Before You Leave with your RV/Caravan
In a previous Blog “3 Must have wheel gadgets“ I mentioned the importance of wheel maintenance. Well here are the other 3 important tools that go hand in hand with those Gadgets. Wether you’re Full or Part time RV’ers, these absolutely apply to everyone. If you’ve read a little about our history with Travel Trailers you’d know that I take our safety very seriously. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are or how fancy your RV is . If you don’t take the time to do your pre-travel checks thoroughly you can put yourselves in harms way.
When last did you grease the RV bearings?
“But I don’t know how”….or….”I had them done last season they’ll be fine”. Consider that for most folk their RV isn’t moved for long periods of time, especially if you’re a Part Time or Seasonal camper and it’s stored away for the Winter. It’s not a matter of if, but when you need to change your bearings. The stress and extreme temperature they endure is unbelievable and regular maintenance goest without further discussion.
I have to say that I am probably the last guy you’d ever expect to grease his own RV bearings but I actually do and can tell you that if “I” can do it….I say no more. Most RV wheels are very easy to grease and I simply watched a bunch of YouTube videos and asked one of my handy neighbours to look over my shoulder the first time I tried this. I made sure that I bought a decent yet inexpensive grease gun, a couple of recommended tubes of grease and got it done.
So you decide to do this grease thing!!
I realized that all the experienced folk out there were absolutely correct with their lists of “Essentials”and “Must Have’s”. I purchased a socket that matched my wheel nut size, and ensured that I had a way to use my electric drill or driver to loosen the nuts, jack up and secure the RV safely, and ensure that it didn’t move while the wheel was off. If by any chance the batteries for my drill/driver are flat (don’t laugh this happened..) I have have a 4-way so I can do it “old school” if required.
How tight must the nuts be?
You do the whole thing…ensure that the RV can’t move on you, slightly loosen the nuts, jack up and support the trailer from falling, remove the nuts and wheel, apply new grease cleaning out the old as it oozes out the bearing,…put the wheel back on, cross-tighten the nuts for even fit, lower the trailer and further tighten the nuts….My only question was how much do I need to torque the nuts? These values are easily found in either your user manual or online. I purchased a well rated torque wrench and torqued the nuts exactly to spec. I’m not done yet.
The final step.
My final step is to check the tires for cracks, nails, wear etc. I also check the pressure and use my 12V electric pump to set them to the recommended pressure . Be sure to inspect and pressure check the spare wheel. The pump and extension are 2 of the most important tools I carry with me. The only thing that I have yet to buy is a spare set of bearings and seals for my wheels. I keep all of the above, and previously mentioned (3 Must have RV wheel Gadgets) in a weather proof industrial Tote on the back of my truck.
When doing the research prior to buying our travel trailer it quickly dawned on me that I’d need to be equipped to do these pre-travel checks anywhere and anytime. It’s important to consider that even when leaving to come home, or move on to your next location, that there might likely be a distance you’d need to travel to get to a town or location with service and assistance. I have also taken the time to watch and learn how to replace the bearings and seals if I have to. The fact that I have done all of the checks and maintenance certainly makes me feel a lot more confident while on the road.
Please note that I purchased and own all of the above mentioned wheel safety tools and gadgets and am not sponsored by anyone. We all well understand that there are way more checks that we should do and I will cover those on future posts.
I look forward to any and all feedback and hope that all your trips go exactly as you want them to….
Safe travels everyone…