Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Trailer bearings IMHO (and I know of many others that agree and disagree) should be repacked every 2-3 years, sooner if you put a lot of miles on them. Trailer axles go through very high stresses and loads and they can sit for months on end. One can't compare a car/SUV to a trailer axle. Two totally different animals, even though the mechanics are the same or similar.
It's been said somewhere on this forum that you should NOT attach your jack to the axle mounting brackets...that's not what they are for....additionally, if I read correctly, the axle beam, I am thinking that might be the axle shaft itself, the one that has a curve? If it is, that too is a big NO NO. Newer Airstreams have the correct mounting points shown on the bottom. Can't find them, can't RTFM or have one? Call Airstream and be crystal clear on the proper location before jacking up that coach. Doing the wrong thing can and has stressed the shell, and thrown many shells out of wack. The shell is more than just the walls and roof of the coach, it's a major supporting structure that helps carry and balance the loads. Folks have found first hand how real testy the shell can be if the stabilizer jacks are torqued too much, imagine jacking the whole weight up on the wrong area? You could have more than a door that is hard to close. Anyone recall the 2004 Airstream axle recall? Improper grease and/or grease levels were seperating entire wheels from axles. Both these questions are excellent questions and proceedures should be done with great care.
On an quasi related note, trailer tires should also be replaced after 3 years.
My personal feeling also - based on my own past experience of observing bearings at one year intervals - is that 2-3 years should be reasonable as you suggest.
Just about every source I have ever read however (including my AS manual) seems to say one year. I still wonder if this is necessary or just overkill (or a CYA statement).
As for tires though, I was surprised at your comment about changing them after three years.
I think that is the shortest lifespan I have read - I though common wisdom was around the 7-8 year range and that is what i was thinking to do on our present trailer.
On our last trailer (non AS) I left the tires on for at least ten
years (tsk tsk!) and paid the price when they all started flying apart on me half way across Texas one winter!
I really should have known better, but I just kept looking at them and they had plenty of tread and no indication of sidewall cracks. I have now learned that you cannot always tell what is going on inside by an external examination! (ie delamination of the tread which is what happened in my case).
I was very lucky not to damage the trailer - or worse.
I felt vibration in the tow vehicle and when I next stopped for gas and took a closer look, I found a full width chunk of tread over a foot long was completely missing from one tire and tread was starting to separate on two others! No loss of pressure on any of the tires.
Becasue of this close call, I vowed to replace my present tires when they hit seven years age no matter how good they may look!
Based on what you say, maybe I should rethink! Can you tell me where you got the three year rue of thumb, or is it just your own personal guideline?
I have recently read that there is a four digit # on the tire that indicates week and year of manufacture. (for example 3607 would mean the 36t week of 2007) My trailer isn't at my house so I haven't checked yet - but I sure will be doing!
Cheers ....... Brian.