Boat Trailer Maintenance And Repair: Caring For Tires, Brakes And Hardware

The following list of boat trailer maintenance items will keep your boat trailer rolling along safely and without worry.

  • Wash the boat trailer after each dunking in saltwater. Focus on the suspension and behind the wheels. It is good to wash down trailers after use in fresh water but I admit I am too lazy, unless we are planning to launch in a new body of water. (to stop the spread of invasive plants and animals)
  • Flush out the brakes. Saltwater is very corrosive.
  • Protect trailer nuts, bolts, leaf-springs, winch and other hardware with a corrosion inhibitor, this will increase the life of your boat trailer hardware.boat trailer maintenance
  • Feel the hubs for excessive heat at every stop on long trips, again to identify problems before they require costly repair.
  • Repack wheel bearings every year or 10,000km/6000mi. Bearing Buddies claim to increase the time between repacking.
  • Milky grease is a sign that it has been contaminated with water and means it is time to repack.
  • Protect lug nuts/posts on the boat trailer wheels from corrosion by spraying with Boeshield T-9 or a similar corrosion inhibitor.
  • Check the boat trailer tires regularly. Check tire air pressure (the trailer manual may recommend a tire pressure) and check for tread wear and signs of cracking on the sidewalls.
  • Check fasteners on all trailer hardware to make sure nuts are tight.
  • For long term storage block up the trailer to remove weight from the boat trailer tires - it will increase their life.
  • Cover tires to reduce sun exposure.
  • Carry emergency equipment for the trailer - especially on long trips - just in case you do need to make a repair - this will save you the inconvenience of long delays waiting for parts in the event that you need to make a boat trailer repair.
    • Spare wheel
    • lug wrench
    • wheel chocks
    • bearing grease
    • extra wheel bearings
    • extra tie-down straps
    • replacement light bulbs
    • road flares/markers

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