Boat trailer maintenance. With the boating and fishing season upon us, now is the time to do a little preventive maintenance on your trailer to keep from having trouble on the road. Your trailer tires are the most important thing and a few simple checks will keep them in top shape. Let’s get started….
Before starting out on the fishing trip be sure to carefully look at the tread, and the side walls both on the front and the back of the tire. Most tire experts agree that if your tiers are more than five years old from the date of manufacture [shown on the tire] you should replace them. Trailer tires are durable, but you have to keep them properly inflated. First check you PSI with a good tire gauge. The one that I use is a typical hand gauge but of good quality.Gorilla Automotive TG1 Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge
Make sure your tires are inflated to their rated capacity as stated on the sidewall of the tire itself. If you need to add some air as most tires deflate somewhat after sitting all winter then this is what I have found to be very convenient.Jump-N-Carry JNCAIR 1700-Amp 12-Volt Jump Starter with Power Source and Air Compressor This unit is fast and powerful and has a nice built in pressure gauge.
Next up is to be sure that your trailer lights are working. These days most newer trailers use LED style lights and they are vastly superior to the old incandescent bulb style. If you have the older style you can easily convert to LED using one of several kits on the market. The best part is that it dead simple to install these kits as they are pre-wired and no electrical knowledge is necessary!Universal LED Submersible/Marine & Boat Trailer Light Kit for Under 80″ Trailers
You should also lubricate your trailer winch and check the strap for dry rot and damage. Next up is the hitch winch and lubricate the gears. The best all around lubricant that I have found is CRC White Lithium Grease CRC 5037 White Lithium Grease – 10 Wt Oz.
Wheel bearings should be re-packed each season. This is a messy job that can be critical to your safety and I recommend taking your trailer to a tire shop for this. I would also watch as they are doing the job so that you know for sure that the bearing was packed with fresh grease as after the tire and wheel are mounted it is hard to tell for sure.
While not a part of your boat trailer, now would also be a great time to check on the condition and charge of you boat’s batteries. You can learn more about your boat’s batteries here.
A little simple boat trailer maintenance at the start of each season will keep your trailer in top shape. With these simple checks and suggestions you can be assured of a safe and trouble free boating season!