How Often Should You Grease Travel Trailer Wheel Bearings 12056

Wheel bearings are an extremely important part of your travel trailer and without them, you’re not going to get far. Despite their importance, wheel bearings are often overlooked during regular maintenance. They don’t require much care, and this can lead you to forget about them. Forgetting about them, however, is as big a mistake as not paying attention to the condition of your tires.

Remembering to service your wheel bearings regularly will help you be able to take your travel trailer anywhere this camping season. Here’s what you need to know.

Why You Need to Grease Your Wheel Bearings

travel trailer

Your wheel bearings help the wheels spin freely and this makes the travel trailer move down the road easily. I’m not going to get into all of the components of the wheels on your travel trailer, but I will say it’s one of the most vital and seemingly inconsequential parts of the unit.

In order to be able to do their job correctly, the bearings require a lubricant of some kind. In most cases, this is a type of grease designed specifically for wheel bearings (never used grease that isn’t designed for trailer wheel bearings). As good as this grease is at its job, it doesn’t last forever. As time goes on and the number of miles traveled increases, you’ll need to have your wheel bearings repacked with grease.

When to Grease Your Bearings

Caravan in a park

We often hear having your wheel bearings greased every season, but that really depends on how often you use your travel trailer. If you only go on a few short trips every year, then you probably don’t need to have those wheel bearings greased every season.

On the other hand, if you travel frequently in your RV and rack up a lot of miles while doing so, then you may need to have it done more than once a season. It really depends on how you use your travel trailer. A better rule is to go by the number of miles you put on your RV.

Where do you turn to figure out the number of miles between wheel bearing maintenance? Your owners manual. If you don’t have an owners manual for some reason or can’t find the information you need in it, you can ask the service department at any Camping World location about your specific unit.

If you don’t want to ask the service department, I suggest having the wheel bearings checked every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or so by a service professional.

If you can’t keep up with the miles, then I’d refer you back to the once-a-season or once-a-year-advice I’ve heard before. It’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than not doing it at all or doing only when you remember. Set a day on your calendar and stick to it. Your wheel bearings do an important job, and it’s your job to make sure they’re in proper condition.

How often do you grease your travel trailer’s wheel bearings? Leave a comment below. 

Grease travel trailer wheel bearings

Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.
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  1. I’m glad to know that greasing the wheel bearings will help the travel trailer to spin freely and easily. My brother is taking his family camping this weekend, and I don’t think he’s ever greased the bearings. I’ll get him a grease gun so he can carry it in case he needs it.

  2. Once you are on the side of the freeway changing wheel bearings, you get learned up fast!

    I use that sticky red grease, the kind that sticks to everything ten feet away.

    I also stay away from Chinese made bearings. I have had those burn up within 4000 miles. I like Timkins made in the USA.

    We use our RV fairly hard, and do many dirt roads also. Dirt roads, for what it’s worth, I would cut the regrease time in half if you do dirt roads often, 5000 miles. I just changed my bearings, if I see any issues, such as the grease is runny and black (indication of bearing wear), I just put in new bearings. Trust me on this, it isn’t worth the cost and angst of roadside repairs. for $20 a wheel. And when you burn up the spindle, you need welder work done to replace the spindle, or the whole axle replaced.

    I always carry a full set of spare bearings in the RV. Along with a good hammer, a drift (to remove the races) and I bought a bearing race driver kit, it wasn’t much money, but makes changing bearing races much easier. I also use one of those cone shaped bearing greaser devices that pushes grease through the bearings, you use a grease gun. I keep a thread die in my tool kit to clean up the threads on the bearing spindle. Once the spindle is gone, break out your wallet. Sometimes a fine flat bastard file is needed to clean up the spindle. Keep a can of brake cleaner along, makes cleaning parts easier when you don’t have compressed air while on the side of the road.

    I also avoid using the grease zerks seen on Dexter axles. Grease will end up pushing past the seals, onto the brakes, rendering those useless. If you do use the zerks, jack up the wheel, and rotate the wheel and give two slow strokes.

    Regreasing your bearings is not a difficult job, and can be done in a day. Always replace the seals when regreasing, they are cheap and non-reusable. A tub of solvent with a stiff paint brush along with compressed air and a air nozzle is needed to totally clean things up proper.

    My wife and I did a 14.5k mile trip last year, Alaska to Florida and back, it took ten weeks. I had two bearings burn up. I was able to do repairs on the side of the road, because I keep spare parts and tools handy. The second bearing that failed was replaced mid trip with made in China bearings, they are made with inferior metals and wear quickly. Avoid! RV part houses sell those, you can tell, if it’s hanging on a rack do not buy. If the new bearings come wrapped in a little box, with a name like Timken, FAG, National Bearing, etc, you’re good to go.

    Check for black runny grease and that smell of heat when removing the bearing cap. If you see black grease when red grease was used, the black is from metal wear, you must regrease. At that point, I’ll replace the bearings. Why mess around for about $20 a wheel?

    I never go anywhere without a full kit of bearings, seals, and grease. I also keep new caps, washers, nuts, and retainers in my “kit”. Those small parts just about always get wasted when a bearing goes out. Another handy thing to keep is a new wheel hub, already packed with grease and new bearings. This would work for braking or non braking axles, unless you packed a hub with brake drum. But those are heavy and take up space, a non-braking hub isn’t big or heavy, but would help to get you back on the road to somewhere better then the side of I-70! Just turn your brake controller to zero and slow down.

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