Originally Posted by melissab
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.