Trailer Maintenance

As the weather warms up, you may be itching to get out on the road with your trailer and start your summer plans. Before you take off, follow these trailer maintenance tips to ensure your trailer is in top towing condition.

trailer maintenance - l'entretien de remorque

A Good Scrub

Begin your trailer maintenance routine with a good wipe down of all the dust and debris your trailer has collected since you last took it out. A pre-wash treatment will help loosen any stubborn dirt and grime. You can then use soap and water or a multi-purpose cleaner to finish the job. Be sure to include the tires and wheels in your scrub.

Rain-X Bug & Tar Pre-Wash Gel

14.29 $

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Armor All - Multi-Purpose Cleaner

6.39 $

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If you have an RV, don’t forget to clean the windows and interior. A deep clean may also reveal dried or cracked seals. If these are minor, you can re-seal them yourself with caulk.

NAPA Bodypro Glass Cleaner

6.69 $

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Seam Sealer Caulking Strip

20.79 $

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Check the Tires & Wheels

If you haven’t used your trailer for a while, the tires will need some attention. Use a tire pressure gauge to find out how much air your tires need to reach the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Once they’re pumped up, look for any cracks, balding, or flat-spotting along the tire tread and sidewalls. A tread depth gauge can help you identify developing wear patterns. If there’s any noticeable damage, replace the tires before your next trip. Finally, use a torque wrench to tighten all the lug nuts.

Before you head out, stow a tire repair kit in your trunk to manage a flat (on your car or trailer) while on the road. Your local NAPA dealer can quickly advise you on the right one for your tires.

Slime - Tire Pressure Gauge

12.49 $

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Tire Repair Kit

24.69 $

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Lubricating Your Trailer

To help the trailer move smoothly, you’ll need to lubricate certain parts. Apply grease  to the following areas:

  • Coupler and hitch ball
  • Ring and pintle
  • Axles
  • Landing leg/jack

The wheel bearings require a bit more TLC because you’ll need to pack grease inside of them. While wearing disposable gloves, place some grease in your hand and work it into each bearing. Start at the larger end of the bearing until you notice grease coming through the smaller end.

Not all grease can be used on all wheel bearings. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation for what kind of grease to use on your particular trailer.

Wheel Bearing Grease

Starting at 5.79 $

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Disposable Nitrile Gloves

Starting at 29.99 $

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Inspect the Lights

Now it’s time to test your trailer’s lights. This includes the brake lights, turn signals, and running lights. Make sure everything from the wiring harness to the individual light bulbs is looking and working as it should.

For a quick test, have someone stand behind your trailer as you press the brakes and turn on the hazard and blinker lights to confirm they all work.

Trailer Brake Control Harness

Starting at 9.69 $

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Exterior Bulbs

Starting at 11.99 $

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Serious Repairs

If you’re confident in your DIY skills, you may be able to complete many trailer repairs on your own. Certain repairs, however, should be left to the professionals. If your trailer needs repairs in any of these areas, it’s best to have a professional look at it:

  • Body damage that is more than superficial
  • Electrical repairs that require more than replacing a light bulb
  • Suspension work
  • Brake replacement (unless you’re experienced)
  • Hydraulic components

If you’re having difficulty completing a repair or want some trailer advice, head to a NAPA AUTOPRO Service Station.

Make Trailer Maintenance a Habit

Follow this maintenance routine at the beginning and end of trailer season to help prevent surprises when you most need your trailer. Always check the quality of your towing accessories, as well, such as safety straps and chains.

For more information on safe towing, check out this article. If you plan to use a trailer during the winter, check out this post for some snow-specific trailer tips.

4 Replies to “Trailer Maintenance”

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you actually recognise what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally visit my site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate contract between us!

  2. Eve Mitchell says:

    I liked your tip about checking your trailer lights. I think mine have burned out but I’m not sure. It’d be beneficial to get it checked out before I leave for vacation!

  3. Amy Saunders says:

    Oh my God! I’m so glad you reminded us to check on the lighting system in our trailer before hitting the road. My uncle just bought a mini trailer last week for work purposes. I’ll forward this article to him so he’ll make the right maintenance later.

  4. Mats Wolff says:

    Its helpful when you said to check everything from the wiring harness right down to the light bulbs themselves. My uncle owns a truck and wants to get it repaired since he had a minor accident yesterday. Thanks for the article and I will forward it to him so that he can find a good truck repair service near his area.

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