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Frizlefrak

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Repack your trailer's wheel bearings, and change the grease seals.

We took our 5er up to the mountains last weekend, about 140 miles from home.  The road to Three Rivers is washboarded gravel the last 4 miles, and something poked a hole in a tire.  When I took the tire off to put the spare on, I discovered one wheel was leaking bearing grease out the rear seal pretty badly. 

I had a can of grease in the truck's toolbox, and enough tools to get it apart, but no replacement seal.  The bearing wasn't dry yet, but it was getting there.  I packed it back full by hand, and towed it home very gingerly, stopping to check it every 50 miles or so.  Not fun....but better than having a bearing seize.

Got home without incident, but this is something I should have done prior to taking it out on the road this season. 

Soooo...if you haven't repacked your trailer's bearings in a while, now might be a good time.  A couple of hours of maintenance beats having a bearing lock up in the middle of nowhere. 
 
If you have good seals, I used (and still use) Bearing Buddy "dust covers" on my trailers.  Pump those up, (Bad seals they won't pump up) and they pack as you drive

Witch to get off though when you need to replace a seal or bearing... I did a seal once, never had to replace a bearing once I put those on
 
On trailers, bearing repacking should be an annual maintenance item.  You should get brakes inspected and tires rotated at the same time as a part of the process. 
 
Carl,

I record the towed milage on my TT.  Do you have any recommendations as to how often the bearings should be repacked based on milage?

Jake
 
Jake said:
Carl,

I record the towed milage on my TT.? Do you have any recommendations as to how often the bearings should be repacked based on milage?

Jake

At a minimum once a year.  Pack bearings and Brake inspection.
 
Repacking once a year seems excessive to me if you have only traveled 500 miles.  Would you repack them every year if you had it in storage since the last time?  ;D  Once a year may be a good general "rule of thumb" but there must be some milage requirement that makes more sense.  If I'm traveling a lot, once a year may not be enough.
Jake
 
Jake said:
Repacking once a year seems excessive to me if you have only traveled 500 miles.?

At first it would seem so.  But you should do an annual brake inspection.  And unless you're running sealed hubs, you have to remove the outer bearing and drum to inspect the brakes anyway, so it only takes another 15-20 minutes per wheel or so to pop the seal out, clean everything, repack the bearings, and replace the seals.

On a sidenote, I was over at Camping World this morning, and I looked at their service price list for a bearing repack.  Dual axle was $125.99.....kinda pricey.  So if you have to have someone else do the labor, I can see where you might not want to do it annually....but if you're a DIYer,  4 seals, cotter pins, and axle grease cost me $22.  Pretty cheap insurance against being stuck by the side of the road with a seized bearing and torn up axle shaft.

And again....it's an excellent opportunity to evict the colony of spiders that have taken up residence in the brake drum over the winter.
 

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