As spring turns to summer, you and your family are ready to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Whether you’re planning to host a family BBQ or heading to the lake for fishing & swimming, there may be some work to do before you can get there. One recommendation we have for boat owners is to have maintenance performed on your boat trailer. Your trailer has been sitting idle all winter, and may need some attention to get you safely to your summer boat destination. If you’re noticing any of these 5 signs, then it’s time to get your trailer in for some maintenance.
Improperly inflated tires are a safety hazard that can leave you stranded by the side of the road if not taken care of. In fact, trailer tires tend to lose 1-2 pounds of air pressure every month, and since your trailer has been sitting idle over the long winter – it’s always a good idea to check your tire pressure before heading out with your boat. Inflate your tires to the maximum rating as listed on your tires or your trailer capacity sticker which will be at least 60 psi. While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to check the air pressure in your trailer’s spare tire as well. If you don’t have a spare, now is a good time to get one mounted just in case.
Damaged tires on the boat trailer
While you’re checking the air pressure, it’s a good idea to inspect your tires and rims for damage as well. Trailer tires can experience wear and tear over time just like your vehicle tires. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your trailer tires every 6 years, so if it’s been a while since you replaced them or notice any significant wear & tear, your mechanic can help you replace them and get back to enjoying life on the lake.
Driving with faulty trailer lights can get you a hefty fine, which is why it’s smart to check those lights before towing your boat. Your trailer lights are a safety measure to let other vehicles know that you’re carrying a boat and to keep a safe distance. Older trailer lights have bulbs that need replacing so if you notice any flickering, dimming, or lights that don’t work at all, you’ll want to have your mechanic get your lights ready to go. While you’re checking your lights you’ll also want to check your connection on your towing vehicle. Our winter weather can corrode the metal pins in your connection and cause your connection to malfunction. You can always purchase a connection cover at any auto parts store to protect your connection from damage in every season.
Trouble with your boat trailer brakes
Most states require that your trailer has brakes on at least one axle to tow your boat. If your trailer doesn’t have brakes, it can cause your trailer (and boat) to swerve when braking if your trailer weighs over 3,000 lbs – which can lead to an accident. To avoid the headache of a potential safety issue, we recommend checking your brakes for dust and debris which can build up over the winter. Clean your brakes thoroughly. While you’re cleaning, it’s a good idea to check your brake pads for wear and tear. Your trailer brake pads, like your vehicle brake pads, can experience wear and tear and need replacing from time to time. One last thing to check? Make sure your brake fluid is filled to the proper level.
If you’ve been experiencing some difficulty with your wheels turning, it may be a sign that your wheel bearings need some attention. Your wheel bearings can become rusted or corroded over the winter when exposed to moisture, which will prevent your wheels from turning properly and cause friction. Inspect your wheel bearings for any deterioration and grease your bearings before you head out. If you don’t have wheel bearing covers already, you’ll want to get those installed to protect your bearings all year long
If you notice any of these signs when driving your trailer to the lake, our team is ready to help. We can perform maintenance on your boat trailer and have you back to the lake in no time.