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Discussion Starter #1
After my bearing debacle last month (we're still on the road), I decided some new tools were in order.

While I can change bearings and races with limited tools (drift, hammer, screwdriver and channel locks pliers), it is a really tedious to get those new races started along with the rear seal.

I found these on Amazon, a race and seal driver set

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0797Y7WRB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

And this bearing packer, an ingenious and inexpensive device,

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MT57Q62/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both of these would simplify the installation of bearings and repacking the bearings.

Probably the most tedious part is getting the rear seal started, patience is required!
 

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That bearing packer is a rather ingenious little tool, isn't it? Great tips for those of us with travel trailers or utility trailers.

On a side note, how has life on the road been treating you? Are Americans still treating strangers nicely? Or is our country in as bad a shape as the media would like us to believe...? ;)


Bob
 

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Both tools are old staples for shops and home mechanics doing wheel work. There are many other examples. Most are available at any auto parts store everywhere. Since you are on a trip I would imagine ordering from Amazon would be difficult. You want one, just stop at any auto parts and get the like.

Keep on enjoying your ride.

That bearing packer is a rather ingenious little tool, isn't it? Great tips for those of us with travel trailers or utility trailers.

On a side note, how has life on the road been treating you? Are Americans still treating strangers nicely? Or is our country in as bad a shape as the media would like us to believe...? ;)

Bob
Palmer is just a few miles northeast of Anchorage. That is America. All of Alaska is. There are many tenants of our media. Most spreads a form of "fake news" as propaganda. Look for and use impartial media for a more realistic impression of America. It is and continues to be the greatest country ever established in our world.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Both tools are old staples for shops and home mechanics doing wheel work. There are many other examples. Most are available at any auto parts store everywhere. Since you are on a trip I would imagine ordering from Amazon would be difficult. You want one, just stop at any auto parts and get the like.
Amazon ships to lockers placed inside of a business, and the shipping takes one or two days. There was one close to us, piece of cake.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
On a side note, how has life on the road been treating you? Are Americans still treating strangers nicely? Or is our country in as bad a shape as the media would like us to believe...? ;)

Bob
We're 4 days shy of 2 months on the road. It's been an interesting trip and at times long and tiring. The weather has been our biggest nemesis. The town of Osceola, Missouri, the last RV stop in a ten day stay in the Kansas City area, is now flooded. While we were there it rained, and rained, and rained. You didn't even want to drive in it. The rain would stop long enough for me to get a bright idea to walk the dogs. No rain, next second, buckets. And soaked, even with a raincoat. That RV was getting real small, dank, and smelly with wet dogs and clothes. It was so humid and warm nothing would dry. Do you know they have a mold index on the weather? I never heard of such a thing.

And it was weather this and that all the way across middle kingdom. Baseball sized hail, missed that. The 8 tornados south east of us in Eliss, Kansas. Then it was snowing in the rockies, it was a dicey day going over continental divide, low of 29 F and snow. The next day in Evanston, Wyoming, we wake up to more snow, not much but any is too much towing. However once we got down in elevation, it warmed up nice all the way to Olympia, Washington where we are now.

As for my truck, it is really running nice, just like it's broke in. Towing for over 12,000 miles don't seem to bother it at all. Mileage is around 14-15 mpg. Nothing much to report there.

The new Curt WDH is working real nice. I got the weight back off the rear drivers and the tires are wearing better. And quiet too. The whole thing is very stable in the wind. The old one was just worn out, gosh must had 60,000 miles on it.

As for the trip overall, it's been an eye opener. The state of Rv,ing is in trouble. Just finding a place for the night became a real issue many nights in a row. This made for way too late of days, and the fatigue was stacking up. Many RV parks were full of full time live ins and transient workers. The closer to a city you were, the worse it got. State, county and municipal RV sites are usually a good place to start. Such as Ellis, Kansas had a very nice self pay, $20 with a pull through, water/elec, place to park. The wifi was free and real good.

But the whole experience was so negative at times, my view of wandering around the US in an RV has been slanted. The driving at times was atrocious. In fairness, we bit off a big chunk to go visit family all over the place. Internet was also a pain in the ass. We paid a tidy sum to get wifi from AT&T, and most of the time it wasn't so great either.

