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Wheel Bearings


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#1 csevel1

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:07 PM

What is a good price to have the wheel bearings done on the Casita? Is it a terribly difficult job? A local trailer service company wants $150 plus parts and shop supplies.. I wish I knew how to do it myself!!

#2 f_stop

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 02:50 AM

What is a good price to have the wheel bearings done on the Casita? Is it a terribly difficult job? A local trailer service company wants $150 plus parts and shop supplies.. I wish I knew how to do it myself!!



well...first you'd need a place to do it. somewhere you can jack up the trailer to get the wheels off the ground. then, and very important, you'd need equipment to jack up the casita and securely keep it up. this is very significant since, at some point, at least part of you is going to be under the whole thing. the cost for a set of bearings, seals and grease should be $25 or so.

replacing the bearing, while messy, isn't terribly difficult. it would be a huge help to have someone looking over your shoulder (at least for the first time) that's done wheel bearings before (older cars and todays trailers are very similar). you may know a benevolent gear head that would help. also, there's a tutorial (on the casita travel trailer forum) that you can download that may prove helpful.

the price quoted wasn't terribly out of line. maybe you could ask them if you could provide the parts (Larry Gamble can fix you up with those) and perhaps save a few bucks since parts sales are a profit point for them too.

good luck

p@
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#3 wmgeorge

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 04:42 AM

In the past 50 years of wrenching I've only replaced 2 sets of wheel bearings. IF they are cleaned and repacked per schedule bearings never wear out. If you have never done wheel bearings before then pay someone who has done it before. Not a high school drop out doing his first set!
The Dexter bearing seals are very hard to get out. The keeper is not the standard cotter key but a washer with a D shaped center cutout and tabs to bend up. Those and the seals need to be replaced. I forget the bearing grease I used but do a search on here it will show up, Walmart carries it here.
You can download the instructions from Dexter.

Having said all that, if its a old line trailer company that has worked on axles and trailers for years the price they quoted is not out of line. Something to be said for having it done right.

Edited by wmgeorge, 30 April 2013 - 05:01 AM.

Retired in Iowa and too many Hobbies

#4 clover

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:18 AM

It is not that hard to do, I pack my own on our Casita and 4 other trailers we have on our place (horse & stock trailer and 2 flat bed trailers). It helps to see it done once. At the very least you will need new seals, it is about impossible to save those when repacking. You can also look up a video on youtube to see how it is done. If I recall etrailer.com has a lot of videos that can help. For the Casita I got a set of bearings and seals at a local RV place. The Dexter materials reference will give you the numbers on what bearing and seals you will need. We also carry an extra set along while traveling.

The going price in my neighborhood is $90 per axle. Since I have a total of 8 axles parked out here I find I save a lot of money the DYI method.

Be consistent on what grease you use, don't mix types of grease.

FYI, I am an almost 60 year old mother and not a certified mechanic, so if I can learn how to do it, anyone can learn.

Clover
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(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)

#5 csevel1

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:23 AM

Thank you for all of your help. I may just have them do it to save aggravation!

#6 wmgeorge

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 10:33 AM

Clover has a ranch or farm shop to work in and all the tools you'd need. I grew up on a Iowa farm and packed my first wheel bearing in a 49 Ford with my dads tools. Before that I watched him do his. If you change your own oil and filter and are comfortable with jacks and jack stands then go for it.
Retired in Iowa and too many Hobbies

#7 Bobinyelm

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:28 PM

Thank you for all of your help. I may just have them do it to save aggravation!


DIY is great, but RV and other shops need to make money to stay in business as well, so spreading the money around in a community may be good for everyone concerned.

We all like to do what we can for ourselves, but sometimes just working at a regular job, and paying someone else to do what we are not comfortable with is the way to go. We don't get to "take it with us," after all.

