Dexter self adjusting electric brakes on 17' Escape - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2013, 05:57 PM   #15
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Now I'm showing my age, I remember having to back up to adjust drum brakes and that was innovative then.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:03 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Don't you mean disc brakes, Brian? Drums brakes needed adjusting.
No. That's the point.

Hydraulic disc brakes inherently do not need slack adjustment - even a trailer parts supplier can't mess that up.

Basic drum brakes, as traditionally used on trailers and probably used on cars before my elderly parents got their drivers licenses, need to be adjusted to take up the slack caused by lining wear. The drum brake mechanism in a modern car's service brakes (maybe not a parking-only brake) includes a clever little ratcheting mechanism which turns the adjusting screw just enough to take up the slack, so you don't need to. Dexter is now offering essentially the same thing under the Nev-R-Adjust name "so you should never need to adjust them... just like cars with drum brakes."

I believe that the adjustment still happen on reversing. It may be that there was some previous assumption that trailers don't brake in reverse enough for this design to work.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Dexter is now offering essentially the same thing under the Nev-R-Adjust name "so you should never need to adjust them... just like cars with drum brakes."

I believe that the adjustment still happen on reversing. It may be that there was some previous assumption that trailers don't brake in reverse enough for this design to work.
Since many brake controllers don't work in reverse, you may have struck the nail right on the head, Brian.

To get back to my "is there a difference" question...

Confusion still reigns in my mind as to whether there's some difference between "ordinary" self-adjusting trailer brakes as mentioned by the O.P. as an upgrade on his Escape, and this subsequent post by Jim:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Ian,
Has Escape told you that self NV-R-Adjust brake axles are now available? I know airstream uses some on some models.
Is that a further "upgrade" on the Escape, or is Nev-R-Adjust just Dexter's name for whatever upgrade the O.P. is contemplating???

Whew!

Francesca
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #18
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We have 3 conversations going on and I'm going to try and clarify one of them.Stock Escape Dexter axles have regular bearing and brakes that need maintenance yearly. I assumed they had the E-Z lube feature when I ordered mine. Now I find out they do offer that as an option. I will get them on my new 21'.
Over on airstreams @ Colonial Airstream they list features as "12" Electric Drum Brakes Nev-R-Adjust Brakes (10" Brakes-23; Only) • Nev-R-Lube Hubs (25'-30')". Not knowing which axle Airstream uses, they use torsion plus shocks, I thought that Dexter may now offer and perhaps Escape can order the E-Z lube and the Nev-R-Adjust. Now I see that Airstream calls them Nev-R-Lube, perhaps totally different axle.
Anyway, I'll ask Escape when I fill out my build sheet as to what axle upgrades will be available. They are using 15" tire/wheel combo's on the new Escapes now. Perhaps they have new axles also?
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:07 PM   #19
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Yes, Reese has said they can be ordered with the e-z lub axle... he wasn't too keen on them; said they were fairly new and there might be problems. But I'm inclined to get them unless others nix them enough. Ian
Ian if Reese isnt keen on them I would pass - but thats just based on having a developed a great deal of respect over a number of years for Reese & his know how and knowledge. The truth is the checking and adjusting the brake settings is pretty easy and not a big job to have to do once a year. You need to take the wheels off once a year to check the bearings etc anyways so checking the brake adjusting is not going to take much more time.

Francesca my Prodegy P2 works in reverse - you need to push a button to temp turn it off if need be. Suspect the P3 does as well.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Over on airstreams @ Colonial Airstream they list features as "12" Electric Drum Brakes Nev-R-Adjust Brakes (10" Brakes-23; Only) • Nev-R-Lube Hubs (25'-30')". Not knowing which axle Airstream uses, they use torsion plus shocks, I thought that Dexter may now offer and perhaps Escape can order the E-Z lube and the Nev-R-Adjust. Now I see that Airstream calls them Nev-R-Lube, perhaps totally different axle.
Nev-R-Adjust is the self-adjusting brake feature; Nev-R-Lube is a no-maintenance bearing feature (completely different from E-Z Lube, which is also for bearings). Nev-R-Adjust and Nev-R-Lube are completely unrelated. You could have both, or only one, or only the other, or neither on the same axle. I see no reason why Escape (or anyone else) couldn't order both Nev-R-Adjust and E-Z Lube.

Nev-R-Lube bearings are a large-diameter assembly right in the middle of the wheel, so they are incompatible with small-diameter bolt patterns (but independent of the brakes). I don't think (just from memory - please check the Dexter catalog if interested) that they are available with the 5x4.5" pattern which is standard for 3500 pound axles. If you can get them with that axle size, you probably need to go with the optionally available 6x5.5" bolt pattern. I don't think it was offered, but Nev-R-Lube (with or without Nev-R-Adjust) might be available through Escape as well.

