Caravan Wheel Bearings
Some bearings can last 10,000 km, while others can last 30-50,000 km. Our approach has always been to change bearings as soon as we see early signs of wear. Generally, wheel bearings are a low cost item and it’s not worth saving them for another 10,000km and risk significant damage. As caravans have no odometers, and people can lose track of the distances they’ve travelled, don’t leave early signs of bearing wear be ignored and let us check these for you.
It is also important to note that caravan bearing wear cannot be compared with a car. Car bearings generally ride on smoother suspensions, carry less weight, plus if they start to wear they make quite a noise that the driver hears. In comparison, caravan wheel bearings often ride on a rougher more crude suspension, have very periodic use and cannot be heard from the tow vehicle when badly worn, plus on tandems endure a severe load on every corner. As an example a typical 16′ caravan often has ‘Falcon’ front end wheelbearings supporting a load of around 1500kg. A Falcon has 4 wheels supporting virtually the same weight, so it’s no surprise these caravan bearings show earlier signs of wear!
Consequently, it’s hard to give a predicted life on bearings. The industry keeps upsizing the bearings used which has definitely increased the reliability and the Europeans now use a sealed bearing which is showing a lot of promise.