When purchasing an enclosed used trailer there are a couple of things you need to bring. A jack to jack the trailer up and a good ear. Jack the trailer up on each side until you get the wheels off the ground on one side. Spin the wheel and listen for bearing noise. If you here noise like metal grinding most likely the bearings are bad and need replaced. Also grab the top of the wheel and try to move it in and out. This is called bump. You should have very little bump. If there is a lot of bump you could have bad bearings or the axle nut may not be tight enough. If you look at a trailer during the day climb inside, close the door and look for light coming through the roof. If its after dark take a flash light and shine it inside the trailer and look for light coming through to the outside.
If you notice tire tread wear on your trailer the first thing to look at is your axle. All trailer axles that are rated from 1,000 pounds per axle up to 8,000 per axle should have what is called positive road bow when there is no weight on the trailer. All of these axles should show an upward bow when unloaded and a slight upward bow to straight across when loaded. If the axle shows a negative road bow or bows in the middle when loaded the axle is either overloaded or bent. Also something to look at is how your tire is situated. Trailers with no load on them, the top of the tire should have a slight outward tilt. With a load the tire should be straight up and down.
If your trailer has electric brakes, you are required to have a Break Away Kit on your trailer. Trailer Break Away Kits are required in most States. Fines for not having a Break Away Kit can be quite high. Break away kits are set up so when the lanyard is pulled it will supply electricity to your magnets with a supplied 12 volt, 5 amp battery. If you don’t have a 12 volt charge line to this battery than you will need to recharge this battery every 2 to 3 month with a 1.25 amp storage charger. If you don’t have one on your trailer it would only take about 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour to install.
When your new to backing up a trailer, place your hands at the bottom of your steering wheel. This way you just move the wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go.
If your ball mount rattles to much, tighten it up with a “J” pin. “J” pins replace your standard 5/8″ pin. “J” pins also require a second hole in the hitch box. If no second hole is there, simply drill a second hole with a 7/16″ drill bit and use the “J” pin as a template.
Buddy bearing caps are great to have if you don’t have a regular maintenance schedule for your trailer. If you clean and pack your bearings on a regular schedule (every year for boat trailers and every other year for cargo and travel trailers or 10,000 to 12,000 miles, which ever comes first) you will never need buddy bearing caps. Best to keep on a regular maintenance schedule. But, if you do need them, we do carry them in stock in a couple different sizes.
Bike racks are a must buy for the people who love to ride bikes. Make sure you get the proper rack for your hitch. Almost all bike racks are made for either a class 2 or class 3 hitch. Putting a bike rack in the wrong hitch will void the warranty on the hitch.
The hindsight backup camera makes a wonderful gift. The video display is battery operated or can be plugged into a 12 volt outlet. The camera has a magnetic base or has two holes in it for a permanent mount. The backup camera would allow you to back right up to any trailer without any help and get hitched perfectly everytime. Back into a parking spot in a garage without worry of backing into something.
If your trailer is over 80″ wide make sure you have the proper tail lights on the back of your trailer. A tail light for a trailer that is wider than 80″ has an extension on the side to extend the light out. A trailer that is narrower than 80″ the side marker on the tail light smoother. Make sure you have the proper lights on so if you go north of the border, you don’t get stopped at the border. This is also a law here, but it is something that you won’t get pulled over for in most cases.
If you don’t have a wire junction box on the front of your trailer, I would highly recommend one. Junction boxes on the front make it so easy to change that plug on the front of your trailer. All it usually takes is a 3/8″ nut driver and a Phillips screw driver and some wire ends and a little bit of time.
We carry after-market Bargman 7 way plugs that go on the back of your new Chevy or Ford pickups. No need to go back to the Dealership and buy that expensive plug, when ours are a quarter of the price.
If your trailer has electric brakes you must have a break-away kit. Each state is different on how heavy your trailer is for when brakes are required. In Ohio brakes and a break-away kit are required on any trailer that weighs more than 2,000# empty. Also in Ohio if the trailer weighs more than 3,000# loaded brakes and break-away kit are required. Fines can be high if these requirements are not met. Believe me they are checking a lot more than they use to.
