1989 13ft Scamp Axle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-24-2006, 08:01 PM   #1
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I have recently purchased a 1989 13ft Scamp. The trailer does not have electric brakes. I would like to add brakes. I have contacted Scamp and they have told me that the company that made the axle on this trailer is no longer in business. The service tech at Scamp also told me that I would have to replace the entire axle to add brakes. I would like to know if anyone else has had any experience with this, and knows of any other alternatives. The axles is welded on and it would have to be cut off and a new axle welded on, I would prefer to not do this if possible. The existing axle does have the mounting plates for brakes, so hopefully I can find a set of brakes that will fit.

I am towing with a 2001 Hyundia Elantra, so the brakes will be necessary to keep within the tow ratings for that vehicle. The car pulls the trailer effortlessly, but the brakes would add a great deal of saftey. Any feed back on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Dave
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Old 09-25-2006, 09:12 AM   #2
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If you have the 4 bolts for the mounting plates, www.northerntools.com sells the brakes and hubs that will bolt on at a most reasonable price.

As far as cutting the old one off and installing a new one, do it right and change it to a bolt on model so you will have a much easier time the next time you have to do it.

One cautionary item: Be sure you do not catch the unit on fire – inside the unit – when doing the cutting and welding.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:44 AM   #3
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I think Darwin's idea of converting to bolt-on (by welding on brackets) is definitely a good one, if the entire axle needs to be replaced.

While I can believe that a particular axle supplier is out of business, it seems unlikely that parts are no longer available, because they are so widely interchangeable. A specific make and model of axle might help others identify the best source of parts.

With most trailer axles which have brake mounting flanges but no-brake hubs, the parts would be backing plate assemblies (complete with magnets and shoes), plus hub/drums (the hub and drum are one piece). A whole new axle may be cheaper, but it might be worth keeping the old one just to avoid the cutting and welding.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:04 AM   #4
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Dave my 1988 16' Scamp HAD an Al-Ko axle...they're still in business. What's the brand of axle on your 1989???

Check out the Helpful Links page for more info: Axles and Running Gear
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Old 09-26-2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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When I talked to the Scamp service rep I didn't think to ask him the brand name on the axle I have. He told me the company that made it was no longer in business and I didn't ask any more questions.

I did call my local Napa store and told them what I was looking for, and they have a set of brakes and drums on order for me. If they are not right I can return them. The price for everything was $225.00. If they work that will be less then half the cost of replacing the axle. I've got my fingers crossed and I'll post the results.

Thanks for the responses, Dave
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Old 09-29-2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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The orig axle on my 91S13 was a Dexter -- Dexter makes brake sets for for just about all the axle manfs, even Al-Ko as I understand it -- As long as your axle has the welded flanges, you should be in good shape -- That's an excellent deal on the brake parts, as I believe my drums alone cost that much...
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:30 PM   #7
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The brakes and drums from Napa are going to work. I was also able to reuse the Bearing Buddy that was on the original hub. The hubs from Napa were Reliable brand and the brakes were Dexter. Here is the final results.

7" Drums, Bearings,Brakes and grease were $239.00
Reese controller new on ebay delivered $29.00
7 wire conectors $17.00
Misc. wire and connectors $15.00

Total Job $300.00

Thanks everyone for your input. Hope this info will help someone else considering adding brakes.

Dave
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:05 PM   #8
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I suggest reconsidering the use of the Bearing Buddies. They work by continually holding pressure on the grease, which may tend to cause grease seepage past the rear seal. While this is okay on an axle without brakes, when there are brakes the seepage is into the inside of the brake drum, potentially causing contamination of the braking surfaces.

Bearing Buddies are for boat trailers, and are intended to prevent water damage to the bearings; this is not a concern for most travel trailers.

This subject has come up before: searches for "bearing buddy" and "bearing buddies" in this forum should produce some results.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
I suggest reconsidering the use of the Bearing Buddies. They work by continually holding pressure on the grease, which may tend to cause grease seepage past the rear seal. While this is okay on an axle without brakes, when there are brakes the seepage is into the inside of the brake drum, potentially causing contamination of the braking surfaces.

Bearing Buddies are for boat trailers, and are intended to prevent water damage to the bearings; this is not a concern for most travel trailers.

This subject has come up before: searches for "bearing buddy" and "bearing buddies" in this forum should produce some results.
If Bearing Buddies are a problem for travel trailers with brakes, why does Scamp put them on then?
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:04 PM   #10
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If Bearing Buddies are a problem for travel trailers with brakes, why does Scamp put them on then?
On the Scamp website, I could not find Bearing Buddies listed as either standard or optional equipment, or in the extensive (right down to clamps and similar hardware) parts list. I did notice that brakes are not standard on the 13' model, so a base 13' might be a reasonable candidate for these devices.

I wonder if they really are put on at the Scamp factory, and if so on which models (i.e. the ones without brakes?), and why. I would ask them by e-mail, but that's not an option with Scamp.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:05 PM   #11
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I wondered about bearing buddies, I bought my 01 19ft 5er used, it had bearing buddies
on it . I also had to replace the bearings , being used I do not know the cause.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:14 PM   #12
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I beat the Bearing Buddies were an add-on by a previous owner. Doubt Scamp did it at the factory.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:20 PM   #13
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I beat the Bearing Buddies were an add-on by a previous owner. Doubt Scamp did it at the factory.
My trailer is less than a year old. I bought it from Scamp.


