5 Tips for Maintaining Your Trailer
When it comes to pretty much all things mechanical most of us will agree that a little maintenance can go a long way. Your trailer is no exception and regular maintenance can help to maintain value, reduce costly repairs and just make your trailer operate more smoothly which of course will save you time and headaches in the long run.
While many trailer owners are mechanically inclined and are comfortable with performing maintenance on their own not all trailer owners are mechanically inclined and that is okay. The professionals at USA Trailer are always here to help with all your trailer repair and maintenance needs.
Depending on where you live and how you store your trailer the weather can play a major role in what type of maintenance you should perform and how often. For most trailer owners it is safe to say the Spring and Fall are likely good times to give your trailer a once over to get it ready for the coming season. Of course, there are going to be differences between when you are using certain types of trailers for example a snowmobile trailer versus a pontoon trailer. No matter what type of trailer you own by doing some basic maintenance a couple of times per year you will be helping to protect your investment and ensure that it continues working for years to come.
1. Start with a Clean Slate
Washing your trailer will get rid of dirt, grime and more importantly road salt. A pressure washer and a diluted non-caustic cleaner is ideal, but a bucket, brush and a hose work too. Any cleaner that is safe for your car or truck should be safe for your trailer. Remember the undercarriage, rims, mud flaps and any other out of the way places that dirt or salt might collect.
2. General Inspection
While you are washing your trailer is a great time to perform an overall visual inspection. Here is a short list of things to inspect.
· Chain condition
· Spots of corrosion
· Lighting connections and ensure brake lights, blinkers and hazard lights are working
· Check battery connections
· Hitch, hinges and locks
· Any hydraulic hoses, connections and cylinders
3. Check Your Tires
Changes in weather from warm to cold can have an effect on your tire pressure and over time general use can lead to deterioration or dry rot. Tires that are not up to par can pose a major hazard out on the road. Always check tire pressures, lug nut tightness and give the tires a good visual inspection to spot any defects that might lead to a flat or worse yet a blowout. Don’t forget your spare, there is nothing worse than having a flat out on the highway only to find that your spare is flat too.
4. Lubricate Moving Parts
When mechanical parts sit for too long or are used without proper lubrication they can start to rust or even lock up. A little steel wool can help remove surface rust and using the proper lubricant and a corrosion blocker will help increase the life of your trailer and reduce costly repairs. Wheel hubs and breaks can be a little more complex but should also not be neglected.
5. “Winterizing” your Trailer
Tires are probably the one part of your trailer that requires the most attention when being stored for winter. Always inflate them to the recommended PSI and place them on concrete pavers to avoid contact with snow and water. Sunlight is also an enemy of tires and can cause damage over time so keeping tires covered or indoors will prolong their life. Jacking up your trailer and putting it on jack stands can also help prolong tire life by removing pressure or even better remove the tires and store them on a flat surface with plywood between each.
Some trailers are equipped with a break-away kit and have a battery. Make sure your battery is fully charged and disconnected it for winter. Storing your battery in a warm dry place is also important.
While trailer maintenance may seem like a hassle these simple tips will go a long way toward protecting your trailer and to keep working trouble free for the upcoming season.
The experts at USA Trailer Sales carry a huge selection of trailers and are always here to help you negotiate the many options and possible customizations available when buying your trailer. Please contact us with any questions you may have or stop by one of our six Michigan locations to speak with a local trailer expert today.