Wheel bearings on an RV preform two basic functions: supporting trailer weight (loaded and unloaded) and to allow the wheels to turn with the least amount of friction possible.
Wheel bearings are the supports that hold the wheels onto the axles of the RV. And, since they’re spinning all the time, they need constant lubrication. Repacking the wheel bearings is simply “changing” the grease that lubricates the bearing — pushing out the old stuff and putting new, clean grease back in.
Wheel Bearing Failure
An RV was parked for years with out a repack, or the bearings were filled with too much/too little grease or the person who did the last repack didn’t know what they were doing and now you are finding yourself in the worst case scenario…
Maybe the DOT/CVSA pulled you over and asked you to test your brake-away cable. Or you might have been hearing a grinding noise, rumbling, a squealing sound or there is smoke coming from the wheel of the unit, or maybe cars were flashing their lights trying to warn you, or very worse case the wheel just plain came off causing a dangerous situation making you pull over.
Now you need a mechanic or RV tech & probably a tow truck to help you out of this bind.
Here’s our maintenance section to help you avoid the above issues:
Wheel bearings should be maintained at least once every two years or every 10,000 miles. This maintenance should include:
- A complete cleaning, inspection & repacking of the brake drum.
- Testing of the brake magnets & inspection of the brake assembly.
- Greasing of the actuator arm, brake adjuster & brake away cable.
- Proper torque applied to the axle nut and wheel nuts.
- Check for proper tire wear.
- Complete brake adjustment.
- and finally, testing of the brake away cable.
The above is all included in our standard wheel bearing repack service to insure that the entire wheel and brake assembly are in good shape for the season ahead.
If you do decide to complete this yourself, please be mindful of the following safety precautions. Proper stabilization is a must, never used compressed air to clean bearings, never mix old grease with new grease, never use a grease gun on RV axles with brakes and finally always use a new seal and cotter pin when repacking or reinstalling a brake drum.
The Roadtrip RV First Aid Kit
You keep your RV’s wheel bearings maintained every couple of years but are going on a road trip. Even though you don’t expect to cut your finger on your vacation you probably are bringing a medical first aid kit so why not bring one for your RV’s wheel bearings?
Even if you don’t plan on doing the repairs yourself, it is always a great plan to bring a complete wheel bearing kit along with the necessary tools to do a roadside repair. That way you have all the parts required for either you or a qualified service technician to get you safely back on the road and enjoying your trip again.
Red Seal RV Technician
Snowy Peaks RV