Search Results for: bearings

Getting my bearings…

We were first time RV owners when we picked up our brand new 2007 Airstream Safari, six years ago, so from the start, I tried to get my bearings on its operation, function, and care by reading the Owners Manual.  I found much of the information to be useful and valuable, but some of the service schedule guidelines did not seem practical to me, such as “Every 10,000 miles or 6 months – Inspect, adjust, or replace brakes as necessary [and] Clean and repack wheel bearings”.  I understand that now Airstream recommends every 10,000 miles or one year for the above items.

I have read that one reason to repack bearings* every year is that condensation can occur in the hub and cause deterioration of the grease.  But some say, “If you live in the dry Southwest, you can probably go 2-3 years between repacks.”  Even though our Airstream has only accumulated 9,500 miles (and stayed in San Diego County), I knew we were overdue for the first repacking of our bearings, so when I read the recent AirForums’ thread, “Bearings went bad and hub is damaged“, I was motivated to take action.

After reading the 14 steps of  “Wheel Bearing Maintenance” in the Owners Manual, ’77 Overlander’s “Bearing Repacking” guidelines, “Bryan and Dave’s Greasy Adventure“, and watching, “How to Repack/Grease Trailer Wheel Bearings“*, I realized that this is a science and art beyond my capabilities and tools.  I found excellent reviews of a local RV mobile serviceman, Abe Hernandez of RV Mobile Service 2U, and made the appointment.  I found him to be positive, knowledgeable, and eager to share his knowledge and experience. He allowed me to take photos and thoroughly answered my questions.  First, he showed me where our Airstream’s jack points are located, as mentioned in the Owners Manual, a label with the word “JACK” in blue letters and an arrow points to the jack point, a 3″ square plate riveted to the mainframe rail.

DSC_0053 Airstream rec

DSC_0029 Aluminum service jack

DSC_0035 Hubs off

Tools and supplies included an aluminum service jack and smaller jack stands, dust cap remover, seal puller, bearing cleaner supplies, bearing packing tool, Diamond Grip latex gloves, new seals, new cotter pins, seal driver, hammer, various pliers, tire wrench and torque wrench.

DSC_0036 Bearings & tools

The brakes were cleaned with NAPA Brake Cleaner, and inspected and adjusted.

DSC_0040 Brakes

The bearings were cleaned and repacked with high temperature red grease.

DSC_0041 Repacked bearings

DSC_0042 Bearing packer

New seals were installed.

DSC_0044 New seal installed

The wheels were reassembled with special care to ensure that the spindle nut (castle nut) was not over tightened.

So now I’ve got my bearings and hopefully, for some time down the road, they will be easy riders!*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

Top 11 Airstream care, maintenance and repair posts… and more!

DSC_0181 Agua Caliente County Park, Site 94

This blog was started in 2008 to share our experiences camping with our 2007 Airstream Safari travel trailer, along with its care, maintenance, and repair.  Website stats show that Airstreamers or Airstream enthusiasts come to this blog everyday to find information regarding over 10 years’ worth of Airstream-related subjects and care.   Each blog page has a search window where specific topics can be searched and found.  To further facilitate viewers’ most commonly sought after subjects, I have listed my all-time top 11 Airstream-related viewed webpages and their links:

Filiform corrosion

Wash, wax and treat II

RV refrigerator drain tube failure

Propane gas leak and summer reading

F-250 dual battery change

Quick, easy and safe RV refrigerator defrosting

Aye, there’s the rub rail

Getting my bearings…

Resealing our Airstream plumbing vent

10-year sealed battery requirement for smoke alarms!

Trailer awnings

Since the selling our trailer last August, we have moved on to new experiences that are now more appropriately conveyed in a blog that I had set up three years ago for this very purpose: History Safari Expresso, which has just been reawakened and now thrives as it takes over conveying our seasonal celebrations, holidays, meditations, outings, and the beauty we see around us.

I thank everyone who has viewed this blog over the years and I invite you to take a look at its successor, History Safari Expresso, and its new welcoming post, Hello World (Take Two), while relaxing with a hot cup of rich coffee, or a sip of wine!

IMG_1380 - Afternoon coffee

Oh… There is one more thing…* The video encore:  Chris Hadfield – Space oddity [SPACEX Falcon Heavy test]*

Cheers… and Thrive!

*This is a link to a YouTube video.