Looking for additional cargo space on your next trip? What about the roof? Rola makes a wonderful roof top carrier bag that will hold 10 cubic feet of cargo or will expand up to 15 cubic feet. These bags hold a lot and are completly waterproof. For only a $101.98 you can’t beat the price.
Flat 4 way car ends with L.E.D. indicators are a great idea to have and simple to install. Simply cut off your old flat 4 way and reconnect the new one color for color. The L.E.D.’s will let you know the your vehicle is working fine and the problem is in the trailer, if one of the lights are not working on the plug you know the problem is in the vehicle.
Spring is right around the corner. Do you have your boat trailer wheel bearings and brakes ready to go. We carry bearings instock for the do-it-yourself person. We also offer this service. Drop it off one day and pick it up the next.
We carry over 200 different “T” connectors to make wiring easier to install. “T” connectors tie into existing wire harnesses on the vehicle. Some are very simple and some are very time consuming. None should take more than a couple hours for the average person to install. All come with complete instructions. For the person that doesn’t want to install this themselves we can for between $30.00 and $100.00. Labor varies with installation.
If your installing an above the bed Fifth wheel hitch in the bed of your pick-up these custom fit brackets might be the way to go. For the do-it-yourself these brackets make it easier to attach the hitch to the frame. These brackets are made to fit trucks from about 2000 and newer. They are a little pricey, but if your doing the install yourself they would be well worth the added cost.
If you don’t want to take your vehicle somewhere to have the trailer wiring checked, you can always buy a simple plug in tester. We carry a variety of different electrical plug testers for your vehicle plug. If you have one of these testers it will help you determine if its in your vehicle or your trailer.
Coupler locks are a great thing to have when the trailer is parked by itself. Anything to slow down a would be thief. These coupler locks come in three different ball sizes. They are very difficult to knock or cut off the coupler. Coupler locks usually run between $24.00 up to about $35.00 and are a great investment for anyone who owns a trailer.
New product coming available – ZCI™ Zero Contact Interface Universal T-Connector. No Cutting or Splicing Your Vehicle Wiring! Trailer Light Power Module with Integrated Circuit Protection. ZCI sensor technology and direct connection to the tow vehicle battery, eliminates all electrical connection & interference with the tow vehicle electrical system.
- Works with 2 or 3 wire systems
- Works with PWM or Multiplexed systems requiring 2, 3 or 4 wire hookup
- Rated for up to 4.2 amps for turn/stop & 7.5 amps for taillight trailer circuits
- Integrated auto resetting short & overload protection
- Compact design for ease of mounting
- Will work with standard & LED bulbs
- Works with low side switched vehicles (Ford Windstar)
New Tech support bulletin from Reese. The electrical system on the 2013 Dodge Ram trucks has changed. Though the brake control connector is the same as the 2010 – 2012, the wire functions have changed. The terminal that used to be the stop light signal, now has battery voltage, when the ignition is in the run position. According to Dodge, it is not possible to install an aftermarket electric trailer brake control into these trucks. Dodge states, “The 2013 Ram has “Powernet” and utilizes multiplex wiring that is different from any previous designs, therefore, aftermarket trailer brake controls are not compatible.”
At this time, the only aftermarket brake control that can be used on a 2013 Ram truck is the Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF (we have one instock). This is a trailer mounted brake control.
Any attempt to install an aftermarket brake control into the vehicle may cause severe damage to the vehicle’s electrical system or electrical components!
Things to use when hooking a trailer up by yourself are available Back up camera’s, back up cables or even two telescoping tennis ball on the top of two magnetic sticks. Things don’t always need to be complicated.
When trouble shooting marker lights on an enclosed trailer check for a bad ground at the light itself. Usually it just takes a small forward and backward screw with a phillips screwdriver or some of the older trailers require a #2 square head driver.
