Trailer wheel temperature - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-17-2015, 06:47 AM   #1
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Trailer wheel temperature

Can anyone tell me what the normal temperature of the Parkliner trailer wheels should be? I usually feel the hubs by hand at every stop and mine seem hot. Too hot to leave my hand on them. I have the brake controller set at minimum. The camper is only 1 year old.
Thanks,
George
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:11 AM   #2
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Checking hub temperature by feel is not a good indication of any problems because:
1) hot hub can mean that the bearings are generating the heat and could be close to failure.
or
2) brakes generate a lot of heat during use, this heat is dissipated through the brake drums and hubs, hot hubs simply mean you have recently applied the brakes and everything is working as designed.
or
3) the brakes are set-up too tight and are dragging on the drums, this will generate heat and wear out the brake shoes
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:52 AM   #3
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Hopefully much of the heat from braking will be dissipated through the wheel rims before it gets to the hubs.


But that's a moot point. Unless you just came off of a huge hill your hubs should not always be to hot to hold you hand against. Sounds like it's time to get brakes and bearings checked.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:17 AM   #4
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When in doubt, check 'em. We can advise you, but we aren't there to help you on the side of the road. For the sake of yourself and your family as well as others on the road, ere on the side of caution.

If you can't do it yourself, pay a professional.

Setting the controller on a low setting will not help but only reduce the effectiveness of the brakes, which may be dangerous in an emergency situation and will reduce the life of the brake shoes, as it will put more load on the TV brakes.

If the brakes are properly adjusted, set the controller per the manufacturers procedure.

Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2015, 12:47 PM   #5
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for most people 100 degrees F is very warm to the touch and you can comfortably hold your hand on it. 125 F is hot to the touch and you can hold your hand on it but wont like it. 150 F is very hot to the touch and most people wont be able to leave your hand on it. After this stuff just burns and you don't want to go touching it. Not a good away to test for heat but some of us neanderthals still do it this way.

If you suspect a controller issue you can check for voltage for the electric brakes at your trailer socket. Unplug the trailer and check the tugs blue line at the socket with a meter to ground and see if you have voltage there when your not on the brakes with the car running or head lights on or turn signals on. There shouldn't be any power if the brakes are not applied or the controllers manual switch isn't activated.

You may want to check your breakaway switch mounted on your trailer. If you have one of these switches there is battery power going in one side of the switch and the other side goes to the trailer brakes magnet. Pull the safety plunger and power goes through the switch to the brakes. A malfunction or activated switch could cause this issue.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:09 PM   #6
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If it is too hot to leave your hand on it there is likely a problem. The exceptions are if you recently used the brakes (slowing for the exit or turn) or if you are driving in extremely hot weather. I feel my hubs every time I stop for gas. It is MUCH better to be fixing it at a gas station than on the shoulder of the road. A couple of times in the past 20 years I was able to detect a problem and fix it before it became a disaster. That being said if a bearing fails, it will heat up enough to destroy the hub and axle in just a mile or two. That happened to me once also.
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:37 PM   #7
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A DC Amp-Clamp will tell you immediately if there is any stray current going to the brakes. Use it with the engine running.


I use a Craftsman 400A AC/DC Amp Clamp/Digital Multimeter that is the #1 best tool for troubleshooting any RV electrical problems.


And I, for one, don't consider a quick touch to my hubs to be Neanderthal at all, it's quick, easy to do, and will let you know of any impending problems.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #8
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Even though we have temperature sensors on our trailer tires, I make it a practice to walk around and touch every tire/hub on tow vehicle and trailer every time we stop. Today at the tip of the tire stem the temp reached 102 F on the sunny side of the car. The out side temp was 87F.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #9
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No expert but can't trailer brakes be adjusted to be too tight "at rest" without any power being applied?

Have seen that with drum brakes on cars and they will get pretty hot pretty fast if they are dragging even a little the entire time you are driving.

I would bet Norm has had the habit of checking the wheels by feel since long before he added the electronic monitoring. Just too ingrained to stop now.

Not saying Norm has been doing this awhile but it brings to mind the bird hunters that duck down to shoot under black powder smoke even after they had modern smokeless shotgun shells for a decade. :-)
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
No expert but can't trailer brakes be adjusted to be too tight "at rest" without any power being applied?

Have seen that with drum brakes on cars and they will get pretty hot pretty fast if they are dragging even a little the entire time you are driving.

Yes!


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Old 08-17-2015, 03:55 PM   #11
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The OP asked for a temp. I'd say - "If the standing 'outdoor' temp is plus 20 degrees C., then the tire and hub temps should be 20 degrees C." Anything otherwise, should be checked out, or rationalized. And, if it's anywhere near Zero Celsius - start shoveling the path to the barn.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:14 PM   #12
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I think that the OP was looking for a figure for a working hub after, say,100 miles of driving.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GeorgeH View Post
Can anyone tell me what the normal temperature of the Parkliner trailer wheels should be? I usually feel the hubs by hand at every stop and mine seem hot. Too hot to leave my hand on them. I have the brake controller set at minimum. The camper is only 1 year old.
Thanks,
George

You might try putting some grease in and seeing what happens. Maybe they weren't lubed correctly at the factory. If that solves the issues you may need new bearings or have them checked out.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeH View Post
Can anyone tell me what the normal temperature of the Parkliner trailer wheels should be? I usually feel the hubs by hand at every stop and mine seem hot. Too hot to leave my hand on them. I have the brake controller set at minimum. The camper is only 1 year old.
Thanks,
George
Go to your favorite tire dealer and ask him to check the wheel bearings and brakes before you end up costing yourself even more money.
I've been towing something for 45 or 50 years.
10 horse horse trailer's to 13" Scamps.

If the bearing dust cover is to hot to touch it's most likely a bearing problem.

John
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