This is one of the most important parts of owning your trailer. Given proper care, your Boat Trailer should give you many years of service. We suggest that you wash your trailer with a detergent soap each time you use it. Lubricate parts on your trailer with a product such as a silicone spray or Teflon spray. This will keep moving parts in good working order & prolong their life. If you notice signs of light rust on your trailer or any of the component parts, clean, sand the area down and coat with a rust preventive such as cold galvanized spray. If the part is heavily rusted, remove and replace immediately.
Remember: salt water begins its eating process as your trailer sits at the ramp all day. The more effort in servicing & maintain your trailer, the longer it will last you.
With proper set-up and maintenance your Boat Trailer will give you many years of service. You should carefully read all materials given to you by your dealer and read all warning labels on your trailer.
Warranty & Registration
Please read your warranty documents carefully and fill out any warranty papers within 7 days and sent off to the respective manufacturer. Always keep a copy of all papers.
Make sure the trailer coupler & hitch ball are the same size. Never use a different size hitch ball than recommended. The proper ball size is listed on the top of the trailer coupler or on the compliance plate. Make sure the coupler latch closes firmly with a snug fit to the hitch ball. You can adjust the nut at the bottom of the coupler for proper tightness to the hitch ball. It is suggested to have a locking device on the coupler latch for safety. If the coupler or coupler latch should become bent or deformed in any matter, it is advised not to use the trailer until a new coupler assembly is installed.
Make sure both hooks of the safety chains are securely fastened to the towing vehicle. If the chains are too long, you can twist the chains to shorten the length. This will prevent the chains from dragging. Make sure to leave sufficient length for turning.
Hubs & Wheel Bearings
You can change the bearings yourself, or get a mechanic to do it for you. You might also want to fit ‘bearing buddies’ – they’re inexpensive, and they extend the life of bearings from approximately six months to two years with average use.
Hubs must be kept full of grease at all times. A high-speed waterproof wheel bearing grease should be used. Keeping fresh grease in your hubs will increase the life of your bearings and cut down on the possibility of bearing failure. The following steps should be completed at least twice a year for bearing maintenance.
To check your bearings, raise your tire and wheel clear of the road surface, spin the wheel and listen for grinding sound or roughness. This indicates that you may have a bearing problem. The bearing should be smooth, and no sound should occur.
Check for side play of the hub by pushing on one side of the wheel and pulling on the other. No noticeable side play should occur. We recommend carrying an extra set of bearings and grease.
Bearings lubrication should be checked each time before towing. Failure to do so may result in bearing failure.
Make sure the wheel nuts are properly tightened each time before towing. If you are replacing a tire and wheel, initially tighten lugs using a cross tightening sequence.
Wheel Torque Requirements
Wheel Size ——1st Stage——–2nd Stage——–3rd Stage
12″—————20-25 lbs—–35-40 lbs——-50-75 lbs
13″—————20-25 lbs—–35-40 lbs——-50-75 lbs
14″—————20-25 lbs—–50-60 lbs——-90-120 lbs
15″—————20-25 lbs—–50-60 lbs——-90-120 lbs
16″—————20-25 lbs—–50-60 lbs——-90-120 lbs
Tires & Inflation
Smaller tyres turn faster, work harder and are often relied upon to carry heavier loads than they are rated for. Small tyres will overheat faster, too.
Ensure that the tyres are good ones, the larger the better. Sidewalls and treads should be free from splits, nails and the like. Make sure you have a spare!
Check for proper tire inflation and condition each time before towing. If the tires become dry rot, excessively worn or damaged, replace before towing.
Check your tire inflation when the tires are cold for accurate pressure readings. The proper tire inflation is listed on the sidewall. Improper tire inflation could result in excessive tire wear or tire blowout.
We recommend carrying a spare tire and wheel. Good tyres are good insurance. Speaking of insurance, make sure your policy cover your boat and trailer.
Trailer Load Carrying Capacity
Make sure the weight of your boat, motor, fuel, accessories and gear is within the net carrying capacity of your trailer. The net carrying capacity is listed on the manufacturers serial tag on the trailer frame. Exceeding rated net capacity could result in trailer damage and void the manufacturers warranty.
When you choose a trailer, often price is the deciding factor. A trailer that looks roughly the same size as another, but is $500 cheaper can be tempting. Remember to take into account the weight once your boat is on the trailer with the eskies, spare tyres and camping gear, the outboard and everything else.
It’s not uncommon to see an overloaded boat and trailer swaying along the highway, being driven at high speed. It’s only a question of time before something gives.
Trailer Tongue Weight
The only thing that holds your boat, gear and trailer is the towbar hitch and ball and fixing chain. Ensure all lock nuts do lock, ball and hitch bolts are all tight, and chain and towbar are all in top condition.
Proper tongue weight on your trailer is important. Too much tongue weight can cause excessive strain on your towing vehicle. Too little tongue weight can cause “fishtailing” of your trailer. The standard basis of tongue weight is approximately 7% to 10% of your total package weight. This can be accomplished by moving the adjustable undercarriage forward for less tongue weight, or towards the rear for more tongue weight.
You also may be able to reposition the boat on the trailer or moving gear inside of the boat. Your dealer should be able to assist you in this area. In most cases a bathroom scale can be used to determine tongue weight. Make sure the trailer is level (towing position) with the bathroom scale positioned under the trailer coupler.
Transom Tie Downs
Make sure your boat is securely fastened to the trailer, before each towing and periodically during travelling a distance. Make sure the winch hook is securely fastened to the boat bow hook & the bow of the boat is snug into the trailer bow block. The trailer bow block should be positioned directly above the boat bow eye, as to create a lock in effect. Secondary bow safety chain must be hooked to the bow eye. The boat transom must be securely ties down to the trailer with approved tie downs to the rear tie down points provided on the trailer.
It is the trailer owner’s responsibility to visually check all fasteners, component parts & trailer structure each time before towing for tightness, rusting or defect. If necessary tighten loose parts & replace rusted parts immediately before towing. If you spot what you believe to be a defect, do not use the trailer and have it attended to immediately.
Trailer Lighting System
It is suggested, even though most modern trailers are equipped with the best submersible lights and lighting system available, to check all trailer lights each time before towing for proper operation.
You can minimise the maintenance by checking out all connections, soaking in WD40, carrying spares and checking them out before you go anywhere. Remember, water (salt or otherwise) and electricity don’t mix!
Trailer Wiring Code: Brown wire-Tail lights (running), Yellow wire- Left directional & brake, Green wire-Right directional & brake, White wire-Ground.
Try your trailer brakes before each trip for proper operation to determine if the brakes need adjustment or replacement before towing. The brake manufactures information in the customer information pack can give you details on these procedures. Only qualified establishments should be used for brake work. State laws requires brakes on all wheels on trailers with a specified gross capacity of 750kg or more, or if the total boat, motor & trailer package is 40% or more of the weight of the towing vehicle.