Spent the last 3 weeks traveling from Simcoe Ontario to Nova Scotia via NY state, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New Brunswick and return. A few notes of possible interest:
On the second day on the road, after exiting I90 near Amsterdam, NY., I saw that the center hub cover and dust seal on the L.R. wheel were missing, and the wheel was totally black with grease. I jacked it up and there was no bearing play and the wheel turned freely but something was rattling imside the brake drum.
I called roadside assistance and they told me there was a FR. Dealership about 15 mi. distant. I called the service manger at Alpin Haus in Amsterdam, and he offered to have it towed in if I thought it was unsafe to drive, but I dialed off the trailer brakes and took it there myself. It was late in the day but Eric, the manager, got it into the shop immediately. Discovered the entire brake assy, was shattered , the drum was toast, as were the shoes. They provided a place to park the rig and we overnighted on their premises, and 1st thing in the morning, after overnight delivery of parts, they repaired the problem. FR warranty covered the expense which crowded the $800 mark, all in. It appears that the return spring on the brake shoes was never there in the 1st place, and the shoes never properly retracted from the drum. Heat took care of totaling the assembly. At that point the trailer had a total of about 1000 mi. on it, including an earlier trip this spring with no prior signs of trouble.
In summary, Alpin Haus personnel were pleasant, accomodating, and efficient at getting us back up and running.
The second observation of note was regarding the trailer tires, at about the half way mark on our travels. The tires on the right side were exhibiting cupping on the outer edges, and quite a bit of tread wear on both the inner and outer edges. On the left side they were wearing evenly but significantly. I attributed the cupping to an out of balance problem, but am at a loss to explain the inner and outer tread wear on the right side of the unit. The tires were at the cold inflation pressure of 50 psi and hadn't varied. Of course they are the Trail Express junk tires. I'm having the alignment checked here at home, but I feel that for a trailer weighing about 6800 Lb. loaded, and with a GVW of nearly 8000lb, that it is severely "under-tired" with the factory installed tires. Their max load carrying only totals out to 7040 lb. Speak about no safety margin. I feel fortunate to have completed the trip without having to purchase tires just to get home.
Anyway I'm stepping up from the 14" load range C tires to 15" wheels with 6 ply tires. After completing the trip the originals are well and truly worn out. And they will be balanced when installed. Strange, but my prior trailer, a Keystone Hybrid weighing 4000 lb. max had the same size and capacity tires, and took 15000 mi. to wear out.
Other than these issues, the trailer was great. Everything continued to work flawlessly. The unit towed absolutely great and rock solid. I ran the speed limits on interstates, and rarely up as high as 70mph depending on downhill grades etc. Lots of up and down along State hwys. in Vermont and NH. as well as eastern NY. along Hwy 20 on the return trip. Also travelling the beautiful Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. There was a lot of hard pulling, as well as 95 degree temps. on 2 days in particular. No problems with the GMC , and it returned a trip average of 9.2 mpg US all in.
This post has run on a bit, and for that I apologize.
One more thing; while camping in Nova Scotia at Risser's Beach Prov. Park, we met a couple who were fairly local and were scoping out the campsites for an outing the next weekend. Very pleasant and friendly people who noticed that we had a FR. product. Turns out that they were Rugged Brown and his wife, who are on this forum. RB--if you see this post--it was good meeting you and I hope you had a good weekend at Risser's Beach.
Anyway, enough , I've likely worn out my welcome here tonite so guess I'll quit for now.