Whether you use it on the job, to transport your boat on the weekends, or to get the odd job done now and then, it’s important to take care of your trailer.
With just a few basic checks and some straightforward upkeep, you can ensure your trailer serves you well for many years.
Worn or damaged parts can cause inconvenience, but they can also compromise the safety of you and your vehicle. So, it’s important to stay on top of general trailer maintenance to keep things running smoothly.
Here are some of the things you should be looking at.
5 Top Tips For General Trailer Maintenance
Tip 1: Keep It Clean
Dirt can hide all sorts of problems, so we recommend putting in the effort to keep your trailer clean. While it doesn’t necessarily have to sparkle 24/7, at least remove the worst build-ups of dust, mud, and debris so you can easily run your eyes across the frame and spot any potential issues (like rust) before they occur.
This is especially important if you live close to the coast or use the trailer to transport your boat. All that extra salt can cause havoc on the metal components of your trailer.
Tip 2: Inspect The Coupling
Every time you’re on a trailer mission, thoroughly check the coupling. Make sure it’s clean, in good condition, with no cracks, warps, or chips. While you’re at it, do the same thing for your tow bar and hitch ball; there should be no movement whatsoever.
Top general maintenance tip: apply some grease to the inside of the coupling every few weeks (or few uses) to make it easier to hitch and unhitch.
The safety chain is an essential part of your trailer, so double-check the connection and its attachments before heading out. Again, look for warps, breaks, or corrosion.
Tip 3: Check The Electrics
All trailers must have at least one working tail light, which means you will need to double-check the socket and electric connections.
Scan the wires and connections for corrosion, cracks, exposed wires or obvious breaks. Spray the electrical plug with WD40 every few months to help prevent rust.
Before you hit the road, make sure any trailer lights are working as they should be (including brake lights and indicators, if your trailer has them).
Tip 4: Examine The Wheels And Tyres
You are not going to get far without your wheels – well, not very quickly, anyway! Before every trip, check the air in your tyres. If your trailer hasn’t been used for a while, it’s likely you will need to inflate them. If your tyres are even a little flat, they can cause increased sway in the trailer.
While you’re checking the pressure, also look for punctures or damage – and don’t forget to check the tread every now and then. If you notice any bulges or worn treads, it’s time to replace the tyres.
We also recommend rotating the tyres at least once or twice a year, depending on how often you use the trailer.
It’s a good idea to regularly inspect the wheel lug nuts/bolts and hub to make sure they’re tight.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget To Lubricate
Lubrication can help extend the life of your trailer – never underestimate the power of grease! All those moving parts can succumb to the pressure of corrosion and friction, but a little lubrication goes a long way.
Get into the habit of lubricating all the moving parts and a regular basis, and you will reap the benefits of less wear and tear and fewer repairs.
How Often Should You Carry Out General Trailer Maintenance?
So, what is the magic number when it comes to general trailer maintenance? We recommend conducting these essential checks every time you use your trailer. They take very little time, but can help keep you, your vehicles, and others safe on the road.
If your trailer gets a lot of use, a professional inspection and service every six months is a great way to keep it in good nick.