 2019 we pulled a camping trailer on our trip to Alaska. 12,103 miles total. I inspected and packed my own bearings. Not a big job really. I've done it for years. All the bearing appeared fine.
Then a Saturday afternoon just north of Wasilla heading south a bearing came apart. Before I could get stopped it took off the castle nut, outer bearing came apart in pieces and the hub rubbing on the axle totaled the axle. When I jacked up the camper the wheel fell off. There was nothing any longer holding the wheel and tire in place. We were lucky we didn't lose it going down the road. That would have damaged the trailer and put other travelers at risk of a lose tire in the road.
Fortunately we were about 1/4 mile from a repair shop altho he did not have an axle. It was just a 6000 lbs axle, nothing special, but no one near Wasilla had one. We had a 2 axle trailer and were able to slowly limp it to the guy's shop on the 1 axle. Since it was Saturday afternoon we had to wait until Monday, drive to Anchorage, and luckily we found a place that carried axles. We were back on the road by Monday evening. It was not a cheap repair.
There's a lot of miles in Alaska and Canada where if we had that problem in other locations it could have been very bad time and a lot more expensive getting repairs.
Even a bearing that looks good can go bad. For that long of a trip and the remote places you'll be traveling if you don't want to do the inspection and repack yourself paying a few dollars before you leave can be a lot cheaper than losing a bearing in Alaska.


I don't even have 2k miles on the camper. I feel like I sound be good. I hear what you're saying though.


Then check them. The factories are notorious for being cheap with the grease.


I've inspected them through the hub and they looked good, but are you talking about pulling apart the bearing completely?

AKsilvereagle

North Pole, Alaska

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Posted: 01/21/21 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just seen the recent post revived here....

Quote:

Geez!! I was just looking into a local guy who can repack my bearings and he charges $125 per hour. I just learned about ez lube fittings and wondering if mine has them. I'll have to check when I get home.


First of all... someone charging $125 per hour to repack wheel bearings is not expensive..... IT'S EXTORTION !

If the trailer has the ez lube fittings, that is fine in itself as you can grease it on the fly....if the assembly is a bearing buddy product - like others have posted, do not over grease them.

My opinion for piece of mind is just having a standard solid cap setup on the trailer as it will last and be just as effective, same as on any standard 2WD front end vehicle with no issues.... no extra parts to worry about with other bearing assemblies that might fail (and not having to spend the extra money for the 'convenience')

I generally pack the hub cavity as much as it will hold grease around the spindle by hand (hub in position around the spindle) and the bearing cap should be fully seated without trying to push out while rotating the wheel by hand (after installing the bearings and the mounting hardware in position before final adjustments), it should be good for the long haul !

If I were a real boat owner enthusiast (although I do own a scanoe and no boat trailer necessary) then I would go with the bearing buddies because of the submerging in water with the boat trailer wheels as they have pretty good seals for that purpose.

Like others have mentioned, it is not difficult to repack bearings yourself - go to the parts store and invest in a $5 to $10 bearing repack tool and solid repack them which is way more effective then trying to hand pack them (and not get extorted).....you will be surprised how much grease will hold in a bearing with a solid repack.

I always keep an extra bearing repack tool in my camper onhand just in case I ever would need one in an emergency.

Here is a visual of a solid repack process of bearings :

1 - I cleaned inner and outer bearings with solvent and brakeleen :
[image]

2 - Inner bearing in center position of lower portion of bearing repack tool :
[image]

3 - Placing the top of cone assembly over the top of wheel bearing and snug in place, evenly seating wheel bearing surfaces CENTERED in position on upper and lower cone surfaces (very important) :
[image]

4 - Attach grease gun to shaft fitting and apply grease - as you can see the old black grease that was still in the inner bearing I could not get to after cleaning, forcing it's way out during the solid repack process :
[image]

5 - Both inner and outer bearings shown repacked SOLID and FULL as grease will not run dry anytime in the distant future :
[image]

Do not forget about having that freeze plug block heater installed on the engine block (installing in one of the freeze plug holes) to keep the block all toasty and warm parked outside in sub freezing temps as I seen the pad heaters are mentioned as now onhand ....
[image]

I highly recommend applying the more costly Blue 587 RTV Silicone as it is oil resistant unlike the standard blue RTV brand, and the oil resistant Blue 587 RTV cures better and faster too, while the pad will not unpeel or loosen at the corners compared to the other RTV brands :
[image]

Hope these images help to ensure your winter haul to the far north.


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