Bearing Grease Lifespan - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2011, 06:23 PM   #1
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Name: melissa
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Bearing Grease Lifespan

Hello! I have seen ads for trailers that have been sitting unused for years and was wondering if the grease in the bearings is still good in those situations or if it needs to be replaced before towing hundreds of miles home. Does it lose it's lubricating properties over the years even if it was fresh when the trailer was parked?
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by melissab View Post
Hello! I have seen ads for trailers that have been sitting unused for years and was wondering if the grease in the bearings is still good in those situations or if it needs to be replaced before towing hundreds of miles home. Does it lose it's lubricating properties over the years even if it was fresh when the trailer was parked?
The grease itself is affected by contamination and heat/cool cycles during use.
Simple storage has little effect. The problem with the grease on the axle when parked is that is can get condensation in the bearing/spindle housing,and any exposed metal can rust. While this doesn't present a high likelyhood It can happen. This is why repacking them after a long period of parking is prudent.
I have towed project trailers more than several hundred miles after storage with filthy spindles with no dust cap or inner seal, but I carry the necessary tools and materials in my retrieval box to address any contingency and I would plan to replace seals and bearings as part of the rehab.
If you think everything looks good and the dust covers are in place, and you decide to forgo a repack before towing the trailer home, then you should stop after the first 20-30 miles and check the hubs for heat by simply touching them. Then do so at every fuel stop. If you can not keep your fingers on the hub behind the dust cap for at least a couple of seconds then they are too hot and need attention.
If your trailer has EZ-Lube spindles you could give them some grease without disassembly for the trip home.
Of course, if done right, no harm will come from repacking more often than necessary, many people do so.
If you can get it done before the trip home, that would be great. Towing a short distance to have it done is not likely to cause any problem, and that is just one more thing that you don't need to address at home.
Be sure and inspect your tires and air them up to standard as they are at least as likely to suffer from "several years" of storage.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
The grease itself is affected by contamination and heat/cool cycles during use.
Simple storage has little effect. The problem with the grease on the axle when parked is that is can get condensation in the bearing/spindle housing,and any exposed metal can rust. While this doesn't present a high likelyhood It can happen. This is why repacking them after a long period of parking is prudent.
I have towed project trailers more than several hundred miles after storage with filthy spindles with no dust cap or inner seal, but I carry the necessary tools and materials in my retrieval box to address any contingency and I would plan to replace seals and bearings as part of the rehab.
If you think everything looks good and the dust covers are in place, and you decide to forgo a repack before towing the trailer home, then you should stop after the first 20-30 miles and check the hubs for heat by simply touching them. Then do so at every fuel stop. If you can not keep your fingers on the hub behind the dust cap for at least a couple of seconds then they are too hot and need attention.
If your trailer has EZ-Lube spindles you could give them some grease without disassembly for the trip home.
Of course, if done right, no harm will come from repacking more often than necessary, many people do so.
If you can get it done before the trip home, that would be great. Towing a short distance to have it done is not likely to cause any problem, and that is just one more thing that you don't need to address at home.
Be sure and inspect your tires and air them up to standard as they are at least as likely to suffer from "several years" of storage.
Ya! What Floyd said.
I would be more concerned about the tires. If they've sat a long time, 3, 4, or more years, the sidewalls are probably shot and a blow out is possible. New tires would be in order, the sooner the better. Some tire stores can also repack bearings.
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:26 AM   #4
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Unhappy Never trust another's work.

It probably would be a good idea to at least look at the bearings.

I recall buying a 1953 Dodge panel truck in 1965. I took it out on the freeway and drove it around town. Then I took it into my local mechanic for an oil change. He asked about the front wheel bearings. I said sure take a look at them. When he pulled them off, they fell apart in his hands.
The Lord was watching over me during that episode.

Check out this website:

Lubrication of Rolling Bearings - Technical Solutions for Critical Running Conditions
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:52 AM   #5
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Since the thread now includes tires, I would add brake inspection, servicing, cleaning and adjustment. It's all right there. I would figure $500 for bearings, tires, and brakes ( labor included) into the negotiation equation. If I'm going on a long trip these are all things I want working correctly. Good luck, Raz
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:20 AM   #6
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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! This is probably the very best adage to remember when it comes to molded trailer ownership. And as far as I'm concerned, it starts the moment cash is traded for the title of the trailer. The one thing you absolutely want to make certain is the trailer is safe to go down the road, after all you're sharing the road with others. Take the time to inspect and pack the bearings. At least then, you'll never have to live with woulda/shoulda/coulda.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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uhaul's ....sealed units..not serviced.....shouldn't fail anyway under normal usage.
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