Packing Bearing Every year? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 03-24-2019, 08:56 PM   #1
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Packing Bearing Every year?

Hi,
So I purchased my trailer last spring. The previous owner had already packed the bearing prior to me purchasing it. To get ready for this year I pulled the bearing cap to see if I needed to repack them. There is still a ton of grease in it and it still looks/feels really new/fresh. I didnít tow a ton of miles last year. Probably 1000-1500 miles. Should I worry about repacking them agian?
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:43 PM   #2
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Might as well pull the cotter pin and nut to look inside. That's a lot of grease on the spindle, makes me wonder if the previous owner didn't just smear some grease in the cap and say the bearings were packed.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
Might as well pull the cotter pin and nut to look inside. That's a lot of grease on the spindle, makes me wonder if the previous owner didn't just smear some grease in the cap and say the bearings were packed.


Thanks. I will check it out to make sure.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:22 PM   #4
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I wouldn't mess with it. I'm in the camp that believes repacking bearings every year is not necessary except for a boat trailer that continually gets dunked in water. Frankly, I think repacking bearings every year is a scam perpetuated by the RV dealers who make a ton of money from the service.
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:19 PM   #5
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Bearings do not need repacking every year (except as mentioned about boat trailers). They do however require repacking after about every 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles). The last thing you want is a bearing to go out in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:20 PM   #6
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My answer is, you don't know if they were done correctly, or if they just had some grease slapped on them. For peace of mind, I would get new seals, take the entire thing apart, inspect the brakes, and clean and repack the bearings, put a little glob in the center of the hub, but NOT in the cap, and know that they are good for the long hauls. Packing too much grease can cause the seal to leak when the grease is hot and expands, splashing all over the brake backing plate and shoes.



The same goes for those ez grease hubs, have to be careful not to pump too much in because it can get past the seal and cause damage.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:32 PM   #7
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We put about 5-7,000 a year on our TT some of it is in the mountains. We do not have disc brakes and have them checked and pack before the season because of the potential for overheat the brakes on some of the downhill portions.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:46 PM   #8
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I see grease on the wrong side of the bearings and a hub/drum that looks to be in bad shape.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:08 AM   #9
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I see grease on the wrong side of the bearings and a hub/drum that looks to be in bad shape.


It is on the wrong side of the washer that goes between the bearing and castle but.

I am going to at least remove the nut and washer to make sure there is fresh grease on the bearing as well.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:39 AM   #10
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99% of the time the inner bearing is the one that fails, mainly because the outer usually shows there is enough grease so the extra step to remove the drum or hub isn't done.
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Old 03-30-2019, 02:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by azdryheat View Post
I wouldn't mess with it. I'm in the camp that believes repacking bearings every year is not necessary except for a boat trailer that continually gets dunked in water. Frankly, I think repacking bearings every year is a scam perpetuated by the RV dealers who make a ton of money from the service.
My thoughts exactly. How often do we repack wheel bearings on modern vehicles? While some people hate the EZ Lube system I have, and use, the system. The trick is not over pumping the grease. While it is imperative to do preventive maintenance many times that is nothing more than an examination of the parts in question. With over 12K miles towed in the last 4+ years I have repacked once. The original owner had them done before we bought and I had them done 2 years ago. Absolutely no problems so far.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:45 PM   #12
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I have a relative who has driven his RV for up to 1000 or more miles every year for 15 years and told that he has never had his bearing repacked and has never had one fail. Go figure!
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:36 PM   #13
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Check them out so you'll know they are good to go.

You should repack your bearings. The reason to do this is they canít be inspected without cleaning and repacking. It doesnít matter if you bought it new or from a previous owner. The only way youíll know that youíll likely be trouble free down the road is if they are properly serviced.

I bought a small single axle toy hauler from a dealer. After a cross-country trip I went to service the bearings and to my surprise the left spindle was missing the retaining clip for the nut that holds the hand tight nut on. Luckily I had no problems on the trip. If I had inspected it before hand I would have spotted this problem.

Last summer I bought a bigger twin axle toy hauler. Iíve only towed it once and on my return trip the brakes seemed to pull to one side. I ordered new bearings and seals because I wanted to inspect and grease the bearings and check out the brakes. Better to order them ahead of time and pay less than from the trailer shop down the road.

When I pulled the dust cap off the hub it looked just like your picture. After I pulled the hub, this is what my brakes looked like!

Of course the brake shoes are no good now. I cleaned and inspected all of my bearings. Upon inspection I decided to replace 3 of my inner bearings and races. The outer ones looked fine. Itís worth the effort for the peace of mind on a trip. Properly lubricated and adjusted bearings should be trouble free on the road. The worst part of doing the job is cleaning out the gobs of grease from whoever ďservicedĒ them before. I replaced the whole brake assemblies on mine as itís about the same price as buying new brake shoes.

If you travel long distances with your trailer itís good to know your bearings and brakes are in good shape. Check them out so you wonít have trouble later.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:51 PM   #14
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Arguably one of the best reasons to repack your bearings often is that allegedly RV manufacturers use cheap imported bearings that may not hold up for long.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aguablanco View Post
My thoughts exactly. How often do we repack wheel bearings on modern vehicles? While some people hate the EZ Lube system I have, and use, the system. The trick is not over pumping the grease. While it is imperative to do preventive maintenance many times that is nothing more than an examination of the parts in question. With over 12K miles towed in the last 4+ years I have repacked once. The original owner had them done before we bought and I had them done 2 years ago. Absolutely no problems so far.
RichH
Something to keep in mind...

Trailer axles are basically 1930-40s technology NOT what is on modern vehicles! Not to mention they put the cheapest thing they can find on there.

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Old 03-31-2019, 05:20 PM   #16
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I think the basic premise is if you feel comfortable replacing/repacking bearings then do so. If you have the money to have it done by a garage or dealership then do so.
The bottom line is it's your butt on the line if a bearing welds itself to a spindle and locks up a wheel at the worst moment. Or a wheel falls off or the grease catches fire on the busiest interstate in the country.
In your best interest and that of others do what you think is appropriate regardless of the feel good or horror stories.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:51 AM   #17
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Some very good points have been made for and against. In my case I bought my trailer new so there was no worry what a previous owner did. On the other hand, How good did the axle manufacturer do? In my case I repacked when the trailer was 2.5 years old and it was evident that the manufacturer did a great job doing the bearings, which were properly packed and adjusted. It's been almost 3 years since the repack and the bearings have been fine.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:21 PM   #18
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What happened to that drum is a very good reason to at the very least inspect the seals, especially when using the EZ hub system because it is very easy to pack too much grease and blow that seal with it.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:04 PM   #19
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axles? What axles?

I am very interested in this discussion because after reading every page of my 95-page owners manual of my 2018 Dutchmen Kodiak Ultra-lite (dual axle), there are a million things it states to do in terms of maintenance...

....but not ONE mention of axel or wheel bearing maintenance or needs.

????
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:07 PM   #20
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There may be a separate manual for the axles since they are from a different manufacturer.
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