More than thirteen million households own some kind of boat. These range from small fishing boats to larger pontoons, and everything in between. And that means there are around that many boat trailers on the road as well.
Owning a boat is very difficult without a trailer that can get it to and from the water. Not only do you want a trailer, but you also want one that’s reliable and always ready when you need it. Nothing is more frustrating than delaying fun because of a breakdown.
Even the best trailer will have issues sometimes. The key is to catch them early and get your boat trailer repairs done as fast as possible. Check out this guide to learn exactly what you should be looking for!
Broken Metal Frame
The frame of your trailer needs to be sturdy to hold up the heavy weight of the boat. This is why they are almost only made out of strong metal. It’s the best material to hold up to the extra load, exposure to the water, and still be light enough to be towed.
When you notice any cracks, bends, or breaks in your metal Fram, it’s important to get it to the shop as fast as possible.
Most frame repairs will need some technical welding. It’s best to leave the jobs up to the professionals. So you know they’re done correctly and you have the strongest trailer.
Boat Doesn’t Fit Correctly
Sometimes, older trailers will start to get warped over time. This can happen for a variety of reasons and even just from using them for many years. When this happens, you’re going to have a hard time getting your boat on and off.
Depending on the underlying issue, you may be able to get some urgent boat repairs done. This is the best-case scenario when you notice the poor fit when it first starts. But it may be too big of an issue, which means it will be time for a new custom trailer.
Rollers Getting Stuck
One key element to a boat fitting correctly on a trailer is the rollers. These help the boat slide on and off the trailer. As well as protecting it while you’re driving down the road. They are made of a softer material that can get dented or misshapen easily.
When this happens, they will get stuck more often. It’s frustrating to try to move your boat against a roller that’s frozen in place.
In most cases, these will need to be replaced in the shop. But in some other cases, they may be able to be reshaped and back to working order.
Winch Struggling to Keep Up
In some cases, a winch will be crucial to being able to move your boat. Using this kind of system makings pulling it onto the trailer much easier. There’s minimal effort required on your part with this tool!
A winch’s line can wear out from extended use. You’ll be able to see the fraying and other signs of deterioration along the line. If you ignore those signs, you can end up with a winch that won’t work at all.
You may also notice that your winch is starting to slow down as it pulls the boat up. If that happens, it’s a good idea to get the motor checked out so any maintenance or repairs can be done to keep it working.
Getting the boat on and off the trailer in the water is often the easiest part of transporting it. Driving down the road to and from the water is where things can get tricky.
These longer drives with a heavy load can put a lot of strain on the trailer’s axles. The axle is the rod that connects the wheels. It rotates with the wheels and keeps them balanced together.
A broken axle will make a clicking noise, leave grease on the inside of the wheels, or add excess vibrations to the truck while you’re driving.
A damaged axle can be very dangerous on the road. If you notice these signs, take your trailer in immediately!
Visible Rust or Corrosion
One of the biggest threats to a boat trailer breakdown is regular exposure to water. When metal is wet for extended periods of time, it can start to rust. This is a problem because rust makes the metal weak and can leave you vulnerable when using your trailer.
You can try to protect against rust by letting the trailer dry fully, cleaning it often, and applying protective sprays.
A trailer shop will be able to remove the rust or patch the areas that have been damaged because of it. This way you’ll know your trailer is strong and ready to carry your boat.
Difficulty Coming to a Full Stop
One of the most important boat trailer materials is the brakes (really any vehicle). Driving anything without brakes that are working is a recipe for disaster.
Especially if you have a heavy boat attached to it, which makes stopping even more difficult. Brakes should be inspected regularly to make sure the pads are intact and all the mechanisms are functioning.
Pay attention to how the brakes feel when using them. They shouldn’t be jumpy or make a lot of excess noise. When you notice the little changes, you can stay on top of issues before they become a safety hazard!
Trailer Lights Not Working
After a long, fun day on the water, you just want to get home without having to worry about your safety at all.
This is why you need working trailer lights. When they’re not working it’s a problem for you and the other drivers on the road.
If your lights seem glitchy, you can have the electrical system checked to find the root of the problem. It may need some re-wiring to get you back on the road safely.
Rot in the Tires
No matter what kind of vehicle you own, you have to worry about issues with the tires. Usually, this consists of bald patches or holes. But with a boat trailer, you also have to think about areas where your tires could also be rotting. Standing water can cause the rubber to break down and become really weak.
The best thing you can do is check your boat trailer tires before every use. Changing them out on a realgar basis will help eliminate a lot of the potential problems as well.
Bearings Wearing Out
Along the same lines, boat trailer maintenance should also check the wheel bearings. These need some lubrication so that they can move as the connection point between the wheel and the axle. When this becomes low, they have a very difficult time moving and can make a trip much less comfortable.
A bearing can also be shaken loose after traveling many miles. When you take your boat in for an inspection, these will be checked and tightened as necessary.
Fluid Levels Consistently Low
A trailer requires much less fluid than a regular vehicle since it doesn’t have an engine. But it does still need some and it’s important to make sure they are at the correct levels.
Brake fluid is key to making sure that the trailer will stop when you need it to. It’s a good idea to check the level before taking the trailer out just to be sure.
If you notice that it’s regularly low, you should take it in to be inspected by a pro. There’s likely some kind of leak that needs to be addressed to keep the level up.
Too Long Since Last Inspection
Just about everything with wheels or an engine needs to have a regular inspection. Boat trailers are no different and should be on a schedule of going into the shop at least once a year.
This is the best way to make sure nothing is wearing out and all your parts are able to do their job correctly.
Some find it easiest to schedule their inspections at the beginning or end of the boating season. That makes it very easy to remember so it’s not put off for too long. If you know your trailer hasn’t been checked in many years, it’s a clear sign you need to take it to the shop!
Schedule Your Boat Trailer Repairs Today
Owning a boat means the opportunity for hours and hours of fun on the water. But it also means the task to keep your boat and trailer in good shape so you can enjoy them whenever you want.
The best way to stay on top of boat trailer repairs is to find a shop full of trained experts. When a problem comes up, you won’t have to waste time finding a qualified shop to take your trailer. The right team will make all the difference in how well your boat trailer will function.
Our team has experience working with all kinds of trailers. We specialize in quality repairs and maintenance tasks. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your trailer!