--- Advertisement ---
facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share

Follow


I Greased My Travel Trailer Wheels, Have You Greased Yours?

I Greased My Travel Trailer Wheels, Have You Greased Yours?


avatar   Scott
Trip Date 07/05/2020
Posted On 07/24/2020 09:25:00

Camping | Travel Trailer | Maintenance | Greasing Travel Trailer Wheels | Lubricating | Lubing | Lippert Components Super-Lube Wheels | Supplies | Step-by-step Instructions



Everyone knows that vehicle maintenance is important. There's the common requirements like changing your oil, rotating your tires and the like. But, what about travel trailers? It seems like you hear RV owners talk about the need to winterize as well as to make sure your tires aren't worn. But, what else needs to be done regularly?

Being relatively new to trailers, I thought that greasing the wheels might need to be done occasionally, but I didn't really know when. We purchased our RV three years ago, and we've made several long trips each year. As I reflected back on the great times that we've had, I realized that we've traveled from our Texas home to Missouri and Arizona several times each plus Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and all points in between. I have no idea how many miles we've put on the trailer, but I guess I should have kept track!

Since I spent time doing research on the topic of lubricating travel trailer wheels (i.e. lubing or greasing), I decided to share my learnings with others. I can also now say that I was successful at greasing the wheels on our trailer! Based on my experience, I'll also provide a list of needed supplies as well as share the step-by-step instructions that I followed for our Lippert Components Super-Lube Wheels.

--- Advertisement ---


It All Started With Purchasing New Tires

We purchased our RV new and assumed that the tires were budget tires. We have heard all kinds of stories about poor quality "China-bomb" tires. We definitely wanted to avoid having a possible blow-out and any damage to our RV that one would cause while on the road. We planned to use our tires while they were new and in good condition, but replace them before they started getting too old or worn. While preparing for a long trip to the north, we decided that it was a good time to get fresh tires before leaving home.

We did some research to find a good combination of quality and price and settled on Carlisle Trail HD tires. The tires were available at Walmart for a great price, but we determined that all of the Walmart Auto Service Centers near us were closed due to coronavirus. We didn't want to buy tires somewhere without having them installed.

We also found the tires at Discount Tire. They matched the Walmart tire price, but not the installation fees. The total price was still a good deal, and we were familiar with Discount Tire's repair and replacement policies, so that's the route we took. Everything went smoothly with the new tire purchase and installation, so we are now proud owners of four new tires!

--- Advertisement ---


Everything That I Never Knew About Lubing the Wheels!

After driving away with our new tires, I thought that maybe we should have asked them about lubing the wheels. I really didn't know anything about it, but I've now learned more than I ever wanted to know!

I discovered that RV trailer wheel bearings are supposed to be repacked either every 10,000 miles or annually, whichever comes first. Wow! I've never done it, and I suspect that most other people don't do it either.

The description of repacking or hand-packing the bearings didn't really sound like something I wanted to tackle. I went to a local auto repair and lube shop and asked if they serviced and lubed trailer wheels. They did not, but they directed me to an RV repair shop.

Before inquiring at the RV repair shop, I did some more research. I read about Dexter EZ-Lube hubs and wondered if that's what we had. I checked my owner's manual, but it is a very generic RV owner's manual. It said that the RV might be equipped with Dexter EZ-Lube or Lippert Components Super-Lube Wheels. Since it had no specific information about our model, it was really not helpful at all.

--- Advertisement ---


My next step was going to "RV There Yet?", our RV, to try to determine which type of wheels we had. All that it took was removing one hub cap and rubber plug. I looked at the plug and it said "Lippert Components", so I knew that we had Super-Lube Wheels. Essentially, the designs of the EZ-Lube hubs and Super-Lube Wheels are about the same. They both have a "grease zerk" (a metal fitting used to feed grease into the bearing with a grease gun). Since the grease zerk is on the hub, the wheels can be lubed without being removed or disassembled.


A Look At the Wheel Hubs

A Look At the Wheel Hubs

Taking Off the Hub Caps

Taking Off the Hub Caps

Removing the Rubber Seal

Removing the Rubber Seal

Decisions, Decisions: Is This a DIY Project?

Now that I knew what type of wheels we had, it was time for me to decide if this was a DIY project. I read online instructions and watched the official YouTube movies for both manufacturers:

I realized that Super-Lube wheels are very easy to lubricate - especially for do-it-yourselfers like myself. This would be so much easier than "hand-packing" that I had first learned about (and was a definite turn-off)!

--- Advertisement ---


Time to Gather All of the Needed Supplies

Based on all that I had learned from my reading and watching, here's the list of supplies that I needed to complete the project from beginning to end:
  1. Grease gun
  2. Heavy duty grease
  3. Paper towels
  4. Trash bag
  5. Latex gloves

I had items 3 - 5 at home, so I just needed to purchase two items. I bought a grease gun ($18.84) and heavy duty grease tube ($4.98) at Walmart.


