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2021 Elite 2 wheel bearings


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I very seldom make posts other than to individuals on the forum but I thought this was worth passing along today.

We picked up hull 836 in June of 2021 and we have logged 10,400 miles on her to date. Yesterday I had the wheel bearings re-packed for the first time which I believe is well within the recommended timing for doing so. If I remember correctly the interval for doing this work is one year or 12,000 miles? I was very surprised to find that the bearings were nearly dry of grease. The service location and I could find no visible damage to the bearings or axle shafts but if I had not done this preventive maintenance now I doubt I would have survived a longer trip without finding myself stranded on the side of the road somewhere. I have an obsession while traveling at every stop walking around the trailer and putting my hands on the wheel drums to check if any are warm. Doing this I had consistently found one of the drums to be hotter than all the rest. I had thought that perhaps one of the brake pads had been hanging up a bit so I specifically asked my service folks to check that while they had the wheels off to re-pack the bearings. There was no issue found with the brakes but that particular bearing was the driest of the four and that is likely what was producing the heat.

I will probably drop a note to Jason on this at Oliver in case there may be some systemic problem with the Dexter axle supply. Not sure if Oliver packs the  bearings or they just come in from Dexter pre-packed. At any rate I would encourage all to get your bearings checked and repacked sooner than later if you were in last summers crop of new trailers.

Mike

 

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TV 2018 F150 3.5 liter eco-boost with max tow package, hull #836 “LC”

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Good info, but at least you avoided a potential major catastrophe. What I don't understand is why, well into the 21st Century we are dealing with this sort of bearing to begin with. How difficult is it to supply sealed bearings like all the autos and trucks manufactured over the last 20 or 30 years or more. This is such and outdated technology. Can you imagine if you had to service your tow vehicles bearings this often. 

Not looking forward to it, but with all the discussion lately on bearings I am close to doing this operation myself. 

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Legacy Elite II #70

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I heard Oliver was changing up to Never- lube axles in 2022. Is that so?

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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Correct.  2022 models of LEII trailers are equipped with Never Lube axles.  I specifically avoided purchasing a 2021 model to avoid the frequent maintenance required of the earlier bearing type.  I am relying on Oliver product documentation that my trailer (Hull 990) is so equipped.

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North Texas | 2022 LEII, Hull #TBD, scheduled delivery 1/7/22 | 2014 BMW X5 35d

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Thats awesome, I'm jealous with this new change. Is there anyway to upgrade existing axels with the never lube variety?

Legacy Elite II #70

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37 minutes ago, routlaw said:

Thats awesome, I'm jealous with this new change. Is there anyway to upgrade existing axels with the never lube variety?

It’s my understanding that, unfortunately, it is not available as a retrofit. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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I found this in Dexter faq:

Screenshot_20220505-134225_Chrome.thumb.jpg.d113bcf2364ab42fc564174e15c7f9cf.jpg

 

So, the only upgrade is a change-up of axle and quite possibly a lot of other expensive components. 

@ScubaRx pegged it 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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There are pros and cons to the Nev-R-Lube bearings.

John Davies posted this concern on another thread:

"FYI a replacement Nev-R-Lube bearing assembly itself is extraordinarily expensive and it may require a hydraulic press to install it. So in the event of a failure you will need a tow and a professional automotive or machine shop to fix it - unlike a regular bearing design that can be replaced by a skilled owner with hand tools. A tow will be covered by your roadside assistance insurance, but down time and mental anguish will be high and the shop will charge maybe $100 for labor. You can buy a mechanical puller and do it if you feel capable. Most owners would not be….

http://www.dexterpartsonline.com/files/2036913/uploaded/Nev-R-Lube Bearings.pdf

If the failure is catastrophic, it will trash your brake and perhaps your axle. If you camp in the West in remote areas, the NevR Lube bearings are a huge liability. Some RV shops won’t work on them. They DO fail. If you get this kind of axle, buy and carry a spare bearing, because the parts are not commonly found everywhere. The only way I would want this setup is with disk brakes that have slip on rotors. That way you can carry a complete spare hub assembly and change it yourself in half an hour, and then get the failed bearing replaced at your leisure.

