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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Packing your own wheel bearings

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Calgary Campers

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 08/21/11 08:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been an avid rv'r for over 30 years and on this group for a long time (just not a frequent poster). My wife and I have owned four rv's, the latest being an Extreme RV's Road Ranger 252T. It has normal axles and, like always, I have packed the wheel bearings and changed the seals myself for years.

I "treated" myself to a professional service in Calgary. I was getting some body work done and had the place pack the bearings and adjust the breaks last fall. We went out twice after that, both very short trips to the mountains (1.5 hours from Calgary).

This spring we took the trailer to Winnipeg. 63 km, short of Brandon, Manitoba, a very nice couple pulled up beside us and were frantically waving their arms and pointing at the back of the trailer. You guessed it. SMOKE and lots of it. My wife pulled over and I ran back to check the right side wheels. Guess what, if there is smoke coming out of the wheels, you do not need to touch them to know if they are hot! Anyways, after I quit swearing at myself for such a dumb move, we took stock of the damage. The wheel was cock-eyed, so I knew the bearings were shot on that side of the rear axle. We called and got a flat deck to come out from Brandon. (Note to self....do not let Good Sam membership expire again).

The guys winch was busted. So I had to push the trailer up. The wheel fell off so now the skid bar on the right side is catching the tow deck and sliding the TT to the right. Three tries to get it on and in the center of the deck. Second note to self, do not trust a tow truck driver who tells you it is ok to keep backing up, even when your right side wheel is 1/2 off of the deck. Listen to your wife ! as I did. Thankyoudear.

Got it to a dealer in Brandon called Pic-A-Dilly. Oh, this is sunday of a long weekend. We dropped it off in front of the service bays and went to spend the rest of the weekend in Portage La Prairie at a very nice place called Creekside. AWESOME RV PARK! Back Tuesday to get the work started. Heather, the service maanger, says "You know, your trailer is a little broken?" Funny ...... but a very nice place. They did a wonderful job and fixed up some other issues as well. Turned out they could not find even a piece of a cotter pin in the right rear axle. HMMMMMMMM. COULD THAT HAVE BEEN THE PROBLEM ! As well, the right front wheel had a cracked bearing! I am going to guess the Calgary service shop did not put the cotter pin in but my nice side says they did but re-used the old one. Wow, they saved $.20 !

So WHAT DID I LEARN?
1) do not let Good Sam ERP lapse ($400 tow}
2) Pic-A-Dilly RV in Brandon is AWESOME
3) HOBO RV in Calgary will never see me again
4) A LOT of people will stop of offer help on the side of the highway !
5) Do not let your wife talk you out of keeping an emergancy vest in the truck or trailer. I had ours and my wife looked very fashionable 30 yards back doing a pylon imitation

I have been TOLD that I am doing my own from now on. and I always do what I am told.





ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 08/21/11 09:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only time I've ever had my bearing repacked by someone else it was goofed up too - and that was at Midas where they must goof them up every day!


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LarryJM

NoVa

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Posted: 08/22/11 02:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

The only time I've ever had my bearing repacked by someone else it was goofed up too - and that was at Midas where they must goof them up every day!


Yep it's sad for use DIY types that don't have a good to guy that we have established a long term relationship over a number of years and have to rely on basically and unknown and unproven source of service.

I'm starting to get too old to be doing any serious wrenching and dread the day when I have to rely more on others to do the fairly simple and mundane things.

Larry

* This post was edited 08/23/11 05:30pm by LarryJM *


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jasult

Central NJ

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Posted: 08/22/11 03:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Million dollar shop is only as good as the minimum wage repairman doing the work!!!!

I would rather get my hands and cloths dirty and sit in my driveway doing the work in the time it takes to take it to some shop and then have to return to pick it up and then wonder if it will fail.

