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Old 10-02-2019, 04:27 PM   #1
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Bad axle bearings

Hello just curious if anyone is having same problem with there 5er itís a 2019 forest river Sabre 32DPT itís only 6 months old I have about 3200 miles of use on it.So 2 week ago I climbed under the unit to inspect and found that the driverside rear tandem wheel wear ring worn into the inner tire so I investigated by jacking up the axle and shake the wheel and yes the wheel bearing is loose I mean itís a brand new trailer has anyone else have this problem and a solution thank you Click image for larger version

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Old 10-03-2019, 08:05 AM   #2
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I would start by removing the wheel and brake drum, cleaning and inspecting the bearing/races/spindle and determine if there is a problem or if the bearing simply needs adjusted.


The bearing should be handled with medical style gloves, cleaned and then lubricate with light oil, motor can be used. Spin the bearings and listen/feel for any indication of roughness or noise. It should be buttery smooth. Always handling with gloves to prevent acids from your skin from contaminating the bearing material, re-clean and pack with proper grease if all checks out. Adjust your castle nut to provide lite compression on the bearing stack. Use a grease gun to additionally load the hub chamber with fresh approved grease.


If you see/feel/hear indication of damage, run to NAPA auto parts or similar to order quality bearing replacements along with matching races.


Or take it to a dealer for warranty and see how many weeks (months?) they spend playing around with it.......
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:24 AM   #3
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When you say loose... how loose?
That wheel would have to literally be falling off at the bearing/spindle to rub like that. Like flopping around loose?

You need to get that checked right away.
You say you jacked it up and checked, did you pull the hub?
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:29 AM   #4
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Unfortunately it's more common than it should be.

Is the tires on the other side that close to the frame?

The best thing to do is remove all four hubs and check all the bearings and seals.

I agree with most everything Larry said, but to reinforce what he said, be sure that if you 'oil' the bearings, clean them well before applying grease. Also, You should never spin the bearings dry.

The good part of this is that while you're taking care of the bearings and seals you can inspect the brakes.
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Old 10-03-2019, 10:56 AM   #5
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Well, the good news is that the tire was loose and not that your frame buckled. My frame did and the symptom was the tire rubbing that slide bar.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:30 PM   #6
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Is the tires on the other side that close to the frame?

I would definitely measure the tire to frame clearance on the other side. For a tire move that far due to a bearing issue, it would have to be EXTREMELY loose, even to the point of a part of the bearing being missing.

The leaf springs have a bolt holding the individual leaves together and the top of the bolt is used to locate the springs in the axle mounts. If someone attached the axle to the springs and didn't get this locator pin in the socket on the axle pad the whole axle can be shifted to one side. Clearance between tire and frame should be equal on each side.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #7
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Hey guys thanks for the reply’s so here is the latest update as of today spoke to chad cook from forest river warranty dept. So explained the situation to him and he asked me to send him some pictures to which I did and I did tell him I was gonnna pull it apart to further investigate the situation he advised me not to so the dealer that is about a half a mile down the road can’t blame me for tearing into it so now on Saturday morning I’m gonna hook her up and drag it to the forest river dealership and let them get back to Chad with there findings trust me it’s hard just to sit here on the sidelines I’m a do it yourself kinda guy but I really think I will sit this one out so no finger pointing from the dealership so they can’t say I touched it so we will see what happens I will keep you guys posted and see if Forest River will honor a warranty claim or give me some lame excuses
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:15 PM   #8
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Definitely be interested in what they say!
FWIW, one of my bearings was galled up after about the same number of miles as you. No slop in the wheel, just a beat up bearing. Happy I found it in the yard instead of on the road.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:39 PM   #9
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The bearing should be handled with medical style gloves, cleaned and then lubricate with light oil, motor can be used. Spin the bearings and listen/feel for any indication of roughness or noise. It should be buttery smooth. Always handling with gloves to prevent acids from your skin from contaminating the bearing material, re-clean and pack with proper grease if all checks out. Adjust your castle nut to provide lite compression on the bearing stack. Use a grease gun to additionally load the hub chamber with fresh approved grease.


It was always interesting to watch a new hire do a wheel bearing pack. Buddy you would haven't made it through your probation period.
Medical style gloves? Really?
Oil the bearing? NOT
Acid from your skin contaminating the bearing materiel? I think not, it's steel.

Thanks for the entertainment though.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blackrock View Post
The bearing should be handled with medical style gloves, cleaned and then lubricate with light oil, motor can be used. Spin the bearings and listen/feel for any indication of roughness or noise. It should be buttery smooth. Always handling with gloves to prevent acids from your skin from contaminating the bearing material, re-clean and pack with proper grease if all checks out. Adjust your castle nut to provide lite compression on the bearing stack. Use a grease gun to additionally load the hub chamber with fresh approved grease.





It was always interesting to watch a new hire do a wheel bearing pack. Buddy you would haven't made it through your probation period.

Medical style gloves? Really?

Oil the bearing? NOT

Acid from your skin contaminating the bearing materiel? I think not, it's steel.



