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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This will be the 3rd season I have had my boat. I keep it at a marina so the trailer has for the most part sat around for 2 yrs or so. It was brand new when I got the boat. I am going to trailer the boat down to Pt. Lookout this spring. What are some things I should be looking for or things I need to be doing to make sure I have a trouble free trip? The trailer has never launched the boat and it has never been in water. The tires are in good shape as are the brakes and all the electrical components. Do I need to grease anything? Repack the bearings? Any info is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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trailering

The first thing I would look at are the bearings. Doesn't sound like you used the trailer alot, but that would be my major concern. If you are going to trailer frequently, get a spare hub and learn how to repair a hub on the road.

Second issue would be lights. Other than that, simple air and brake fluid check.......
 

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I agree. I think I would put the boat on the trailer a little early and take a 20 mile trip down the road. Check the hubs to see if they are getting warm. Lots of good videos on how to check the bearings on YouTube.

Dave
 

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Trailer never been in the water, you'll be fine. Put a couple squirts of grease in the bearings and take a spare tire. If your going to be trailering often, make sure lights work, get a spare set of bearings, grease up the springs (if it has springs) and have fun.
 

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If it's never been in the water, you'll likely be in good shape. But I'd do a visual inspection of the brake lines - galvanized lines can get scratched, corrode, then leak. Rubber lines can deteriorate, especially if they've been exposed to petroleum products. Look in the master cylinder (on the top of the coupler assembly) and check the fluid for level and clarity - if it's rusty something is going on. Check the tire pressure in your spare if you have one.
 

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A few things to look for that have been part of my trailering history going back 30+ years.

Check the lug nuts on the wheels. Especially if it was new and parked after a trip to a marina. The lug nuts can loosen themselves as the wheels get seated to the axle/lugs. Most manufacturers recommend you check the lug nuts frequently during the trailers first few road trips. A buddy that was trailering his new boat and trailer to Florida along side me doing the same lost a wheel off a single axle trailer. When we checked out what happened after we stopped, it was clear that one by one the lug nuts had come off until only one was left on. All of the holes in the wheel for the lugs and axle were egg shaped instead of round. I always carry a few extra lug nuts in my truck in case I ever lose one.

Check the brake functions if you have them. I once spent an hour in a McDonald parking lot removing the brakes shoes from some drum brakes after they got stuck in the on/braking position. I had a guy on the highway waving at me telling me that a wheel on the trailer was smoking. Luckily I have lots of automotive/mechanical skills about cars/trucks and boats and I was able to do this myself, but otherwise this could have been a very expensive tow and repair job in an unfamilar area.

Some mentioned checking the air pressure in the spare tire. This may seem like the obvious, but even more important, make sure you have a spare. Yes they seem expensive ($100-$150 per spare tire and wheel depending upon sizes), but without one a 30 minute stop to change the flat tire and continue on your trip becomes a potential even more expensive nightmare depending on where and when it happens.


One last one from personal experience. Check to make sure that the trailer ball is securely fastened to the hitchbar or stepbumper. I was following a buddy to the beach one time when he lost his boat. The nut came loose,fell off and the trailer came loose, old rusty safety chains busted and the boat/trailer was going down the road by itself until it ground to a stop along the jersey walls on the highway. Obviously a huge nightmare that could have been prevented by a 2 minute check/tighten of the trailer ball.


Mike
 

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In addition to all of the above I would take a couple hours and grease EVERY nut/bolt, connection, leaf springs, etc. on the trailer. Rust is the Number 1 problem and doing this can make easy repairs EASY!
 

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Funny --- everyone keeps mentioning spare tire and wheel. DON'T forget a JACK that is capable of lifting the BOAT & TRAILER. You might even consider loosening and re-tourquing the lug nuts. The short trip on the road to check everything is a GREAT IDEA. BTW --- Don't forget to grease your trailer hitch socket and or the ball itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys these are great tips. I definitely tend to over think these things but want to be safe and not sorry. Sounds like a spare tire will be a good investment.
 

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Have you launched/landed it from the trailer before?


Have you towed or backed this trailer up before?
 
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