Get Your Boat Trailer Ready for a Safe Season
When warm-weather recreation is calling your name, it’s hard not to answer. Especially if you have a boat sitting in your driveway. But, before you hit the highway with that watercraft in tow, we’ve put together a quick boat trailer inspection checklist to help you and your family get to the lake or river safely.
Boat Trailer Inspection Checklist
Let Les Schwab Check Your Boat Trailer Tires:
Depending on where and how you store your boat and trailer in the winter, your tire condition can degrade due to sun and weather exposure. Even parking in one spot too long can cause flat spots on your tires. The Les Schwab experts will look at the overall tire condition, checking for cracks around the valve stems, top-off your tire pressure, and show you how much life is left on your boat trailer tires. If you need new tires, you’ll be in the right place.
Les Schwab Tip: Wondering if your boat trailer tires should be inflated to the max PSI? In most cases your boat trailer tires should be inflated to the maximum-rated pressure for that tire. You’ll find that number on the sidewall. If you’re not sure, stop by Les Schwab.
Get Your Boat Trailer Brakes and Bearings Checked:
If your boat trailer has brakes, we’ll give them a once over to help you avoid lock-ups and ensure they work when they should. In many cases, inspecting the brakes often requires bearing service.
Wondering how often you should grease your boat or watercraft trailer wheel bearings? It all depends on how your trailer is stored, how much time it spends on the highway, and how often it’s in the water. If your bearings fail, it can end the summer fun. If you haven’t had this done in a while, the Les Schwab team can help you repack or replace them. Because these types of trailers spend time in and out of the water, the bearings may require more attention than those on a standard trailer.
Don’t Forget the Spare:
Even if you never use your spare, hot and cold weather can cause your spare to degrade and become unusable. It will even lose pressure over time. Our team will check the spare so that a flat tire doesn’t derail your water adventures.
Double Check the Hitch:
Ensure the hitch ball is matched with the right coupler size on the trailer and always lock the hitch with a locking pin and key. Don’t forget to utilize the safety chains or cables when you’re underway and attach an emergency stop-cable (breakaway cable) for added safety.
Test Your Turn Indicators and Brake Lights:
Make sure your tail lights, indicators, running lights (if your trailer has them), and brake lights are working.
Raise the Engine and Pull the Drain Plug:
Anytime your boat is trailered, be sure the engine/outboard is raised so the propeller or skeg doesn’t scrape. And don’t forget to pull the drain plug and put it somewhere inside the cab of your vehicle. That way, if it rains while you’re driving, you won’t have to deal with standing water in your boat. Just don’t forget to reinstall it before you get back in the water.
Secure the Bimini:
Put the top down on your boat before you hit the road. Having it open can cause damage to the fabric, frame, and possibly your boat at the anchor points.
Inspect the Tie-Down:
Triple-check the bow eye attachment and the trailer winch for a good connection. You’ll also want to look at the transom straps for safety and ensure the straps are not rubbing the top of the hull.
Les Schwab Knows Boat Trailers
Your Local Les Schwab can help you get your boat trailer ready for a whole summer full of adventures. Stop by today for a quick safety check and any necessary repairs. Remember, everything we do is backed by our industry-leading warranty that doesn’t cost you anything.
Schedule an Appointment