Suspension lubrication?

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EriikK

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Apr 13, 2014
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Ann Arbor MI
Is there anything other than the wheel bearings I should be lubricating or servicing on my trailer suspension? 
I have a 25' Forest River toyhauler with a 2-axle Lippert chassis.  It's four years old now and seems to have more squeaks and groans than it used to.  On a quick look I didn't spot any Zerk grease fittings....?

Thanks in advance...

 

lynnmor

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May 14, 2013
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If it has leaf springs, then the nylon bushings in the spring eyes wear out quickly.  Check that and replace with a wet bolt kit if you want a good upgrade.  I spray my leaf springs with Fluid Film to prevent rust and lubricate between leaves.  https://www.fluid-film.com/
 

Utclmjmpr

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Cedar City, UT
Your local ACE hardware store will have LPS2,,a great penetrate/lubricant that stays where you put it. (unlike WD40)>>>Dan
(Use between the leaves)
 

EriikK

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Ann Arbor MI
Thanks!  So of course there are follow-up questions.

0.. Is there a way to tell if my bushings are worn, short of taking it all apart? 

1.. If I'm going to take it apart, I'd be happy to spend the modest $ to upgrade to wet bolts.  Do I use the same (new) nylon bushings with them?  Is there any downside to the wet bolts other than the cost and the need to grease them occasionally?  (once a season is good?)

2.. I use Fluid Film on many vehicles to slow down the rust.  Never thought of using it on the leaf springs to quiet them down and make them happy.  Doh!  Will do.

Thanks again for the advice!


 

lynnmor

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The nylon bushings wear quickly so replacing them is not a waste of time or money.  Checking for wear is rather difficult and problems won't show up till it is real bad.  There is another type of plastic bushing called Never-Fail, that may be an improvement.  Personally I would replace all the parts with a heavy duty wet bolt kit if I intended to use the trailer for many thousands of miles.  Even with the wet bolts, greasing should be done frequently to avoid wear.  Just Google wet bolt kit and see what is available and pricing.
 

Foto-n-T

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Several years ago I broke a spring hanger on my triple axle toy hauler.  When I had the repair done I  had a wet bolt kit installed and I don't think I'd own another 5th wheel that didn't have them.  You should be able to get the wet bolt kit for right at about $100 per axle.
 

Lou Schneider

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If your trailer has leaf springs, check the shackle straps that connect the spring ends to the center equalizer.  They support all of the weight on that end of the spring and their holes will enlongate into oblong shapes.
 

EriikK

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Ann Arbor MI
Thanks for all the advice!
The trailer is stored for the winter at a generous friend's place (we're in Michigan) but I will budget time in the spring to take all this apart, inspect, and upgrade to wet bolts while replacing anything else that needs it.  I'm imagining there is no way to tell exactly what sizes and parts I need until I take it apart and see, right?

We've put probably 30k miles on the trailer in the four years we've owned it.  So I guess I shouldn't be surprised it needs some maintenance.  Yes, it has leaf springs and the equalizer between the two axles.  I will lubricate the springs themselves as suggested, and check all the shackles and parts for elongated holes.  Thanks again for the advice!

 

Foto-n-T

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If you've actually got 30k+ miles on that thing in four years you're far exceeding the average for 5th wheels or campers, most don't travel that far in their lifetime.  Having said that, I think you'll find that spring replacement might not be a bad idea as those things aren't the most durable item on the rig.  Here again, you should be able to find springs for right at about $100 per axle retail.  As far as sizes go, they're all pretty much standard as every manufacturer uses springs from just one or two suppliers.  Simply measure the length and width of the spring pack and you're good to go.  The tough part is lifting the entire rig off the ground to do the replacement.  Mine weighs 16,000 pounds so I opted to have a professional do it since I was a thousand miles from home when I busted a spring hanger.  The total price to replace all springs and install wet bolts on my triple axle in 2016 was $900.
 
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