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Do You Grease Boat Trailer Rollers?
Trailer rollers are devices that are attached to the trailer and allow the trailer to be pulled by vehicles.
The smaller wheels on a trailer roller will come into contact with the ground and propel it forward when in contact with hard surfaces.
They are an economical alternative for transport trailers that do not require off-road performance (e.g., portability, low-capacity loads).
Yes! Grease prevents friction.When the metal parts slide easily against each other, it’s smoother and there’s less chance of them wearing down. This saves boat trailer rollers from early failure, which can be expensive and inconvenient to fix.
The problem with grease is that it can get washed off by water. Even if you’re careful to keep water away from your boat trailer rollers, a heavy rain or car wash can do the job for you.
The next time you try to pull a boat, the rollers might not be greasy enough and they’ll be extra slippery.
That’s when the rollers will skid on the surface of the trailer or hitch, making a scary noise that scares other drivers and may even wear out the metal faster.
So, to keep your boat trailer rollers in good working order, it’s a good idea to grease them every few months. This is what my friends and I do when we’re setting up for a camping trip.
According to one source, grease can last indefinitely, as long as you can get at it (read more about this elsewhere) and it’s reapplied regularly to avoid thickened layers of grease and dirt.
If you’re not ready for this kind of commitment, there are boat trailer rollers from a wide selection of manufacturers that require little or no grease.
These rollers are made to be greased less often, so don’t have to worry about getting in the habit of doing it just because they need it.
Greasing Trailer Rollers- Steps and Tips
When it comes to making sure your trailer is ready for a long day of hauling, you want to make sure that everything is in order for the journey ahead.
You should check the tires, belts and hoses, and hydraulic fluids before you hit the road but greasing the trailer rollers may seem like small potatoes when there are so many other things to do.
However, this is one of the most important things you can do for people who own their trailers.
Greasing the trailer rollers is not only something that should be done periodically but before you take a long trailer trip.
It’s fairly easy to complete and will help to ensure that your trailer remains in good condition for many miles to come.
Greasing the rollers is pretty much what it sounds like: You will oil the rollers on your trailer in order to make sure that they rotate smoothly and without any grinding.
This speeds up the movement of your trailer and helps reduce wear from friction as well as from air resistance. There are a few things you should consider when you are choosing a type of oil to put into a trailer roller.
The first thing to consider is the width of the roller. The wider the roller, the more oil you need to fill it.
You can use a special oil pump that is wide enough to reach into deeper rollers or you can simply pour in more oil than normal so that it’s deep enough to reach bottom.
Either way, read your trailer’s specifications for oil depth and make sure you choose an appropriate amount for your particular trailer and its rollers.
The second thing to consider is the weight of your trailer. If you have a lighter trailer, you may want to opt for a lighter oil that can be used in any situation.
If you have a heavier trailer, you will want an oil that is made specifically for heavier loads and trailers. The weight of the oil will depend on the size of your trailer and how much it weighs overall.
The heavier weight will help to ensure that your wheels are able to move as required when you need them in most situations.
The third thing to consider is the type of trailer you are using. If you have a flatbed trailer, then you will want to oil the rollers after every trip.
This is because of how much weight can be on top of the flatbed and how fast it can move. If you have a box trailer, however, then you may only need to oil your rollers once every few weeks to ensure they are in good condition.
Once you have chosen the type of roller oil you need, you can get started.
How Do You Maintain A Boat Trailer?
If you find that your boat trailer is making an unpleasant sound, there are plenty of ways to keep it from happening again. There are many common things that can be done and all of them will help to prevent different types of metal-to-metal contact noise.
Check for gashes in the rubber tires on the trailer. Make sure that your tire pressure is correct and not too much or too little.
Replace worn out bolts and nuts on wheels, brakes, and suspension if they have been exhausted. These will all help to reduce your trailer noise and not a lot of effort is required from you to change them.
If your trailer has a tailgate, make sure that it opens and closes properly and gently.
If it seems stiff or if the rubber stops are worn, new ones can be purchased from a trailer manufacturer if you want a replacement that is very high quality.
Steel parts can be upgraded in the same way as the rubber tires if they are worn out.
Keep the trailers lighting system and working properly as these can make a great deal of noise as well. When pulling big boats, especially trailers, having adequate lights is an important part of safety.
Ensure that the lights on your trailer meet the requirements of the law in your area to ensure that they are safe and fully operational at all times.
If you have a trailer toy boat or other recreational accessory that you use when going out during the summer, make sure to check it regularly for any signs of wear and tear.
