: Oil bath verses grease
08-27-2009, 10:11 AM
Which one is the better of the two options? How often do you have to change the oil in the oil bath hubs? Is there a chance that a seal can go bad with the oil bath and run the hub dry? I have never used the oil bath system on a trailer but am thinking about trying it. You folks that have the oil bath hubs, what are the pros and cons of going to that system? I have used grease for 20 years and never have had a problem but changing the grease is messy work and I would think oil bath is easier to maintain. Am I wrong?
08-27-2009, 10:20 AM
Well, I'm guessing you'll get a variety of opinions on this topic.
I run a Rangertrail and it has the oil bath hubs. You don't change the oil unless it goes milky which indicates water intrusion.
I've done some work on them on my trailers - nothing too externsive. They seem to work well.
As an aside - semi trailers use oil bath hubs too.
Mechanics I've talked with say semi's use oil-bath hubs because the service intervals are much longer, the rolling resistance of the rig is lower, the bearings run much cooler, they last longer, and are easier and cheaper to maintain. However, they same guys say they must be glanced at everytime the rig rolls or they will leave you stranded in a heartbeat.
Greased hubs can be neglected more.
Considering you are bothering to ask, I'd bet you'd keep an eye on them and be happy.
08-27-2009, 05:35 PM
I've had both, and I know alot of guys like oil but they did not work out for me. I lost oil at the very beginning from one hub and later developed another leak after one year. I found that they are really touchy in that the spindle sleeve has to be perfect. Also, I think that if any grit work its way into the back seal, you will lose oil. The oil is so fluidy (if there is such a word) that if it finds a small hole it will be gone. I fish the Mississippi River so there is alot of junk in the water. My oil hubs were installed by an authorized dealer so I assume they were put on correctly. Anyway, I started with grease, tried oil, and now I am back to grease. To me grease hubs are much more forgiving, easy to find parts on the road, and not as touchy. This was just my experience so others may not agree.
08-31-2009, 09:22 AM
Went oil bath about 4 years ago and have no reason to look back. Drain oil at end of season, add new oil and good for another year. No more repacking for me. Also, no grease splatter on inside of wheels. At some point I'm assuming will need to replace the rear seals. Hubs seem to run cooler but nothing I would worry about. Whether I was using grease or oil, I have a complete hub as a spare to replace.
09-01-2009, 04:42 PM
Most over the road vehicles, semi's, buses, have changed over. So, what does that tell you.
my son has the oil bath on his trailer, thats the way it came when he boughty his new boat. He is on his second season with no problems. but like someone else said, if you get a leak you could be in trouble quickly depending how fast the oil leaks out. On the other hand if you neglect your grease bearings, you can be in trouble also.
I have had bearings wear out with the grease type.
That said I am still on the fence o this one. I have always had grease and never had oil.
I just changed the bearings on my Shorelandr after 4 years on my Liqui Lube system. I only did it because I felt guilty, the bearings were still in good shape. Shorelandr has sleeves on the inner spindle for a near perfect fit but I don't of anyone that has oil that would change back.
09-02-2009, 03:34 PM
I was reading the book on the oil bath hubs for my 2007 Rangertrail and found where they suggested to change the oil annually or 50,000 miles. It was two years old and somewhere around 8,000 miles So, I changed it. The port side is good. The starboard side clouded up immediately. I changed it again and it did the same thing. I guess if they did away with the see through cap to keep us from worrying about it, I shouldn't worry about it. But I do. Man I hate being a Libra. I'm just like a Browning automatic shotgun. If everything aint so so I can't shoot.