We cannot say that trailers are the sexiest vehicles on earth. No, not really but, they sure are great if you have a boat or you like outdoor hobbies. However, if you want to enjoy all the aids that come with having this kind of hobbies, you must learn to benefit from the maintenance of the vehicles that get you there.
Luckily for all of us, trailer maintenance is not difficult, but it does require dedication. However, if you like engines and you do not mind getting your hands a little greasy, then maintenance is not such a burden. As a matter of fact, it is kinda simple. Consider that the systems involved in the maintenance process are the bearings, bunks electrical components, jacks, brakes, and couplers, and, once you cover those, you will be all set.
I guess, we all agree that proper maintenance is a must for every driver, even more for someone who owns a trailer. If you do not want to suffer a roadside breakdown or any other related issues, then you must pay close attention to details and keep steady trailer up keeping habits. This will keep you from having to spend a lot of money on repairs. Now, here you have three major orientations to know before you can say you started proper truck trailer maintenance. So, follow the golden rules:
First Rule: Keep proper trailer hitch maintenance. If you want to escape grinding, high-temperature grease is needed for the hitch ball and coupler. (Check with an expert about what type of grease to use.) Keep your trailer in good shape by setting up sway controls and removing them for cleaning every six months approx. Look for rust or bending indicators and lubricate sidebar sockets. Give safety chains the attention they deserve and check them constantly (cracked or bent links) to avoid future failure.
Second Rule: Trailer bearing maintenance means checking your trailer´s manual, use your wheel chocks for locking tires, put the wheel jack and lift the trailer. Remove the hub’s dust cap of the wheel, and you will see a castellated nut with six sides. Spin the wheel, take the chisel and tap on the inner bearing. Remove them and clean them. Get a grease gun and put the right amount of grease around the rollers. Place the new oil seal. Replace parts in this order: a. Outer bearing, b. Washer c. Castellated nut and tab. Rotate the castle nut until it stops and regulates the wheel brake. Repeat this process on every wheel.
Third Rule: For proper trailer axle maintenance you must understand that the engine of a vehicle is everything and in order to keep it running, the axles are crucial to preserving your wheels along with your vehicle´s engine. Since axles last longer than other parts of the vehicle, proper maintenance is not common, but not less important. You should keep an eye on them and avoid any issues in the future. Without proper maintenance, axles wear out, the lubricant leaks and water & dirt get in the gear. See, where I´m going? The key for shaft maintenance is to keep a close look to your trailer´s noises. If you hear weird things, take it to the shop; the mechanic will decide if replacing or just cleaning is needed. If you have the ability to recognize when the axles are having trouble, you might save a lot of money.
Towing and trailering sure puts a huge sense of independence in anyone´s life for many reasons; the most common of them is probably boating (and camping). The idea of sailing in a river, lake or bay makes this a big passion for many people.
Apart from the three golden rules for proper trailer maintenance, your boat trailer maintenance needs a few extra revisions. There are many boats for you in the market; these are the most popular ones: All-Purpose Fishing Boats, Sailboats, High-Performance Boats, among others and with them I´m sure you will have lots of fun but, in order to do so get to know a few more directions.
Follow these Trailer Boat Maintenance Rules:
- Inspect grease gears on the hubs
- Remove the rubber cap (when needed)
- Rock the grease (back and forth movements) – In case the grease rocks, consult your mechanic and ask him to add more grease.
- Stop from time to time when you are towing a boat and feel the temperature on the wheel hubs. If the hubs are hot, they may need replacement or more grease but, you definitely need to take the trailer to the shop.
- Always check the lights before going for a trip.
- Check for inconsistencies in the axles, hubs, bunk mounts and brakes. Take the time to do proper maintenance of these parts as well.
- Be sure about the tools you´ll need for proper maintenance of this type of trailer.
Towing the Dream
Take these things in mind, and you´ll be ready to go. If you want to drive your trailer freely, know trailing laws; they may change according to state, weight, and beam. Even though they are not a part of trailer maintenance per se, they may have a strong influence in what you need to check before towing any vehicle.
If you like towing as much as I do, you´ll follow these rules and tips by the book. There are plenty of things involved in towing a vehicle, laws, maintenance and even physics (believe it or not.) If we join all of them you will see there´s more to it than you think, that´s why keeping a good maintenance of the vehicle is vital.
There is a lot of-of checking, kicking, and inspection but, hey! This is just part of the towing dream. There are many vehicles you can tow; there are many trailers you can use to haul them. However, one thing is for sure: There is only one way to keep a trailer in its best condition. I presented you fundamental laws (sort of speaking) for towing. Follow them, and you will be towing the dream.