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Boat Trailer Maintenance Tips
May 29, 2011 6:24 PM | Tagged as Trailer

Boat Trailer Maintenance Tips

You are on your way for a  long-overdue family boat trip when, out in the middle of nowhere, you're trailer breaks down!! Nothing is more frustrating - especially if the breakdown is at night or on a Sunday when help may not be readily available !!!  While most boaters provide regular service for their boats, trailers often go neglected until bad things happen. Here's some maintenance tips that will help avoid these headaches.
 
Appearance: your trailer will look better and last longer if you wash the trailer with fresh water after each use.

Lubrication: use a good grade of oil and lube for your trailer. The small difference in cost is money well spent. Lubricate all moving parts: rollers, jack, coupler, and winch.

Bearings: if your trailer is not equipped with bearing protection or "bearing buddies", we recommend installing them. This will keep water out. Pump a good grade of chassis lube with a hand grease gun. If it comes out of the back you have a bad seal which needs to be
replaced. Check the lube level before going in the water, not after. Note: do not use a high pressure gun!!!

Tires: the most common cause of tire problems is under inflation. Be sure to inflate to the correct psi found on the sidewall of the tire. We also recommend that tires are balanced.
Note: be sure all tires have equal pressure!! Failure to do so may cause sway problems,
especially true on tandem trailers.

Springs: we recommend applying an undercoating to the springs, axles, and to the underside of
fenders. This will prevent salts from collecting and rust from starting. This will also
lubricate the springs for a quieter, softer ride.

Axle: overload is a common problem for axles. Pot holes, curbs and launching ramps all take their toll. Check frequently for uneven tire wear this could mean the axle is bent.

Rollers: be sure to oil roller shafts before use. Replace any rollers that appear bent or deteriorating.

Winch & jack: oil all moving parts regularly. If the winch has a steel cable, spray with cable spray or a heavy penetrating oil.

Brakes: It's estimated that as high as 50% of all boat trailer brakes do not function properly! Try to flush out brakes with fresh water after every launch in salt water. Disassemble brakes before prolonged storage and clean by spraying with a light spray like wd-40. Check brake lines for rust and fittings for tightness. Check fluid level often. Have you're brakes adjusted at least every 3 years or whenever they appear to be disfunctional.

Overall: tighten all bolts like u-bolts and lug nuts before any trip.

Visually inspect your boat to make sure it's in the proper position.

Use a transom and bow tie down. Do not depend on the winch line.

Be sure all lights are functioning properly.

It's a good practice to always carry a spare tire and wheel.

If going on long trips, we also recommend carrying a complete spare hub with bearings, a grease gun, spare light bulbs and fuses and, of course, a tool kit. 


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