So were in Olympia, Washington, it's rainy here too, but there is zero chance anyone will die from it, lol.


Driving the divide
divide1.jpg

My back door of youth, Mount Rainier, Washington

Rainier.jpg
 

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I guess the bright side is, that you got to see a lot of different country side. The downfall is that if you were mainly on the big interstates you would probably miss the nicer places for camping as the big areas are always the easy to get to ones for those in a hurry or trying just to get away from the cities.
 

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Good post. Ive been doing bearings/races/seals etc. on our two boats, travel trailer, and two utility trailers since I was a pretty young kid. I always figured those race/seal driver sets were high dollar, the looked the part I guess so I never looked. Have made do the past 20+/- years with a punch lol I might have to go buy me one of those, think its going to be time to tear into some wheel bearings for me soon.
 

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Once the old race is knocked out , I’ll take one of the old races and grind the outside diameter down just enough so it slips into the hub without sticking,I then use it to drive the new races back in face to face ... And I keep my old driver race for future uses ... 1C8BB60C-5B9A-4239-946D-731368BE96C7.jpeg .

And here’s my handy dandy bearing packer, D7FF7884-D151-4E96-8D6B-4677174479BC.jpeg 40 years old .... BTW it’s been chipped for about 10 years ,still working :eek:
 

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That is exactly how I put em back in also Donny. I still pack bearings by hand the way my daddy showed me though, but one of those jobbers sure looks cleaner and quicker and easier lol
 

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Packing bearings is always greasy on your hands, no getting out of it , but now I wear rubber gloves to help out ... These bearing packers are tremendously easier then hand packing, but your still playing with grease .... BTW I always fill my hubs full of grease, some folks and a lot of manufacturers will just rub grease on the axle , not filling hub ..I never buy cheap grease, There’s a difference.... Maybe I’m wasteful,but I’ve never had a single wheel bearing go bad on me ....

BTW my father also gave me an education on how to pack bearings as well, that was about 50 years ago...
 

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Im still almost 20 years shy of 50 years old, but dad taught me to fill the hub also. Always used mobil 1 grease on our hubs and likewise never lost a bearing. You can buy good quality bearings and grease and do it yourself for way less than paying someone to do it with carp for parts.

First time I was helping my buddy with his bbq pit trailer to pack the bearing he just tossed it in a can of grease and pulled it out lol I showed him how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Packing bearings is always greasy on your hands, no getting out of it , but now I wear rubber gloves to help out ... These bearing packers are tremendously easier then hand packing, but your still playing with grease .... BTW I always fill my hubs full of grease, some folks and a lot of manufacturers will just rub grease on the axle , not filling hub ..I never buy cheap grease, There’s a difference.... Maybe I’m wasteful,but I’ve never had a single wheel bearing go bad on me ....

BTW my father also gave me an education on how to pack bearings as well, that was about 50 years ago...
Yea, that long red stringy stuff, sticks to everything ten feet away!

No matter, it's getting on you no matter how careful you are.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No doubt we bit off a big chunk of driving in too little of time.

We took back highways when we could. Maybe a longer drive, but much less traffic. But no RV parks. The best parks for overnighters are along the interstate.

Plus my long time traveling pal Momo the cat died in Georgia, then my wifes best friend died that week, lots of emotions, and tired, uh oh, "Shots across the bow, duck!" with the wife and I sniping each other.

That cat had more miles in that RV then any animal I've known. She went with me all over, Mexico twice, here and there. She traveled well. I'll miss her, but at 18 years she ran out of lives. Such as it is with animals.

We did see some nice country, and even Missouri is nice, lush and green. And we wanted to cross the Rockies west of Denver, but with 11,500 foot passes I didn't think it was a good idea. My wife concurred, lol. They're still getting slammed, the Sierra's are having record snow falls, still.

I heard, for the west anyway, it is the third coldest spring on record.

We sure picked a bad year to travel!
 

