How often to grease wheel bearings - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2014, 12:00 PM   #1
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How often to grease wheel bearings

I have about 1,500 miles on my trailer since I last had the wheel earings cleaned and re-greased. Next week I will be on a 1,000 mile trip with the trailer for work. A week after I get home from that trip my wife and I leave on a 6,000 mile trip across the US. My question is should I give the wheel bearing a shot of grease before leaving on the long trip? I do clean and repack the wheel bearing once a year no matter the mileage.

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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You don't say how long ago the wheel bearings were repacked. You say 1,500 miles, but not how long ago or if it is used frequently or stored without moving for long periods.
Your bearings should be inspected about every two years or 20,000 miles. I've had mine repacked twice since 2008. The bearings and races are original and show no sign that they need replacement.
Repacking every year should not be necessary.
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #3
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As I recall Dexter says yearly or 12000 miles. I've followed this routine for years. Every time things look fine. With the exception of a little discoloration of the grease near the seal, the grease I remove looks like the grease I reapply. It takes me less than an hour and the seals are cheap. Raz
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:51 PM   #4
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every two years or 20,000 miles
I have been told to do it more often by some people. I personally do it every 2 yrs or 10,000 miles and recently have been doing it more often. I will be interested in what others actually do and when they have had issues. I had one issue 8000 miles and 1 year after inspection, but I have been told that was unusual.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #5
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I have been told to do it more often by some people. I personally do it every 2 yrs or 10,000 miles and recently have been doing it more often. I will be interested in what others actually do and when they have had issues. I had one issue 8000 miles and 1 year after inspection, but I have been told that was unusual.
What happened?
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:05 PM   #6
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I repack the bearings on my trailer every spring regardless of how many miles I have put on the trailer each year. Its a pretty simple and easy way to see if you have any bearing issues before hitting the road.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
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I also had an issue with a brand new set of bearings after only 2 months of use. I went cheap and purchased a set on line made in China rather than buying locally the poplar Timken bearings. The cheap online ones started running warm - pulled them and they showed signs of wear - only had about 2000 miles on them at the time. Current Timken's have been on the trailer for almost 4 years and thousands of miles with no issues. Moral of story - don't go cheap on the bearings.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:14 PM   #8
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What happened?
It scared me. When I stopped at a rest area I noticed that I had way too much grease and metal shavings one of the wheels. I had lost or was losing a wheel bearing. I found a nearby RV dealer and with a little effort and less money than I expected we were back on the road.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:58 PM   #9
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Before I headed to GA last week I took my Scamp to my local trailer shop to have it's brakes adjusted and wheel bearings done. They had about 10,000 miles on them and everything was great. My local guy said to bring it back every season regardless of mileage.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
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I use to carry one of those Infrared hand held thermometers and every time we stop for a break or fuel, I read all center hubs on both the camper and truck.

A couple of years ago I installed an air pressure and temp sensor system on both the camper and truck and it automatically reads out and will send a warning if things get to hot or if tire gets to low on pressure.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #11
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My local guy said to bring it back every season regardless of mileage.
He does have bills to pay.

Kidding aside, I have always done mine roughly every 3 years, or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. I have never had an issue, and have always ended up reusing the same bearings.

One thing I do yearly is to pop the caps, and do a quick visual to see if there is any sign of contamination or heat, as well as check the nut for appropriate tightness. I did find once on a construction trailer that some dirt had got in due to a dinged cap leaking, so did the bearings right away, though got to reuse them as no damage had been done.

Doing the bearings really is quite easy, but I have a mile long list of easy things to do. If I felt in any way that there was a safety issue, I would be all over it. Everyone has to find a comfort level in their own minds for the frequency in which to repack their bearings.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
I use to carry one of those Infrared hand held thermometers and every time we stop for a break or fuel, I read all center hubs on both the camper and truck.

A couple of years ago I installed an air pressure and temp sensor system on both the camper and truck and it automatically reads out and will send a warning if things get to hot or if tire gets to low on pressure.
I hadn't heard of sensors that read the temps too, I thought it was just pressure, but then I didn't look hard at them yet. What make do you use, and how do you like them?
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:22 PM   #13
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Follow the manufacturer's instructions or no harm doing them more often. I always replace the seals at the same time.

I know of a case where a guy bought a new dual axle TT back in the early 70's.

He went across the country every year and never bothered with wheel bearing maintainace. On the 10th or 11th trip he stopped for gas. He then noticed his trailer was running on only 3 wheels/tires. One wheel bearing had overheated and seized. The axle snapped and the wheel/tire went AWOL.
Extensive damage was done from the wheel well back. $4,000 worth of repairs and a new axle got him back on the road again. A hard lesson to learn let alone the major safety issue he created. NOT
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #14
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For those who do this sort of thing in 1 hour, are you cleaning your bearings with a solvent or just pulling them and pushing clean grease through?
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