I have been fortunate with all the trailers I've had. Never had to replace the bearings, although I do pull, clean and repack them occasionally. As far as replacing the races along with the bearings, yes I recommend changing both at the same time. I was a mechanic for years and worked on transit busses. Every time we had to do a brake job, due to the design of the axles, we had to pull the hubs so we allways went ahead and checked the bearings. It is not that hard to replace the races. You can drive them out with a punch and hammer and if you have the proper tools, put the new races in a matter of minutes. If your not comfortable installing the races, you can take them to a machine shop and have them pressed in for a small fee. I my opinion, if the bearing is shot, then the race it has been riding in has had to have suffered some damage also.