Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Basic Maintenance
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Hemling

Miami, FL

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Posted: 07/14/21 07:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our Travel Trailer just turned 5 years old. I am beginning to keep a close eye on things like tires and brakes. I have 'Trail King' (original) tires and have not looked at brakes or bearings or anything like that at all. I've put about 10,000 miles on the unit total. From what I've read, 6-10 years is a good interval for tires, no matter what. Mine are about half worn down, but will probably dry rot and age out before wearing out. How often do you guys repack bearings? I've poked around underneath a little, and the stock drum-style electric brakes don't look too daunting to tackle. The campground that we frequent that is kind of near to home for us allows 'light' camper work/repair, and I'm no stranger to packing a standard wheel bearing or servicing a drum brake unit, but I have to admit this is new to me. I'm used to maintaining cars that are driven regularly, not ones that sit for months and months. Should I be more on top of this type of thing?

bob213

Fresno, CA

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Posted: 07/14/21 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO..tires are overdue(I like 4 years). Wheel bearings need to be checked and repacked. Brakes should be fine but if need replacing it's easier just to purchase the entire backing plate and bolt it on and attach two wires. Walk the roof and check for anything that could use re-caulking or eternabond tape. That should be a good start.


You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality – Ayn Rand


MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 07/14/21 08:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you have not had any issues to date. Yes, the tires may go a while yet, if no cracks, bulges, curb damage, or overload. I would take a close look at bearings, give them a repack, with quality grease. In my experience buying new trailers of any type, the factory is very skimpy on the grease. If you have not adjusted the brakes since new, you will be surprised how much better they work after adjustment.

Some people are anal about maintenance. IMO, you should check things right away after purchase, even when you get a new trailer. After that, again IMO, bearings should go at least 3-4 years, depending on miles towed. Don't forget roof maintenance, and caulking around windows and seams.

Jerry





NamMedevac 70

Reno

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Posted: 07/15/21 12:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Every year or more often on my TT I cleaned the roof and applied Dicor Rubber roof liquid coating that also covered all connections and flanges to roof fittings using a long handle roller brush. For me it was easy and relative mess free. Sometimes it was just certain areas I felt needed new liquid roof. Also replaced any old caulk with best quality caulk to outside areas. Used a trailer shop to re grease and repack wheel bearings with synthetic grease and I watched them do it. Cleaned outside of trailer with a good quality RV wash/wax and did this several times a year in the shade.

Used only Maxxis trailer tires with never any problems in high heat and applied rubber protection liquid from outdoor marine and no cracking on the tires and also did this several times a year in the shade.

Spent a lot of free time checking and inspecting including ladder time. No major problems in many years. Stop using propane appliances a long time ago and instead went electric only with shore power and/or inverter generator. Most of it was fun. I went by a long list that is now somewhere in my stuff. Did not do this all at one of course.

Hemling

Miami, FL

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Posted: 07/15/21 05:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's about what I figured - thanks. When we moved to Miami three years ago, the camper had to go to a storage facility (field) when not in use, and this is two hours away, so the only real time I have to do any of this work is when we are actually at a campsite. Just no room for it, and storing it in Miami would be very, very expensive. We are planning a major trip next summer, so I will have time to get around to all the maintenance items before then. Been super fortunate, biggest issues are minor items (doorknobs, loose trim. . .), and my spare tire cover blew off somewhere in Iowa four years ago.

wowens79

Georgia

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Posted: 07/15/21 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd replace those tires before a long trip, 5 years is all I would trust on chinese tires. I had one blow at 3 years, and did some minor damage to the camper, so I put some GoodYear Endurance on. Tires is a place I don't skimp.


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falconbrother

North Carolina

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Posted: 07/15/21 08:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having endured a blowout on my previous RV, a motorhome I'm gun shy about letting tires go too long. To each his own but, after 5 or 6 years I'm buying a new set of tires. I have the EZ lube axles so I just do that. They are far better than the old days when you had to pull everything apart to "pack" your bearings. Adjusting the brakes is super easy and I do that once a year. It never needs much adjusting. The roof is what I pay the most attention to. Our first travel trailer was in 1991. Personally, I've never had a bearing or axle issue and never known anyone too. However, I'm certain that the bearings can fail if neglected or, have a manufacturer defect, or get water in them and rust up.

Lwiddis

Near DVNP, California

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Posted: 07/15/21 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"I am beginning to keep a close eye on things like tires..."

No close eye on five year old tires is necessary. You won't likely "see" anything regardless. Replacement time!


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


kellem

Shenandoah valley,VA

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Posted: 07/15/21 10:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm one of those " anal " RV owners.

1. Tires replaced every 5 years
2. Bearings repacked once per year
3. Roof inspected every 6 weeks while applying 303
4. Tires inspected and inflated to max psi before each trip.
5. Water system sanitation twice per year
6. Entire trailer and rubber gaskets gets an application of 303 every 6 weeks.
7. Fix what breaks.

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 07/15/21 10:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the manufacture date on the tire sidewall. The trailer may be 5yrs old but the tires may be 6-7yrs old if they sat around for a while first. At 5-6yrs I would be looking at replacement.

If you are comfortable with bearings and brakes on a car, should be no issues doing it on a trailer. Youtube a few how to and have at it. This will also give you a chance to check the brake conditions. Don't forget the magnets on the brakes.

You should be checking and touching up the roof seams annually (6 months would be even better).


Tammy & Mike
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2021 Gray Wolf
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