Thanks for the entertainment though.
I guess those of us trained to service aircraft bearings are just clueless

I hold an FAA airframe/powerplant certificate. I may as well toss that junk in the trash.

Whatever bud....
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:03 PM   #11
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I will keep you guys posted and see if Forest River will honor a warranty claim or give me some lame excuses

Who knows, if it turns out to be a serious frame problem they may give you a new trailer.

A former employee of mine bought a nice Winnebago MH several years back. He had numerous problems with it during the first year and after the last trip to the Dealer he was told that Winnebago was going to "exchange" his troublesome MH.

Not only did he get a brand new one, it was one "level" up from his old one so the replacement was a nice upgrade.

Depending on the issue(s) it's often less hassle for a company to just take the defective unit back and replace it. Not just for good Customer Relations, but it tends to prevent legal proceedings at a later date.




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Old 10-05-2019, 08:29 PM   #12
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So here is an update on my progress itís getting interesting I head down to the campground where my 5th wheel Iím about an hour and fifteen minutes away pack her up drag her down the street about a half of a mile to Driftwood RV Center in Dennis township N.J. for my appointment as Iím waiting at the service counter the manger for the store see me there and asks me if Iím being helped I reply yes thanks.and then he realized I was there about 7 months age looking to purchase a 5er they didnít have what we wanted and they were a little on the hi side of what I was will to pay for a unit but that didnít stop them from trying to sell me what they wanted sell me I refused and took a trip out to PA. About 4 1/2 hours away from me were I did purchase my unit.So as the warranty service writer start to ask me to fill out a paper for the warranty he goes behind the counter looks at my work order and says to me Iím not doing any warranty work on the unit for you take it where you purchased it for the work you didnít buy it here it kinda took a second for me to take it in like really your a forest river dealer and my wheel is rubbing the frame and your not gonna fix it so I said to him I really canít drive home Iím afraid of getting a blowout on the highway and his response was I donít know what to tell you call the dealership you bought it from and see if they will pick it up I totally felt like jumping over the counter but i didnít I kept my cool so please do not ever think about Driftwood RV Center just thought I let people know how shitty they are there so now Iím calling up forest river on Monday to complain and find out how to go about getting my unit repaired
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:26 PM   #13
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Not defending anyone but R/V dealers are not required to do work on units they do not sell.

Contact FR and see if they will find you a dealer that will work on it. I know you are frustrated but be civil and ask for help. They can help you.

Also, good mobile techs can do warranty work.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:11 PM   #14
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I bet you never will buy an RV from then now
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:08 PM   #15
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Update still waiting for an email back from chad cook from forest river Sabre warranty itís a joke this warranty stuff is a joke and so is forest river so I went ahead fix it myself changed and replaced the bearing inspect the frame and spring hangers and upgraded the springs installed a wet bolt system and went with road armor torsion centers Iím done with forest river if I ever sell my 5er down the road would never buy forest river again
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:13 PM   #16
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Update still waiting for an email back from chad cook from forest river Sabre warranty it’s a joke this warranty stuff is a joke and so is forest river so I went ahead fix it myself changed and replaced the bearing inspect the frame and spring hangers and upgraded the springs installed a wet bolt system and went with road armor torsion centers I’m done with forest river if I ever sell my 5er down the road would never buy forest river again
So what ended up being the main issue that caused the tire to rub the frame?

I have never bothered to bring in my trailer for any of the few minor warranty issues. By the time I towed it in and then home, I could fix most things myself and I would also know they were fixed correctly.

BTW, Lippert frames are used on more than just Forest River products so don't expect it to be better unless the trailer maker also makes their own frames. Of course the people that make their own frames source axles from the same people Lippert does!
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:34 PM   #17
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So I pulled the wheel apart it definitely had some rusty water in the hub and the bearing was loose so I replaced the races and bearings and a new seal the inner tire was rubbing the slide out motor square shaft along the frame so I looked at the other side slide out and the shaft was reversed the smaller shaft was along the inner wheel so I flipped the original one around and it gave me more clearance and then I put 5 leave springs on it which raised it 2 inches so far so go with plenty of clearance
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:42 PM   #18
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Wow...rusty water in the hub? That's a new one I wouldn't think I would see on a travel trailer.

BTW, one of the first thing I did with my brand new trailer was replace the bearings and races with USA made Timken bearings. There wasn't a whole lot of grease from the factory as well.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:51 PM   #19
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I will post a pic of outer bearing this is what it looked likeClick image for larger version

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Old 10-13-2019, 07:56 AM   #20
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I will post a pic of outer bearing this is what it looked likeAttachment 217168
Are you telling us that rusty water in the spindle and that mark on the inner race where the race mates to the spindle caused your wheel to flop around and rub the tire?

Somehow I just don't think we got all of the story here.... you bought 4-1/2 hours away from home but broke down in NJ where you limped it into a dealer for service where the owner happened to recognize you from when you were looking to buy so they refused you service. You spoke with Chad at FR yet you are still waiting on a call and now you've got a mark on an inner race and added spring plies and changed slide drive bars because you had rusty water in the spindle.
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