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Old 07-11-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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2006 19' International CCD
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Red face Its me or the Bambi

We have had our 2006 Bambi 3 weeks and its keeping me working . We bought it at a dealer 400 miles away , when we got it home the shower head leaked and I replaced the Moen cartridge , not that easy because the clip that holds the cartridge in was on the back side of the wall , so out came the divider wall between the shower and the toilet , all back together now . Went away for 4th of July , noticed soft spot in the floor to right of entrance door ,got home and up came the vinyl floor and replace a 7 inch square piece of sub floor and track down the leak , looks like the belt line trim leaked and now waiting for rain to see , today it was repack wheel bearings that I guess the dealer had no time to do because they did'nt do it , good thing I looked . So my three day weekend is over and back to work Tuesday , cant wait . But I still think it was worth it .
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
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Bummer that you have to put so much labor intense time into your new purchase. But once you get it the way it should be, you'll be happier. Proper maintenance along the way to keeping it more problem free is the key to enjoying the Bambi (or any trailer). It appears that may not have happened before you got it.
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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kipper,
Did you find repacking the wheel bearings an easy or daunting task? I need to do (or have done) ours. Watching the YouTube videos I feel uneasy about all the possible things I could do wrong. I'm pretty handy with tools, but I'm a woodworker. All that pushing, punching, hammering, and grease makes me nervous. Shall I try it?
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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Hi Greg.
I can not really tell you if you should try it or not. I did just finish doing mine last Wed. and we just got back from a 1200 mile trip today in which they worked fine.
I bought a tube of wheel bearing grease and the little Liesle hand packer mentioned in some other threads. I used to do boat trailers and a couple of car front wheel bearings 25 or so years ago so not a total beginner at it. Reason I decided to do it myself is that it seemed very hard to make an appointment at camping world and to take the trailer to them on the time frame I had to work with. And I was afraid to take the trailer out again without checking them.
I did it one wheel at a time. I use a little hydralic jack AND A SPECIAL MADE SADDLE to fit under the frame right by the wheel. You could use lynx blocks or one of the pull up jacks and do one wheel at a time with the tow attached. or find the trailer jack points and jack it there.
I took one wheel off and punched out the seal and took a bearing and a seal down to NAPA. Bought a bearing set all together sealed on a card and 3 more seals, expecting to replace the seals and to have an extra set of bearings. Went home and washed the bearings in kerosene to inspect them. The grease around the bearings looked fine, but the grease actually in the bearings was black. When it washed out the bearings felt gritty, though they looked fine. I just made the decision that it was easier to pay 35 bucks a wheel for new ones that to try to decide which of the old ones were usable. (The old bearings were put in 4 years and 40000 or so miles ago and not checked until last week). The NAPA bearins looked okay and were made in Mexico. Most of the old bearings were USA, but a couple of them were China.
Hardest part is getting the old seals out of the hubs. Used a 1/4 inch pin punch to drive out the old races. Used a old piece of 1" by 1/4" aluminum bar to drive the races back in.
Reassembled everything and adjusted the nut. Then adjusted the brakes (mine are not self adjusting.) the brake pads were wearing evenly and had enough thickness for at least another year. One set of brake wires were broken so I was only using 3. glad I finally checke them.

Cost about $170 for the bearings and grease and packer.

camping world here does it for $225 labor but of course will add parts to that. when I called them they automatically factored in brakes and the estimate was a bit more than $600. When I had them done at airstream it was $1000 for new brakes and bearings but that might have included drums. not sure. It does not save a whole lot of money to do it yourself. basically you save about $200 plus the retail difference on the parts if it needs brakes. For that I judge it pretty much not worth it just for the money, but time and scheduling and confidence in the finished job counted for me.

It took me 8 hours spread over 2 days and I was very dirty. My suggestion is that unless you are sure you want to get that dirty and sore (bending down and crawling under the edge of a trailer is hard on folks as old as me) I think you would be better served by just taking it in and getting it done. Grease is not good for a woodworking shop either. I am still cleaning my bench and tools. I know a fair number of airstreamers and there are only 3 or 4 of us who have done it ourselves.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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OK, that's all I need to know. I'll be calling my shop this afternoon <grin>.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Hi Greg , packing the wheel bearings is no big deal , it cost me a tub of grease , 5.00 and wheel seals 20.00 and an 2 hours time , yea its messy but no big deal . Also yo have one more axle . I think its good to be able to do the work yourself , you know its done right .
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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I did mine also, not too bad. Only took about three hours.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:54 PM   #9
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Thinking outside of the Box!

In Virginia we have to get trailers inspected annually. Only one RV dealership within 30 miles is also an inspection station, but I found a car repair shop that also inspects trailers... and lo and behold they'll do the wheel bearings MUCH less expensively than any RV shop including the mothership. There's also a truck and trailer store that primarily sells utility trailers which will also do this messy chore correctly and reasonably.

Think outside of the RV Box!

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Old 07-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #10
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my keyboard is missing the u key
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:18 PM   #11
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You can use this tool to easily remove the old seal. The KD or Lisle brand is under $10 at Sears.


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