It’s easy to forget about your trailer if it’s parked away out of sight all winter, so when the time comes to get it out of trailer storage for the holidays, there are often some maintenance issues.
Here are some tasks and checks you should undertake to ensure your trailer is ready for the road.
Before you start, scrub down with a mild soap to remove any mould or dust then hose it off well and leave to dry in the sun. This will not only make it look better, but you’ll more easily see what needs work. Here are some tips on how to prevent mould in caravans.
Even a galvanised trailer is susceptible to rust if left outside for months. Check the trailer floor and walls, particularly where they join, then take a good look at the axle, suspension and A-frame for signs of rust. Here are some tips on how to prevent rust in boat trailers.
Wheel hubs and bearings
Pull wheel hubs and bearings apart and examine them closely. They need to be free of dirt or rust and well-greased, as grit, sand, salt and water will quickly destroy them.
These are sure to need the pressure topped up, but check them as well for wear and tear. Is there plenty of tread? Worn tyres can cause the trailer to lose traction, so should be replaced.
Move the trailer slightly looking for signs of dry rot, which can occur when tyres become dried out after sitting in the same spot for a while. It manifests as cracked rubber in the sidewalls and if neglected can cause the tyre to blow out.
Test the brakes on both the trailer (if applicable) and towing vehicle. Brakes must conform to the Australian Design Rules (Braking Requirements)as applicable to trailed vehicles.
Check the coupling is intact and the safety chains are secure. Lubricate as necessary.
This has possibly been bearing the weight of the trailer for months, so clean it up, grease it and make sure it’s working smoothly again. If not, do not hesitate to replace it. Here is our seven-step guide how to attach a new jockey wheel.
Hook the trailer to your car and test that the lights work, especially the brake, indicator and reverse lights. Test all the connections for any loose or damaged wires and replace immediately. Here is a handy guide on how to replace trailer lights.
Sounds like a lot, but mostly your trailer should be as you left it (unless it was out in the rain). Once you’ve checked everything is in good condition again, make sure your registration and insurance is up-to-date and you’re ready to hit the road.
Detonate or renovate: How do you know when it’s time to rebuild a trailer or buy a new one? Here is what’s involved in rebuilding a trailer.