Trailer Bearings

Captain Decent

The Bert makes ‘em Squirt
Nov 2, 2017
Covington, wa
Boat Name
The Bert Makes ’em Squirt
Is there any full proof way to check the bearings et cetera before you experience a fail on the highway? Jack it up, wiggle the wheel sort of thing. Or do you need to pull it apart ever so often?
Not really. Pulling the cap or bearing buddy can reveal if there is water in there but only on the outer bearing side.

For some reason they’ve never made any advancements in axle bearing technology as there isn’t anything for the inner bearing with the exception of the dexter axle passageway and that isn’t very effective either.

A compromised greased bearing will last quite a while as long as it has grease on it. But you pretty much gotta inspect them yearly or you’re putting yourself at risk imo
  • Like
Reactions: EJ Swanny
Upvote 0

EJ Swanny

Three Generations of Uff-Dah
Nov 30, 2010
Boat Name
"Riley-J" 2006 21' Proline Tourney
Yep, agree 100%. I thought two years on new bearings were fine. I greased them regularly. Nope, it can turn into a BAD situation very quickly. Many can attest. Not only for your boat/trailer, but for others around you. I would be devastated if my lack of maintenance, caused harm for others. Thus this post. Appreciate all the input, for me and others. Thanks all.....

Edit - Like I said before, someone engineer a great bearing for saltwater boats = millions. Go for it @Captain Decent, you seem to know your stuff. I couldn't design a hole in my boat :cheers:.
Last edited:
Upvote 0


Let’s goooo!
Jul 16, 2012
Port orchard
Boat Name
Parker 2310 "GUANO LOCO"
I consider myself fairly competent on the mechanical level. Nonetheless, I feel like I have more than my fair share of trailer woes. One thing that I’m sure would pay dividends is to do the yearly maintenance stuff before putting it away for the winter. Will I make time right now with everything else going on…probably not.

I have a cheap IR thermo. You can drive a couple miles and feel each hub with your hand to prevent disaster. Using the thermo on all the brakes gives me some added benefit that I’m set too low on the trailer if they are less than 150° and the front rotors on the truck are nearing 300° after day coming down Finn hill to get my non-ethanol fuel.

You can tell a sticking brake on the trailer as well. One of my WP trips had me 8 miles from home changing a caliper because it stuck and was getting the entire hub hot to the touch. Guess what…. The hub got hot enough damage the bearings and run hotter than the others the rest of the trip. Never over 150ish but I knew I was changing those bearings before it left the yard again.

I check at most of my stops. It takes a couple of minutes and gives me one less thing to think about while cruising highway speeds.

Have all the parts onhand to change a hub and a caliper. Have extra lug nuts too just in case one of those gas station preventative inspections at lower elwha reveals that all your lug nuts on one tire decided to back off enough to wallow out the holes on the rim and destroy the threads on the studs. That reminds me…double check for proper torque on the lug nuts 😀. Changed entire hub and back on the road, then install new studs at earliest convenience and your spare is back in action. One of the small grease guns and an extra tube of grease is plenty for one job and doesn’t take up much space.

Get some of those rec vehicle Lego leveling blocks to quickly lift a tire (for double axles) and a battery operated impact. You will usually be rolling again in about an hour. Oh yah, and if you need to let your oldest son drive the truck with no boat on the trailer make sure he knows to turn the gain down to 0 before he smokes all the tread down to nothing at every stop signo_O
Last edited:
Upvote 0


Apr 6, 2008
lacey wa usa
Boat Name
22' 672 Campion "Skidder"
The bestest lesson I learned from beating buddies was how to grease em. You just add enough when the disc the zerks on will whopple when ya rock it. Then you have to wait until you tow it and add a little more grease. I used to just pump it up and thought I was good to go. Haven’t lost a bearing since.

On some axles you can change the speedy sleeve that the seals seals on. I just did that on Mojos trailer

Does it look like you’re getting water in your grease. Or did the bearing just burn up
Upvote 0