Hooks that are not able to stay firmly in place can be easily broken and cause a lot of damage.
If you have a boat trailer that seems to be making noise, check all of the bolts that hold it together. When purchasing these, make sure that they are galvanized steel ones as this will reduce the noise potential of your trailer.
How Do I Keep My Boat Trailer Brakes From Rusting?
Don’t let your boat trailer brake pads rust away without a fight! Here are four ways to slow down the process and save more money in the long run.
1. Switch up from conventional trailer brake pads to silicone-based ones! Silicone won’t contaminate water, so it won’t produce any rust. It also doesn’t wear off like other materials do and it can be used under heavy loads.
2. Get your brakes professionally inspected! Gas station mechanics and mechanics at car repair shops aren’t trained operators or maintenance experts.
They simply don’t have the knowledge to handle your trailer brake pads like a professional does. If you have a trailer brake problem, let a professional handle it!
3. Keep up with all the maintenances! The longer you go without doing any of the maintenance, the more likely it is you will experience problems with your brakes.
4. Use your trailer brake pads for a shorter period of time than you need to! Use the cruise control in your car, and switch the FM radio station when you reach around Milwaukee, Ohio on a long run.
The more often these brakes are used, the sooner they will rust. [ARTICLE ENDS]
The first one was to change brake pads with silicone-based ones that won’t rust. No reason to use conventional pads if they will rust as soon as you park them in your garage.
The second one is to use a professional brake inspection. If you have a problem, they can fix it, then they will also examine your brakes and offer suggestions as to how to maintain them in the future.
Should I Put Fuel Stabilizer In My Boat?
Yes! Fuel stabilizer is a chemical that helps prevent the formation of carping or pipe corrosion. It prevents deposits, which can lead to blockages, corrosion and engine damage.
If you don’t use fuel stabilizer on your boat’s gasoline, engine wear and equipment damage are inevitable.
The average time for fuel stabilization to take effect after mixing is about six hours in a marine application, according to manufacturers of all-purpose fuel stabilizers such as Stabil 200.
Those times need to be adjusted for marine application and the fact that some fuel additives such as Chevron-Miles Sunoco Full Synthetic Motor Fuel and Mobil 1 Motor Fuel (which includes stabilizer) require a longer period to result in adequate fuel stabilization.
Several factors affect fuel stabilization time: The temperature, the quality of the gas (e.g., lead poisoning or other contaminants), pressure, carbon content, additives and other additives such as antifoaming agents, etc.
The three types of fuel stabilizers are: Polar stabilizers (methyl, ethyl and tertiary butyl amines), non-polar stabilizers (alkanolamines, ethylene amines, diethanolamines) and a combination of both.
Polar stabilizers are excellent in colder temperatures while non-polar stabilizers work better in warmer waters.
Stabilizer’s purpose is to convert free radicals into inactive, non-reactive form. This beneficial effect on the engine is generally achieved within 30 minutes and is complete within 24 hours in most cases.
The process takes place at an oxidation level of 10 parts per million oxygen in the fuel.
Should You Grease Trailer Leaf Springs?
Yes! Trailer leaf springs are constantly under pressure and friction, so it’s important to use a high grade commercial grease to prevent squeaks and rust. For a temporary fix, you can use soap and water for a quick cleaning.
Be careful when removing the old grease to avoid any damage to the surface.
Once you have removed most of the old grease, use a clean rag or paper towel to apply fresh grease in just enough quantity to completely saturate all of the leaf spring surfaces.
Never over-grease and always make sure that you remove all traces of excess oil before replacing your spark plugs or other components in your engine bay.
The reason why I recommend grease is simple: It lubricates the leaf springs, and keeps them operational.
The leaf springs are normally a weak point in the suspension because they are under constant pressure and friction, so they require extra protection.
Still, I’d advise you to use grease sparingly. Too much grease can make your wheels squeak and cause rust over time.
Servicing your trailer leaf springs requires some knowledge about how far you can push them before they break.
The strength of the leaf springs is a function of their microscopic structure and the amount of oil that reaches each part from the rest of the spring.
Should I Fill My Trailer Hub With Grease?
No! The housing should only be half full of grease when you start the unit up. Once it cools down, then you top off the housing with more grease to be half full.
Grease should not be poured straight into a hot hub as this could cause a fire if too much grease is sprayed on the sides of heated metal walls.
Greasing your trailer hub will help protect it from rust and all other forms of corrosion that can affect its performance.
Greased hubs are more efficient and run cooler.
