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Old 04-20-2016, 11:12 PM   #31
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I have found the difference is that most trailers/RVs sit still a great deal. Cars of yesteryear (I was a mechanic then) did not. Trailer bearings often develop corrosion from moisture.
Inspecting/repacking bearings is cheap insurance compared to possibly ruining a trip due to a bearing failure.
Also, those old cars had wheels pulled for new brakes about every two years and the bearing were always repacked.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:28 AM   #32
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Check the temperature

I've had trailers here in NM for 20 years without packing the bearings. The best solution I've heard is to use a temperature sensor and check the temp of your bearings at every stop. I usually just use my hand to see if they are getting hot. Boat bearings are a different story. I did have a wheel fall off on the ramp when the bearing collapsed. Lots of people still change their oil every 3000 miles, even though modern lubricants are 10 times better than what we had when I was a kid. I change my synthetic oil once a year whether it needs it or not.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:15 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by mrpep View Post
Since I have a double axle and large 15" rims and a tt that weighs 4500 lbs. I wonder if I need bearings repacked. It's kind of like a car and who packs car bearings? What do you all think ??


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Frankly, I'm more concerned about my electric/drum brakes, then the wheel bearings. More rust and corrosion problems from sitting unused on your brakes then you will ever see on your bearings. I check my brakes every spring, and have never found a problem with the bearings....but have found brake issues more then once. I repack every other year, just because I have the drums off. Better look at the brakes each camping season to be safe!
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:36 AM   #34
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If only they were like a "CAR", yes you do need to check and repack all the bearings on any trailer at least once per year, and of course if you are traveling fulltime in your coach, you may need to do it more often than once per year.
The bearings in any trailer that have grease type bearing throw and burnout the grease very fast, yes today cars never seem to need this done anymore, but it was the same with the front wheels for many years, but most cars today with ft wheel drive use a different type of bearing and grease, which is why they are sealed. But do not get lulled into thinking that car bearing do not fail, they do very often still fail, so yes you do need to clean and repack your trailer bearings.
Hope this helps and Happy camping
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Old 04-24-2016, 02:59 PM   #35
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This thread has been interesting. As a newbie trailer owner, I wanted to at least inspect my bearings (plus learn the process of getting the trailer jacked, the cap off, etc.).

So when people say inspect them, what are we looking for? I know they shouldn't be dry but beyond that, what do you look at? I popped the dust cap off of one of my wheels and it looks like the attached pic. Does that seem okay? Do I actually have to pull them out to inspect? At that point it's a re-pack though so it doesn't seem like I should.

The wheel seemed to rotate freely although there was some noise that I attributed that to the magnet rubbing the hub. There was no play in the hub. The trailer is only a year old.

If I *do* want to repack for some reason, can I just use a grease gun on the fitting and inject more grease or do I have to pack by hand? I know I have to use compatible grease. Is there no way to know what's in there unless you take it all out and pack it yourself?
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:19 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by tmhudg View Post
This thread has been interesting. As a newbie trailer owner, I wanted to at least inspect my bearings (plus learn the process of getting the trailer jacked, the cap off, etc.).

So when people say inspect them, what are we looking for? I know they shouldn't be dry but beyond that, what do you look at? I popped the dust cap off of one of my wheels and it looks like the attached pic. Does that seem okay? Do I actually have to pull them out to inspect? At that point it's a re-pack though so it doesn't seem like I should.

The wheel seemed to rotate freely although there was some noise that I attributed that to the magnet rubbing the hub. There was no play in the hub. The trailer is only a year old.

If I *do* want to repack for some reason, can I just use a grease gun on the fitting and inject more grease or do I have to pack by hand? I know I have to use compatible grease. Is there no way to know what's in there unless you take it all out and pack it yourself?
At this point you might as well pull them all the way out and check the bearings, plus the bearing races. If they pass inspection, clean up the bearings and races and pack with new grease.

I have to say I disagree with those that say you have to pack your bearings every year. In my mind and experience, when to repack bearings depend on a number of factors, not just time.
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:43 PM   #37
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I like to pull the wheels once a year, either at the end or beginning of the season and , clean off the excess grease, look for any pitting on the rollers or the race, signs of water, rust etc. Then I hand pack them and put in new seals. I do it every season or about 10000 miles. Call it insurance. In 30 years of trailering I've never had a wheel end pack up on the side of the road.
As far as using the grease fitting to load your bearings. Be very careful because you can over pressurize them and push the rear seal out, letting grease seep out onto your brakes.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:22 PM   #38
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Probably good

There are four ways to know if your bearings are going bad.

1) If you hear a slight grinding when the wheel spins,

2) If the bearing is heating up after driving a ways,

3) By cleaning them and looking closely at bearings and the surface they ride on (race) for tiny pits.

4) When it fails completely on the side of the road.

With today's improved lubricants, as long as there is plenty of grease, and no visible contaminants, I wouldn't worry about your bearings for a while.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:36 PM   #39
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Thousands of RV people will tell you YES you should grease and pack your bearings and check your lug nuts often. If one is inclined not to do that I would like to for them to let me know how that went and how much it cost you after a year of so of pulling. In fact one of our most experienced RVers here on the forum can tell you even after checking and insuring everything was good had a failure on his way home form Goshen last year. It not a matter of will it happen its a matter of when it will happen.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:04 AM   #40
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I would like someone to tell me what makes TT bearings so much more susceptible to failure then any other wheel bearing. I pulled my first TT for 15 years, and only repacked the bearings three times....each time because I was replacing brake linings and associated parts. My current trailer is now two years old. I looked at the bearings before I put it in winter storage, and they were fine. Most of us drove cars with rear wheel drive at some point in our lives.....how many times did most of you pull your front wheels and repack the bearings on those cars? Those front wheels that did 75% of the braking, and 100% of the steering. Again, for me, it was when I did a brake job. IMHO, I really think this bearing subject is overdone...repacking your bearings every year is a waste of your valuable time.
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