When parking a trailer on grass make sure you have something hard and flat to put under the tires and the jack. If you don’t have these items your jack will sink in a matter of days and tires will start to sink in a couple of weeks.
Before you buy or rent a trailer make sure your vehicle can tow it. The capacity that your vehicle is rated for is in your owners manual. The rating on the hitch is only for the hitch rating, not what your vehicle is rated to haul.
With the severe cold weather we have been having in Ohio. Don’t forget to check your tire pressures. Tire pressure can drop 5 pounds in real cold weather. Having proper tire pressure is very important for your tires life and yours.
Next time when you travel down the express way and see someone towing a trailer. Take a look at how people attach their trailers. If they’re towing a large trailer travel trailer behind their vehicle and have only on a ball, speed up and get past them. This could be an unsafe situation. Better to be way in front, then right behind. Trailering safely down the road should be your only way to go, but way to often people will say I’m only going from point A to point B and I’m not going to by everything I need to tow safely. They have no regard for your safety. So when traveling watch out for this careless person.
Don’t leave your ball mount or anything else in your hitch when not in use. Things left in your hitch for a period of time can eventually rust in. At least in the northern climates.
When storing your trailer for the winter don’t forget to remove the battery. Tape the connections on the trailer and bring the battery into a ventilated garage. Use a storage charger on the battery over the winter and your battery will be ready to go when you are in the Spring.
If your going to make a long trip pulling a trailer make sure you change the fluids in your tow vehicle. Change oil, check transmission fluid, anti-freeze and also your tire pressure.
When moving to the southwest or western U.S. why not move for free. Trailers usually cost more in that part of the U.S. because there are no trailer manufacturers out that way. So places that sell trailers sell them at a higher price than back east. If you buy a trailer here in the east, you can re-sell it out west for what you paid for it. You get to use the trailer for free for the move.
If in your RV owners manual it calls RV silicone spray, don’t buy the RV spray from the RV Dealer. Go to Lowe’s, Home Depot or your local hardware store and buy a can there. If it says RV on the can, that adds $10.00 to the price of the can. A can of regular silicone spay should only cost about $3.00 to $4.00. So save some money.
We find bumpers that are on the back of travel trailer are only strong enough for the sewer hose thats in it. If you want to carry a spare tire on the rear bumper you can. Just change out the bumper with one that has a heavier wall thickness and store the sewer hose in a carrier someplace else under the trailer.
The new 2013 Chevy pickup’s with the factory wiring package also has whats called a built in sway control. The truck will actually brake the trailer only if the sense-a-track system senses the back of the truck moving. This is a great product. The book on the truck also recommend using an aftermarket sway control in conjunction with the factory.
When towing a trailer that has a battery on it, make sure the battery is always in good shape. Chevy and Dodge trucks run a constant 12 volt to their rear plug. So, if you leave your trailer plugged in, and have a bad battery, it will drain the battery on your vehicle. On Ford trucks the 12 volt line is turned off. Separating the two batteries. On GM’s and Dodges it’s best when not towing the trailer to unplug.
If you want to put a hitch on the back of your trailer you can. The thing to remember is the hitch is so far back from the axles things can bottom out back there when you go in and out of dips in parking lots or drive ways.
When purchasing a trailer hitch you need to look in the owners manual of your vehicle to actually see what it can pull. Hitch rating are for what the hitch can handle, not what the vehicle can actually pull. In the back of your manual in the index look under the heading trailering. If the explanation is to vague use the phone number in the manual to talk to the manufacturer.
Draw-tite & Reese are coming out with a new wiring connector that works on conductance. No direct wire connection. This part will be powered off the the battery and will be fused at this point. No more splicing unless you want to use cheaper parts.
When renting a trailer always have the person renting you the trailer show you that the lights work before you hook up to your vehicle.
Check your trailer tire pressure regularly. Depending on your load in your trailer the closer you should run to the max tire pressure. On lighter loads you can run about 5 to 8 pounds light for a smoother ride. Tires should not be more than 10 pounds light when carrying a load. Under inflated tires create more friction on the road and could cause a blow out.
