How Often Should I Have My Trailer Serviced?
When was the last time you looked at your trailer and thought about maintaining it? It's often one of the most overlooked parts of your towing setup, but just because it doesn't have oil doesn't mean that it doesn't need routine maintenance.
But what exactly are you looking for when you service a trailer, and how often should you do it? We'll break it all down for you here.
Trailer Maintenance Schedules
Just like your vehicle, each trailer has a maintenance schedule that you should follow for proper operation. But if you can't track down your trailer's service manual, you should service your trailer at least every six months.
However, there are some features that manufacturers recommend checking more often. These features include wheel torque, tire pressure, and breakaway functionality.
Trailer Maintenance Checklists
If you don't know where to start with your trailer service, you have two options. First, you can take your trailer to a service center and have them take care of it. If you don't know how to adjust brakes or tell if you have a faulty component, this is probably the best bet.
However, if you're looking to save a little money, you can utilize a trailer maintenance checklist. While each manufacturer puts out their own trailer checklist, if you can't find one for your specific trailer, you can always use one from a different manufacturer – just double check that it has all the same components as your trailer!
This checklist from Felling Trailers covers the basic things you should be checking for at each interval. Keep in mind that your specific trailer checklists might be slightly different.
How Often Should You Grease Utility Trailer Wheel Bearings?
The most significant factor affecting how often you should grease your trailer wheel bearings is the trailer's size. With smaller travel trailers, you should grease the wheel bearings every 2,000 miles.
However, with most trailers, every 10,000 to 12,000 miles will suffice. If you don't use your trailer often, you still need to grease the wheel bearings every six months.
If your trailer has any other grease points throughout, you should grease these areas at the same time.
How to Check Your Trailer's Tires
Trailer tires are among the most overlooked parts of your trailer maintenance schedule. When checking your trailer's tires, there are a few things that you need to check for.
First, you need to make sure that there is enough tread on the tires. The legal minimum for tread depth in the United States is 2/32", and tires are required to have wear bars. Once the tire has reached that wear bar, you need to replace it.
Second, you need to check the tire pressure. Tire pressure changes as the weather changes with the seasons, so it's essential to check your tire pressure frequently.
Finally, you need to check your tires for cracks or dry rotting. If you notice that your tire has cracks along the sidewall, you need to replace the tire.
How Important Are Trailer Services?
Servicing your trailer is just as important as servicing your vehicle. While most vehicles have done away with external grease points, have self-adjusting brakes, lubed-for life wheel bearings, and a variety of other features, most trailers don't have these same things.
That means if you don't keep up with the service intervals on your trailer, you'll run into problems in no time!
Next time you plan on taking your trailer out for a trip or a job, ask yourself, when was the last time you serviced it? If you can't come up with an answer, start a service schedule today and stick to it!
It might seem a little tedious and time consuming, but it might be what prevents your next accident as you drive down the road.