Our Airstream Safari systems review

Our 23′ Airstream Safari Special Edition trailer was made in December 2006, Airstream’s 75th anniversary year!

DSC_0080 Our Special Edition Safari

Our custom order through our local dealer included our Airstream factory installed solar charging system with two solar panels and AGM batteries.  Our records show that on most non-hookup days our AGM batteries are back to 100% by midday.  See how I changed our Lifeline AGM batteries.

Our Solar Panels curbside.40

Also see how I replaced the failing OEM Parallax converter with the Xantrex XADC 60A converter/charger.

DSC_0100 Our Xantrex converter

See how we changed out our hot Halogen lights to cool LED lights that use less energy.  Our LED lights are seen below, along with our new 10-year sealed battery smoke detector that I installed last January.

DSC_0211 Our LED lights

Last year I replaced our Dometic refrigerator’s brittle plastic drain hose with a more durable, vinyl hose.

DSC158 Drain tube top to bottom  DSC_0032 Dometic 5 cu ft RV refrigWe use neither sharp tools nor a hot air blower and yet easily and routinely defrost the Dometic RM2551 RV refrigerator (5 cu. ft.) in less than 30 min.

We are now on our second set of Goodyear Marathon ST215/75R14 tires, which have served us well with only one flat (due to a screw).  We monitor our tires with sensors and rarely travel more than 62 mph.

DSC_0213 New Marathon tires  DSC_0015 I" machine screw in tireOver the past 10 years, we have taken our trailer on 86 200-mile or less round trips for a total mileage of no more than 17,200 miles, which contributed to our good marathon experience!

DSC_0113 Wash, wax & treat tools

Modern Airstream trailers*, such as ours, have an exterior body of clear coated aluminum sheets that can corrode beginning at the cut edges and rivet holes where salt, water and air can enter. In our experience, the spread of filiform corrosion can be limited by washing and waxing the trailer regularly and using corrosion retardants and protectants such as Boeshield T-9 and CorrosionX.dsc_0052-annual-trailer-wash-2016


Additional improvements:

Strengthening L-Lounge

Cleaning & adjusting brakes and repacking bearings


DSC_0290 Safari awaits next safari!

This Safari celebrates Independence Day* as it awaits its next safari!*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

Safari shine on harvest moon

Washing the dirt and salt deposits off our awnings after the trip to the beach was the prelude to our annual big wash and wax job before the start of our fall camping season.  Over time dirt and salt deposits can weaken the awning fabric and shorten the functional life of trailer awnings.  See Zip Dee’s video, “Cleaning Your Zip Dee Awning Fabric“.*

DSC_0118 Washing Zip Dee awning

A fabric bead strip attaches the awning to the trailer via the awning rail…

DSC_0100 Streetside bead strip

and when the awning is closed, this strip forms a trough that collects and traps dirt.

DSC_0094 Awning trough

I am always amazed how much dirt is flushed away when I extend and wash the awnings.

DSC_0103 Canvas attaches to trailer

Our fall camping prep continued with a midsummer cleaning and repacking of our Safari’s wheel bearings and having the brakes adjusted.  Last week as the Harvest Moon rose*, we ate Moon Cakes in celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Cool, fall weather arrived just in time for my big wash and wax job of the entire Safari trailer, including the roof (white wax dust particles are seen in the photo above).

I washed our trailer with Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Car Wash and on the following day I sprayed Boeshield T-9 on any areas of aluminum that had first shown signs of filiform corrosion (that was stopped in its tracks years ago by this product).  Only a light coating is needed (spray on and wipe off before it dries) as this product penetrates any breaks in the clear-coated aluminum and helps to block salts and oxygen from corroding exposed aluminum.  I then applied my favorite wax, Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Professional Polymer Sealant #20 (the dry residue easily wipes off and the protection lasts over a year).  I then applied 303 Aerospace Protectant to the rubber seals of the Fan-Tastic Fan and windows and doors (keeps them from sticking and prevents UV damage).

DSC_0076 Our trailer protectants

Leaves are starting to fall from our Ginkgo tree and the nights are now cooler as we anticipate our early October return to the Cuyamaca Mountains.

DSC_0090 Autumn leaves (Ginkgo)

It was a bit of work, but by using quality protectants annually this nearly seven-year old Safari still shines and is ready to resist the elements, which makes me smile and want to sing and dance!*

DSC_0080 Safari shine

*This is a link to a YouTube video.