Wheel bearing survey - Fiberglass RV
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:29 PM   #1
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I have the feeling that some new to RVing are more concerned than they should be about the reliability of their trailer wheel bearings.
I don't mean to diminish the need for a good maintenance program as we all have for our autos or insult anyone here on the board.
I have the feeling that sometimes new trailer owners are caused un-needed worry about their trailers when they should simply be enjoying them.

When was the last time you had a wheel bearing problem with your trailer?

How many times have you had a wheel bearing go bad?

If you have not had a problem, how long have you been towing a trailer?

Happy Holidays all,
John
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
When was the last time you had a wheel bearing problem with your trailer?
How many times have you had a wheel bearing go bad?
If you have not had a problem, how long have you been towing a trailer?
Have never had a wheel bearing problem on any trailer other than a boat trailer (that's a different situation - they get wet a lot!).

Again, have never had a wheel bearing problem on any trailer other than a boat trailer.

Towed my first trailer in 1957 (50 years) and frequently since then.

Not asked - I manually repack my wheel bearings and seals at least once every year - usually before the first trip of the year.

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:31 PM   #3
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Just past 21,400 miles on Casita wheel bearings and have never repacked them.

Previous trailer 46,500 and never repacked wheel bearings.

Over 56 years driving cars, many with over 100,000 miles, and never repacked a bearing.

Check hub temperature on Casita ever time we stop. Never tested hub temperature on cars.
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #4
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I've never had trailer wheel bearing problems. I do however have them cleaned and repacked if its a old unit. I did have my truck front wheel bearings fail, But even the repair shop said it never should have happened. I have no serious issues with wheel bearings.
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:37 AM   #5
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I've had my trailer since it was new and put about 11,000 miles on it. No repack yet.

I lift the trailer and spin the tire/wheel assemblies in the spring just to check and put a squirt of grease in about every other year.

If I had bought the trailer used and didn't know it's history I might consider a repack, but probably only if I felt a little slack in the freely rotating wheels.
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:53 AM   #6
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Hi: When we bought our '77 Boler Prev. Own. said he put new bearings in just recently!!! Last year I replaced his "New bias ply Tires" with radials and while the tires/wheels were off had the bearings repacked. It was discovered then that the wrong seals had been used and the grease was starting to be where it's not supposed to be!!! WHEW!!! Caught in the nick of time
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:24 AM   #7
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For my own peace of mind, I had the bearings repacked when I had the brakes redone and new wheels put on after I bought the trailer last summer.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:55 AM   #8
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John, I suspect that wheel bearing failures on travel trailers are actually fairly rare; even more so on those trailers that receive fairly regular maintenance. However, having had to cut a bearing off a trailer axle spindle on the side of the road a number of years ago (a sailboat trailer, not a fiberglass RV), I don't ever intend to have to do it again. I have my bearings repacked every other year.

I have recently had a spun bearing race on a tow dolly, though... which required a complete new drum/hub assembly. I was in a city and was able to drop the dolly and the toad off my moho. I had to continue the trip with the moho and leave the toad and dolly for a week for the dolly repairs. Fortunately, I caught it while it was a nuisance and got it to a trailer dealer before it became a significant problem.

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Old 12-15-2007, 12:39 PM   #9
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I have never had bearing problems, I don't give it the chance.

Once a year, usually in spring, I take the trailer for a safety check, including bearing pack. It's cheap and good insurance.
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Old 12-15-2007, 12:49 PM   #10
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Had a car bearing go bad in 1982 and none since. Have been towing trailers for over 40 years and no bearing problems. I do however - repack bearings when I purchase a used anything, Car, Truck, Utility and camp trailers.

I use the utility trailer more than the camper and it is always loaded to the max when pulling. Many miles and 17 years old and no problems yet,

It was always a rule of thumb that you repack wheel bearings when you get a brake job and always install new bearing seals.

As Roger stated in another thread, I to walk around the complete rig each time we stop and check everything out. Remember the story about someone unhitching a trailer on a person that stopped to eat - I have always put locks on all items that can accomodate them and I still check to insure everything is in place and OK each time we stop.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:10 PM   #11
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Had a car bearing go bad in 1982 and none since. Have been towing trailers for over 40 years and no bearing problems. I do however - repack bearings when I purchase a used anything, Car, Truck, Utility and camp trailers.

I use the utility trailer more than the camper and it is always loaded to the max when pulling. Many miles and 17 years old and no problems yet,

It was always a rule of thumb that you repack wheel bearings when you get a brake job and always install new bearing seals.

As Roger stated in another thread, I to walk around the complete rig each time we stop and check everything out. Remember the story about someone unhitching a trailer on a person that stopped to eat - I have always put locks on all items that can accomodate them and I still check to insure everything is in place and OK each time we stop.
The Dexter axle has a grease fitting (zerk) on the end. I shoot some grease yearly.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:46 PM   #12
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The Dexter axle has a grease fitting (zerk) on the end. I shoot some grease yearly.
I presume, Jim, that you remove the dust cover from the hub, and scoop out the old, black grease as it's pushed out by the new stuff?

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Old 12-15-2007, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have the feeling that some new to RVing are more concerned than they should be about the reliability of their trailer wheel bearings.
Quote:
Have been towing trailers for over 40 years and no bearing problems.
Compared to some venerable trailerites here, I am a relative . Recognizing that, I deliver my Fiber Stream to a local RV/Trailer repair shop once every 2 years for a bearing and brake inspection. Beyond that, I monitor tire pressure more often, for I do not have to jack up the trailer to do that.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:14 PM   #14
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I suspect that a lot of the concern about wheel bearing is a carry over from boat trailers. You can bet that Class 8 truck trailers don't get a wheel bearing pack every 12,000 miles. I doubt that U-Haul trailers, or other rental trailers get wheel bearings packed every year or 12,000 miles.

My poor old little Ford front wheel drive with almost 200,000 miles had the wheel bearings packed once at about 60,000 miles. It's still my commute car.


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Old 12-15-2007, 06:32 PM   #15
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I've never had a trailer wheel bearing failure, but I have never put enough distance on any trailer for that to mean anything.

I've never had a wheel bearing failure in a car, but most of my car bearings have been sealed units (which are never repacked). My first car (Toyota Tercel) had rear bearings like a typical trailer, in a combined hub/drum like a trailer; I repacked those only when replacing brake shoes, maybe twice in the 354,000 km (220,000 mile) life of the car - it was retired by body damage, with the original bearings (front and rear) still in fine shape. The other car I had with non-sealed bearings had no problems with them, and although I got it when it was old I didn't drive it for very long.

I did have a front wheel bearing failure on our Chevy truck, with bearings just like a trailer. I don't recall ever repacking those, since it didn't occur to me that a modern vehicle would need this sort of work. The whole truck was - in my opinion - a pile of junk so although the bearing failure was no doubt my fault, it didn't really surprise me.

I have noticed that Dexter offers trailer bearings in an oil bath lube option, which some people really like. While this is rare on light vehicles, I get the impression that it is common on heavy commercial vehicles, so that may affect how commercial experience applies to repacking the grease in trailer bearings.
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:50 PM   #16
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I doubt that U-Haul trailers, or other rental trailers get wheel bearings packed every year or 12,000 miles.
The UHaul CT13 'egg' has sealed bearings.
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