Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Axle Service
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boosTT

Milwaukee

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Posted: 03/08/21 07:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2005 19' Keystone tandem axle travel trailer and (yes I know) never serviced the axles. I pumped some grease into the zerks every few years, but haven't repacked the bearings or adjusted the brakes ever. Maybe I've been lucky, but haven't had any issues and typically tow 2,000 miles per year.
This year I'm going to have the axles serviced. A trailer place that primarily sells cargo trailers said it would be $750 per axle with everything. The big local RV dealer said $1400-1900. Should I take it to an RV dealer or trailer dealer? I'm thinking the trailer dealer will be cheaper. Everything else on the trailer is in great shape and has been well maintained. Thanks

Fisherman

Angus, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 03/08/21 07:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Somebody is loading their pension account with your money. Even with all new parts, I can't see it getting that high.

WayneAt63044

St. Louis, MO

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Posted: 03/08/21 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you cannot do that yourself, I would recommend the less expensive option. New brakes on a pre-assembled backing plate are readily available as are new brake drums with new bearings for about $100 per wheel. Adding the labor makes $750 sound reasonable. Check out Big Tex (in your area near Random Lake). Given a choice, I prefer the non self adjusting brakes as they run cooler.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 03/08/21 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Boy, at those prices I could be a multi millionaire in a couple of months.. That is more than what it would cost to replace the entire axles!

Shouldn't cost more that $50-$60 per wheel, tops..

First, nothing special about servicing trailer axle bearings, uses exact same procedures as any automobile wheel bearings as far as cleaning and regreasing the bearings.

I learned how to service wheel bearings on 1970's cars, trailer drums and bearings are essentially one in the same as a drum system on older vehicles.

SOOOO..

Call some AUTO REPAIR SHOPS, should be able to find at least one in your area that understands how to work on drum type brakes..

To give you a head start, HERE is a Yellowpages search for auto repair shops in Milwaukee area..

Never take a trailer to a RV/trailer dealer for this service, it will cost you an arm and leg..

rirish1

Alachua, Florida

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Posted: 03/08/21 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I pay about $100 wheel for repacking the wheel bearings at an RV shop. Don't really need "axle" work unless they are bent.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 03/08/21 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I understand the cost of parts and retail cost of labor and for the work you're wanting/needing done, $750/axle isn't "bad."
Sure you can buy all the parts you need for somewhere between $25 (for a couple tubes of grease, parts cleaner etc and $500 (new complete brake assemblies and bearings/seals), but you aren't planning on tearing it apart in your driveway and repairing it, so $500 (worst case) in parts marked up 100% + the better part of a days labor @$100+/hr = $1500 all in to replace everything but drums is about right.

You can have the trailer place inspect and reuse parts, but bearings are cheap and not much savings to completely clean out old bearings vs popping in new. Brakes, provided they are in good working order, I would at a minimum replace the shoes. They may not be near worn out, but I just recently had a couple linings fall off the brake shoes on my 2005 trailer. Appears most are bonded not riveted.

Basically, $1500 gets you everything new and your hands don't get greasy. From there you or the shop could choose to save some of the parts, but you're paying similar labor charges either way.

RV dealer is a rip-off.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 03/08/21 08:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rirish1 wrote:

I pay about $100 wheel for repacking the wheel bearings at an RV shop. Don't really need "axle" work unless they are bent.

2 wheels or 4 ? That would be a great price for 4 !

Hopefully they check the brake magnets and wiring.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 03/08/21 11:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What's included in the price?

If it's purely repacking... you are getting taken.

If they are replacing other parts...it might be reasonable depending on the parts.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 03/08/21 12:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Instead of a "service" just ask about packing and adjusting the brakes. If there is an issue to attend they will give you a call. Small shop with some seasoned technicians should have no issues doing the work for less. This just basic old-school mechanical work.

Seen this plenty of times at an auto dealership. Going in for an oil change for maybe $75 and the dealer says it is due for a "60,000 mile service" or something similar just to tack on another $450+. Basically get the same thing and now the oil change is $525 + wipers and air filter (that were unneeded).


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Lynnmor

Red Lion

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Posted: 03/08/21 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is no way to quote a price since nobody saw what is inside the brake drum. You may need nothing but the four grease seals or you may need entire brake assemblies plus drums and wheel bearings. Anyone who quotes a price without seeing inside each assembly is a crook by definition. This is such a simple job that any mechanic or do it your self type can do it. One problem with taking it somewhere is that the lowest skilled (read lowest wage) employee will be assigned the job. One more thing, lose the grease gun.





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