A80EC6BD-3318-4832-8114-2687ED51E688.thumb.jpeg.c9a2607d26e07aa7b91cc10d9d63c540.jpeg

Google “Nev-R-Lube bearing failure”. PS, don’t overload your axles. Do use a TPMS so you will get a heat warning in time.

C93DD29E-EECD-4266-86DE-BC5B97161173.jpeg.33e28a37fcd6c61c699d2e4c1f685d8f.jpeg

John Davies

Spokane WA"

Our 2022 Elite II will have Nev-R-Lube axles.  I plan to follow John's advice and carry a couple of spare bearings, so even if I must have the trailer towed to a nearby shop for repairs if I have a failure on the road, I will have the necessary bearings in hand to expedite the repair process.

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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1 hour ago, Rivernerd said:

I will have the necessary bearings in hand to expedite the repair process.

I personally think that this is a good rule to follow even if you have the "standard", "old style", "regular" bearings.

Bill

 

P1010210.JPG

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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30 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

I personally think that this is a good rule to follow even if you have the "standard", "old style", "regular" bearings.

Bill

 

P1010210.JPG

I will have a 2022 LE2 in November.   What is the bearing set that is recommended as it will have the Nev-r-lube bearings, I assume. 

John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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32 minutes ago, John Welte said:

What is the bearing set that is recommended as it will have the Nev-r-lube bearings, I assume. 

To make absolutely certain - I'd ask Jason Essary (Oliver Service Dept).

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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When I repacked my 2021 E2 bearings (hull #709), I found a heaping amount of grease still intact in the bearings/races and also a fair amount in the space between then, fwiw. Doesn't mean there wasn't a systemic issue that may have effected other units, but FTR I didn't see it on our trailer.

 

As an aside this strikes me as a job that I'd be more than happy to pay a  reasonsable fee to have someone else do for me in the future (not my idea of a fun day, and I don't think I'll ever get super efficient given how infrequently I'd ever be doing it), but I wanted to learn how this stuff all fits together and how to do this myself in case I find myself needing to replace bearings on the road (I didn't replace the cones/cups this time but I thin I'm pretty clear on how to deal with that part of the job and have the relevant tools along with spares for the travel kit).

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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Probably the best idea to quickly get back on the road is buy a spare hub with a new bearing installed.  With some simple tools and a torque wrench you could easily be back on the road in short order.  

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4 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

As an aside this strikes me as a job that I'd be more than happy to pay a  reasonsable fee to have someone else do for me in the future

I agree. It's a mind-numbing task. We often take ours to our mechanic for that reason. He works on both our trucks and the trailer, so we hook it up, get a truck serviced, and get the trailer done.

When he retires, we'll either have to go back to doing it ourselves, or find a new guy. 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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4 hours ago, topgun2 said:

To make absolutely certain - I'd ask Jason Essary (Oliver Service Dept).

Bill

I wrote to Dexter today and they said the bearings have a five year warranty.   I will still ask Jason,  but at least the warranty sounds reasonable. 

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John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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3 hours ago, ChrisMI said:

Probably the best idea to quickly get back on the road is buy a spare hub with a new bearing installed.  With some simple tools and a torque wrench you could easily be back on the road in short order.  

That is not a prudent method!  Two things come to mind.

A compete drum with bearing will be REALLY heavy and awkward to store. If you have a big truck bed, that may not matter.

A brand new drum will NOT work correctly on worn brake shoes, the diameters are different. This is why you always replace brakes in pairs, on the same axle.

The situation where this would work great is if you have disk brakes with slip on rotors, like on your car. Then you could carry a complete hub and bearing and it wouldn't matter because you would be installing the old rotor onto the new hub and everything will match nicely, in terms or wear.

Just get the bearing assembly, any decent shop in any little town can easily replace it. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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I think the bearing assembly is $150 plus, but i'd want to keep a spare.

We carry very few spare bits, but we do carry a spare bearing kit. Last time we had to replace one (at home,  urban area) , it took awhile to find it. Imo, better to have it, sealed, and never use it, than be stunk in podunk , without, for days . Good shops are everywhere.  Parts, these days, not so easy, and never were in some areas that we enjoy . ..

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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