boat trailer

It’s officially June and summer is in full swing. If you’re like the average Minnesotan, you are gearing up to enjoy the great outdoors with activities like heading to your cabin, fishing, and a little water skiing fun. But before you get to all that fun, you’ll need to tow your boat to your favorite lake. Enter boat trailer maintenance. If it’s been a while since you did some maintenance on your boat trailer, now is the time to press pause on those summer water plans so you can make sure your trailer is ready for the journey.

Check your trailer lights

Before you hit the road with your boat, you’ll want to fully inspect your trailer lights. Your lights are a safety measure letting other drivers know that you are carrying a boat and to keep a safe distance. Driving with faulty lights can get you a hefty fine so now’s a great time to make sure your lights are in working order. You’ll want to look for any dimming or flickering lights, and even lights that aren’t working at all. Older trailers have lights that can burn out so you can get these replaced. If you haven’t already done so, spring is a good time to inspect your connection to your towing vehicle. Our winter elements can cause the metal pins to corrode. If you don’t already have one, you can install a cover to keep your connection clean and dry no matter what weather you drive in.

Check the tires on the Boat Trailer

Improperly inflated tires can be a big cause of trailer trouble this summer. Check your air pressure to ensure that your tires are inflated properly. Tires can lose 1-2 pounds of air pressure every month so it’s a good idea to check how your trailer tires did over the winter. Fill your tires to the maximum rating listed on the tire which is typically at least 60 psi. While you’re down there checking air pressure, it’s a good idea to check for wear and tear. Most manufacturers recommend replacing your trailer tires every 6 years – so if it’s been a while or you notice any wear and tear, your mechanic can get those replaced for you in no time.

Check your brakes

Most states require you to have brakes installed on at least one axle of your trailer, and if your trailer weighs over 3,000 lbs – your trailer will swerve when using just your vehicle brakes. To ensure safer driving when towing your boat, you’ll want to check your brake pads for any wear and tear. Now is also a good time to check your brake fluid levels and fill them to the proper level before heading out on the road.

Boat Trailer Wheel Bearings

Your wheel bearings help your trailer wheels turn properly. Winter weather can cause your bearings to corrode due to moisture so you’ll want to check these each year. Corroded or ungreased bearings can cause friction when your wheels turn and can cause accidents. To ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers, you’ll want to grease your bearings and add wheel bearing covers to protect them from moisture and other weather all year long.

Safety Precautions

You’ll also want to check some safety precautions before you hit the road. Your safety chain should crisscross underneath your trailer tongue and attach to your vehicle for support in the case that your trailer becomes unhitched. You’ll also want to inspect your bunk rollers to make sure they are in good condition and can support the hull.

Once you’ve inspected and performed these maintenance items, you’re ready to get on your way to a safe and enjoyable summer on the lake.