If you are starting with a new hub, grease it up before you add the spring bolts; otherwise, it will be too tight for the spring bolts to fully seat.
Before putting the wheels back on, make sure that everything is fully greased up; otherwise, you will get a great deal of torque from the axle nut that can cause damage to both your hub and your wheels .
It is best to have a professional grease the hub, but if you are too busy to get it done, you can always get it done by yourself.
The grease should be bright red and have no brown or black specks of pigmented grease in it.
When doing this job, make sure that all sides of the hub are fully greased.
Do Trailer Hitch Balls Wear Out?
Yes! Without lubrication, the hitch ball will wear out prematurely. The ball will eventually wear through, usually at the back of the ball.
A few reasons why it may be necessary to replace a trailer hitch ball include:
-Deterioration of coupling, either due to excessive use or contamination;
-Construction of new brick walls; and rust buildup from moisture condensation on your vehicle hitching or from poor ventilation in your garage.
-With any of the above, it’s recommended to replace your hitch ball and coupler. If you are able to use the hitch, but need a replacement ball, you can order a replacement.
-The item code information can be found on the original packaging or invoice, which is kept in your records folder.
-An improperly installed 90° swivel adapter may cause excessive stress on the coupler.
-Do not use a hitch ball that is different in size or weight rating than the one originally supplied by your dealer.
Your dealer will be able to determine the tow hitch ball size and weight rating required for your particular trailer.
‘Cracked’ and ‘split’ balls are usually caused by corrosion (rust), corrosion protection coating, wear and tear in harsh environments or stress fractures from misuse.
The only way to determine if a hitch ball is cracked is to have a trained technician perform an inspection with special x-ray equipment.
Why Do Trailer Hitches Rust So Fast?
Trailer hitches rust for a number of reasons. First, in northern climates, they’re exposed to road salt and in the back of the vehicle tend to accumulate more salt containing slush.
Second, the metal is constantly in contact with water and salt from the roads. Third, when a hitch is loosely tightened or not fastened, it may corrode from contact with the ground and other hitch fasteners.
Rust is not a specific issue of the hitch. It’s the inevitable result of poor design. Here’s why:
The bolts used to secure the hitch are usually of steel, which rusts easily. The bolt used on my truck is particularly prone to corrosion.
My problem was solved by getting a 5/8″ cap head bolt with a “C” or “Z” head and washers with loads more than I normally attached — as much as 50% more.
(The C or Z head means that the hole in the head of the bolt is pre-drilled at an angle to direct water).
The hitch plate also rusts. This is because it’s a “blank” and receives no paint to protect it from corrosion.
The ball mount, which sits on top of the hitch plate, also rusts because it’s a “blank”, and therefore not painted. The trailer tongue and coupler hardware are usually coated black when made, but this wears off with use.
A simple trick is to coat the mounting bolts with a penetrant (see Garage Journal July/Aug 2001 issue), and when this wears off, reapply a fresh coat that gives an ultra-smooth, waterproof coating.
Lastly, the nuts used to attach the trailer are exposed to salt on roadsides and other trailers. This also causes them to rust. The best solution is to install stainless steel hardware wherever possible.
How Do You Clean A Galvanized Boat Trailer?
Cleaning a galvanized boat trailer is a moderately easy process, but it requires that you know what kind of cleaner you use to avoid wasting time and damaging the metal.
-Boat Trailer Surface Cleaner: This cleaner is made of a soap base. It’s mostly water but also contains detergents which will help break down oils on the surface. It can be used on the tongue and edges of a trailer.
-Boat Trailer Bed Cleaner: This cleaner has a surfactant in it and is usually recommended for truck bed liners, drizlls, tailgate blankets, and bumper guards.
This cleaner may be used on the tongue or edge of a trailer. It also has detergents which will help break down oils on the surface of the metal.
-Boat Trailer Roof Cleaner: This cleaner is made specifically to clean the roof of a trailer. It contains abrasives, but these are meant to remove dirt and oil, not the galvanizing.
-Chassis Cleaner: This cleaner is made of water with a few surfactants. It’s meant to clean grease, grime and oil from the bottom of your vehicle. It is NOT to be used on any metal parts.
-Boat Trailer Parts Cleaner: This cleaner is made of soap and detergents. It’s made specifically for cleaning parts and therefor this cleaner is not to be used on any metal parts.
-Detergent: This is the most common type of multi-purpose cleaner. It’s made mostly of water but also has an abrasive for cleaning greasy or oily surfaces.
This is the kind that people use on their cars and highway patrol uses on roadways.
