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Old 12-18-2013, 10:12 PM   #15
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The main reason bearings on a trl have to be repacked more often is because they sit on one spot for so long that the grease and stress on the weight bearing section is greater . The more you move the wheel the longer it can go without repacking. Kinda like flat spotting tires from not moving.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #16
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jacknife,
I don't have any scientific facts to make this comment but I don't believe setting in one spot for extended periods of time has any negative effect on bearing life. Tires are much softer and do deform while setting. Bearings don't deform while setting.

Common sense asks the question, How is setting in one spot going to flatten a roller bearing?? Those bearings are very hard. The races are equally hard. Try hitting one with a hammer and I doubt you'll make a mark on it. I know they won't hardly scratch with a file. Yes changes in temperature and moisture conditions might effect grease life but driving on the bearings will not get the temperature up high enough to result in the moisture evaporating away either.

When you operate any mechanical device it heats up to operating temperatures then you shut it off and it cools down to the ambient temperature. Moisture conditions change with those temperature changes. Once you let it set for 3-6 months with out operating the moisture conditions change with changes in ambient temperature and moisture conditions. I can not see any correlation between short intervals of operation versus long intervals. If there is a correlation it escapes me.

What ever negative effect that occurs while you park your TT for a week will still occur if you park it for 6 months. It's not worse because it's parked for 6 months at a time rather than for a week at a time.

TeJay
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:04 AM   #17
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Bearing Buddies.. Re-pack as you drive. That is how I did it in my tralier days.

NOTE: since these put positive pressure on the rear seals ALL the time, you may need to upgrade to bearing buddy seals as well.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:15 AM   #18
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Tejay, there you go, injecting science, reason, and common sense into a discussion that was triggered by the simple question, "Is there a way to tell when the wheels need packing?" Simple answer, No. Follow manufacturer's guidelines.
By the time there would be a sign a bearing needs service, it would need replacing. Noise, heat, dripping grease are signs it's time to break out the lug wrench, jack, jack stand, and a set of new bearings and seal.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:27 AM   #19
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Bearing Buddies.. Re-pack as you drive. That is how I did it in my tralier days.

NOTE: since these put positive pressure on the rear seals ALL the time, you may need to upgrade to bearing buddy seals as well.
BB were designed for boat trailers that get dipped into cool water after traveling and heating up going down the road. Cooling can cause the air void in the hub to contract and draw water into the bearings. BB put positive pressure into the hub by way of a spring loaded 'piston'. This is not needed on a travel trailer and in my mind causes owners to neglect or stretch out service intervals. Every time I pull a wheel to inspect bearings I also check brake mechanism and linings or pads. I see them as an unnecessary expense and a false security for a travel trailer, good precaution for a boat trailer. A properly packed bearing will not need 're-packing' as you drive.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #20
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BF181,
You're correct. Sometimes I just don't know when to keep my mouth shut. Sooo !!!
Maybe I didn't directly answer the question as you did but I did point out that just because one may allow your TT to set for 6- months does not mean you have to shorten the service interval. Do it every 2-3 years or when ever you feel it necessary. However if you do it yourself (if you can) use quality synthetic grease, correctly adjust the bearing clearance and you can rest easy that your chances of having bearing issues are slim to none. I think that's what anybody wants. Don't spend $$$$ that is not necessary by listening to TT manufacturers who are trying to cover their butts.

TeJay

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Old 12-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #21
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If you bought a used unit, I wouldn't trust anything, do them now.
Most "recommendations" are once a year or 12,000 miles. It doesn't hurt to do them more often (once a year), if you pull 1,000-2,000 miles a year waiting 6-12 years is too long. But if you don't pull much waiting a year or two will not hurt it.

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Old 12-19-2013, 03:14 PM   #22
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I really hate to keep belaboring a point but I guess it's in my nature. What is there about having 40+ years of experience with this stuff. Attending dozens of training seminars over these years, and arriving at what is the best approach to servicing a vehicle that people just don't want to accept.

Lets also include performing hundreds of service procedures and having excellent results.

Synthetic bearing greases as well as synthetic oils are without a doubt the best lubricants on the planet. Find me a reliable article that says they are not better that regular lubricants and I'll keep my mouth shut.

Even with standard grease we serviced wheel bearings on the older RWD vehicles when we serviced the front brakes, which was about ever 30,000 to 40,000 miles. We never serviced them sooner. It was not necessary. The standard lubricants lasted those 30,000 plus miles.

Now we have an industry telling us to service wheel bearings every 12-months or every 12,000 miles. I ask you WHY ???? What has changed??? Is there lube no good??? Are they worried about the grease zerk and the potential of blowing the inner seal because of over lubrication??? Please don't tell me that the wheel bearing on a TT have to deal with a greater weight that standard cars/trucks. If that is the case then why don't they put larger bearings on their axles. Why would they want to stop building on the edge of destruction. They just might have to adjust their bottom line some. No their solution is to tell the consumer to follow the manufacturers recommendations so any potential issues with their lousy bearings and brakes can be examined and fixed before they cause a real problem. That's so they can cover their BUTTS. And a bunch of you fall into the trap of servicing your units every 12 months or 12,000 miles. Spending needless $$$ because you are worried.
How do you solve the problem???? Change all bearings to good quality TOYO or Timken tapered roller bearings and use synthetic grease. Extend the service interval to every 2-4 years and be done with it.