Grounds are one of the biggest problems with trailer lights. A way to tell if you have a bad ground on a peticular light is to attach your 12 volt test light to the ground on the light. Take the point of your test light and push it against the frame of the trailer. If the test light lights up the ground on the light is bad.
When purchasing a trailer be sure to ask about the warranty and if you have issues. Some places that sell trailers do not service them. Some warranty issues its up to the customer to get it back to the Factory. Find out where the factory is. That is why we carry Car*Mate trailers. The factory is only 2 1/2 hours from Akron. We have only taken 2 trailers in the past 8 years.
Enclosed trailers that have the lights on the door often lose their ground through the hinges over a period of time. If this is the case you need to run a new ground wire from the back of the light to the inside wall stud of the trailer.
If you want to up date your lights to L.E.D.’s there are a number of options. Some just take replacing the bulb, some you have to replace the complete light and some you just have to replace the guts of the light. Stepping up to L.E.D.’s can eventually save you money. L.E.D.’s don’t burn out as often and since there is less draw on your vehicles wiring system they are better for your car. The future is definitely moving towards L.E.D.’s.
When looking for a Christmas gift, places like ours offer gift certificates for bike racks, hitches, ball mounts, trailer wiring kits and L.E.D. lights make wonderful Christmas gifts. Also, gift certificates for frame repairs work.
Manufacturer of boat trailers often try to make them as cheap as possible. This means a lot of times they put lights on for utility trailers instead of submersible lights. They also don’t put brakes on when they should. Having the proper parts on the trailer will help you travel down the road safely.
If you have a bolt together trailer and the lights are not functioning properly, you might have a ground problem. Bolt together trailers will lose their electrical connection between the joints over time. Repair this problem by running a new ground wire from the front to each light or create a jumper wire over each bolt together connection.
When purchasing a trailer you might want to have someone else look at it to see if they think its worth buying for the price. If you have to put a lot of money into it to make it legal for the road, it may not be a good buy. Trailers are just like cars, if your not careful you could just be buying junk.
The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) that should be posted on your trailer tongue is the maximum combined weight of load and trailer. Carrying more than the posted weight could get you a fine or have you unload the trailer until its at the reduced weight.
Why add extra leafs to your vehicle when you can go weight distributing instead. Usually weight distributing bars should be used on any trailer weighing more than 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. weight distributing bars will transfer weight forward on your vehicle and back onto the trailer. Example is if the trailer has 600 lbs. of tongue weight the torision bars will transfer 200 lbs. forward and 200 lbs. rearward to the trailer reducing the tongue weight to 200 lbs. Going weight distribution allows you to keep the vehicles original ride.
There are 5 different sizes of hitches. Depending on your size of vehicle and what your vehicle can haul will help you choose a hitch size. The most popular hitch is the class 3. On the smaller to mid size vehicles if you have a choice between class 1, 2 or 3 your best bet is the class 3 because of its versatility. Again check your vehicles owners manual for hauling capacity.
The Ohio RV Super Show is January. If your coming to the show make sure the salesman doesn’t talk you into buying a larger trailer than what you can pull. The owners manual for your car or truck might be able to give you some information of where to start.
When purchasing a trailer be sure to check the hole pattern on the wheels. I have found from customers past experiences that some manufacturers will put different sized wheels on their trailers. This would really put you in a bind if you had a flat. Hole patterns may look the same, but are different.
When towing a trailer your hitch is only as strong as its weakest link. Each part has a capacity printed on it. Make sure that each is rated enough for the job. Don’t think,” well I’m just going from here to there”. If the trailer breaks lose and hits another car severe injury can occur or even death and don’t think it can happen to you. It only takes ONE TIME.
Hitch balls have 3 different size shanks. There are 3/4", 1" and 1 1/4" diameter shanks for the balls. Make sure you use the proper size shank that matches the hole in your ball mount. Not having the proper ball on your ball mount could be very dangerous.
