Nothing is worse than packing up and getting ready to take the trailer out and finding a problem. Whether it’s a broken tail light, a locked up wheel hub bearing, a jack stuck in the down position, or some other broken trailer part it’s all bad and can ruin a perfectly planned event. The best way to avoid such a tragedy is to routinely performing a trailer inspection and maintenance.
Proper Trailer Maintenance Guidelines
1) Wash your boat trailer after each use, especially if it was in saltwater. Do this every time! Rinse every part of the trailer with fresh water, especially the suspension and behind the wheels. The sure things in life are: death, taxes and boat and jet ski trailer corrosion. Rinsing will greatly prolong your trailer’s life.
2) Grease bearings. Most trailer manufactures recommend repacking your bearings every 12 months or 12,000 miles which ever comes first.
3) Feel your hubs for excess heat when traveling. They should not feel any hotter than a cup of coffee. Most trailer manufactures recommend adjusting your brakes every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Doing this will greatly extend the life of your trailer and decrease the likelihood of a braking failure/problem.
4) Lubricate your lug nuts/posts so that you will be able to loosen them to change tires on your jet ski trailer. This is especially important if you are fixing a flat by the side of the road. Lug nuts tend to rust easily. Use “Never Seize” grease, Boeshield T-9 or frequent applications of WD-40, penetrating oil or silicone spray. Replace steel lug nuts with stainless steel.
5) Check your tire pressure. Trailer tires are different from car/truck tires. Check the tire sidewall for correct pressure (usually 50-65 psi.)
6) Check your tire tread. Use the penny test by inserting a penny into the tread. The tread should touch the top of Abe Lincoln’s head.
7) Check the jet ski trailer lights. Have someone depress the brake pedal and use the turn signal while you stand behind the vehicle and ensure the correct lights illuminate.
8) Check fasteners and all jet ski trailer hardware to make sure they’re tight.
9) Use safety chains correctly on the jet ski trailer. Chris-cross the chains below the tongue. Position the hooks to your tow vehicle in such a way that they won’t easily fall off Even better, use a closed-end fastener.
10) Do not put too much weight on the jet ski trailer. Gear can add a lot of weight – even if your jet ski can handle all of the gear, look at the weight rating on your trailer and do not exceed the maximum weight.
11) If you are storing your jet ski be sure to block and cover your jet ski trailer tires. Remember rubber degrades when exposed to sunlight and also rots when exposed to the ground. You may wish to shade your tires. Moving your jet ski trailer periodically or jacking your trailer off the ground will help reduce dry rotting of your tires.
12) As you do with your car, carry emergency equipment for your jet ski trailer. Make a jet ski trailer emergency kit that contains jet ski trailer parts such as a spare wheel and tire, lug wrench, wheel chocks, bearing grease, extra hub assembly, extra line (for the winch and jet ski tie-down straps), replacement light bulbs, wheel bearings and road flares/markers.