Friday, June 1, 2018

Final Checks

Last summer, I had picked up a 12volt compressor and was pretty unhappy with its performance. It would take like 15 minutes to add just a few psi to the tires. Plus, the power cables were too short and the compressor drew enough current to need pretty large cables. I then realized that I could just get an AC powered compressor and run it off of the inverter. I picked up this ⅓ HP model with a peak pressure of 125psi. It only draws about 2 amps (AC) which translates to about 20 amps DC when running off of the inverter. It works great and I used it to run the trailer tires up to 80psi and the truck to 75psi front and 82psi rear. This is a bit more than I ran last year. Based on the tire wear, a bit more pressure is needed on the rear of the truck.

I had picked up this filler designed for flooded batteries. I ran an equalization cycle on the solar controller a few days ago so the batteries needed to be topped off. You just put the nozzle into each cell and push down. The distilled water gurgles in and stops when the cell is at the correct level. None of the plates were showing but it still took about 3 quarts to fill up all of the batteries. I didn't realize that the level was that low.

This afternoon (Thursday), I repositioned the trailer where I could jack up and remove at least some of the wheels to check the bearings and brake pads. I was pretty confident that the bearings were fine as I had checked the hub temperature at every stop last year and they were never hot. With the truck/trailer on this slope, the hitch would not disconnect so I was going to leave it like this for the evening. I'll move it up to the road tomorrow afternoon.

The wheels have something like "Bearing Buddies" though the grease is pushed all the way into the bearings and not simply to the outside bearing. It's built into the trailer axle. The bearings had no discoloration and were well greased. I removed the cotter pin and checked the adjustment before pulling the drum to look at the brakes. The adjustment was right on.

The brakes do show wear but the shoes still have plenty of life left but will need to be changed in maybe another 10k miles. The drums show no trace of a ridge. I went ahead and removed the opposite tire and it was in similar condition. In other words, no apparent problems. With the trailer at this attitude, I can't really check the rear trailer tires but may jack them up and check for play.

When installing wheels, it's important to get the lug nut torque right. Too many times when wheels are installed at a tire shop, they are just installed with a pneumatic impact wrench. I still prefer to use an impact wrench but this set of extensions are calibrated in 10 ft-lb increments. The blue extension is rated at 100 ft-lbs. Very convenient.

After I move the trailer onto the subdivision road, I need to move the pinbox for the trailer to ride level. I moved the pinbox to its lowest position to allow me to back the trailer into our steep driveway without the back of the bed hitting the trailer. I picked up some fine thread, grade 8 hardware for the pinbox. I will be running an extension cord from the house to the road to use the impact wrench with my old compressor. The new, small compressor isn't large enough to run pneumatic tools. The bolts need to be torqued to something around 110 ft-lbs.


  1. Good for you checking all the important parts on your trailer. I recently came by an accident and learned later in the news that it was caused by a combination of defective brakes and almost 20 year old rubber...

    When are you going to hit the road, Richard?

  2. Wow, you are doing it right! We are amazed at how often we have to add water to the batteries in this dry climate. Where are you headed