Routine Tips for Trailer Maintenance
Purchasing a trailer is undoubtedly an excellent investment. Compared to short-term renting, the return available on trailer ownership is enormous. This is why purchase is always the better alternative, if you are looking to use the trailer regularly for a long time. In your new trailer, you will have a valuable asset that you can be proud of. However, just like any other machinery or equipment, this investment requires regular maintenance.
The performance of a well-maintained trailer will always be much better compared to the neglected ones. The amount of money and time spent for this will surely provide healthy returns in the long run. With proper and adequate maintenance, your trailer will continuously perform at its peak and you will be able to delay and even prevent repairs that are extremely expensive.
Interestingly, you should be able to accomplish many of the routine trailer maintenance tasks on your own. This includes checking the tire pressure, lubrication of the moving parts, replacement of light bulbs, cleaning, etc. However, professional help will be required for more complex tasks such as spot welds and break repairs.
Also, please note that for larger trailers, maintenance is required for a larger number of parts and the mechanics of the same may become more complicated. It may sometimes be difficult to decide on the maintenance tasks that can be handled without a professional. Mentioned below are some maintenance tips that will be useful for every trailer owner.
Small repairs and maintenance tasks for your trailer:
These are the tasks that you can probably accomplish without any professional help. Most of these jobs can be performed without serious technical skills or expensive tools.
Washing and cleaning: This is one of the simplest, but extremely important maintenance tasks for a trailer. Wash your trailer whenever it needs attention. Ensure proper cleaning each time after the trailer has been towed through a dusty or muddy terrain. Even when your trailer is idle, different materials are deposited by the nature on its chassis or body. Therefore, seasonal cleaning of the trailer is also essential.
Most of the trailer cleaning tasks can be completed using a solution prepared by mixing water and any household detergent. You would also require a brush, bucket, and hose. It is better to avoid pressure washers because they can cause serious damage to the trailer.
Lubrication: Lubrication of the moving components is another uncomplicated, but essential trailer maintenance task. Proper lubrication reduces the friction caused by all moving parts of the trailer. This, in turn, reduces the probability of component failures caused by wear and tear.
Proper application and the choice of lube are the two critical aspects of this task. In case of sealed components such as wheel bearings, use a grease gun to apply grease under pressure. Never use anything other than automotive-rated lubricants made specifically for wheel bearings.
Lubrication of gate and door hinges is a light-duty task that requires a lighter lube. Spray application of white lithium or graphite is recommended because unlike regular grease, these materials do not attract road grime. While spraying the hinge points, make sure that the joint is moved back and forth. This will allow the lubricant to work inside.
Light bulbs: This is one of the simplest trailer repair and maintenance jobs that can be performed by anyone. Start with a periodical examination of all the lights present in the trailer. It is of paramount importance that your brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals are in functional condition.
While inspecting the lights on your trailer, having an assistant can be of great help. The helper should sit in the towing vehicle, and manage the signals and breaks. Whereas, you job should be limited to identifying the defects. In most instances, a non-functional light is the result of a dead bulb.
Push-in and bayonet are the two primary types of trailer bulbs. Also, halogen, incandescent, and light-emitting diode are the three styles in which trailer light bulbs are available. New bulbs must be handled with caution because any oil present on the fingertips may cause early burnout of the bulb.
Trailer wiring: If your bulbs are alright and still the lights are not functioning, something must have gone wrong with the wiring. In some instances, this may be the result of a dirty connection that can be fixed by just a simple cleaning. You may also have a loose connection that can be rectified easily by tightening or crimping. If these two measures fail to solve the problem, the cause of the light failure may be a severed wire.
Make use of circuit testers to examine the wiring harness. Always remember that there is no need to worry about electric shock because the electrical system for a trailer operates under only 12 volts. Contact a professional if you are unable to find out the source of your power failure.
Tires: Keeping the tires of a trailer serviceable is one of the key maintenance activities. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the tire pressure is within the specifications of the manufacturer. The recommended pressure can also be found printed on the sidewall of the tire. Also, always keep a careful eye on tire wear because high-speed blowouts can be disastrous.
Frame and body: This includes straightforward repairs such as tightening the bolts or fasteners, using a set of socket and combination wrenches.
Larger repairs you must not attempt:
- Brake repairs should only be handled by the professionals because this complex task involves the use of several specialised tools.
- Suspension repairs should not be attempted because there is a serious risk of injury.
- Couplings and breakaway switches are critical for the safety of the trailer, and should be repaired only by the professionals.
If you want to know more about trailer repair and maintenance, please contact us today.