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Old 03-01-2010, 07:01 PM   #1
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Grease Wheel Bearing Questions

I asked the local rv dealer on the cost of greasing the bearings. I was given a price of $240.00 for the 4 wheels that includes everything but new bearings.

Is this a fair price?
5th wheel is an 08 two years since last grease what are the odds of bad bearings?
Is this really something that can be done in the driveway?

Thanks
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinal4fun View Post
I asked the local rv dealer on the cost of greasing the bearings. I was given a price of $240.00 for the 4 wheels that includes everything but new bearings.

Is this a fair price?
5th wheel is an 08 two years since last grease what are the odds of bad bearings?
Is this really something that can be done in the driveway?

Thanks
I don't know what is usual but I checked all 4 sets on my boat trailer this last year and greased them myself. Cost me about $25 for new caps and grease and it wasn't all that hard to do. I would think that for $240 they should be giving you new bearings as they aren't all that expensive, or at least washing and waxing your rig for you
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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How often do you repack your truck bearings and am sure you put many more miles on the TV?
A lot depends on amount of towing and having had 5 trailer boats over 20 years I never had a bearing failure by just adding grease to nipples.
Seems like alot of money unless they do complete manual disassembly and repack which could take 1-2 hrs
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:37 AM   #4
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Labor charge for the front-end of a rear wheel drive car used to be one hour labor to remove, clean, inspect, repack, front wheel bearings, and install new grease seals. Assuming you can pick up the trailer, one side at a time, I would think 2 hours labor would be about max. Cost would involve $2.00 worth of grease total, and new seals, about $5.00 per wheel. Price sounds high, and yes you can do it in your driveway, just know that packing a wheel bearing in more than rubbing grease on it. Boat people have a lot of concern because they regularly submerse their axles and bearings in water. Cost would depend on labor rate, so I would ask, "What is your labor rate?" By the way, about 4 hours driveway time.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:59 AM   #5
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The price is about average of what the shop would charge.

2 hours labor at $100/hour, and the parts to do it.

It really depends on whether you want to be bothered to do it yourself or not.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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When we were towing a Montana 5th wheel, I used to use Camping World pack my bearings each year when we wintered in Florida. They were quite reasonable. On my boat trailer, I use the bearing buddies each time I come out of the water. And pack them once every other year myself. The bearings are normally ok, but use new seals everytime you pull the bearings to pack. A damaged seal will cause dirt and water in our case.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
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Packing bearings is very easy to do. I've always done all of my own trailers and have not had any problems. If you have questions on whether or not you bearings are still ok or not simply replace. They are cheap enough that if I question them I replace them. Even if you have never done it before you should be looking at a maximum of 4 hours of drive way time. That allows time for head scratching, usually involved in most things I do the first time, and a cup of coffee. There are several sites on line that show exactly how to pack a wheel bearing. Good luck and have fun with your rigs maintenance.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #8
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So where do you guys BUY your bearings and seals when
you replace them?
Local? -- auto parts or RV service desk?
Online? Where?

And IMO $250 is a little steep but not out of range if
they are doing it right.
That means complete removal of the hubs,
clean out of the hub and washing the bearings or replacing them,
checking and cleaning brakes. Not just brake shoes but good visual
inspection of all electric brake components (wires, coils, gap etc...)
and putting it all back with new seals and plenty of grease.

I will likely do mine this spring in my driveway but I'm retired
baby!!

(That $250 will seem like chump change one
day when you pass some unlucky RVer stuck on the
side of the road with a burned up spindle and his wheel
off in the weeds somewhere!)
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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So where do you guys BUY your bearings and seals when
you replace them?
Local? -- auto parts or RV service desk?
Online? Where?
I usually buy a quality bearing like Timken where ever they are cheapest. Usually that isn't the RV supply store. We are lucky enough to have a place nearby that does custom metal fabrication but they also stock lots of trailer gear and have the bearings, caps, etc for real cheap. Northern Tool also stocks the bearing kits.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
So where do you guys BUY your bearings and seals when
you replace them?
Local? -- auto parts or RV service desk?
Online? Where?
I have a local non-camper trailer dealer nearby that stocks a lot of different seals and bearings. The seals cost $2.50 ea. The back seals need to be replaced every time that you remove the back bearings, or at the least the way I destroy the seal. Unless the bearings and races show unusual wear or pitting, they should be go for a long time when properly greased.
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