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Trailer Bearings

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I was just curious how often you grease your trailer bearings. I am sure it depends on the amount of miles you drive. I give it a shot with the grease gun once each year. I don't normally pull the boat very far from home. How often do you guys grease trailer bearings?

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That all has to do with the setup you have on your trailer. The company which makes my hubs feels there is no need to do anything for about 100,000 miles. However, I did pull them about 4 years ago and put in new seals and repack the bearings because I was going on a 700 mile one way fishing trip. As long as I can see the blue ring in the cap I don't touch mine.

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There is no one set answer. If they aren't slinging grease, or having water intrusion, they shouldn't need greasing as a matter of course.

However, you should inspect them regularly, and when towing the trailer, feel the bearing housing when you stop. It should not be hot. Check both sides. Keep this in mind, if you tow long distances the side which gets sunlight on it will be the warmer of the two.

If you see any white when you pull the cap, it shows water intrusion. Especially bad if it's salt water.

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When just towing locally, I pull mine down, clean, pack, and reseal once a year. After doing this, I take a grease gun and the next couple of times I tow it to the lake, I give them a shot of grease to be sure the springs are compressed some on the Bearing Buddies. You are most assured you are going to have air trapped in the hubes after packing, which will usually work it's way out, when towing. This ensures a positive pressure when that warm hub hits the cold water, keeping it from sucking water in as the water cools the hub. Once the springs will keep a little pressure on them, I usaually only give them a small shot of grease every couple of months, only enough to make sure the spring is slightly compressed. If you over grease them, they will just make a mess and can actually blow out the seal.

If it has been a while and I'm going to make a long trip (like from GA to Lake Falcon), I will pull the hubs off to make sure the grease in them shows no signs of water and put them back on if the look good, I don't take them apart. If the grease is discolored from water, then I clean, inspect/replace bearings and reseal it.

Now, a lot of the newer trailers are running oil filled hubs, since I've never had any dealings with those, I would suggest checking with the dealer or the manual for them.

Another thing I do when towing a long distance a sometimes before launching at the lake, I just walk around the trailer and feel each hub. they should be about the same temp (the brake hubs will usually be a little warmer but both about the same), if one is running a lot warmer, that's a sign of problem that needs to be addressed. Either a bad bearing or a brake that's not working, or one that's sticking. If on a long trip, I will usually feel them when I stop for gas.

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I always check the temperature of the hubs, especially if you are traveling long distances. Just pull over and touch the hubs after 15 minutes. You will instantly know if you have a problem. The hubs should be cool - slightly warm IMO. If they are hot, better turn around and head home.

Another thing you should check frequently is the torque on your trailer tire lug nuts.

On my older rig, I inspect the bearings and repack once a year. I also check all the trailer nuts and bolts in case they need tightening. I just like the peace of mind. I don't like doing repairs on the side of the road. I did it once, never again.

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