The weather is perfect to plan a day at the lake with the family. You’re raring to load your gear and hitch the boat trailer when you realize you’ve overlooked one very important thing: your boat trailer. Proper maintenance doesn’t require much time– only some effort and a short visit to a well-stocked trailer parts store. In an article for AutoHub360, writer Curtis Carper gives invaluable advice on how to prepare for a safe trip with your boat in tow.
Preparation is key
Your recreation equipment has been sitting in storage since last summer. It would be prudent to wax that surfboard, gas up the boat’s outboard motor, check your inflatables for punctures, etc. Your boat trailer and the parts that keep it running, like its sturdy trailer wheel bearings, shouldn’t be an exception. Stores like Champion Trailers carry everything you need for repairs and maintenance.
“Preseason checks should always include repacking the wheel bearings on the trailer. Even with “Bearing Buddies”, which help keep grease under pressure inside the hub, the bearings should be cleaned, checked for rust, and repacked on an annual basis.”
The proverbial ounce of prevention
Running lights and electric brakes (if any) have to be inspected before driving out, and repaired if necessary. The tires on the trailer are of utmost importance since they lose pressure over time and the wheel bearings can seize due to rust. Also, worn out tires (due to age and degradation from sunlight exposure) should be replaced, including the spare.
“The two best boat trailer accessories to always have with you are a good spare tire, and a spare set of greased wheel bearings. The most common failure seen along the highway is bearing failure. That $25 bearing will end up costing you hundreds if you heed to have the trailer towed and the spindle replaced when the bearing heats up and seizes.”
Drive on the side of caution
It goes without saying that you need to drive within the speed limit, whether or not you’re hitched to a boat trailer. Lastly, be familiar with how your vehicle handles with a boat in tow because you may have to make adjustments while driving in traffic. Stay aware of the vehicles around you and the road conditions ahead and it’ll be smooth sailing all the way.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Tips for Driving with a Boat Trailer, http://www.autohub360.com/index.php/tips-for-driving-with-a-boat-trailer-2-10117/)