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Old 11-05-2014, 11:58 PM   #1
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New trailer, greasy brakes

Just a heads up for new trailer owners to check their brakes.

When we picked up our 19, Escape set the Prodigy P3 to 5.6 and said the brakes were good. But the brakes were not good -- there was little trailer braking even when I increased the P3 to 10.0 and a boost of 1.

After puzzling over this awhile, I removed the brake drums and found grease inside:

GreasyBrake.jpg

Escape deferred on the issue to Dexter.

After some persistence, Dexter did send new seals and brake assemblies, which include shoes and magnets premounted on the backing plate. I installed them myself.

Escape performs two brake tests on new trailers:
1. Pull the break-away and confirm that the wheel cannot be turned by hand.
2. Confirm that each magnet is pulling 3 amps.
Neither of these tests uncovers barely-functional, greasy brakes.

Our trailer has EZ-lube axles as standard equipment. I did not add grease through the zerk and Escape says they did not either, so presumably that's how it came from Dexter. I am not a fan of Evil-lube, whoops EZ-lube -- I've seen too many people complain of grease in the drum.

rv.net is also reporting this as an issue with other new trailers.

So if you bought a new trailer this year, just a heads up to check your brakes.

Bill R
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:30 AM   #2
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Two things about having grease zerks on wheel bearings, is that it makes it really easy to grease the bearings but it is also very easy to add to much grease or even blow the seals. And if it gets into the brakes, well, you know. Cleaning and repacking wheel bearings is time consuming and messy, so this is one more thing to decide on. I try to catch the front ones on my work van every 25,000 miles. I wonder what Dexter or ETI recommends. Loren
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:28 AM   #3
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If you're asking about the bearing check/repack interval, Dexter says once a year or every 12 months, even with the EZ-lube. Few do it that often.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:32 AM   #4
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Once A Year

Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
If you're asking about the bearing check/repack interval, Dexter says once a year or every 12 months, even with the EZ-lube. Few do it that often.
We own a trailer with the EZ -Lube axle . When we went through our trailer orientation session we were cautioned about the use of the EZ-Lube system and possibly damaging the seals and brakes . I have my bearings repacked once a year (Fall) . It only cost $35 for the bearing repack and a brake adjustment . Seems like cheap insurance plus using the EZ-Lube does not check the seals , bearings or brakes for wear or damage
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
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I wish there was a high quality sealed bearing replacement set available. When cars first went to sealed bearings, as an old timer, I was very skeptical. I've never had a single sealed wheel bearing failure since though.

Dexter makes the NeveRLube, but my understanding is that they are a completely different axle and not available in the sizes Escapes use.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We own a trailer with the EZ -Lube axle . When we went through our trailer orientation session we were cautioned about the use of the EZ-Lube system and possibly damaging the seals and brakes . I have my bearings repacked once a year (Fall) . It only cost $35 for the bearing repack and a brake adjustment . Seems like cheap insurance plus using the EZ-Lube does not check the seals , bearings or brakes for wear or damage

That is a very good price to do bearings. Had out 17B done last March and it was $128. Labor in our neighborhood is $80+/hr. It was 4 years old and dont believe they had been done prior but they looked new. They replaced seals for that price. Got the EZ lube and am aware to go slow until you start to see some grease come out the back.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:06 PM   #7
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Just curious, but have any problems been reported on trailers that don't use the EZ-Lube axles?

The trailer is put to bed for the winter (or at least the next three months). But I am not sure if I have EZ-Lube axles or not. I didn't order them as an option because I thought I would have to repack bearings every year or two anyhow.

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Old 11-06-2014, 01:18 PM   #8
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I don't have EZ-Lube, nor do I want it.
I have my bearings inspected ( which EZ-Lube doesn't do ) and re-packed every couple of years. I have the original bearings ( now six years of use ) and they are in perfect condition.
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Guess I am unclear on why EZ-lube would be of any advantage. Boat trailer I can understand but why on ours?
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Guess I am unclear on why EZ-lube would be of any advantage. Boat trailer I can understand but why on ours?
I think it is the conception that it eliminates maintenance, at least to some degree. From everything I have heard, not sure I would want it. Of course, as you mention, boat trailers that have their hubs under water at times, could use the flush. As baglo says, maintenance of the regular hubs is not that tough, and ones needs to inspect regardless of what type hub is used.
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