My next door neighbor had his car that had a miss in engine. He changed spark plugs and noticed on plug was wet. I offered to ohm out the coil pack on that cylinder but he said he paid big bucks for extended warranty on this used car. In a short story they found that the coil pack was bad however the next week after he was driving car, same code returned and he took it back. The guy who replaced the coil pack forgot to tighten the bracket. Oh, the warranty did not cover any thing electrical so he paid list price for coil pack.
This coil pack could have been changed in driveway for a fraction of the money he paid or all the time spent running back to shop.

* This post was edited 08/22/11 03:25am by jasult *


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shum02

Burlington ON CDA

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Posted: 08/22/11 04:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had the same experience just last month coming home from Manitoulin Island and smoked my rear bearing set.

Flatbedding the KZ

After getting the rig home replaced and repacked all bearing and then bought myself an infrared temp reader from CTC. I had checked the temp of the bearing protectors just a few hours before in French River and all was good, the usual very warm to the touch but not so hot I could not hold them.

I was very fortunate an Airport Shuttle Driver waved me down because I did not feel a thing.

Took me an afternoon and about $50 in new bearings, races and grease to get them all done.


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RockDodger

Northeast Illinois

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Posted: 08/22/11 07:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ya, I always do that stuff myself. That's half the fun of being self sufficient. Besides, when you do it, you have no one else to blame (or be grateful to).


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cachingcampers

Niagara Region,Ontario

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Posted: 08/23/11 02:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Calgary Campers wrote:

1) do not let Good Sam ERP lapse ($400 tow}


I've been a Good Sam ERS member since May of this year, baild me out twice this year all ready (once just the truck & once truck and trailer).
WELL HAS PAID FOR ITSELF.

Quote:


4) A LOT of people will stop of offer help on the side of the highway !


Has not been my experience sadly. most people where just waving at me with 1 finger...
Quote:


5) Do not let your wife talk you out of keeping an emergancy vest in the truck or trailer. I had ours and my wife looked very fashionable 30 yards back doing a pylon imitation


As funny a picture that might be, it's a fine idea to have safety gear & too surround yourself with it, trust me, most folks ain't to observant on the road.

Anyway, glad it all worked out, oh yeah and happy for my buddy Shum too even if he's hauling with a Ford

* This post was edited 08/23/11 03:03pm by an administrator/moderator *


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shum02

Burlington ON CDA

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Posted: 08/23/11 03:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cachingcampers wrote:

oh yeah and happy for my buddy Shum too even if he's hauling with a Ford



Hey, my steed has never left me stranded at the side of the road LOL!

smkettner

Southern California

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Posted: 08/23/11 03:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I carry a set of extra bearings just to ensure I have no trouble.

I might send the towing and repair bill to HOBO RV just to see the reaction

Glad to hear noone was hurt, the rest is easy to fix.


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Calgary Campers

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 08/24/11 03:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wish I could have done this myself but couple of things messed that up:
1) had to rebuild the whole axle and brakes on both sides. Not hard but I really did not have the time. I was on holidays!
2) needed more tools then I had and I had lots. Drives my wife nuts. But I needed axle stands, brakes tools, etc and I had all of those at home.
3) needed to get the roof looked at too. I decided a long time ago that roofs were not in my scope of knowledge.
4) I was hurt. the part I neglected to tell everyone was were I did the boneheaded maneuver of not taking the tension bars off of the TT when I put it up on the trailer. Have you any idea how much tension is on those bars when the trailer is at a +30 degree angle? I put a dent in his deck about 3/4" deep and whacked the whole side of my left leg from crotch to foot. I had more cute colors then one of my wifes scarves. The only words I could say were "THATS GOING TO LEAVE A MARK" and dropped to the deck. It took me two oxycodin each night for three night to get any sleep. Doc figured I had a Deep Vein Thrombosis or something like that. Didn't but wow did that hurt.

Final note to self, remove tension bars before you push trailer up above level.

interesting trip but all in all, it was worth it. Found a new campground, some very nice people and was treated to some great food and drinks from my relatives along the way.

Just think. All of this could have been prevented by the shop doing the work correctly or better yet, if I did it myself.



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