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#10373758 - 10/27/14 09:49 AM Trailer maintenance tips
NitroUSAF Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 919
Loc: Justin, Texas
As I read the tff forum on a weekly basis I often see things that amaze me; most of them are complaints about something related to fishing. One of the things I have noticed lately is people complaining about trailers. No I am not an expert by no means, however when you spend your adult life working on highly technical fighter aircraft and supporting equipment, you learn thing or two. So here are my top five things I think extends your trailers life; by the way I have never had a rust issue on any boat I have ever owned.
1. Keep the trailer lubed. Anywhere you have a section on the trailer that moves, lubes it. This is mainly the tongue, trailer jack and wheel bearings (lube or penetrating oil). When apply appropriate grease don’t be shy, make sure you force all water out of the system.
2. Bunk Boards – check the bolts quit often. This is easiest when you launch your boat. If you have a crescent wrench, you will always have the right size to tighten the bolt. Once you have reached a point where the bolt will no longer tighten, do not rush to change out the entire bunk board. If you are tight on money the easiest thing to do is to remove the bunk board and flip it 180 degrees. You will need to drill a pilot hole and then install the bolts in the new location. The will buy you more life usage on the bunk board.
3. Water drainage. Make sure your trailer drains water properly. Failure to drain water it the #1 cause of rust, no the manufacturer did not sell you a bad item. Don’t be lazy, crawl under you trailer and check the drain holes. Many times when they are painted or repaired the drain hole are clogged. Use a drill and reopen the holes…if needed add addition holes. One mistake people make is storing their boat in a level condition. If you want to know how much water is really stored in your boat and trailer in the off season? Take a car jack stand and lower the front of the trailer on it. Retract the trailer jack until you can place a brick or cinder block under the jack. Now jack the trailer to the max extension; remove you boat plug and keep your eye on your lower unit; you will be surprised how much water is in the trailer and the boat. If it’s off season leave it up to completely dry out, this is also important if you store your boat outside.
4. Last rust. Insect your trailer, like the step areas. If you find you have an area where you have standing water on metal, you will get rust. This area requires a drain hole. Not addressing this earlier will cause rust, no matter how good your paint job is. For those of you have a diamond plate steps over your trailer fenders, you have a rust issue and you don’t even know it. That diamond plate does not rust but it does often hide rust issues under it. It may look good, but my advice is to remove the diamond plate and inspect under it. While it is off add several draining hole, them reinstall it. Instead of rivets for reinstall, us a stainless steel self-tapping flat head screws.
5. Last, grind out rust areas early and treat them with a good water resistant paint.
Follow these steps during off season and I guarantee your trailer, you will have very little rust and it will look good.
_________________________
American Bass Anglers
2014 Nitro Z8 w/250 Merc"
USAF Retired
Sponsors: My WIFE/FAMILY & My Wallet

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#12573483 - 01/11/18 08:01 AM Re: Trailer maintenance tips [Re: NitroUSAF]
NitroUSAF Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 919
Loc: Justin, Texas
I originally wrote this in 2014, and received comments that I was a little overboard on my maintenance practices and that why you take the boat to the shop to have experts look at it. To this day, I still laugh at the comments I received from friends at the boat ramp. Even recently, I just checked all the bolts and screws and nuts om my boat and motor. Why not, its winter and we do not fish as often. So when you are bored, grab your radio or while you are looking at the game in your garage, try to tighten all the nut, bolts and screws on your boat, trailer and motor, You will be surprised how many items you find are loose. Oh, for those who think I am being overly cautious and going overboard and that I should take it to the shop, let me ask you two questions. How many times have you gotten your car out of the shop and found something wrong, missing or even had to take it back...remember its not their vehicle, they are just paid to do the a job, how much are they really invested in it and your safety. The second question is would you trust someone to load your gun for you or do you check it yourself. If not maintained correctly, any boat can become more dangerous that it already is. Hope this motivates us to do better maintenance on our rigs.
_________________________
American Bass Anglers
2014 Nitro Z8 w/250 Merc"
USAF Retired
Sponsors: My WIFE/FAMILY & My Wallet

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#12576640 - 01/13/18 09:59 AM Re: Trailer maintenance tips [Re: NitroUSAF]
NITRO Z8 Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/06/07
Posts: 630
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the write up and it really makes alot of since on what your saying. Thanks again.

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#12576731 - 01/13/18 11:04 AM Re: Trailer maintenance tips [Re: NITRO Z8]
rb7764 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/08/04
Posts: 2089
Loc: Frisco, TX, USA
Thanks for the tips Nitro and thanks for your service.

Overkill? No way. A little preventative maintenance will make a trailer last for decades.

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#12580104 - 01/15/18 05:22 PM Re: Trailer maintenance tips [Re: NitroUSAF]
jcwebb70 Offline
Angler

Registered: 02/20/06
Posts: 376
Loc: Allen, TX
Anyone who thinks its overkill...either haven't owned a boat for very long, or trade them in every year or two. It's not a matter of if, these items will bite you, just when. Better to tend to them in the garage vs on the side of the road. Just like a boat engine, trailers can ruin a trip real quick. I had a brand new boat, and a month later the running board was flopping around b/c the bolt came out. FYI, any screw in a boat can come lose too, just like bolts and nuts. Bad time to find out a is when your boat cleat pops lose on a windy day and you don't find out until your backing your trailer down. I have back up bolts/nuts, stainless screws, tail lights, marker lights, light plug.

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