Some may say that I'm overly zealous about this. Well I may be. It just seems silly for people to blindly do what others tell them to do without studying or thinking and ignoring the recommendations of those who are in the know and have done this for years.

But there are still some out there who will never put a car battery on a concrete floor because the concrete will suck the juice out of the battery over night.

TeJay
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:07 PM   #23
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But there are still some out there who will never put a car battery on a concrete floor because the concrete will suck the juice out of the battery over night.

TeJay
You sayin' that's not true?? I was told that by a boat mechanic back in 1964, he instructed me to build a platform in the shed to put the batteries on we took out of stored boats for the winter. My mother told me never to put a hat on a bed, or walk under a ladder. Are those wive's tales too???
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:55 PM   #24
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Yep you know the are. But I had many students who really believed the battery story. Some were insistent that I didn't know what I was talking about. So I gave them this explanation and it usually changed their minds.

Here's some facts to consider. The battery has no cables connected to it. It is setting on concrete which is non conductive except for moisture. Now the electrons are going to travel from the battery to ground and become discharged. Please explain how that is going to happen.

Lets talk about a battery in your vehicle. Today they are usually setting on a plastic base but for many, many, many years they sat on metal bases. The positive battery was attached to the starter solenoid and the negative cable was attached to the engine block and acted as a ground. Now the battery setting on a concrete floor is more conductive than a battery setting in your vehicle??? I don't think so.

Any battery allowed to just set around will discharge. You can hang it from the ceiling or put it on a concrete floor and over time it will discharge. Your boat friend was just doing what his Daddy taught him and probably what his Daddy taught him. Putting batteries on a wooden platform did stop some of the battery acid from getting on the floor.

Here's the best. Why is the bar on a girls bike lower than on a boys bike???? It's a TRADITION started back in the 1890's when girls wore long skirts and the bicycle was used so guys could take their girls out on an afternoon ride in the park. That tradition started 120 years ago and it is still very much alive today and for absolutely no real good reason.

Before somebody comes back with an exception yes today's bikes can be fitted for different body sizes and applications. But the location of the bar should have nothing to do with fitting a person for a bike. Women don't generally wear skirts while riding a bike.

TeJay
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:23 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacknife View Post
The main reason bearings on a trl have to be repacked more often is because they sit on one spot for so long that the grease and stress on the weight bearing section is greater . The more you move the wheel the longer it can go without repacking. Kinda like flat spotting tires from not moving.
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Originally Posted by TeJay View Post
jacknife,
I don't have any scientific facts to make this comment but I don't believe setting in one spot for extended periods of time has any negative effect on bearing life. Tires are much softer and do deform while setting. Bearings don't deform while setting.

Common sense asks the question, How is setting in one spot going to flatten a roller bearing?? Those bearings are very hard. The races are equally hard. Try hitting one with a hammer and I doubt you'll make a mark on it. I know they won't hardly scratch with a file. Yes changes in temperature and moisture conditions might effect grease life but driving on the bearings will not get the temperature up high enough to result in the moisture evaporating away either.

When you operate any mechanical device it heats up to operating temperatures then you shut it off and it cools down to the ambient temperature. Moisture conditions change with those temperature changes. Once you let it set for 3-6 months with out operating the moisture conditions change with changes in ambient temperature and moisture conditions. I can not see any correlation between short intervals of operation versus long intervals. If there is a correlation it escapes me.

What ever negative effect that occurs while you park your TT for a week will still occur if you park it for 6 months. It's not worse because it's parked for 6 months at a time rather than for a week at a time.

TeJay
I to have to agree with Tejay. While you are likely correct that the bearings are sitting under load in one spot for an extended period of time may cause the grease to move away from the contact surface, as you start to move, the grease will sling around to fill the dry areas. If the bearing suffers damage from that sitting, you need a better bearing.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #26
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Actually the idea for not storing lead/acid batteries on concrete had a basis in fact. Originally batteries were made of glass containers containing the lead plates and acid held together in wooden boxes. The wooden box could absorb moisture from the concrete and swell, breaking the glass jars. Next storage batteries were made with hard rubber cases high in carbon. A weak electrical charge could be conducted through the case into damp concrete. Batteries haven't been made this way for decades so it's no longer true.

Boys bikes were designed by sadistic female engineers and boys aren't smart enough to figure it out.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:44 PM   #27
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Boys bikes were designed by sadistic female engineers and boys aren't smart enough to figure it out.
I know I was not smart enough. And the trio between my legs paid that price many a time.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:14 PM   #28
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TeJay,
I guess that you have never heard of false brinelling. This happens when a stationary bearing is subject to load and vibration. This will leave small deformities in the races. And why would you ever tell someone to hit a bering or race with a hammer? This is against ALL safety rules, just like never hit 2 hammers together. Hitting a bearing or race with a hammer could shatter the race or hammer and send shrapnel flying and injure those around. I have not only been to many bearing seminars, but actually taught some of them.
There are 2 very good reasons for yearly maintenance on the bearings, 1st is the lack of use for long periods of time, allowing for possible moisture intrusion and also the chance of false brinelling, 2nd is so the brakes get inspected, serviced and adjusted. If you wish to take the chance and go 30 or 40,000 miles or 3 or 4 years between sevices, have at it, it is your money, but plese do not tell someone that doesn't know false information. Even on the old RWD autos, it was recommended by the manufacturers to service the bearings yearly or 12,000 miles.
Frank
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