Changing Axle Bearings on a '74 Ventura - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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Question Changing Axle Bearings on a '74 Ventura

Hi Everyone,

My Wife and I just picked up a 1974 Ventura on the weekend and I just joined this forum. Looking to get it ready for a big trip out to BC from SK here in Canada. I have no idea what maintenance has been done to this trailer and I have a couple weeks so I'm trying to go through and replace a few things.

I'm looking to change out the axle bearings and grease them up. Has anyone ever done this? How often should it be done? I'm considering seeing if Princess Auto has a kit to do it. Just looking for some advice. Also, my tug is a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. I doubt I'll have any issues pulling it.

One other question. Has anyone ever used a single bed (bench seat) for a small child? Trying to figure out options for my 8 mo. old little girl so we won't fall off the bunk while sleeping. She stands up in her crib already but doesn't walk if that helps. Suggestions? Greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dave Ventura View Post
Hi Everyone,

My Wife and I just picked up a 1974 Ventura on the weekend and I just joined this forum. Looking to get it ready for a big trip out to BC from SK here in Canada. I have no idea what maintenance has been done to this trailer and I have a couple weeks so I'm trying to go through and replace a few things.

I'm looking to change out the axle bearings and grease them up. Has anyone ever done this? How often should it be done? I'm considering seeing if Princess Auto has a kit to do it. Just looking for some advice. Also, my tug is a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. I doubt I'll have any issues pulling it.

One other question. Has anyone ever used a single bed (bench seat) for a small child? Trying to figure out options for my 8 mo. old little girl so we won't fall off the bunk while sleeping. She stands up in her crib already but doesn't walk if that helps. Suggestions? Greatly appreciated!
Clean and inspect the bearings, replace only if there is a problem..( damaged cage, rust, spaulding etc.) If you buy new bearings inspect them as well. It is commonly considered prudent to replace the races with the new bearings as sets.
For the bunk...
A frame with a web material like the sides of a pac&play, or maybe you could modify one of those "baby gates".
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
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Thanks Floyd! Ya, I might bring it in to work tomorrow and have a look at it in our welding fab shop. I think I might mod the back bumper as well by welding on a 2" receiver so I can insert a metal framed basket or bike rack. Just picked up a single holed faucet because the 39 year old plastic one busted, and some new marker lights for her too.

Also, the pac n' play type frame with mesh idea is what I've been thinking. Just need to find something inexpensive to make work. Might just end up putting her on the floor on the mat for sleeping anyways. Just have to move her when we wake up due to space constraints.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Well if you are going to Princess Auto, have a look at the mesh bungee things for ATV's - they might just work for the sleeping barriers.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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Hi Dave, I see you're new to FiberglassRV so We're glad you're here
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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If it's still the original bearings there is a good chance that some of the rollers will be cracked or burned. I always start a new trailer out with a new set of bearings and races as well as new seals.

Take out an entire set and take it to your auto supply shop for them to match them.

Not to scare you, but some of the older trailers (i.e. Hunter's) can have obsolete seals that may be hard to find.

Good Luck
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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Thanks Donna. This seems like a great site with lots of info and people with a wealth of knowledge that are enthusiated about the fiberglass camping/living world.

And Roy,not a bad idea but I'm sure my kid will just get tangled. She's quite busy. ha.

I'll try that out Bob, thanks. Still have a week before our big trip and lots to do before then!
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:19 PM   #8
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I might bring it in to work tomorrow and have a look at it in our welding fab shop. I think I might mod the back bumper as well by welding on a 2" receiver so I can insert a metal framed basket or bike rack.
Since you're a professional I s'pose you already know this, but for others reading the thread who may not:
Do make sure to add trailer frame reinforcements sufficient to support such a mod- even bigger conventional trailer bumpers aren't able to withstand such loading without additional support.

Francesca
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:09 PM   #9
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Welding Modifications

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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
Since you're a professional I s'pose you already know this, but for others reading the thread who may not:
Do make sure to add trailer frame reinforcements sufficient to support such a mod- even bigger conventional trailer bumpers aren't able to withstand such loading without additional support.

Francesca
Yes Francesca, you are correct. Anyone wanting to do any modifications by means of welding needs to understand the integrity of the stress being put on the material under load. The bumper on the back of my Ventura is basically a thin walled C-channel. When I put on my 6x2" receiver, I'll be adding some backing plate and 1/4" fillet welds all around it. If there's any questions about the integrity of the weld, a magnetic particle inspection may be used only for peace of mind sake to ensure there are no weld defects. Also, keep in mind that fiberglass RV's don't weight very much either so don't put too much heavy stuff on the back because you still need tounge weight. I'm not a welder but a welding inspector so if anyone has any questions welding/metal related please let me know if I can help!
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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....... If there's any questions about the integrity of the weld, a magnetic particle inspection may be used only for peace of mind sake to ensure there are no weld defects. ......
Which isle is that device stocked in at the Harbor Freight store?
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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The bumper on the back of my Ventura is basically a thin walled C-channel. When I put on my 6x2" receiver, I'll be adding some backing plate and 1/4" fillet welds all around it. If there's any questions about the integrity of the weld, a magnetic particle inspection may be used only for peace of mind sake to ensure there are no weld defects.
I wouldn't worry about the welding in this case, but even if it is perfect the hitch load is still all on that bumper. The usual solution to the bumper twisting under load is to extend the receiver tube forward to the next crossmember.

I would fall over in shock if I heard of any RV manufacturer using NDT to examine weld quality.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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I'm looking to change out the axle bearings and grease them up... Just looking for some advice.
Even if you don't have a Dexter axle, I suggest downloading the maintenance manuals from Dexter Axle. You will hear a lot of advice regarding bearing maintenance procedures, and some is just wrong (no problems with what has been posted in this thread so far!).
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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The way I test bearings is I see if my fingernail catches anywhere in the cup with the cone out. If so, I change cups and cones. A lot of times I will do that scratches or no just for peace of mind. You'll need new seals and cotter pins.

Often, bearings and seals for standard size axles are readily available as kits. I find NAPA has a good selection, but I imagine any auto parts retailer could help you get the right stuff.

Good luck!

Frank
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:04 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone. Good suggestions. I will look into it.
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