When pulling a trailer that is tandem axle or weighs over 3500 lbs. it is recommended to use weight distribution bars. Adding additional leafs to your springs to your truck will just cause a rougher ride when not towing the trailer.
When towing a trailer cross your safety chains. You do this so if the trailer comes off the ball the chains will grab the coupler before it hits the ground.
When towing a trailer in the winter time use Di-electric grease to help keep the chemicals that come off the road from eating at the contacts in your plug.
When storing your trailer either for the winter or over the summer DO NOT store it over grass. Grass puts off very acidic fumes and will cause it to rust out. When storing your trailer place it over concrete, gravel or asphalt.
When towing a car behind the motorhome down the highway be careful when a car tries to get on the highway from the edge of the road. A car getting on the highway cannot see the car being towed. Move to the left. We have had a couple of customers have their car wiped out because the car getting on could not see the towed car.
It use to be the only car that was towable behind a motorhome was a manual shift. That all started to change in the late 1980’s with the Automatic Honda Accord. In the early 1990’s GM saw a market so they started with their Saturn line of vehicles. Today there are a variety of automatic vehicles that are towable from most manufactures. To see if your vehicle can be towed behind a motorhome you need to look in the owners manual. Look in the back of the manual under Towing. Under towing look for the sub heading called Recreational. Look for the page it states and this will tell you if your vehicle can be towed on all four wheels. This is the first place to look. Don’t trust a Salesman’s word that a certain car is towable.
When towing a car behind a motorhome a braking system is required in most States. Depending on how much your car weighs will depend on if brakes are required. In the State of Ohio if your car weighs more than 2,000 lbs. brakes are required.You can go to Roadmasters website, roadmasterinc.com, or call the State Highway Patrol to find what your state law requires.
There are 2 major players in dingy towing, Blue Ox and Roadmaster. Both are very good Companies with very good products. There is also an up and coming Company called Demco in this field also.
There are 2 different kinds of brake systems for your trailer. There is electric and hydraulic brakes. Electric brakes require a brake control mounted in your vehicle. Hydraulic brakes have whats called a surge unit built into the coupler on the front of the trailer. Electric brakes are more controllable but hydraulic brakes usually have less maintenance. Brakes are required on trailers with a weight rating of 3,000# or greater or in Ohio if the trailer weighs 2,000 or more empty it also requires brakes.
In my opinion buddy bearings are a total waste. The reason they are is if you clean and pack your bearing like you should in the Fall you will NEVER use buddy bearings. And no, pumping grease in buddy bearings does not take the place of a clean and pack. 9 times out of 10 times when you pump grease into buddy bearings you pump too much in and blow out the rear seal. If this happens, then you need to do a clean a pack anyway. Rule of thumb is to do boat trailers in the Fall or in the Spring every year and Utility and Travel trailers every other year or every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.
There are two ways to clean out a flat four way plug. One would be with a simple small flat bladed screwdriver. Stick it in each hole and twist. The second would be with a small round wire brush. One that is used to clean out a .22 caliber pistle works great. Stick the brush in and turn. Last you need a small tooth brush size wire brush to clean up those grounds.
As winter approaches you need to be prepared in taking care of your vehicle and your trailer. The chemicals that are put on our roads are 5 times more corrosive than in years past. Its called paying the price for safer roads. The easiest thing to do is wash your vehicle, the body and the frame. Don’t forget about the trailer also. Doing a weekly wash of both will ensure both will retain their value for years to come. Warranties do not cover neglect from standard maintenance.
Newer cars today require a modulite for even a simple flat four way wire. The cars require a modulite because the wire on the car is insuffient to handle the additional load of the trailer. A modulite pulls its power directly off the battery and only uses the rear wires on the vehicle as an activation. Not using a modulite when required can cause wires to melt and blown fuses among other possible damage.
