When summer hits, Minnesotans like you, want to be ready to get outside and enjoy the sun. From a day at the lake to taking in a baseball game, it’s good to get outside and have fun. If your summer plans include a trip to the cabin or going for a boat ride on the lake down the road, then maintaining your boat trailer is always a good idea. After sitting idle all winter long, your trailer may need a little TLC to keep your boat towing safe all summer long.

Check the Boat Trailer Tires

Improperly inflated tires can be a safety hazard or leave you stranded by the side of the road. Save yourself the headache of an issue later this summer by making sure your tires are properly inflated before you head out with your boat. Your tires can lose 1-2 pounds of air pressure every month, and since your trailer has been sitting all winter it’s a good idea to check them out.

Inflate your tires to the maximum rating on the tire or on your trailer capacity sticker – this will typically be at least 60 psi.  While you’re down there checking your tire pressure, you’ll want to check for wear & tear on your tire treads. Trailer tires should be replaced every 6 years so if it’s been a while since you’ve replaced your tires or you notice tread wear, then it’s a good idea to take your trailer into your mechanic to make sure your tires are good to go. One last thing to check? Check the air pressure on your spare, and if you don’t have one – it’s a good idea to get one mounted this year.

Check your lights

Driving your trailer with faulty lights can get you a hefty fine, which is why you’ll want to check your lights before heading out. Your trailer lights are a safety measure that lets other drivers know you are carrying a boat and to keep a safe distance. Check for dimming, flickering, or lights that are not working at all. Older trailers have bulbs that can burn out so if you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll want to get those bulbs replaced. You’ll also want to inspect your towing vehicle’s connection. Our winter weather can corrode the metal pins causing your connection to malfunction. If you don’t already have one, you can pick up a connection protector at any auto parts store to keep your connection protected in any season.

Check the Boat Trailer brakes

Most states require brakes on at least one axle of your trailer. If you don’t have brakes installed and your trailer weighs over 3,000 lbs, your trailer can start to swerve when using only your vehicle brakes which can be a safety concern. Before you hit the road with your boat, it’s a good idea to check your brakes for dirt and debris. While you’re making sure those brakes are clean, you should check your brake pads for wear and tear. If you notice any wear, you’ll want to have your mechanic take a look. One last thing before heading to the lake? Check your brake fluid to make sure it’s filled to the proper level.

Check your wheel bearings

Your wheel bearings can become corroded or rusted due to moisture over the winter. Corroded or rusted bearings prevent your wheels from turning properly, and can cause friction which can result in accidents. To ensure your safety, it’s a good idea to check your wheel bearings and grease them each year. If you don’t already have wheel bearing covers installed, it’s a good idea to install them to protect your bearings from moisture all year long.

These four steps can help prepare your boat trailer for the boating season ahead. If you discover any issues during your maintenance, our team is ready to help get you back on the road and enjoying the lake in no time.