Is A Galvanized Trailer Better Than Painted?
Galvanized trailers are a higher cost option than painted, but will always tend to last longer under normal conditions. And while they are impervious to rust, they can still develop small amounts of corrosion on the surface.
To prevent this from happening, use a clear coat or other protective substances to seal the galvanized steel.
An important consideration for those looking for a trailer is the price tag. Galvanized trailers cost more than painted ones because painting involves additional labor and time, as well as an initial price for supplies.
However, the price difference can be worth it if you plan to camp frequently.
There are numerous other trailer options available on the market for those seeking a more affordable option. These include fiberglass trailers, aluminum trailers, and solid steel trailers.
Each trailer type has something to offer those looking for variety in their camping experience.
The cost of each is also dependent on the size and number of beds or cupholders that are needed to accommodate a sleeping or eating space.
If you are looking for a trailer primarily to haul cargo, fiberglass and aluminum might be good options since they are both clean and durable.
However, these materials can’t handle harsh weather like galvanized steel can, making them more suited for summer camping.
In addition, solid steel trailers are a cost-effective option if you plan to haul heavy loads on your travels. Solid steel and fiberglass are more durable than aluminum.
However, they weigh more than aluminum which can affect braking and handling.
Can You Galvanise Twice?
Yes!You can only galvanize your boat again after you completely remove the old zinc coating and prepare the surface by thoroughly removing any dirt and grease.
If you don’t, the zinc will re-oxidize and the galvanization process will have to be repeated. However, it is possible to galvanize a boat twice if it only has a layer of zinc on the surface and that doesn’t oxidize.
This is because there can be different types of galvanization, standard (zinc coating on the entire thickness) or ecodefense (zinc coating on just one side).
Zinc Island is a term frequently used for boats which have been galvanized twice.
Some people marvel at the high quality of these boats, but this doesn’t mean that these boats are any more robust or have better protection than ordinary galvanized boats. They just need some time to become “zinc-proof”.
People sometimes try to save money by galvanizing their boat only once. This is not recommended as zinc is more expensive than other products used for hardening and protection of steel.
The result is a cheaper piece of equipment that won’t last as long as the original one.
It’s also important to note that if you galvanize only once, before it is completely removed you will have to protect the surface very well in order not to corrode the new layer.
It’s better to do this when the boat is still inside the water and not when it’s on land. This is because if you do that when on land there is a risk that moisture seeps into the wood and corrodes your new layer.
How Do I Know If My Trailer Is Galvanized?
Galvanizing would show the three intermetallic layers, iron, copper, and nickel, effectively shielding the steel from corrosion. The process of galvanizing a steel trailer is easy and cost-effective.
It is a process that involves several steps, which include cleaning the metal surface to ensure that it has no rust or loose particles on the metal, an initial coating of paint, and then a second coating of powder paint.
Galvanized steel trailers are known for their resistance to corrosion and rusting.
The best way to determine whether or not your trailer has been galvanized is to give it a visual inspection first. Visual inspection would be the first means of identifying whether or not your trailer has been galvanized or not.
A visual inspection of the surface should show three intermetallic layers, which are iron, copper, and nickel. These layers’ presence on the surface indicates that your trailer was galvanized to prevent corrosion and rust.
Another way to determine whether or not your trailer has been galvanized is through a test solution. Rust testing solutions are used by the steel industry to determine and confirm if a metal surface has been galvanized.
The rust testing solution is applied on the surface of the trailer, if there is no rust formation after some time, then it can be concluded that there was an application of zinc before painting.
9 Essential Boat Trailer Maintenance Tips
These 9 tips will help keep your trailer in optimal condition so that you drive off into the sunset worry-free.
#1) Service Your Trailer Before You Use It
Boat trailers can be quite a pain to maintain since they are not regularly driven like cars or RVs. Nevertheless, servicing your trailer before your first use is essential.
Failure to do so will lead to expensive repairs down the line such as blowouts and bent axles. The trailer manufacturer may advise you of necessary inspections depending on the age and make of your trailer.
If they didn’t provide maintenance instructions with it, check online or with a local mechanic for inspection guidelines.
#2) Inspect Your Trailer Before Each Use
The most important part of your boat trailer is the tires and wheels which seem to be the most neglected part.
It’s essential to inspect your trailer’s tires and wheels before each use because it is not always possible to get back to the same place.
Therefore, you don’t want to be stranded somewhere with the possibility of broken axles or bent wheels.
An inspection should include checking for cracks around the rims, any damage or leaks in the tires, whether all of the tires are inflated properly and if there are any cuts or holes in them.
