New Trailer Tires - Other Service?

Discussion in 'Care & Maintenance' started by lorieandkeith, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. lorieandkeith

    lorieandkeith Novice

    Dear Community:

    I need new tires. While our Campinn is not that old, we tend to put a lot of miles on. While we are having the tires changed, I want to have any other service done that is appropriate. The owners manual says:

    1. Wheel bearings should be repacked every 50,000 miles, or when the tires are replaced or trailer brakes are inspected.

    2. Your trailer brakes should be inspected and serviced at two year intervals or more often as use and performance requires. Magnets and shoes must be changed when they become worn or scored thereby preventing adequate braking. Clean the backing plate, magnet arm, magnet, and brake shoes. Inspect the magnet for any loose or worn parts. Check shoe return springs, hold down springs, and adjuster springs for stretch or deformation. It is more cost effective to replace the entire backing plate assembly than to replace only the brake shoes. ...the new backing plate assembly will give you a new [overall system] and it is easier to install - just 4 bolts.

    3. It is recommended that you repack the wheel bearings any time the brakes are inspected.

    So, I think I should as them to do the following:

    1. Replace the tires.

    2. Inspect the brakes [and maybe replace]

    3. Have bearings repacked.

    I have two questions:

    A. In some discussion somewhere, Cary said not to repack the wheel bearings for the sake of repacking the wheel bearings. [If I understood it correctly] he said that the wheel bearings are more likely to fail after they are repacked than if you just leave them alone, provided there is no leaking or other problem evident. He said that places tend to overpack wheel bearings. Then, because they are overpacked they get hot, the grease heats up, dribbles out, and you are running with no lubrication. Since we go on long hauls, this would be really bad for us. We would get stuck in the middle of the desert somewhere without coffee on board....

    It seems odd - if you have to repack the bearings so frequently, why could you go 50,000 miles? Should I repack or leave well enough alone?

    B. Anything else we should have done while the trailer is being serviced?

    Thank you. I really appreciate all you people out there who are more knowlegeable and handy than me.

  2. Tour 931

    Tour 931 Junior Ranger

    I would have thought someone would have given you a reply by now. I'm not an expert on brakes or bearings but I think you have the right idea.
  3. rotus8

    rotus8 Junior Ranger Donating Member

    Inspecting the brakes involves removing the brake drums, which also means disassembly of the bearings. The mechanic will be able to easily see the condition of the grease in the bearings; if the grease is plentiful, clean, and not oxidized, simply put it back together. If the grease is deteriorated, and especially if the brakes also need service as shown by the inspection, I would replace the bearings, with new grease of course. The bearings are cheap and changing is easy especially if it is all apart anyway.

    Overpacking the bearings mostly happens with mechanics used to working on boat trailers where the trailer is put into the water; these traditionally have the bearing and complete hub filled with grease to keep water out when submerged. On a "terrestrial" trailer, the bearing itself should be full of grease, but without additional grease in the hub. The other critical thing is putting the correct torque on the bearing nut; too tight and the bearing will overheat and fail, too loose and the bearing clearance will be sloppy and the bearing will fail, and of course the nut retainer and cotter pin must be in place and in good condition. There should be a tiny amount of play felt when shaking the top of the trailer tire mounted on the trailer.


  4. mariusz

    mariusz Novice

    I am no expert by whatever you do have and extra set of bearing with you, just in case you need them...just a piece of mind and could save you a lot of aggravation.
    Tour 931 likes this.
  5. lorieandkeith

    lorieandkeith Novice

    In the end, we just went to CampInn for service so everything was great. Fast and effective customer service, and people we trust. So thank you. And mariusz, I purchased set of extra bearings to keep on board from Cary. Thanks for the advice.
    Tom & Diana P likes this.

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