It’s that time of the year. The flowers have bloomed and the grass is green. It’s time to get your camper or boat trailer back on the road and to more great destinations.
Here is a quick checklist for trouble-free trailering this summer.
Wheels & Tires
Tires lose pressure while they sit over the winter months, even nitrogen-filled tires may lose a bit. Checking tire pressure and filling them back up to spec is critical for a first safe trip.
While you are thinking about tire pressures, it’s good to check the age and condition of the tires. Even though you may not tow your trailer a lot of miles, the tires will degrade and crack over time. Sun or moisture will continue to wear away at your tires while it’s in storage. The the four-digit manufacture date stamp on the tire shows that it’s too old, or there is cracking on the sidewall – the tire will need to be replaced.
Required ore recommended trailer tire pressures should be listed on the weight sticker near the front of the trailer. It’s also smart to check the spare tire condition and pressure.
The wheels may rust over time, so checking their condition is also needed. Although, the more important item is to check that all lug nuts or bolts are torqued to spec.
Lubricate Wheel Bearings
If you drove through a water storm in the fall, or came back from the lake with your boat trailer. Chances are there is a little bit of water left over inside the wheel bearings. This water may have rusted some of the wheel bearings. A wheel bearing failure while on the road is fairly catastrophic and very difficult to repair. This is why greasing or repacking the bearings with grease is very important.
You can simply grease the bearings via a fitting, or you may have to dis-assemble the hub to inspect and manually grease the bearings. Either way, try not to use too much grease, or it may blow out the back seal or come out from the front and make a mess and/or prevent your trailer brakes from working.
Get the Camper Or Boat Ready
If you are getting your camping trailer out after winter storage, then you have some sort of antifreeze in your water system. You need to drain the flush the antifreeze out, so you can once again use your fresh water tank and system.
If you are dealing with a boat, then the engine cooling system is supposed to be drained and/or disconnected. You need to reconnected the coolant lines, put all the plugs back in, and test the system if you can. Your fuel tank may have some stabilizer in it, and the cylinders may have fogging oil. The exhaust may smoke more than usual when you start it again for the first time.
Check and Charge the Batteries
It’s likely that your camper or boat batteries are low on charge. Battery maintenance and charging is important if you want to be able to start your boat engine or have lights and accessories in the trailer.
Naturally, there will be other maintenance items you may need to do: check the roof of your trailer for cracks or leaks; check your stereo system (if equipped); and much more.
Check out the video below for more details, and let us know in the comments below about your maintenance nightmares and successes.