Wheel Bearing wear and tear - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-11-2017, 05:21 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearing wear and tear

We're about to take a 4000 mile trip and need to know how long wheel bearing last on a scamp camper? Can you over grease your bearings? I know enough to check the hubs and make sure there cool enough as a precaution, but should I be greasing them every 500, 1000, or 2,000 miles? I was going to bring a grease gun along just in case the bearings start to heat up. Is this a necessary item to include with my other tools?
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:55 PM   #2
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Axle manufacturers recommend bearings grease replacement every 12 months or 10000 miles. I would say there is no such thing as "over grease".
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:52 PM   #3
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If you have properly packed wheel bearings when you leave home, you should not need to worry about servicing them again while on a trip regardless of the mileage.
Still, check your hubs and tires at every fuel stop with a simple touch and look. A walk around inspection is usually safer at a fuel stop than along side the road.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:05 AM   #4
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Too much is TOO much

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Originally Posted by sokhapkin View Post
Axle manufacturers recommend bearings grease replacement every 12 months or 10000 miles. I would say there is no such thing as "over grease".
Yes there is. Too much grease can squeeze out and damage the seals. Grease can get on the brakes, and that's a no-no!
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:04 AM   #5
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We're about to take a 4000 mile trip and need to know how long wheel bearing last on a scamp camper? Can you over grease your bearings? I know enough to check the hubs and make sure there cool enough as a precaution, but should I be greasing them every 500, 1000, or 2,000 miles? I was going to bring a grease gun along just in case the bearings start to heat up. Is this a necessary item to include with my other tools?
You can blow the seals out with to much grease. Anything with to much pressure has to give so don't over grease. If you don't know how to do it or don't know when they were changed last have them changed by a professional and you'll be fine for a long time. Shouldn't be very expensive and worth the cost. An axle dealer, trailer dealer (not necessarily RV trailer) or RV dealer can do it. Axle dealer or trailer dealer should be a little cheaper. It's better to be safe than sorry on the road. Bearings can go bad sitting.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:10 AM   #6
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Axle manufacturers recommend bearings grease replacement every 12 months or 10000 miles. I would say there is no such thing as "over grease".
Yes you can over grease. The grease can blow out the gasket and leak all over the brakes and then you may have to replace the brakes depending on if you can get the grease off of them. You should not just force grease into the bearings. Bearings should be inspected and packed or replaced if needed. Bearings that go bad can make a tire come off or overheat and catch fire. The 12 month or 10,000 miles is a good rule. Use the lesser of the 2 though. We had to replace our bearings 3 years ago and only had about 6,000 miles on our trailer maybe. It is a 2007 Casita with a Dexter axle.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:13 AM   #7
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You can blow the seals out with to much grease. Anything with to much pressure has to give so don't over grease. If you don't know how to do it or don't know when they were changed last have them changed by a professional and you'll be fine for a long time. Shouldn't be very expensive and worth the cost. An axle dealer, trailer dealer (not necessarily RV trailer) or RV dealer can do it. Axle dealer or trailer dealer should be a little cheaper. It's better to be safe than sorry on the road. Bearings can go bad sitting.

I have mine repacked once a year and put around 10,000 miles per year on the trailer. I think I skipped a year now then in the last 11 years with no ill effects.

I've had utility trailers that I never repacked the bearings. In fact the current utility trailer is about 10 years old and bearing have never been repacked.

If you travel long distances check the hub with your hand everytime you stop. If it's too hot to hold onto or squeaking take it an automotive shop and have the bearings inspected and repacked. I've had to do that once while on a long trip, only because the guy that did them before I left home over tightened the crown nut.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:15 AM   #8
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A lot of people seem to get overly excited about wheel bearings. I suspect it's the follow the leader without knowledge expect for maybe people with boat trailer where the bearing are warmed up then dunked in water. That's an entirely different case.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:31 AM   #9
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You can blow the seals out with to much grease. Anything with to much pressure has to give so don't over grease. If you don't know how to do it or don't know when they were changed last have them changed by a professional and you'll be fine for a long time. Shouldn't be very expensive and worth the cost. An axle dealer, trailer dealer (not necessarily RV trailer) or RV dealer can do it. Axle dealer or trailer dealer should be a little cheaper. It's better to be safe than sorry on the road. Bearings can go bad sitting.
I took a bearing class put on by Timken & Mobil Oil
Your post is exactly what we learned at the seminar.
Over greasing is just as bad or worse than under greasing.
More is not always better .
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:52 PM   #10
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To my understanding the OP talked about EZ-lube type axle. It can't be over-greased, the hub's rubber cap will not allow pressure to grow to damage the seal. EZ-lube axle is supposed to be filled with grease completely.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:18 PM   #11
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To my understanding the OP talked about EZ-lube type axle. It can't be over-greased, the hub's rubber cap will not allow pressure to grow to damage the seal. EZ-lube axle is supposed to be filled with grease completely.
It just so happens that I picked up my trailer from the trailer doctor yeasterday where I had a new axle with ez-lube hubs installed. The installer was emphatic about how important it is to NOT overlube them. He said that the cap on the inside WILL pop off, even with ez-lubes and it will ruin your brakes.

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Old 08-12-2017, 04:36 PM   #12
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It just so happens that I picked up my trailer from the trailer doctor yeasterday where I had a new axle with ez-lube hubs installed. The installer was emphatic about how important it is to NOT overlube them. He said that the cap on the inside WILL pop off, even with ez-lubes and it will ruin your brakes.

