As winter approaches, preparing your boat trailer for storage is essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance come springtime. Neglecting proper winterization can lead to issues such as corrosion, tire damage, and electrical problems. In this article, we'll guide you through the crucial things to check when storing your boat trailer for the winter, helping you preserve its condition and be ready for the next boating season.
Before storage, give your boat trailer a thorough cleaning. Remove any dirt, salt, or debris accumulated during your boating adventures. Cleaning not only keeps your trailer looking good but also prevents corrosion, especially in areas prone to salt exposure.
Inspect and Lubricate Moving Parts
Check all moving parts such as jacks, rollers, couplers and winches. Lubricate these components to prevent rust and ensure they operate smoothly when you're ready to use the trailer again. Pay attention to the trailer's suspension system and apply grease where needed.
Check and Grease Wheel Bearings
Inspect wheel bearings for wear and tear, and repack them with fresh grease. Properly lubricated wheel bearings reduce friction and the risk of damage during storage. This step is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your trailer's wheels.
Check the tire pressure and inflate them to the recommended levels. Inspect the tires for signs of wear, bulges, or cracks. If your boat trailer will be stored outdoors, consider using tire covers to protect against UV rays and harsh weather conditions.
Inspect Brake System
If your boat trailer is equipped with brakes, inspect the brake system thoroughly. Ensure that the brake components are in good condition, and consider applying a rust inhibitor to prevent corrosion.
Disconnect and Charge Batteries
If your boat trailer has a battery for features like electric brakes or trailer lights, disconnect it to prevent draining. Charge the battery periodically during storage to maintain its health and ensure it's ready for use when you take your boat out again.
Check Trailer Lights and Wiring
Inspect all trailer lights, including brake lights, turn signals, and running lights. Replace any burnt-out bulbs and repair damaged wiring. Properly functioning lights are crucial for safety on the road.
Protect Against Corrosion
Apply a corrosion inhibitor or rust-resistant coating to susceptible metal parts, especially those exposed to the elements. This extra layer of protection helps prevent corrosion during the winter months. Choosing an aluminum boat trailer is a game changer when it comes to prevent corrosion.
Secure the Boat
If possible, store your boat on the trailer in a secure and covered location. Use proper boat supports or blocks to distribute the weight evenly, relieving stress on the trailer components.
Document and Store Properly
Take note of any issues or maintenance tasks you've addressed during the winterization process. Keep your boat trailer's documentation, including the owner's manual and maintenance records, in a safe and easily accessible place for future reference.
Properly winterizing your boat trailer is an investment in its longevity and performance. By conducting these checks and preventive measures, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy a trouble-free boating season when spring arrives. Taking the time to store your boat trailer correctly ensures that it remains in top condition, ready to hit the road and water when the warmer days return.