#3) Don’t Run Over Stumps, Potholes, Or Anything Else
Driving over a speed bump or pothole is bad for your car, so it goes without saying that you should avoid doing the same with your boat trailer.
Both local ordinances and common sense will tell you to keep from hitting road hazards like this. There is absolutely no point in risking a blowout or flat tire by running over something as small as a speed bump or pothole.
#4) Inspect For Signs Of Rust
One of the biggest enemies of a boat trailer is rust. If your boat trailer comes equipped for towing, it is especially important that you check for signs of rust.
Rusty parts will cost you a lot more in the long run, so it’s best to invest in a preventative maintenance regimen than not.
To ensure that your trailer doesn’t turn into a rust bucket consider replacing rusted parts with all new ones that have been galvanized.
Remember, rust is a silent killer and you don’t want it to make its way into your boat’s hull.
#5) Clean The Trailer Before You Wash Your Boat
Your trailer needs maintenance just like your boat does. A major part of this is cleaning the trailer, so it can hold up under the weight of your boat without causing any damage.
Wetting the trailer down when cleaning it, especially the tires, is essential to get rid of road grime.
If salt builds up on your tires and axles, use a mixture of warm water and dish soap, as this will remove all dirt and grime. After washing your trailer with a hose, dry it thoroughly with a towel.
#6) Don’t Tack On Extra Weight Without Proper Load Distribution
You should always ensure everything is balanced correctly when loading your boat onto the trailer. Extra weight on the rear of your boat can cause it to be pulled off center.
Furthermore, make sure that the loading ramp is free of debris to avoid excessive wear and tear.
Your trailer has load limits that you need to follow, so always be sure to distribute the weight properly so that those limits are not exceeded.
If driving a long distance with your boat, check your tire pressure regularly because tires lose pressure over time.
#7) Check Your Trailer Lights
Your trailer lights should be working properly at all times. This includes the reverse, marker, brake, and turn lights. Check them before loading your boat to ensure you have working lights when needed.
It’s always better to avoid an accident by having working lights than to have an accident because your trailer was not visible in the dark.
Also, ensure that your license plate light is working since it’s required by law in most states.
#8) Don’t Go Over The Weight Limit Of Your Trailer
The weight limit of your trailer is there for a reason. It will exceed the limits at some point if you overload it without an equal amount of ballast in the rear.
This puts undue stress on the axles and tires, eventually causing them to break. You can easily have your trailer weighed by going to the DMV or weighing station.
Every state has designated places to get it weighed at no charge. Make sure that you always follow the weight limit of your trailer and keep it balanced.
#9) Inspect Your Trailer For Signs Of Axle Wear
The axle is one of the most important parts of your trailer. When checking your axle, you should look for signs of wear. It’s best to sit out front and inspect your trailer from several angles.
Look through the wheel wells and the sides to check for heavy road grime, especially on the rims. Repairing your axles after a yearly check-up is not an expensive proposition.
Check the condition of the ball joints as well since this can also be an indicator of axle wear.
Best Lube For Rollers On A Boat Trailer?
The best lubrication is motorcycle chain wax. It’s inexpensive, widely available, and you can find it at most auto parts stores. You can use it to lubricate your rollers on a boat trailer.
Keep in mind that the sharp edges of the chain and sprockets will trap wax dust, so avoid using it around your engine or exhaust area.
You can also use silicone grease, but only if you can access an air compressor. Grease won’t last as long and will attract dirt, so try wax first.
Another option is a silicone spray for rolling on a trailer’s sprockets and chains. It’s a bit pricier than the wax, but lasts longer and is also available at most auto parts stores.
If you need to lubricate rollers on a boat trailer, you’ll need wheel chocks that are ground down to 1/8-inch thick.
For larger trailers, it will take a couple of chocks to provide coverage on either side of the wheel so that your trailer doesn’t become stuck. The chocks will also help keep your boat safe from inclement weather such as rain.
If you’re looking for a good chock, try the Superchock. By cutting it down to size, you can get a lot of use out of them.
You might also consider buying a swing-away wheel chock that supports the front wheels of your trailer.
They can help prevent your trailer from getting stuck on soft ground and from being damaged from hitching too far over to one side or the other.
Boat trailers are not like regular trailers in many ways. They are designed for water, not a highway. The wheel bearings and axle components need special attention and lubrication to avoid rusting.
If your boat is stored outdoors, you will have to take even more precautions to prevent rust and corrosion given the amount of moisture that will be present in the atmosphere around your boat trailer.