While repacking the wheel bearings, we found a leaking brake caliper. At the same location the brake pads also showed some signs of damage with a portion of the brake pad missing. It’s not clear if that was from something like a rock being kicked up into the area or possibly from the leaking brake fluid getting on the lining.
Although it is usually somewhat easy to replace the brake piston seal and dust seal after honing out the cylinder to remove any places that might be causing the leak we decided to just replace the caliper (Kodiak part number DBC-338-HD-E). Replacing the caliper is much quicker and easier than servicing the original and if you include seals and a set of new brake pads the total cost wasn’t much different since the caliper came with pads.
This blog article is primarily for me to remember the procedure to re-pack the bearings on our 2018 Luxe LF-39FB with dual 9000 pound axles. The generally accepted maintenance schedule for wheel bearings is to inspect and repack them every 12,000 miles or 12 months whichever comes first. Although there are products to add grease to bearings without taking the hubs apart, it’s still a good idea to do so to enable inspection of the bearings and other parts to prevent a possibly catastrophic failure that might otherwise be preventable. For instance, we found a leaking brake caliper and a bad brake pad during this procedure. Luckily, we didn’t find any bearing issues. Although you could easily do the job in half or less time, we did the work on one hub at a time so that parts could not become mixed up between hubs. This process took us about 2 hours per hub working at a slow pace.
When we bought our RV we had an option to add an additional Arctic package that we opted not to get. Without the package our RV was already rated to be able to survive 0°F temperatures without a problem and we really didn’t think we’d be staying in weather that cold anyway. Also, with the package we would have had two floor vents for the additional furnace capacity and we really didn’t like the idea of floor vents since without it all the vents were above the floor in cabinetry. On the other hand, the package also included additional insulation for the water pipes which might have been good to have.
As full time RVers with relatives in Colorado our thoughts about never going to really cold places in the winter was maybe a bit short sighted. In our first winter we decided to go to Colorado for Christmas and as luck would have it, the warm weather the area was enjoying before Christmas was forecast to change. In fact, we decided to stay in Capulin, NM and there was already snow on the ground when we arrived about a week before Christmas. Low temperatures were already in the mid-teens and low 20’s and this provided a good opportunity for us to figure out how to survive cold weather in our RV. We had been in freezing temperatures at night before but daytime temperatures had been above freezing. Now we had several days of temperatures below freezing.