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Old 01-19-2021, 01:37 PM   #1
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Brake and Bearing Service Options

I have a 2019 Alpha Wolf and want to repack the wheel bearings and check the brakes before I start heading back out this spring. Camping World seems really expensive for service. Are there better options for service? I was a licensed mechanic back in the 80ís and 90ís. Is repacking or servicing my TT really that different than old Chevyís? Thanks for your advice.
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Old 01-19-2021, 01:52 PM   #2
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No different than back in the olden days. Make sure you get new seals and the proper grease.

Often times places that sell utility/dump/landscape trailers will do the work way better and much cheaper then places like Camping World. Lots of Truck Repair Centers service bearings/brakes on ALL trailers too.
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Old 01-19-2021, 01:55 PM   #3
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I have a 2019 Alpha Wolf and want to repack the wheel bearings and check the brakes before I start heading back out this spring. Camping World seems really expensive for service. Are there better options for service? I was a licensed mechanic back in the 80ís and 90ís. Is repacking or servicing my TT really that different than old Chevyís? Thanks for your advice.
Do you have a tire dealer you trust? Ditto for a private repair shop.

Even an RV mobile service.

Wheel bearing packing really hasn't changed since tapered roller bearings were introduced. Download the instructions from Dexter's website, read through, and tackle it yourself. If you adjusted wheel bearings on an old Chevy with tapered roller bearings you're good to go on trailer bearings. Double ready if the old chevy had drum brakes.

Only thing that's really changed is the newer axles often don't use a castellated nut and cotter pin. They use a locking "clip" that is just pressed (by hand) onto the end of the spindle locking the nut in place with fingers and a flat spot on the spindle.

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Old 01-19-2021, 04:18 PM   #4
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Download the instructions from Dexter's website, read through, and tackle it yourself.
This! The big issue knowing what preload, or lack there of, the bearings need.
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Old 01-20-2021, 01:38 PM   #5
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My dealer (over 1000 miles away), who had the shop run me through the TT when I picked it up, told me that they advise the following: Repack annually, if the shoes on an electric brake look worn, it's best to replace everything. Their experience is that electric brakes have a high failure rate, and for a few bucks more, change everything. They knew I was a motor head and going to perform all the work myself. They added that they advise their customers who have them service their TTs to have them, the shop, change out the entire system.
Honestly, this is my first time dealing with electric brakes. What is everyone else's experience?
Thanks
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Old 01-20-2021, 01:51 PM   #6
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I'm a driveway mechanic and did it myself. I had an easier time than when I did it to my 1980 Triumph Spitfire 35 years ago. I agree with other poster than any mechanic worth his salt can do it. Would not take it to a dealer.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SetauketJeff View Post
My dealer (over 1000 miles away), who had the shop run me through the TT when I picked it up, told me that they advise the following: Repack annually, if the shoes on an electric brake look worn, it's best to replace everything. Their experience is that electric brakes have a high failure rate, and for a few bucks more, change everything. They knew I was a motor head and going to perform all the work myself. They added that they advise their customers who have them service their TTs to have them, the shop, change out the entire system.
Honestly, this is my first time dealing with electric brakes. What is everyone else's experience?
Thanks
I've repacked a LOT of bearings on axles with electric brakes and have yet to replace 'everything' other than the seals and any bearings/races that looked suspicious.

Sounds like the shop was prepping every potential customer for spending big bucks whether needed or not.

Unless your brake controller is improperly adjusted or you have an actual issue, electric brakes do not have a high failure rate nor wear out any quicker than any other kind of brakes.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:39 PM   #8
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I've repacked a LOT of bearings on axles with electric brakes and have yet to replace 'everything' other than the seals and any bearings/races that looked suspicious.

Sounds like the shop was prepping every potential customer for spending big bucks whether needed or not.

Unless your brake controller is improperly adjusted or you have an actual issue, electric brakes do not have a high failure rate nor wear out any quicker than any other kind of brakes.
Agreed. I have had to replace 2 brake magnets because the wires broke off right at the magnet so couldn't be repaired easily. One reason to ensure your tires are balanced as a lot of shops won't balance trailer tires unless you ask. I don't see any reason to replace the whole assembly.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:50 PM   #9
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I've repacked a LOT of bearings on axles with electric brakes and have yet to replace 'everything' other than the seals and any bearings/races that looked suspicious.

Sounds like the shop was prepping every potential customer for spending big bucks whether needed or not.

Unless your brake controller is improperly adjusted or you have an actual issue, electric brakes do not have a high failure rate nor wear out any quicker than any other kind of brakes.
Was referring to the brakes with regard to replacing everything, not the repacking. Sorry if I wasn't clear about it. Am asking about replacing the entire brake units when pads burn down. As I don't have any experience with electric brakes. Shop knew I was not having them do any of the work (1000+ miles away, and am my own mechanic). And yes, does sound suspect...
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Old 01-20-2021, 04:42 PM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks all. Your feedback was exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 01-20-2021, 04:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SetauketJeff View Post
Was referring to the brakes with regard to replacing everything, not the repacking. Sorry if I wasn't clear about it. Am asking about replacing the entire brake units when pads burn down. As I don't have any experience with electric brakes. Shop knew I was not having them do any of the work (1000+ miles away, and am my own mechanic). And yes, does sound suspect...
Thanks for the clarification, I did misunderstand.

I haven't bought brake shoes in the last 5 years but there were a few posts recently (last year) of someone on eBay selling backing plate assemblies, pre loaded with shoes and magnets for a pretty economical price. If you shop around you may just find them comparable.
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Old 01-20-2021, 05:58 PM   #12
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Thanks for the clarification, I did misunderstand.

I haven't bought brake shoes in the last 5 years but there were a few posts recently (last year) of someone on eBay selling backing plate assemblies, pre loaded with shoes and magnets for a pretty economical price. If you shop around you may just find them comparable.
Just be aware that there are differences, if replacing Dexter self adjusting brakes, and what many online sources are selling.

The adjusting mechanism's are different on the cheaper units and can lead to undesired results.

Traditional self adjusters operate only in reverse. Since backing while braking is far different with trailers Dexter auto adjusters are designed to use forward stopping.
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Old 01-20-2021, 07:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Okietraveler View Post
I was a licensed mechanic back in the 80ís and 90ís. Is repacking or servicing my TT really that different than old Chevyís? Thanks for your advice.

With your background you'll be the one giving advise about how to repack trailer bearings soon enough.
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:27 PM   #14
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With your background you'll be the one giving advise about how to repack trailer bearings soon enough.
Do I hold the bearing in my left hand or right?
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:20 PM   #15
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Etrailer.com will provide everything you need to replace or repair electric trailer brakes. Watch a few YouTube videos and then grab you handy dandy mechanics tool set and a roll of paper towels.
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Old 02-16-2021, 05:48 PM   #16
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Do I hold the bearing in my left hand or right?
Neither, dump the grease on the ground then drop the bearing on the grease blob and step on it. Remember to take your shoes off before walking on the brand new white carpet your DW just had installed.
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Old 02-16-2021, 06:14 PM   #17
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Neither, dump the grease on the ground then drop the bearing on the grease blob and step on it. Remember to take your shoes off before walking on the brand new white carpet your DW just had installed.
Don't laugh, I've been in some houses that the carpet looks exactly what someone did. Oh, If the carpet was ever white it was 20 years ago

Oh yeah, he living room smelled like old gear oil.
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