Eeeeeeee Wheel bearing cover - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:47 AM   #1
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Name: Bat Dude
Trailer: Escape
Posts: 347
Eeeeeeee Wheel bearing cover

Hi all,

Last year as I aired up our Escape 19's tires prior to our annual winter escape from Mich. winter I noted that one of the plastic wheel covers that fits over the lug nuts had a line of small cracks on the center "hub" area. I assumed that perhaps I had inadvertently hit something like a curb and had not been aware of it or something flew up from the road.

Now months later that we are at a stable address at Jekyll Island for 1.5 months I ordered a replacement. I like to keep the trailer looking nice.

When I popped the old one off I was shocked to see the metal cap that seals the wheel bearing was actually bouncing around loose inside. That is what caused the cracking!

It will not push back on and I am unclear how it is supposed to attach.

I called ETI, but alas today is a national holiday in Canada - Family Day, so no answer.

Anyone out there who has an idea or suggestions?
The retaining nut on the axle appears to still be sound and not obvious dirt or other detritus was noted.

As an FYI was are parked next to a very new Escape 19 and saw a 21 parked along Riverview Drive yesterday. Wow they are catching one. The older 17 Casita is still parked along Riverview as well.

Cheers all.

Bat Due
Conservation biologist specializing in bats. Now stepping aside from paid $ bat work and just Escaping, painting and mentoring grad students
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:42 PM   #2
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft RQ
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Those metal caps come in different sizes depending on the axle. They are not very expensive. They are held in place by friction. They are generally installed by gently tapping with a rubber or plastic mallet. Conversely they are removed by prying with a flat blade screwdriver to loosen then using slip joint pliers to gently remove without bending. If someone doesn't chime in, check with a trailer dealer to find out what size cap to order for your particular trailer and install it yourself.

That being said, since you have pulled the trailer all the way from Michigan, it wouldn't hurt to have the bearings cleaned and repacked with grease anyway. Call shops in the area where you are and get the prices to service the axle. Any shop should be able to quickly determine and obtain the correct size replacement cap.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:04 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
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As Bruce stated, the bearing caps are friction fit. Not much to it. Tap it on with a rubber mallet to avoid trashing it. Another trick I've used is to tap the cap on by holding a small flat piece of wood squarely in front of it (and tapping the piece of wood).
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:37 PM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
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Sometimes those dust caps are so tight they'll dent rather than go into the hub. The best way to drive in the bearing dust cap is to use a piece of pipe that fits over the end of it and stops at it's flange. the force is then applied on the flange. Then tap on the end of that pipe. About 6" long is enough to hold it with one hand as you hit it with a hammer.

In a pinch, lay a piece of 2X4 flat against the cap, the side of the board, not the end. Then tap on that as needed. A heavier hammer moving slowly is better than a light hammer pounding away.

Be sure it gets set in place with the flange against the hub, and no significant dents, or it will rub the nut.
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:03 PM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Is it the dust cap that has the rubber plug in the end, which you remove to get at the grease fitting on the end of the axle, or a solid metal cap. Either way it is just a tight fit in the hub so install with a hammer gently. If you do have the EZ Lube axle with the rubber plugs on the dust caps I would suggest buying some spare plugs as I found they don't last long before they crack. Amazon has them but for some odd reason they come in a pack of 5. When do you leave Jekyll, we will be there early April.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:24 PM   #6
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I had the same experience. I realized the dust cap was off as I backed into a camping spot. The next day I bought everything I needed to grease the bearings. They were contaminated. I found a new dust cap at a local rv dealership. Bought a mallet at Walmart and a piece of pvc pipe to drive on the cap at Home depot. I had to buy a 2 ft piece and they cut it for me. Since then I carry a small plastic container with everything I would need (including a set of greased bearings) should it happen again. Of course since I have all the stuff, it won't. Oh and tractor supply sells the dust caps.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:06 PM   #7
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
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Here is an Idea, get two caps for the PVC pipe and since the ID id larger than the ID of the hub use it to store those greased bearings as well. Put them in baggies and stuff them in the pipe and dry fit the caps. You can maybe put a set of seals in there as well along with something else of use.
Maybe a miniature of Jack Daniel's in case a snake is under the trailer.
Or maybe stuff in a rag and some GO JO in a baggie to clean up with.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:42 AM   #8
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All may be OK

Hi all,
Tnx for the feed back. By shear serendipity the mobile RV fix-it guy was cruising through the campground late yesterday around dinner time. He stopped just behind our site and did some quick repair on a motor home rig.

I popped the plastic hub off and a quick inspection showed the grease and bearings looked clean and not detritus or bad stuff.

The flange on the dust cap apparently was "hammered" flat bouncing around int he plastic hub protector that is why I could not put it back in place.

The RV fix it guy indicated he could get a replacement cap shortly and would be back and put it on.

Later today after or trip to town for groceries, fuel and our 5 mile walk on the beach etc. I will pop off the other 3 hub protectors and make sure the other dust covers are not about to come off.

Tnx again all.

Bat Dude
Conservation biologist specializing in bats. Now stepping aside from paid $ bat work and just Escaping, painting and mentoring grad students
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