#8 clover

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:02 PM

Bobinyelm

My father use to lecture me "any thing you can do yourself (competently) is money in your pocket". Much of the basic maintenance is not "rocket science" but more like "cook book". I don't suggest doing something if you are uncomfortable or are not trainable but goodness slathering grease and packing wheel bearings at $120 for about an hours work is pretty high priced. If your "roots" are agriculture than it doesn't allow for much "sharing the wealth" with others...........but it doesn't prevent you from helping someone else learn how to perform some simple mechanical tasks.

Using and having jacks and changing tires is pretty simple. Being the "damsel in distress" in the past didn't fit well into a busy rural practice for me or my peers. I don't plan on "taking a U-haul with me to the grave" but I do have to support others in my household.

Clover & her pup
Happy Trails!
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2003 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)

#9 Don in Ut

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 09:20 PM

Just for the heck of it, do a search for "How to pack wheel bearings on a travel trailer" and read the instructions and watch the You Tube videos. There is a right and wrong way to do the actual packing grease into the bearing. The rest is pretty simple and logical. I was taught to take a piece of white cloth like an old pillow case or similar and lay everything you take apart in a line in the order you take parts off. Do it right and that is just one more way in which you can save big bucks and feel good about doing it. You'll wonder why mechanics charge so much for such a simple job.

Don in UT
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#10 Muttley

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:08 AM

IMPERATIVE, it must be jacked up on the frame, NOT the axle.
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#11 wmgeorge

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:21 AM

IMPERATIVE, it must be jacked up on the frame, NOT the axle.


Can you explain why? Since the entire trailer is supported by the axle and two wheels on the ground.
Retired in Iowa and too many Hobbies

#12 wmgeorge

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:41 AM

Bobinyelm

My father use to lecture me "any thing you can do yourself (competently) is money in your pocket". Much of the basic maintenance is not "rocket science" but more like "cook book". I don't suggest doing something if you are uncomfortable or are not trainable but goodness slathering grease and packing wheel bearings at $120 for about an hours work is pretty high priced. If your "roots" are agriculture than it doesn't allow for much "sharing the wealth" with others...........but it doesn't prevent you from helping someone else learn how to perform some simple mechanical tasks.

Using and having jacks and changing tires is pretty simple. Being the "damsel in distress" in the past didn't fit well into a busy rural practice for me or my peers. I don't plan on "taking a U-haul with me to the grave" but I do have to support others in my household.

Clover & her pup


Clover your a ranch/farm girl and taught the way I was taught. My dad said, never pay for something you can do yourself. But some people are not as blessed as you with mechanical skills and having the tools to do the work. But they may be very talented in other ways. In that case find someone who is good at what they do and pay them. Youngest son was paying the dealer to change his oil! I told him that I was pushing 70 and still change my own oil, first to save money and second that way I know its done right!
Retired in Iowa and too many Hobbies

#13 Anna&Steve

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 03:57 AM

How often do you do the wheel bearings seems to be a lot of talk about them are they a problem?

#14 Babs&Chris

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:29 AM

It is all a balance. We used to get a lot of our biking stuff on the Internet and do the repairs and upgrades ourselves. But it is like this--if the local bike shop can't make a living sustaining themselves by the small day-to-day repairs, don't expect them to still be in business when you need them for a big repair you can't do yourself. That being said, times are tough for all of us, so you just do the best you can. My personal line is drawn at anything that has a safety risk if I do it wrong.

#15 muttmaster

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:32 AM

I think I paid about $100 at a local utility trailer place. It was well worth it to me. I had to laugh because those rednecks didn't know how to hook up the swaybar. He said "I ain't ever seen one like that." I guess they don't use them on utility trailers. But, I found out that this place does all the wheel bearing work for the Southern RV lot just about a quarter mile down the road, so I was comforted that they knew what they were doing. That ole boy said "Girl you know what youre a doin. I knew that when you said that about the chains needin to be crossed." I find some of the good ole boys quite entertaining. The manager of the place wanted to take my Casita home with him. He had never seen one.
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