camper trailer bearings

Submitted: Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 18:23
ThreadID: 87641 Views:3064 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Just wondering how much tolerance is acceptable on bearing movement. At the moment when i grab the wheel i can feel about an eigth of an inch movement. Should they be tight so there is no movement? The trailer is a CYT, and is only 2 years old.

thanks in advance,

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 18:34

Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 18:34
Hi John,

Sounds like a bit too much play to me.
There is an excellent reference for servicing/replacing wheel bearings on site.

Servicing Wheel Bearings


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AnswerID: 460303

Reply By: Notso - Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 18:41

Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 18:41
That amount of play seems a bit too much

I always tighten them up whilst turning the wheel till I can feel the slightest resistance to turning the wheel, then back off the castellated nut to allow the slightest of play in the bearing.

Here is a link on all things bearing.

Bearing Adjustment
AnswerID: 460305

Follow Up By: Happy Frank - Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 19:39

Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 19:39
Just checked the link in this post, but I wonder about never putting lube/anti seize on lug nuts (studs) I have heard of many being busted because they were stuck, and have always put a tiny dab of never-seize on my wheel studs without probs. What do others do??
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Follow Up By: Fatso - Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 19:54

Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 19:54
I do pretty well the same as you Notso. I like the tiniest bit of play I can get.
You will get a lot further on loose bearings than tight bearings.
Good trick to anyone who tows is to put your hand on your bearings every day after driving & feel how hot they are. If you can hold your hand on the hub it is below (I think & hope someone can set it straight) 60 degrees ,which is not hot. If I am doing a big days towing I will stop in the first hour or so just to check the bearing temp. Then I will check it throughout the day.
Also clean & regrease your bearings before every big trip. It is a pretty easy job once you get the gist of it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 23:15

Monday, Jul 18, 2011 at 23:15
Hi Fatso

I do exactly what you have described when I go on trips. I will stop about 50km out once I start the 110km section of the journey and walk around the car putting my hand on the tyre treads and then the hubs of car and trailer. If it is too hot to touch then I know I have a problem.

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FollowupID: 733991

Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 05:49

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 05:49
Just don't go grabbing braked hubs after they've done a bit of work - I've lost a fingerprint or two like that - still won't learn....
FollowupID: 734001

Follow Up By: Injected - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:27

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:27
Happy Frank
I do the same by putting some Never seize on the stud threads. I also use dome nuts which protect the threads of the studs from dirt and damage.
FollowupID: 734013

Reply By: Member - Desert Storm (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 09:32

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 09:32
thanks for all that info guys. just one more thing on the brakes. my CT is fitted with electric brakes which work fine. but when i apply the manual handbrake to unhitch, it doesn't seem to FULLY hold the trailer in position. i have adjusted adjusting nuts at the handle end but to get the manual brakes to hold, you have to really reef on the handle. should i add a couple of pulleys to double line the cable to get more pull?


AnswerID: 460336

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 10:40

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 10:40
You might need to adjust the brakes at the backing plate or get new linings. If you install new linings you will have to adjust the brakes.

To adjust the brakes:

First, chock the trailer so it cannot move, then release the handbrake and loosen off the cable adjustment at the lever so the brakes are fully released and there is slack in the cable.

Jack one wheel up. At the backing plate there will be an oval-shaped rubber plug. Remove this to get access to the star-wheel adjuster.

Using a brake adjusting tool or a suitable flat screw driver engage the starwheel inside and lever the screwdriver so that the starwheel turns.Check for progress by turning the road wheel. It is possible to be adjusting in the wrong direction. If you are doing it in the correct direction, after a while the brakes will begin to drag when the road wheel is turned. Back off the adjustment so the brakes don't drag and replace the oval dust plug.

Repeat on the other side.

Re-adjust the cable at the lever, ensuring that the brakes don't drag.

Go for a little drive around the block - try not to use the trailer brakes - and feel the hubs. If they've warmed up in that short distance you have dragging brakes and you will have to back them off a bit. Also, make sure the handbrake mechanism is releasing completely - rusted, dirty (I mean built-up mud, etc, not just a coating of brake dust), unmaintained parts can seize and not allow the release springs to work properly. A strip and clean may be in order.

You should not have to add more pulleys to get a double line pull. Also, if you did that you double the travel required to apply the brake - there might not be enough travel in the lever to apply the brakes.

It's been a while since I've done electric drum brakes - any corrections, advice or additions to the above are welcome.


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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 14:51

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 14:51
Nip it up firm, then back it off one notch.
Keep an eye on it, every time you pull over, have a feel for heat.
All should be ok if you follow the first line

AnswerID: 460348

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