Trailer Care and Maintenance



Maintaining your road trailer

1. Trailer Servicing:

Boat trailers require more servicing than transportation trailers do. We recommend you have your trailer professionally serviced at least once a year. Generally, the more you use a trailer the better it is for the trailer.

It may also void your insurance if you can’t show that your trailer was in good serviceable condition.

2. Before launching you trailer:

Wheel bearings and trailer braking systems suffer very badly from salt water corrosion. Although it is not uncommon to replace bearings and brakes every other season, here are a few tips to prolong the lifetime of your trailer and its parts:

Before launching take a few minutes to prepare the boat fully. This ensures the trailer spends as short a time as possible in the water.

  • remove the towing straps
  • remove the lighting board and push in the trailer board poles
  • insert the bungs
  • check over the boat
  • put your boating kit on

This preparation time also allows time for the bearings and brakes to cool before submersing them.

It’s quite common to see grease in liquid form around the front and rear of the wheels. This is because as the grease becomes more liquid it can often find its way past seals in the bearings. If you put the trailer in the water whilst hot, the water will find its way in to the bearings.

3. After pulling the boat and out trailer:

  • give both your boat and trailer a good hosing down to wash them free of the salt water
  • grease the nipples on the trailer after each use

Some trailer manufacturers provide a brake flushing kit allowing you to flush the brakes with a hose.

Bearings are nowadays fairly inexpensive. It can be a worthwhile cost to replace them every season whether they are still in a good condition or not.

4. Leaving your trailer:

Where possible, avoid leave the parking brake on whilst on the flat ground and chock the wheels up instead. This should prevent the brakes sticking.

5. What to do is the trailer brakes get stuck:

Leaving the parking brake on for prolonged periods will make the iron filings in the brake lining material rust to your drum. This will result in the brakes sticking to the drum thus not enabling you to tow your trailer away.

If it does happen, depending on your mechanical knowledge, you may get away with tapping the brake drum with a large hammer and a block of wood to spread the load. This will help to break the contact between the brake shoe and the drum. If this fails to work, you will need to strip the brakes down and clean them.

We recommend that stripping down the brakes is done by a trailer expert.  If you are in any doubt as to what you are doing, take the trailer to a specialist.

6. For boaters who also tow caravans:

If you tow your caravan on a dry ball stabiliser, we recommend that you wipe the ball with a solvent to remove any grease after towing your boat and before you tow your caravan again.

7. Finally, also ensure that you pay attention to any maintenance instructions which have been provided by the manufacturers.

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