Wheel Bearings are No Joke — Free Wheel Bearing Checks!

By: South Thompson RV   |   01 Apr 2018
Tools in a workshop garage

Wheel bearings. Most of us know what they are and where they go, and that’s about where we stop thinking about them. That’s not the way it should be! Wheel bearings play an incredibly important role in the safety and function of your RV, even if they aren’t very big in size. Don’t be fooled by these little guys this April Fool’s Day, keep your wheel bearings in tip-top shape and keep your family camping safely.

What is a Wheel Bearing?

Just like those installed in cars and trucks, RV wheel bearings reduce friction and help your wheels rotate freely and easily. Inside the mechanics of your RV’s wheel assembly, you will find a circular area that houses multiple metal balls, similar to the setup demonstrated in the video below. These metals are all very smooth to allow for movement.

 

 

This assembly needs to stay greased in order to prevent friction and to prevent your wheels from seizing up. This process is often called repacking, which allows you to service your bearings rather than replace them. Wheel bearing-specific grease that can tolerate heat from the brakes is mandatory when greasing wheel bearings. This service should be done every 10,000KM, after winter storage, or more frequently if your RV encounters higher than average heat for prolonged periods of time.

Why Wheel Bearings are so Important

Your whole vehicle, in a sense, relies on wheel bearings to bear the load of the vehicle. The bearings help your wheels and the whole wheel assembly to roll over and over again, keeping your wheels spinning. Without bearings, the moving metal parts within your wheel assembly will encounter serious friction and lock up. Making sure that your wheel bearings are adequately serviced can prevent horror stories from happening.

  • If your bearings seize up, this can cause the grease in the wheel to ignite and start a fire while you’re driving.
  • These fires usually put themselves out, but even if they do and you have a spare wheel, that wheel won’t get you too far because the wheel assembly is so damaged.
  • Bearings that seize up and cause your wheels to stop spinning can damage your wheel and your rims as they drag on the pavement
  • Wheels that seize up can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle.
  • If your vehicle’s bearings seize up it can’t be towed using a conventional tow truck and will require the use of a more expensive flatbed tow truck.

We share these things not to scare our readers, but to emphasize the big importance of a small part. We have had the unfortunate experience of helping dozens of families who have had bearing-related accidents while on the road. Some have been far away from home, and nothing is worse than having your home-on-wheels become a home on cement blocks.
 

To help prevent this from happening, we’re offering a free bearing check with all summerizing services for 2018. We’ll help you stay safe out there while getting you ready for summer on the open road. Our trusted service technicians are experts and both service and prevention. Don’t trust your RV to just anyone; contact South Thompson RV in Kamloops today. Better safe than sorry!

 

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