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Trailer Maintenance Tips For Trouble Free Trailer Use

Save Yourself A Lot Of Trouble Down The Road
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Trailer Maintenance Tips For Trouble Free Trailer Use

Performing maintenance on our equipment is just something that has to be done. Regular maintenance will add years to the life of the equipment. We check our tire pressures, check the oil, and make sure everything works when we want to use it. Most of us take our vehicles in all of the time for all kinds of “scheduled” maintenance. But what about that car trailer, the stock trailer or even that small equipment trailer? If you can’t remember the last time you did it, maybe these Trailer Maintenance Tips For Trouble Free Trailer Use will come in handy and save you a lot of trouble down the road.

Trailer maintenance is fairly easy and is not really complicated. For the few maintenance projects that require more that the basic tools, you can always rely on your local trailer service facility to do the job.

Here are some trailer maintenance tips for trouble free trailer use that will keep your trailer running and looking like new for much longer.

Wash & Wax Your Trailer

Washing your trailer is a no brainer. When you are done using it, get out the hose or your pressure washer, a bucket, a sponge and some liquid car wash soap and remove any mud, dirt or road grime from the outside surfaces of your trailer. You may want to use some warm water to loosen the heavy grime. If you have an enclosed trailer use a broom, brush or the appropriate tools to clean the inside as well. If you are using a pressure washer or stopping at the car wash, just be careful when cleaning around decals or added graphics because the pressure could peal them off.

Washing your trailer regularly will help protect the finish on your trailer and keep it looking newer, longer. While you are at it, take a little extra time to apply a coat of high-quality car wax. It will extend the protection of the finish and it will also make it easier to clean the trailer next time. Wax your trailer a few times per year.

Check Trailer Lighting

Trailer Maintenance Tips For Trouble Free Trailer UseThere is no worse feeling than getting stopped by the police for having a light out on your trailer. (Well speeding is worse, but we won’t get into that now) …

Testing your trailer lighting is a very easy thing to do. It’s really easy if you have two people. But you can do it by yourself too. Have one person sit in the tow vehicle and turn the lights on and off while the other person confirms that all of the lights work.

To use the “one person testing method” back the trailer up to a building, run the sames test as above and watch for the reflection of the lights on the building. NOTE: It’s helpful to do it in the evening when the direct sunlight is not on the side of the building.

Test the running lights, then the turn lights, then the stop lights. If a light doesn’t work there are usually only two reasons. They are: 1). a bad bulb, 2). corrosion. If it’s a bad bulb, all you need to do is replace it.

If the bulb is good, but the lights still do not come on make sure that all of the connections are clean, have no corrosion and that every thing is dry. This should eliminate a lot of the problems. Once you have determined that your connections are good, you can check the individual circuits with a simple circuit tester that is available at any auto parts store. If you are not comfortable working with or replacing fixtures or the wiring, you will need to take it to your service center for needed repairs.

Check Your Trailer Tires

Trailer Maintenance Tips For Trouble Free Trailer UseLike your tow vehicle you need to make sure your tires are all properly inflated. An Under inflated tire will cause the tire to become overheated and will cause the rubber to brake down which can lead to a blowout. An under inflated tire can also cause the trailer to sway during towing. Swaying can cause damage to your trailer and can also cause you to have an accident.

When you are ready to inflate your tires make sure that you know what pressure the tire manufacturer requires you use. The PSI requirement for your tire is on the side of the tire or you can check your trailer’s owner’s manual.

Before you inflate your tires be sure to check your trailer’s tires to make sure they’re still safe and roadworthy. A visual inspection should be done to check for dry rot (a.k.a. sidewall cracking) and to look for excessive tread ware.  Also measure the depth of the tread. Most states require a tire’s tread depth to be at least 2/32” deep. You can check tread depth with a very inexpensive tread gauge.

When replacing your trailer’s tires, it’s always best to replace them all. Even if the other tires still look OK, they are still worn and the difference between the tires can make your trailer harder to pull.

Lubrication

Don’t forget to grease your trailer. Admit it! When I said that you thought I was talking about the wheel bearings, didn’t you? Most people do.

Yes, that’s important because the wheel bearings are what let the wheel spin on the axle. The average wheel bearing assembly has a lot of moving parts and if a bearing runs dry and overheats it will break down. At that point your trip could be ruined.

Some trailers come with a “bearing buddy” fitting so that they can be easily greased, but they should not be used on trailers with electric brakes because over-greasing can cause damage to the seal and the brakes. If your trailer is equipped with electric brakes and you don’t have the proper tools, you’ll probably want our professionals to do for you. This procedure doesn’t have to be done each time you use your trailer. Most axle manufacturers recommend that you grease them once a year or every 12,000 miles, depending on what you use your trailer for and what kind of loads you carry.

Also , don’t forget to put a little bit of grease on your trailer’s ball hitch, tongue jack and ramp hinges. This will make it easier to use your trailer.

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