Experienced boaters know that’s it’s wise to pamper your boat trailer the way you would your boat itself. After all, it’s not only transporting your investment, but possibly also providing storage as well. Unless you have a slip at a marina, your boat trailer hubs and lights are going to be submerged twice every time you go boating. That direct exposure to water, particularly salt water, means it’s important to conduct maintenance checks frequently in order to avoid problems later on. Here are some common sense tips to keep your boat trailer in tip-top shape.
First of all, avoid headaches by making sure you are in procession of a jack that is capable of lifting to fully loaded boat trailer, and a tire-iron that can loosen and tighten the lug nuts. Oftentimes the tools that come with your vehicle can do this, but it’s best to check that they work before hitting the road.
Inspect the grease fittings on the hubs. If there is a rubber cap, remove it then try to rock the grease fitting back and forth. If it rocks, you need more grease. When you stop to get gas or refreshments, lightly and quickly pat the wheel hubs. If they are too hot to touch, your hubs need grease and maybe replacement.
Check your lights before each trip. The easiest way to do this is to have a friend or family member stand behind your trailer while you engage the brake lights, headlights and turn signals. Not only is it dangerous for these to not be operational, but you also run the risk of getting pulled over and being ticketed.
If your trailer comes into contact with salty ocean water, take the time to thoroughly rinse your trailer afterwards, and pay special attention to the brakes, axles, hubs and bunk mounts.
Lastly, when your boat is off the trailer, inspect trailer bunks to be sure the padding is not worn or embedded with abrasive sand, grit or gravel, or if you trailer has rollers, make sure they all spin freely so that your boats hull isn’t scratched or damaged.