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Old 10-29-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
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I asked this question on another RV forum. Just wondering how our Crossroads Family members will answer:

What is so different with RV wheel bearings that they have to be packed
at least every year or two? My truck and car does not require this
yearly maintenance, why do RV axles??



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Old 10-29-2013, 09:50 PM   #2
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If done right they don't. But brake adjust and check is a must every 2,000 miles.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:52 AM   #3
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I am no mechanic or engineer but here are my thoughts. I do repack the bearings on my 5er every year. I do it because in my thoughts the bearings andaxles are not "over built". They are designed to carry just enough weight to support the trailer and some contents. Because they are almost at their maximum capacity they endure a lot of stress. I don't feel that way about either of my trucks. Our "family car" is a PT Cruiser (some coincedence!) and while we like the car I do believe it is barely built to handle the weight it carries. I have had the driver's side bearings go bad twice. I think it is a trend in most newer cars to go lighter weight (Thanks EPA!) in order to increase fuel economy and so I don't trust them like I used to. My trucks (00 Ram 1500 & 04 Ram 2500) seem built to handle more than they need. We also put a fair number of miles (by camping standards) on our 5er each year. If I put less miles on it, I might not repack every year. The other reason I do it annually is because I had a blow out on a previous 5er due to what I am fairly sure wasa bearing that overheated/failed. It did an awful lot of damage to that unit (1997 Sprinter 5th wheel) Tore a hole in the floor, destroyed half of the dinette. It looked like a bomb went off in the camper. I was lucky it did not happen on the other side of the camper. It would have taken out the refrigerator and maybe water heater. Then I would havepossibly had a fire because the gas lines were right there. So... to me, it is worth it to do annually. Again, just my thoughts.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:33 AM   #4
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X2 to Chuck.

RV tires/axles are under a MUCH higher load than your car or truck. Our Chevy weighs just over 5000# with fuel and 2 people. Our camper weighs 6858 empty as shipped. Same number of wheels taking up the load...

The stresses on an RV axle are much different and higher than those on your car (look at the difference in suspension, and you will see why - cars have much more complicated suspensions, which affect how the wheel's supporting member (ultimately the bearings) take this load). The higher load is also on the cheapest bearings they could get in bulk.

RV tires also have a MUCH higher PSI. Ours have 65-lbs. Truck has 45-lbs. When the bearings fail and anRVtire blows, it IS a bomb going off. I am a mechanical engineer, so I know some of this stuff...well...claim to anyway.

You may not need to do it every year, but certainly every so many miles/at least every 2-3 years. We are seasonal...so my bearings will not be touched for a couple of years. If you full time it or travel alot, you will want to do it every year.

If you buy a used trailer more than 1 year old, you should repack for piece of mind.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:36 AM   #5
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I could not agree more with Lannie. I do like inspecting the bearings every year but when I bought the trailer the dealer said every two. For me I think the bearings on the trailer get more stress in turns and is some cases backing into a camping spots. It is a peace of mind thing also as I do not want bearing problems while on the road.

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