Are you done using your trailer plug on the back of your vehicle for the year? If so, pack with some di-electric grease for the winter. This will help keep the salt off the contacts and keep them ready for next year.
Whenever you finish with your ball mount, bike rack or other accessories in your hitch remove them. Parts left in your hitch for extended periods of time can corode in or become a shin buster or could eventually get stolen. Use locks while in use, remove when done.
L.E.D. lights are coming down in price over the years. They use less current then standard bulbs and are less likely to burn out. With less current draw these lights are easier on your battery. The average L.E.D. last for approximately 22,000 hours. They make L.E.D. to go right into your existing sockets and also complete replacement lights. L.E.D. means Light emitting diode.
Dexter Axle recommends when you get to the lake to wait for a 1/2 hour to allow your bearings to cool down. If your bearings are warm when you back into the water it will actually pull a small amount of water into the bearings. This is why you need to have your bearings on a boat trailer cleaned and packed with fresh grease yearly.
There is actually 3 different size hitch balls that are manufactured pull behind trailers (Tag trailer). They’re 1 7/8", 2", 2 5/16". Make sure you have the right size for your trailer.
When towing a trailer always make sure your capacity ratings on trailer axles, coupler, ball mount, ball, torsion bars (if needed) and hitch are rated strong enough for your load. Your only rated to your smallest capacity listed on anyone of these items. If you value what you are hauling or other peoples lives on the road, NEVER GO OVER THE SMALLEST RATING!
If your looking to purchase a used trailer here are a few things to check out.
- If it is an enclosed trailer climb inside and close the doors and see if you see light coming through the roof.
- Look for dark stains on the inside plywood. This could mean a leak on the roof or wall.
- Take along a jack and a battery charger. Use the jack to jack the trailer up and spin the wheels, listen for bearing noise. Wiggle the tires for worn out bearings. Look for grease on the back of the wheel for a blown seal.
- Use the battery charger to check the brakes on the trailer if it has them along with checking out the lights. If you can not get an extension cord to the trailer to check it out ask the person that selling the trailer to use their vehicle to show you things are working. DON’T USE YOUR VEHICLE TO CHECK THE WIRING. IF THEY’RE SHORTS IN THE WIRING LET THEM BURN UP THEIR FUSES.
- Last check to make sure the coupler works properly and that you have the proper sized ball to haul it home.
Keep your tires on your vehicle with proper tire inflation. You can lose 1 to 2 mile per gallon just by having your tires a couple of pounds under pressure. Most tire pressure recommended pressures are post on the drivers side door jam area. The pressure posted on the tire is the max amount, not actually what the pressure should be for the best ride.
When you traveling long distances with your trailer its a good idea to have a new hub with bearings packed and ready to go. Most people remember a spare tire, but a hub with new bearings can be just as important when towing a trailer.
Always check your fluid level in your surge brake before each use. Having not enough fluid will cause the surge unit to not work properly. Also cover the surge unit during the summer time to keep the heat off the seal for the cap. When the seal dry rots it will allow water to get into the master cylinder.
A good indication that you have a bad ground on your trailer is to turn your trailer lights on. If your lights go out when you put your foot on the cars brake pedal, you have a bad ground on your trailer.
The biggest mistake I see people make when they get into towing a trailer is buying the proper hitch for their new trailer. Go to a place that installs hitches to get the proper info on purchasing the right hitch for your trailer. Don’t let the trailer salesman sell you to large of a trailer for your vehicle unless you plan on buying a new car or truck. A place that installs hitches for a living will also be a good start to help direct you to the right size trailer for your vehicle.
Backing up a trailer. The easiest way to back up a trailer is by first putting your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel. Which ever direction you want the trailer to go, thats the direction you turn the wheel. Be sure to use the mirrors or the over the shoulder look when backing up. If you happen to have a longer ball mount the trailer will not respond as quickly as if you have a shorter mount. It also helps to have a loving and understanding husband or wife to help you with this proccess. If its your first time try doing this in a large parking lot with not a lot of cars. It's just like a lot of things it takes practice and soon you will be backing up like a pro.
