How do I Check Wheel Bearings on Travel Trailers?

How do I Check Wheel Bearings on Travel Trailers?
Damage from heat or loss of lubrication can significantly wear down the wheel bearings on your travel trailer. Using a simple checklist, you can inspect your wheel bearings and, possibly, prevent an unnecessary accident should they fail while you're on the road. As a general rule of thumb, you can drive 100,000 miles before damage may appear.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Jack
  • Jack stand
  • Grease
  • Cloth (optional)
 
Step 1
Lift the travel trailer. Using a jack, elevate the travel trailer high enough for you to slide a jack stand under the vehicle. Once the travel trailer is positioned on the jack stand, rotate the wheel closest to you by spinning it with your hand. Check for grinding noises, which are indicative of resistance.
Step 2
Check how much free play, or movement, there is in the bearings. As a general rule of thumb, you want an 1/8-inch of free play.
Step 3
Check the hubcap for dryness. Remove the dust cap from the center of the hub with a straight edge screwdriver. Lubricate with grease. Squeeze a quarter-size amount of grease onto the interior of the hubcap. You can use your fingers to spread it around. Wipe away any excessive grease.
Step 4
Check the bearing. To reach the bearing, you must remove the cotter pin, castle cap, the spindle nut, the bearing washer and the spindle. Remove each piece one after the other like removing a line of parts. Check the bearings for dryness. Add bearing lubrication if there is dryness. Rotate the bearing, adding grease after each 1/4 turn. Continue until the bearing is completely lubricated.
Step 5
Tighten the bearings by hand if there was more than 1/8-inch of free play in step 2.
 

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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