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  1. #1

    Maintenance Sealed Bearings Karavan Trailer

    OK so perhaps this will be the dumb question of the week. Last year I purchased a 2011 Karavan trailer with torsion spring axle. When I picked up the trailer, I noticed that the caps on the wheel bearings did not seem to come off. I mentioned this to the salesman, and he informed me that the bearings are sealed and never need any maintenance or service. This seemed just fine to me, and since then, I have never given them a thought, until now. I will be embarking on a long trip next week, and doing a little research, I can find NOTHING that seems to confirm the salesman's statement. Does anyone know anything about this? Is there something I should check on before I leave? Is it possible that my trailer bearings never need any attention? Please inform me if I should take any precautions.


  2. #2
    rangermtb5's Avatar
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    Maintenance Sealed Bearings Karavan Trailer

    Post up a pic. May have bearing buddies which do require grease.

    I've never heard of totally sealed trailer bearings that don't need maint, but I'm not expert.

  3. #3
    steach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrunner View Post
    a 2011 Karavan trailer with torsion spring axle. I can find NOTHING that seems to confirm the salesman's statement.
    Peter, did you try the manual ?

    **Please note that some Karavan Trailer models are equipped with Knott-AutoFlex
    Waterproof bearings that require no maintenance. DO NOT remove the metal cap for
    any reason or damage could result to the bearings. The caps have KNOTT–
    WATERPROOF stamped in them.

    here's a link http://www.karavantrailers.com/site_...nersManual.pdf

  4. #4
    Yes they do say that! However how is one to know when something is amiss? Even assuming that the bearings are perfectly sealed, don't bearings just wear out after a while? With the old ones, when you squeezed a little grease into them and you witnessed something strange like metal flakes coming out, you knew that the bearings needed replacing. How is one to figure it out now?

  5. #5
    Formerly Ultra250 TN Aquaholic6801's Avatar
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    I have the same trailer....I did pull one cap when I got it home last year to add bearing buddies and grease, but found out they didnt need grease so I tapped the cover back on, been all over the place, probably 15,000 miles on them, every thing seems fine......I am too curious as to what needs to be done...I guess when the wheels lean in like when the greased bearings start to fail???

  6. #6
    SpeedDemon99's Avatar
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    I have a Karavan with the knott water proof stamp and was wondering the same thing so I contacted Karavan about using bearing buddies. I actually took a cap off also to see if there was a grease nipple but there was not. Here is what I heard back from Karavan...

    My question...

    I thought I had the sure lube system but I guess I don't
    because I just popped off the wheel cap and all I see is the large bolt.
    The cap says knott waterproof on it. Is this the type of bearing that
    would benefit from a "Bearing Buddy", if so what size is the hub bore in
    mm so I can purchase the correct size for the WCE-1250-46.
    Karavan's repsonse...

    This is a sealed bearing system, automotive technology. Bearing buddies
    are not required and can not be added.
    The system is a no maintenance system.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by riverrunner View Post
    Yes they do say that! However how is one to know when something is amiss? Even assuming that the bearings are perfectly sealed, don't bearings just wear out after a while? With the old ones, when you squeezed a little grease into them and you witnessed something strange like metal flakes coming out, you knew that the bearings needed replacing. How is one to figure it out now?
    That's exactly what I was thinking. I just purchased a 2011 Karavan PWC trailer to replace my 2007 Yacht Club (orignal owner used it in fresh, but I use it and salt so I needed to switch to a galv trailer).

    Everything on it is great and perfect shape, but noticed the same Knott-Waterproof system on it. Has anyone ever had any issues with it? From what I've read I don't think you can replace it with a normal bearing setup. I'd prefer to have a kit with the parts in my Jeep so if something happens I'm not screwed. I always thought that the bearings would wear down over time, even if it's perfectly sealed.

    I guess if nobody has ever had any issues with it I can trust it and not have to worry as much, but I'd really prefer to have parts just in case. Has anyone found a place that sells them, I can't seem to find anything.

  8. #8
    This is how I run a jetski shop in the desert nmpeter's Avatar
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    seeing that this thread is pretty old..doesn't seem to be any problems. Still best practice to examine wheels and tiures of the towing platform for your skis before every trip.

    Last season I caught a huge bubble on the inside of a tire right before my (newest) customer was hitting the road to Lake Powell..blowout for sure.

    He doesn't laugh at my free safety inspection days anymore..he did order a spare tire carrier for his trailer and a rim/tire on the spot for a drop ship to his hotel.

    I tracked down the current manual and the wheel bearing in this application are very similar looking to Seadoo pump bearings. The design looks excellent..so as they are not tapered roller bearings I wouldn't even pop the cover off for an inspection. Just a jack and shake a couple of times of year to look for problems.

    Very nice design.

    see current manual here:

    http://www.karavantrailers.com/liter...nersManual.pdf

    has a good exploded diagram of the trailer bearing design

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Thanks for the reply. I feel better about this now, seems like it's legit. I'd still like to have spare parts just in case, but if that's reliable I'll just buy a spare tire and just hope I won't ever have any bearing issues. Thanks Pete.

  10. #10
    SpeedDemon99's Avatar
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    Thanks for the diagram, that bearing looks exactly like car wheel bearings which are no maintenance just like the manufacturer told me.

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