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Comments on the state of RV'ng peaked my interest. Agree that many places have permanent and transient people living in the parks. It is hard to find a nice place to stop. Many are too "seedy" to be comfortable staying in. WalMart parking lots fit into that same category and running a generator is often a real pain.

The major and expensive chain campgrounds, like KOA, seem to offer a cleaner and more comfortable experience. Of course you will pay with more dollars and experience a rather crowded, urban crowd with children often the focus of attention. Kind of feel sorry for those eager to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on motor homes and huge trailers, tantalized by RV salesman and advertisements showing an ideally RV lifestyle. Reality can sure be an awakening. Same with trouble. New units fall apart, suffer mechanical failures, require major delays and expense to "enjoy" the RV lifestyle. First station, restaurant and urban experience for those pulling huge trailers or running giant motorhomes is also an awakening.

Midwest storms are dangerous literally all year. If not severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and rain, it can also be extreme heat and cold. Those experiences make me appreciate not living in the time of the pioneers.

Continue with your trip experiences and reporting. Both you and readers can be the better for it.
 

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Sourdo... Very sorry to hear the passing of your riding companion, My advice Get another ASAP ... This always helps myself getting through tuff times...

Now as far as getting snippy between you and your wife , That’s part of Traveling :rolleyes: My girlfriend and I start out our trips as Best friends !!!! By the time we get to our destination sometimes we’ve become mortal enemies !!!! Not a word .... Now this is after having several issues,usually getting bad advice and directions from my co-pilot , Hopefully My CarPlay navigation will help eliminate most of these issues ...Time will tell?

And myself I like taking state highway’s when possible, and not on a timeline.. I enjoy talking with local folks about farming and life’s journeys..IMOP you get to see the best parts of the country and meet genuine nice folks.....Keep on Posting!!!! :eek:
 

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Sourdo;
Sorry for the traveling challenges. While seeing the country can be great, it can take a toll, as you know.
Are you still coming down to Charleston, SC? Again, my wife and I would be glad to buy you and your's dinner if you are.

We are setting up to take our 26 foot, 4500 lb. travel trailer from Charleston to Gatlinburg to Dayton, OH, to Mt. Rushmore/Devils Tower to Glacier National Park, to Yellowstone to Salt Lake to Denver to Santa Fe to Dallas to Pensacola, Fl, to home back in Charleston. Taking two months to make it happen.

Do have a question for you. What tires to you have on your camper? Original or did you replace them. I'm thinking about changing from load range C to D just for weight and temp.

Thanks and let me know if we might get together.

Best travel
Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sourdo;
Sorry for the traveling challenges. While seeing the country can be great, it can take a toll, as you know.
Are you still coming down to Charleston, SC? Again, my wife and I would be glad to buy you and your's dinner if you are.

We are setting up to take our 26 foot, 4500 lb. travel trailer from Charleston to Gatlinburg to Dayton, OH, to Mt. Rushmore/Devils Tower to Glacier National Park, to Yellowstone to Salt Lake to Denver to Santa Fe to Dallas to Pensacola, Fl, to home back in Charleston. Taking two months to make it happen.

Do have a question for you. What tires to you have on your camper? Original or did you replace them. I'm thinking about changing from load range C to D just for weight and temp.

Thanks and let me know if we might get together.

Best travel
Frank
Frank, thanks for the invite. We're long out of your area now. But we do appreciate it. Next time perhaps!

Tomorrow morning at butt crack down we're heading home, sweet home.

Oh, I am using D rated 205/14" , Carlisle,s. They are holding up well. The truck tires are E rated 10 ply Cooper H3 265 17" , very nice hwy tires.

Good luck on your trip.
 

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be careful in your selection of tires for your TT. too much air pressure makes a harder tire and thus a rough ride for the RV. you may not feel it in the truck, but you may see things that start coming apart after a while. I worked for both Roadrunner and Jewel delivering trailers and mobile homes back in the early 70's and tire pressure was part of the equation for the proper ride.

On another note, we found that the Garmin maps, most recent update was 2018, had limited information on secondary roads. you may still need to relay on your navigator using a paper map. On our last trip, 4,860 miles, St George UT to Columbia TN and return, primarily on secondary roads, we found getting free state maps was easy.
 
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