Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road due to a mechanical failure? When I go on camping trips I usually elect to travel in numbers in case of a roadside emergency. Far too often my family has spent long days on the side of the road due to a mechanical failure. I’m sure we are all recalling similar occurrences. Not a great way to kick off a vacation that is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable.
I figured that since its spring and we are all itching to get the trailer out and do some camping; this month’s soon to be world famous “Monthly Trailer Owner Tip” would focus on getting the trailer on the road and safely to your destination.
The most important way to avoid mechanical failures is to properly maintain your vehicles and the most important trailer maintenance item has to be wheel bearings. Neglected wheel bearing maintenance will most likely leave you stranded with costly damage to your trailer! Poorly maintained wheel bearings can overheat and weld themselves to the axle or even worse, completely separate from the trailer and have the wheel traveling 65+ mph to a final resting place (hopefully in a field).
It’s amazing that bearings are the most over-looked item on a trailer. A lot of people think that since they don’t use their trailer much, the bearings should be o.k. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bearing grease will break down and bearings will rust from lack of use. Seals can also fatigue or get damaged allowing water into your hub or letting grease out of your hub and onto your break shoes. This will cause decreased braking performance.
Wheel bearings should be cleaned, inspected, and re-greased or replaced every year or every 10,000 miles. I personally don’t put that many miles on my trailer in seven years and have found that I can go every 2 years. This is also a good time to inspect tires, brake shoes, drums, magnets, and suspension components. This job can be performed by most handymen with some tools. But let’s face it, its messy and very time consuming and if you’re not trained you may be doing more harm than good. You can expect to pay a qualified repair shop about $150.00/axle for this service
I hope everyone enjoyed our first soon to be world famous “Monthly Trailer Owner Tip”. Be sure to follow and share our page on Facebook and keep a lookout for next month’s tip.
Thanks for reading…………..
Straightline R.V. Repair, Inc.
Salt Lake City, Utah