Last I checked (about a year ago) Airstream was using Dexter Torflex axles. The use of Dexter trademarks in the material quoted by Jim suggests that they still do. No, you can't buy Torflex with shock mounting brackets; Airstream either made a special deal with Dexter, or has them welded on later.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:38 PM   #21
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You need to take the wheels off once a year to check the bearings etc anyways so checking the brake adjusting is not going to take much more time.
Indeed, removing and replacing the hub for the bearing work will require manually adjusting the brakes anyway, because the hub is the brake drum, and because the automatic system is not intended to handle initial adjustment, only to account for wear as it occurs.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Nev-R-Lube bearings are a large-diameter assembly right in the middle of the wheel, so they are incompatible with small-diameter bolt patterns (but independent of the brakes). I don't think (just from memory - please check the Dexter catalog if interested) that they are available with the 5x4.5" pattern which is standard for 3500 pound axles. If you can get them with that axle size, you probably need to go with the optionally available 6x5.5" bolt pattern.
I just checked with the Dexter catalog I have from last year, and it does say that you can have the 35mm version of the Nev-R-Lube cartridge bearing system with a 3500 pound axle and 10 x 2 1/4 brakes, but only in the 6x5.5" pattern.

I don't know if there are zero-offset 14" wheels in the 6x5.5" pattern; usually that pattern is used for 15" and 16" diameter trailer wheels.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:12 AM   #23
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It seems to be getting too complicated, maybe I'll just stick with the standard axle. Is there a difference between Nev-R-Lube vs a E-Z-Lube axle?
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:46 AM   #24
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I would guess that the Nev-R-Lube has a sealed bearing like Uhaul used, and most rear axles on front wheel drive cars, front axles too for that matter, and even found on the steer axle of some big trucks. A self adjusting brake, if designed well and functions properly, is a good idea as most people have no idea how to do a brake adjustment.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #25
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Bearing systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
It seems to be getting too complicated, maybe I'll just stick with the standard axle. Is there a difference between Nev-R-Lube vs a E-Z-Lube axle?
Since Nev-R-Lube is a bit obscure, especially for Escape-sized axles, it would have been simpler and probably would have been safe to just ignore it. Now that it's out there...

A standard Dexter axle has two bearings in it (per hub) which need to be occasionally inspected (which involves removing the hub, pulling the bearings apart) and re-greased. They are protected from the outside world by a seal, which generally works fine for us.


An E-Z Lube axle has the same bearings and hub, and the same maintenance requirements. It also has a hole drilled in the spindle and a fitting on the end so grease can be pumped in. This is so it can be kept completely filled with grease to keep out water, for boat trailers which get regularly submerged; after each dunking, a shot of grease forces out water that may have sneaked past the seal. Since pumping in grease might accidentally force it past the seal (and into the inside of the brake drum, if equipped with brakes), an E-Z Lube axle must use (and is supplied with) a better seal than the standard axle.

The grease injection feature of an E-Z Lube can be ignored, and the bearings maintained exactly like a standard axle, without any negative consequences.

Other axle manufacturers offer similar features.


Nev-R-Lube uses completely different bearings. They are located differently (closer together) and the is hub designed to work with them, so nothing about the bearing or hubs is interchangeable with the standard or E-Z Lube. These "cartridge" bearings are never disassembled, and are not re-greased for their entire life. If they wear out or fail, they are replaced. Dexter has these cartridge bearings in three sizes; a hub for an Escape would use the smallest size (35 mm diameter).


Brakes
All three styles are available with the same size of brake drum, and work with exactly the same other drum brake components (the mounting plate, magnet, shoes, etc.). Disc brakes complicate things somewhat, but discs are not offered by Escape (or any other current egg manufacturers to my knowledge).
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #26
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Thanks Brian, for the clear and concise explanation. I'm now better informed.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:14 PM   #27
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The furnace also has a life-time lubricated bearing.
At least mine failed within the warranty period.
Apparently it is lubricated for its life, not yours.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:31 PM   #28
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Bearings: Nev-R-Lube versus hub/bearing units
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I would guess that the Nev-R-Lube has a sealed bearing like Uhaul used, and most rear axles on front wheel drive cars, front axles too for that matter, and even found on the steer axle of some big trucks.
Yes, it is a similar concept with similar implications for maintenance and repair. Neither one requires regular lubrication, or can be re-lubed.

The execution is different, although that may not matter for most purposes.
  • In Dexter's Nev-R-Lube, the bearings alone can be replaced if required, with clips holding the cartridge-type bearings in place.
  • In the system used by U-Haul the spindle, bearings, and hub (but not brake drum) are permanently assembled and are replaced if required as a complete unit, just bolted in.

Brakes: Self-Adjusting
Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
A self adjusting brake, if designed well and functions properly, is a good idea as most people have no idea how to do a brake adjustment.
I agree. In addition to knowing how to adjust, there's getting around to doing it. I like that my car adjusts its rear brakes itself; I would rather not need to do this adjustment on a trailer. I can do maintenance; I'm not quite as diligent as I should be about it...
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