My New Toy, "Grease Gunny"

My New Toy, "Grease Gunny"

Disposable Gloves are a Must

Disposable Gloves are a Must

Step-by-Step Instructions for Greasing the Wheels

Mid-morning on the day that I wanted to get this task checked off of my list, we headed to the lot where our RV is stored. I'm not supposed to do "maintenance" in the lot, but I thought this would be a quick and harmless project. Here's the steps that I followed for successfully greasing my trailer wheels:

1. Hitch the Tow Vehicle

Once on site, we hitched up the tow vehicle so that we could move the RV back and forth. The official instructions said to jack up the RV so that you can spin the wheels a few times when pumping the grease in. I didn't want to have to jack-up the RV in order to spin the wheels, so instead I thought that I could roll the RV back and forth as necessary. It seemed that this should be adequate, and certainly better than nothing. (My wife came along to drive the tow vehicle so that I didn't have to get inside with grease on my hands.)

--- Advertisement ---


2. Remove all Hub Caps and Rubber Plugs

The process of removing all of the hub caps and rubber plugs was pretty easy. (When I was trying to determine which kind of wheel we had, I removed just one, but this time I removed them all at this point.) The hub caps have a small indention allowing a screwdriver to pry them off easily. The rubber plugs can be lifted and grabbed with your finger. This can be a little more challenging with greasy gloves on - but the whole point of the gloves is to keep your hands clean!


Removing the Rubber Seal

Removing the Rubber Seal

3. Grease the Super-Lube Wheels

The Super-Lube and EZ-Lube wheels are both designed with a grease zerk on the end of the wheel hub. (The zerk on some models might be on the backside of the axle.) The concept is that when you pump new fresh grease in, the grease cycles through the interior of the wheel and exits at the hub. Grease should be pumped in and the wheels spun until you finally see some of the fresh grease coming out. (The instructions that I read said that you can't have too much grease, but I would recommend double checking this with your specific wheel manufacturer before beginning.)

When putting the grease gun fitting on the grease zerk, you have to make sure you hear a "click" (a sign that it is secure). This will ensure that the grease goes into the zerk (and not all over the place where you don't want it).

--- Advertisement ---


I had no idea how much grease to put in. When I loaded the new grease gun, I squeezed a few pumps into a trash bag to get all the air out of the grease tube. When doing this, I noticed that with each squeeze of the handle, only a little bit of grease came out (about 1/2 inch).

I pumped about 5 times on the first wheel before moving to the second wheel. (When removing the gun fitting off the zerk, it might be a little tight if you are using a new grease gun.) I continued around until I had pumped about 5 times on each wheel.


Greasing the Hub

Greasing the Hub

After my wife moved the RV, I pumped about 5 more times. (I had read somewhere that you only needed 2 - 3 pumps of grease, but I still hadn't seen any new grease come out. This might be because I hadn't ever greased the hubs in the past 3 years. Perhaps I had burned some grease up and needed to replace it with more grease.)

We moved the RV again, and I put between 10 - 20 more pumps of grease on each wheel before I finally started seeing the old grease pump through.


Finally Some Grease Coming Out

Finally Some Grease Coming Out

I continued pumping until I was seeing a good amount of fresh grease coming through each wheel. (In total, my wheels required in the neighborhood of 30 - 40 pumps of grease in each.)


Lubing the Wheel

Lubing the Wheel

4. Almost Done, but Clean-up Required!

Once I was satisfied that I had enough grease in each wheel, it was time to clean the excess old grease from the hubs with paper towels.


Clean Excess Old Grease Out

Clean Excess Old Grease Out

After everything was clean, I replaced the rubber plugs on each hub making sure each was seated securely.


Don't Forget the Rubber Seal

Don't Forget the Rubber Seal

Replacing the Rubber Seal

Replacing the Rubber Seal

5. Replace Hub Caps

The last step (before final clean-up and unhitching the trailer) was to replace all of the hub caps.


Replacing the Hub Caps

Replacing the Hub Caps

One of our wheels has been missing a hub cap for quite a while. I've never thought that it was an issue before. Since there is more grease in there now, I realized that dirt could adhere to the grease and possibly cause a problem. My solution? Put some gorilla tape over the end to keep the dirt, dust and road grime out!

--- Advertisement ---


6. It's a Wrap!

Once everything was cleaned up from the lubing process, it was time to put away the grease gun. I decided to put it back into the box that it came in to avoid getting grease from the end on anything else.

The final step was unhitching our tow vehicle so we could drive home. All it all, the whole project only took about 45 minutes. I got lucky as one side of our RV was in the shade - that was nice on a hot July day in Texas!

--- Advertisement ---


More RV Projects for Do-It-Yourselfers

Do you have a switch on your RV that turns off all of the DC power? Before we purchased our RV, I knew that this was something that I wanted. It would help to ensure safety while refueling and also eliminate wasting battery power while we were boondocking or the RV was in storage. If you don't have a switch, check out my article titled "RV Battery Switch Installation for Power Economy & Safety" to read all about how I installed one.

RV Maintenance

What regular maintenance do you do (or have someone else do) on your RV to make sure that it is always in top working order?
I Greased My Travel Trailer Wheels, Have You Greased Yours?







--- Advertisement ---

Booking.com





Related Posts  


Other Recent Posts  


--- Advertisement ---



Comments    



--- Advertisement ---


--- Advertisement ---