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Old 01-13-2021, 08:33 PM   #1
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Repacking bearings?

Hello!

We took a brand new Forest River 26DJSE tt on a seven-week trip west of the Mississippi this summer (14 national parks that were deserted thanks to covid -- except Yellowstone. That place was a zoo.). It was about 6,000 miles in total for the TT. We're going to head out again this summer for shorter trips. Are we due for wheel maintenance? How often should we freshen those up?

TIA!
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:29 PM   #2
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I would have it done because it is an unknown at this point, given that it was new. Even if it is the ezlube axles with grease fittings in the ends of the spindles, i would pay to have the wheels and hubs pulled and bearings cleaned out and regreased properly, just to be sure. I am no fan of that ez lube method, it fills the entire hub with grease, and you still don't know what the bearings look like, and many people pump grease too fast and blow it out of the seal and grease gets in the brakes.

Those are most likely Lippert axles. I do know Dexter was sending out axles that wound up on Bigfoots that had little to no grease and people had bearing failures first trip. I consider bearings like tires, I want the best and I want ones in perfect condition. If it can leave you stranded, I want to take all possible measures to insure it won't fail. For me, that is USA made tires and bearings.

Charles
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:33 PM   #3
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I don't own a Forest River but I do read all three major RV forums and I've read several times about people finding their hubs without grease from the factory. I would have it done or even do it myself (check for youtube videos) just for 'preventative maintenance'.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:38 PM   #4
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I don't own a Forest River but I do read all three major RV forums and I've read several times about people finding their hubs without grease from the factory. I would have it done or even do it myself (check for youtube videos) just for 'preventative maintenance'.
You should always perform an inclusive inspection after a 6K trip. Best to get to know everything. This would include jacking trailer wheels and checking for wheel bearing play and grease fittings.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:50 PM   #5
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I believe most manufactures reccomend every 12 months of 12k miles (which ever comes first). Since its new, and you don't know the current condition, I would go ahead and repack them.

If you are handy, it can be done real easy with basic hand tools. As already suggested, look on you tube for some instructions. It should only take 2 or 3 hours if you've never done it.

This past November, I had a bearing explode because I didn't take my own advice. Ruined our weekend and I spent all Saturday trying to get it back together enough to get back home. Then spent money on a complete new axle since the spindle was damaged.
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:05 PM   #6
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Hello!

We took a brand new Forest River 26DJSE tt on a seven-week trip west of the Mississippi this summer (14 national parks that were deserted thanks to covid -- except Yellowstone. That place was a zoo.). It was about 6,000 miles in total for the TT. We're going to head out again this summer for shorter trips. Are we due for wheel maintenance? How often should we freshen those up?

TIA!
I'm an old car mechanic from way back, and very anal. I carry a spare inner and outer bearing for my jet ski trailer. I'd probably be carrying the same if I owned a travel trailer as you. It's such cheap insurance.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:55 AM   #7
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carrying a spare bearing (and the tools to change it along with some grease) is a great idea.

I'd note that these trailers aren't boat trailers that get submerged every so often. I'd check/grease/replace the bearings on any used trailer I bought as well as regreasing the bearings on a new trailer but these bearings SHOULD last a long time.

a bit of an "apples and oranges" story but I had gotten used to replacing the bearings on my race motorcycles once a season and so, when I transitioned into streetbikes, I kept doing the same thing (regreasing or replacing once a year) until a fellow rider with the same bike (an engineer who puts on lots of miles on his commute) tracked the replacement of various parts......he got 96,000 miles out of his wheel bearings and they were still serviceable at that time! Needless to say, I've pulled back on my maintenance schedule for these. ( I have multiple bikes so I put less than 5,000 miles a year on each one)

I'm not one to skimp on maintenance and longevity will depend on the quality of the bearings, amount of grease and proper installation/preload, etc. - what I will say is that a good quality set of trailer bearings, installed properly and with adequate grease should last for many years (depending on usage, of course). Other than time for the DIY guy or a bit of $$ to get a shop to do it, there is no downside to "shorter than necessary" maintenance intervals. I would also guess that the majority of TT's never see any wheel bearing maintenance unless/until there is a problem and that some have gone decades without attention....and NO, I don't recommend that!

2 cents,

Dave
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:19 PM   #8
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Thanks to all! This is what I had figured, but thought I'd check with the experts!
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