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Old 02-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #1
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Hey All,



Quick question. How often do the bearings need to be re-packed? I've got about 7,000kms on my Sunset Trail that I bought last year. So far only 1 season.



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Old 02-10-2012, 02:05 AM   #2
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Some will say yearly, others will say every other year. I do mine every other year, butI only tow about 3,000 mi a year. All these threads about bearings and seals have reminded me that I need to do mine this spring.....



I did do mine before my second season in it, just because at the time there were some threads going around about bearings not being properly packed from the factory so I did it for peace of mind...they were well packed and in good shape.Edited by: rock1424
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:37 AM   #3
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I went like 4 years one one set that I only put a couple 1000 miles a year on, but I hadZerk fitting's on each one and yearly I would squirt just a little grease into each. Just a little, to keep some fresh in there--too much and you can bust the seal, then the grease spills out and getson everything. Ithink the standard suggestion is yearly, sounds to frequent to me but if it keeps one out of trouble it would be well worth it.



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Old 02-10-2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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I do mine every year but I am over doing it I am sure but it is a peace of mind thing. When I got my PP the dealer said every 2 would be great and some may say when did you last repack the bearings on the TV. I do it as I am getting all the other things done for the new camping season.



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Old 02-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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I've often wondered about this question. I see all kinds of threads saying to pack them every year or every other year, but really, how long do we go on our cars and pickups; much, much longer than every year or every other. So what's up with that? Why so often on the 5er? We bought our first 5er about a year ago, so I'm new at this maintenance schedule thing. Please, can someone tell me why a repack is required soooo often compared to other vehicles? Personally I'd like another reason than just the peace of mind thing. That is nice, but if it really isn't necessary until 10,000 miles or 20,000 miles I can't think of single good reason to do it before that. Does anyone really have some mechanical data to support a wheel re-pack schedule?



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Old 02-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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Greg, I don't think anybody can give a "concrete" reason when to do a wheel bearing maintenance. I had a feeling to do mine the same year I got the rig. We were headed out west to WA. I was glad I did. The seals were leaking and the brake shoes were all contaminated with grease. I did it again two years ago. Everything was fine, but I replaced the grease seals anyway. I decided I had better look at them last week seeing as we plan to go to TX. in April. Glad I did. I have only pulled one drum so far. (waiting for it to warm up a little bit again) The Grease seal was starting to go bad on that wheel. After looking a little closer, I could see unusual wear on the ends of the bearings. So now I have a complete set of bearings, races, and grease seals sitting here waiting for warmer weather.
So, I guess as far as I'm concerned, it's easier, and cheaper to do it at home, then it would be do it on the side of the freeway. Plus you might end up ruining a spindle, and that would cost a lot more.
I know---our TV seem to go forever not needing it, but I believe they have a much better bearing, axle, and support for everything then what the trailer does.



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Old 02-10-2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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When you jack-knife a tandem axle trailer you put a lot more side thrust on the bearings and seals than you can ever put on the TV bearings. No two owners treat their trailers the same and even season to season, the same owner will 'abuse' the axles differently based on camp site conditions. Checking the bearings more often than the TV is preventative maintenance along with checking wear on the shoes and magnets, condition of the lug bolts, spring shackles, shackle bolts, etc.

On the other hand, there are EZ lube and Never lube options available today. I'm not sure if those bearings are designed any better to handle side thrust, designed better to prevent lube contamination from moisture/shoe dust or if the recommended maintenance schedule on standard bearings is just overkill.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:44 PM   #8
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I packed mine when I frist bought it and will do again at 15,000 miles or this year. I check and adjust breaks once each spring. Check grease seals and whole underneath at the same time.
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:28 AM   #9
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I would think that with trailer tires and wheels not coming balanced from the factory it would really be bad for the bearings. I had new 16 inch wheels and tires installed on my Cruiser last year and made sure they were balanced. Re-packed bearings in the process.



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Old 02-11-2012, 02:29 AM   #10
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:38 AM   #11
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Ok lets try this again. I agree with you guy about the balancing. All tires run better at hiway speeds if they are balanced. I have not data to back this but have worked with farm wagons and trucks all my life. We always checked these out before every harvest season. You can jack a wheel up and spin it and it should spin very quit also give it a good side to side twist, you shouldn't feel any side to side movement. It seems to me that a bearing that does not run every day needs attention more often than your car. These trailor bearing are also loaded to the max.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:10 AM   #12
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Think of semi trucks I know that the bearings are lubed with liquid greese (gear oil) and the bearing are bigger BUT can you imagine if the truckers had to stop every 2-3000 mile to change fluid and seals? Also axels are rated for their MAX load PLUS a saftey factor of 2-3 times so you are never over loading a bearing.

The spin test is a good quike test.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:43 AM   #13
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A spin test might tell you if your bearings are tightened up properly, and you might be able to hear a rough one, but I don't think it will tell you if a grease seal is going bad.



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Old 02-12-2012, 04:04 AM   #14
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So true Lloyd.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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I bought a 17 foot Shasta, used, in 1971 and used it for 18 years without repacking bearings. I guess I was playing with fate?? Putting bearing buddies on each hub with a zerk fitting is a good idea as long as you have bearings that are not sealed. If they are sealed bearings, grease can't get out and it can't get in either. I don't have 20 miles on my new Zinger so I guess I won't worry about that one for a bit unless the rumors about inefficient packing from the factory is a real issue.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:12 AM   #16
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Jim, I've never seen a sealed bearing for the wheels on a trailer. (In my setup anyway) The seal there is whats tapped into back side of the drum. But there are sealed bearings that have a hole in the face of the race that allows for the grease to work in and out when they are lubed. This type of bearing is normally used on the end of a shaft, installed in a pillar block.





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Old 02-17-2012, 02:22 AM   #17
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I just finished my wheel bearing maintenance on the 5er. I thought I would share some of what I ran into with you. I know some of you question when this job should be done. After looking at this pic I'm sure you will agree with what Larry Day said when he stated this falls into the "Preventive Maintenance" area.
I know I'm thankful I looked at them before we took off for TX.
Now keep in mind these have only been in there for 2 years and approx. 2000 mi.
They are Napa grease seals. All four seals looked just like these two. I classify them as junk.






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Old 02-17-2012, 03:16 AM   #18
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Wow, I would agree with your Junk classification. Don't think I'll be buying seals from Napa in the future.Where did you buy thereplacementseals?
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:22 AM   #19
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http://www.etrailer.com/p-RG06-070.html?search=1
Nice people, and a very informative helpful web site.




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Old 02-17-2012, 04:05 AM   #20
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Scary! Last time I had mine replaced was in Borrego Springs, CA. They used...you quessed it..NAPA seals. Will have to get them re-done somewhere on the road next month.
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