There are a number of different brands of trailers on the market. Just like they’re many different makes and model vehicles. When choosing a trailer most of the time the higher the cost on a trailer the better constructed it is. You can never go on price alone. With trailers you definitely get what you pay for. Also ask about the warranty and if something happens who’s going to fix it. Some parts on the trailer have to be repaired by the manufacture and it will be up to the consumer to get it there.
Aftermarket parts. When you put after market wiring parts on your vehicle they can make things happen on your vehicle if they go bad. Take it back to where those parts were installed to have it checked out. If you installed them, disconnect the parts and see if that corrects the problem. Aftermarket parts are just as good as factory parts. They are just lesser priced if you have a problem.
It's time to start thinking about getting boat trailer and travel trailers ready for winter. Di-electric grease (check), covers for wheels (check), place to put trailer not over grass (check), winterize boat and travel trailer (check), Bearings cleaned & packed (check), Lines blown out on travel trailer (check), place to have boat shrunk wrapped (check). These are things to do over the next month. If you do your end of year maintenance it will be ready to go next spring.
When traveling with a trailer, if you happen upon a construction zone, stay in the truck lane if one is marked. Truck lanes in constuction zones are actually 2 foot wider than the other lane.
When you see cracks from dry rot on the side of your trailer tires, its time to change them. Most trailer tires will need to be replaced do to dry rot long before tread wear is ever an issue. If tread wear is an issue then this could be an even bigger issue with axle problems. Shielding tires with a tarp or cover will help keep tires from dry rot. Also there are tire conditioners you can spray on to help also.
Trailers have extreme price variations and buyers often tend to look for the best deal, which is fine. However, a word of advice – compare apples to apples. Not all trailers are created equal. First, make sure you are buying the right trailer for the job. Like any job, you need the right tool for the job. Next, determine the type trailer needed and then turn to how it is manufactured. Trailers cannot be expected to perform properly if not manufactured correctly. We do not intentionally buy something we know is wrong; however, since we are not Engineers, how do we know they are manufactured well? One way to look for a properly engineered trailer is to look for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TRAILER MANUFACTURES COMPLIANCE DECAL. (NATM)
Always store your trailer over asphalt, concrete or gravel. Never over grass. Grass puts off a very acidic fumes. This will cause premature aging of your trailer and will cause rust build up on the frame, brake assemblies, wiring and underside of the trailer.
When loading a trailer keep your heaviest load over the axle. Also keep your load evenly spaced out around the trailer.
When buying a car to tow behind your motorhome or to tow a trailer always do your homework on that particular vehicle. NEVER trust the Salesman on the knowledge of the car or truck. Ask to read the Owners manual or get the phone number so you can talk to the manufacturer. If you do your own homework you won’t be surprised.
When towing a trailer always cross your safety chains. NEW state laws in PA, Canada and New York you have to have safety chains with the clip on them so there is no chance they will come off.
Trailers should always have trailer tires, NEVER car tires. Now I know car tires are cheaper than trailer tires, but there is a difference Car tires have softer side walls and under a heavy load will squat. When a tire squwats because of over loading it can cause sway or have a blow out. So spend the extra money on trailer tires and have piece of mind that you can get to where your going.
Ball height is very important. To high can cause sway, to low can cause porposing. Try to be no more than an inch, high or low of the ball height you need.
Ball mounts should be removed when not in use. With the amounts of salt and calcium chloride that are put on our roads over the winter it would definitely corode into the hitch box, never to be removed again.
Travel trailers, Cargo Trailers, Utility type trailers should have their bearings cleaned and packed every other year or every 10,000 to 12,000 miles, and no just adding some grease does not constitute a clean and pack. Also just taking out and doing the outer bearing doesn’t work. Bearings should be clean and inspected for water marks, pitting or heat related problems.
Clean and pack your trailers wheel bearings on your boat every 10,000 to 12,000 miles or every year before you put it in storage.