Jennifer in Denver
NONSENSE! you can over pressure and blow the seal if you don't know how to use a grease gun, but it is impossible to over grease an axle with EZ Lube, and I can't envision how you could overpack by hand!
When properly done all excess grease will exit into the outer chamber of the dust cover to be removed by hand before inserting the rubber plug.

Inner seal failure can get grease on the brakes, but there is no such thing as a cap on the inside.

Look here...
E-Z Lube System
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:01 PM   #13
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Glad you clarified before I had to. You can blow out the inner seal if you use the EZ-Lube improperly (such as too high a pressure with the grease gun, adding grease too rapidly, or not rotating the wheel while adding grease) but there's no such thing as 'overgreasing' an EZ-Lube axle. You add grease until the old grease is displaced by the new grease, wipe off the excess and reinsert the cap.
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Old 08-12-2017, 05:18 PM   #14
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When my axle was new, I did have some grease that would come out the dust cap when the hubs would warm up. I happened to be going to the Scamp Factory on that trip, so had them check them out. Only problem was that the Easy-lubes were chock full, so when the grease warmed up it would expand and fill the hub cap with grease. This would then be thrown out onto the wheel. Solution was to remove the hub cap, wipe out the excess grease a few times. Since then no problems. Also, the new hubs heated up significantly when brand new, no longer come close to the temps they did at first. According to Scamp, new hubs will run hotter than broken in hubs, nothing to worry about unless they are smoking or making noise.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:04 PM   #15
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Glad you clarified before I had to. You can blow out the inner seal if you use the EZ-Lube improperly (such as too high a pressure with the grease gun, adding grease too rapidly, or not rotating the wheel while adding grease) but there's no such thing as 'overgreasing' an EZ-Lube axle. You add grease until the old grease is displaced by the new grease, wipe off the excess and reinsert the cap.
I think this was the point my mechanic was trying to impress upon me. It is possible to screw it up.

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Old 08-12-2017, 06:13 PM   #16
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I think this was the point my mechanic was trying to impress upon me. It is possible to screw it up.

Jennifer in Denver
Exactly! The point is simple - if you do ez-lubing yourself, the mechanic will not get your money
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:51 PM   #17
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I read of discussions about bearings, and saw photos of roadside disasters, and read enough experts talking about the number one cause of tire failure is improperly maintained bearings that I decided to buy my piece of mind. I took my Casita to a Dexter (axle manufacturer) distributor and had them rebuild my axles with new brakes, bearings and lubrication. I watched the work and saw that there was enough expertise involved that I won't do the job myself. Little things like "not to much grease", "having the right tool for pressing bearings", and 'tighten the retaining nut 'just right' by feel" were better off in the hands of the 30 year employee of the dealer than my expertise. No offense to the respondents here, but the varying opinions are pretty epic. I'll stick with a pro when it comes to preventing a trip coming to a (literal) screeching halt. I can't recall the cost, but I do recall saying "bargain" when I added a temperature/pressure monitor, and saw the bearings on the trailer running much cooler than those on my tow vehicle. I still do the 'touch check' at every fuel stop, but I haven't caught them getting warmer yet. Oh, BTW, I did pick up a full set of spare bearings and a grease kit to keep in the spares in case a roadside swap has to take place on some ugly day.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:57 PM   #18
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I read of discussions about bearings, and saw photos of roadside disasters, and read enough experts talking about the number one cause of tire failure is improperly maintained bearings that I decided to buy my piece of mind. I took my Casita to a Dexter (axle manufacturer) distributor and had them rebuild my axles with new brakes, bearings and lubrication. I watched the work and saw that there was enough expertise involved that I won't do the job myself. Little things like "not to much grease", "having the right tool for pressing bearings", and 'tighten the retaining nut 'just right' by feel" were better off in the hands of the 30 year employee of the dealer than my expertise. No offense to the respondents here, but the varying opinions are pretty epic. I'll stick with a pro when it comes to preventing a trip coming to a (literal) screeching halt. I can't recall the cost, but I do recall saying "bargain" when I added a temperature/pressure monitor, and saw the bearings on the trailer running much cooler than those on my tow vehicle. I still do the 'touch check' at every fuel stop, but I haven't caught them getting warmer yet. Oh, BTW, I did pick up a full set of spare bearings and a grease kit to keep in the spares in case a roadside swap has to take place on some ugly day.
How do you know that "pro" isn't one of the respondents here!??
(just kidding)
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:41 PM   #19
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We clean and repack the bearings to avoid trouble on the highway. If your taking a long trip for an extended period of time don't you want to start off knowing the all systems are good to go?

Get a set of bearings, races, and extra wheel seals and maybe an extra grease cap. Put them in a small plastic tub to keep them clean and dry. Get a small grease cartridge of wheel bearing grease and seal it in plastic and put it in the tub too. Bury this in a safe place in your trailer and hope you never need it. Even if you find yourself unable to learn the skills necessary to replace these spare parts. A roadside mechanic can use them and save the day. Breaking down in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday can have a way of spoiling your day.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:57 PM   #20
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There are reasonable precautions, like having a mechanic repack your wheel bearings for you every couple of years. I've done them on my tent trailer and I don't need the mess, nor having to find a place that will accept dirty solvent.
My mechanic has a solvent tank, air compressor and the experience to do the job in little time for little money.
Having taken that precaution, I'm not carrying a truckload of spare parts for my trailer. I have RV Plus AAA coverage. If I need a wheel bearing replaced, I'll watch them do it.
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