You had me going there, I had to go out and check.

There's a rubber plug on the end of the hub. When you remove that there's a zert fitting. Isn't that a Bearing Buddy?
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:31 PM   #14
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My trailer is less than a year old. I bought it from Scamp.
You had me going there, I had to go out and check.

There's a rubber plug on the end of the hub. When you remove that there's a zert fitting. Isn't that a Bearing Buddy?
If you have a bearing buddy you had best buy a bearing buddy bra!

By the way, these actually keep extruded grease from coming out of the bearing buddy and coating the underside of the wheel well.
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:27 PM   #15
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Bearing Buddy is completely different from Dexter's EZLube and AL-KO's AG Hub (aka UltraLube, I think) systems.

With BBs, grease is pumped into the axle from a zerk in the dust cover, goes thru the outer bearing, fills the air in the hub and expands a spring in the cover -- In theory, when the warm hub is dunked in cold water at a launch ramp, instead of water being sucked in past the seal, the spring moves -- Problems that seem to arise is that if the grease has stiffened, the spring may not move -- Also, if the hub gets hot, the spring is putting tension on the hot grease and the only outlet is the seal -- Also, there is no way for new grease to get to the inner bearing unless the seal is leaking a lot of grease.

With the other two systems (now provided on many axles), a rubber cap in the dust cover is removed, exposing a zerk set in the center of the spindle -- Grease pumped in (slowly, by hand pump, not compressed air gun, with the wheel jacked up and turning slowly, according to Dexter) goes down a hole drilled in the center of the spindle and emerges between the seal and inner bearing -- Taking the course of least resistance, the new grease goes thru the inner bearing, then the hub, then thru the outer bearing to emerge by the zerk -- If the grease expands, the rubber cap lets the grease escape on the outside of the hub, not thru the seal and onto the brakes.

Here's a nifty animation showing AL-KO's system.

According to the moderator on a pop-up group, Dexter and AL-KO did a lot of testing to ensure that a hub full of grease didn't cause problems compared to bearings greased the conventional way with a hub full of air.
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:57 PM   #16
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Thanks for the explaination Pete. I stand corrected.
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Old 10-08-2006, 05:33 AM   #17
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You and I bought learned something about our Scamp's Byron. Thanks to Pete, I know the axle on my Scamp doesn't have Bearing Buddies. I knew I had ordered the EZ-Lube bearings...but was starting to think they were the same thing. Now I know they're not
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:58 PM   #18
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Okay, now we have the distinction between a conventional axle end with a Bearing Buddy (grease fitting in special cap) and an E-Z Lube axle end (grease fitting in end of spindle).

While the E-Z Lube (or Al-Ko AG) hub avoids continuous pressure on the grease, and other problems described by Pete, it is still not the best combination with brakes on a travel trailer. From Dexter's FAQ:
Quote:
[b]E-Z LUBE - What is the E-Z Lube option?
The E-Z Lube option was designed specifically for the marine application where the axles are constantly being immersed in water. This feature provides a convenient method for purging the water from the hub cavity without having to pull the hub every time. The hubs should be removed every 12 months or 12,000 miles to inspect the bearings and it is imperative to replace the seal at this time to assure that the grease does not leak out the back onto the brake linings rendering the brakes non-functional.
As I mentioned the last time this topic came up (the last half of Lubing and Repacking), I see no advantage to use of the E-Z Lube system in an axle with brakes, because proper maintenance requires tearing down the hubs just as frequently as with a basic axle.

By the way, Dexter had a very nice one-page description of E-Z Lube on their website, but it seems to have been lost in a recent restructuring. I think anyone interested in trailer axle technology should consider downloading their complete manual (but be ready for a large file). The best I can do at the moment is this image clipped from an earlier version of their manual:
[b]Dexter E-Z Lube Hub

Click image for larger version

Name:	EZ_Lube_90.jpg
Views:	57
Size:	20.4 KB
ID:	5100


Update:
I don't know how I missed it before, but Dexter does still have their E-Z Lube description available in their Trailer Axle Resources.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:04 PM   #19
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Here's the quote from recent RV.NET thread:

QUOTE
While originally the EZLube axles were specifically designed for baot trailer use where the axle could be submerged, so many RV towable manufacturrers has spec'd them as OEM equipment on dry land trailers that Dexter and AL-Ko with their UltraLube axles have tested and rated them for dry over the road trailers. They are specifically designed to be run full of grease and so far after a few years of use show no tendencies to push grease past the seals when run for long periods of highway speeds.BUT as both Al-Ko and Dexter sites say, they are not a replacement for removal, cleaning, inspecting, rgreasing and reinstallation of the bearings.
END QUOTE

I don't recall the add'l cost to the RV manf for the EZLube option, but it isn't much, so it makes sense to put them all axles -- Like the brake flanges, you can't add them later and you don't have to use them (Bearings can be removed, cleaned, inspected, packed and reinstalled with new seal in the traditional manner without ever using the grease zerk).
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