boat trailer maintenance

Boat Trailer Maintenance: How to Keep Your Boat Trailer in Good Shape

Did you know that there are over 1 million registered boats in Florida? It ranks as the third state with the most recreational vessels.

But while most boat owners are keen on taking care of their vessels, boat trailer maintenance is more of an afterthought. In fact, as long as the trailer can transport the boat from one place to another, they are good to go.

Nonetheless, it is equally vital to maintain your boat trailer. You not only want it to be in good shape but also to serve you for long. This blog will explain how to do it if you don’t know much about boat trailer maintenance.

So, what does maintaining a boat trailer entail, and what boat trailer parts and accessories need attention the most? Read on to find out.

Boat Trailer Brakes

The braking system is one of the essential parts of your boat trailer. Properly functioning brakes are crucial for safe towing. Hence, checking them is important and ensuring they’re in good working order.

If your trailer has electric brakes, test them periodically by engaging the trailer brake controller while the vehicle is parked. You should also inspect the brakes themselves for signs of wear or damage. Take your trailer to a boat trailer repair shop if you notice any issues.

For surge brakes, check the fluid level in the reservoir regularly. The reservoir is usually located near the axle and should have a clear sight tube to see the fluid level. If the fluid is low, add more until it reaches the “full” line on the sight tube.

When not using your boat trailer frequently, take it on the road every few months. And pay attention to the brakes to ensure they’re functioning properly.

The other components of boat trailer brakes that you should inspect include brake lines and hoses. In case of any cracks or leaks, replace them immediately.

Keep the Brakes Clean

In addition to inspecting the brakes regularly, keep them clean. Dirt and grime can build up on the brake pads or shoes, reducing their effectiveness.

To clean the brakes, first, remove any dirt or debris that’s visible on the surface. Then use a brake cleaner to remove any remaining residue. Be sure to follow the instructions on the brake cleaner to avoid damaging the brakes.

Once the brakes are clean, you can apply a thin layer of brake grease to the pads or shoes. And this will help protect them from corrosion and keep them working properly.

Boat Trailer Tires

Boat trailers are subject to a lot of wear and tear, especially on the tires. The boat’s weight and constant exposure to water and salt can cause the tires to degrade quickly. That’s why it’s essential to regularly check your boat trailer tires for signs of wear and tear.

Just like the tires on your car, boat trailer tires can go flat, develop cracks, or suffer other damage over time. When inflating your boat trailer tires, adhere to the PSI recommendations listed on the sidewall. Over-inflating or under-inflating your tires can cause problems down the road.

If trailer tires are underinflated, and you take the trailer out on the road, several things can happen. For instance, the friction between the tire and the road will degrade it.

Furthermore, the tires will have lost pressure if you haven’t used your boat trailers for a while. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to check the pressure and inflate the tires before hitting the road.

Remember to store your boat trailer on jack stands when not using it. The goal is to help to prevent the tires from developing flat spots.

Boat Trailer Bearings

You also want to be mindful of your boat’s trailer bearings. They help your trailer to roll smoothly down the road and should be greased every few months. You can tell if your bearings need to be greased if you hear a loud humming noise while driving.

The frequent exposure of your trailer’s bearings to salt water may compromise them. Lubricate them with marine grease and check them regularly to ensure they’re in good condition. If you notice any damage, repair it as soon as possible.

Avoid Overloading Your Boat Trailer Tires

Avoid overloading your boat trailer tires by hauling more weight than they’re rated for. Usually, the rating is inscribed on the sidewall of the tire. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and go with a lower weight rating.

Overloading your boat trailer can also put undue stress on the axle and suspension, leading to problems down the road. So check your trailer’s capacity before loading it up for a trip.

Boat Trailer Lights

Check the trailer lights whenever you hook the boat trailer to your truck. Ensure the brake lights, turn signals, and running lights are all working properly.

If any bulbs are burned out, replace them with new ones. And if any of the sockets are corroded, clean them out or replace them as needed.

You also want to check the wiring for any signs of damage. If you notice any frayed wires, replace them with new ones.

If possible, invest in LED trailer lights. They’re much more durable than traditional bulbs and will also last longer.

Boat Trailer Suspension Maintenance

The suspension system on your boat trailer helps you smooth out the bumps while driving. So it’s important to keep it in good working order.

To maintain the suspension, start by checking the air pressure in the shocks. The recommended pressure will be listed on the shock. If the pressure is too low, add more air until it reaches the recommended level.

Next, check the bushings and bearings for any wear or damage. The bushings are located where the axle connects to the frame and help absorb shock. If they’re worn out, replace them immediately.

Check the axle itself for any signs of damage. It’ll need to be replaced if you notice any cracks or breaks.

Clean Your Boat Trailer

Cleaning your boat trailer is essential for several reasons. It will help to prevent rust and corrosion. And besides keeping your trailer looking good, it also ensures help to notice any damage as soon as it appears.

After a fishing trip, you don’t want the salt to work on the metal parts of your trailer. A garden sprayer with water can be ideal for cleaning your trailer. Ensure you spray the wheels, hubs, undercarriage, springs, and axles.

The ultimate goal is to minimize the salt on these surfaces. Letting it sit and bake on the trailer will undoubtedly encourage rapid wear and tear.

It is vital to allow your boat trailer to dry before moving to storage. Dampness may encourage mold.

Use the Best Boat Trailer Maintenance Practices

These simple boat trailer maintenance tips can keep your trailer in good shape for years. You only need to follow them keenly.

If you need any help, we are a boat trailer repair shop that offers a broad range of services. Furthermore, we also provide custom boat trailers and stock various parts. Contact us today, and we will be happy to serve you.

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