boat trailer

The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and you are ready to get out on the lake with your boat. No matter if you are fishing, swimming, or enjoying the day at the lake, you’ll need the boat trailer ready. Before you get ahead of yourself, it’s important to do a few maintenance checks on your trailer to ensure your safety and get your boat to that final destination. If you’re wondering what needs to be checked before you hit the road, then we’ve got you covered with our summer boat trailer maintenance checklist.

Check the Boat Trailer lights

Your trailer lights are one of the most important safety features on your trailer. These lights let other drivers on the road know that you’re carrying a boat and to keep a safe distance. Driving with faulty trailer lights can get you a hefty fine. So what needs checking when it comes to your trailer lights? First, you’ll want to check for a clean connection with your vehicle. If you don’t have a connection cover for your tow vehicle, you may want to take the time right now to install one.

 

These connection covers protect your connection from the winter elements and ensure your trailer lights are in working order when you’re ready to use them. You’ll also want to check your trailer lights for any dimming, flickering, and make sure they’re not completely out. Older trailers have bulbs that can burn out – so if your trailer has these you’ll want to replace any burnt out bulbs for a safe ride for you and your boat all summer long.

Check your tires

The first thing you’ll want to check on your tires is the air pressure. Tires can lose 1-2 pounds of air pressure every month, so after sitting all winter – it’s important to check that your tires are still properly inflated. You’ll want to inflate your tires to the maximum rating on the tire or as listed on the capacity sticker on your trailer. Typical trailer tires require 60 psi or more so check your tires for the needed air pressure.  You’ll also want to check for tire wear and tear. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your trailer tires every six years, so if you notice wear & tear or it’s been over six years, now is the time to replace.

Check your brakes

Every state is different, but most states require that you have brakes installed on at least one axle of your trailer. Trailer brakes ensure more safety for you and other drivers. If your trailer weighs over 3000 lbs, using only your vehicle’s brakes can cause your trailer to swerve and may cause an accident. In checking your brakes, you’ll first want to make sure they are clean and remove any dirt or debris. You’ll want to check your brake pads for wear and tear – and replace pads that have seen better days. One last thing to check before you hit the road? Your brake fluid levels. You’ll want to make sure this is at the proper level as you head out on your next boating adventure.

Check your wheel bearings on the Boat Trailer

Wheel bearings are a common cause of trailer troubles. Wheel bearings can get rusted or corroded if exposed to water, especially over the winter months. When wheel bearings are corroded, your trailer wheels won’t turn properly which can cause friction on your trailer and cause accidents. You’ll want to inspect your wheel bearings and replace any that are corroded, as well as, grease your bearings for maintenance. If your trailer doesn’t have wheel bearing protectors, you’ll also want to install these for greater protection going forward.

Check your bunk rollers

You’ll want to inspect your bunk rollers to make sure they are in good condition and can support the hull. Bunk rollers in poor condition can cause scratches and damage your hull.

Check your safety chain

One last check before you start the ignition on your way to your fund day on the water is to check your safety chain. This should crisscross underneath the trailer tongue and attach to the vehicle for support. Checking these simple maintenance items before you load up and hit the road with your boat can ensure a safe and enjoyable summer.