It’s likely that you take great care in preparing and storing your boat for its winter slumber. But if you’re like many boaters, storing your vessel is only half the battle. Your boat’s trailer is an essential part of your boating experience, and properly storing it is also important. Here are a few tips on how not only to protect your trailer during the winter, but also make sure it is ready to go come spring.
Start by thoroughly washing and detailing your trailer. Get rid of all those little pieces of dirt and gunk that built up over the season. Pay attention to those hard-to-see places where dirt builds up, especially the undercarriage. After you’ve washed your trailer, make sure it is completely dry before storing it to keep mold from forming.
Look for any rust spots on the trailer frame. Sand off any that you find, then prime and coat with galvanic paint.
You’ll want to grease the winch gears, jack stand, coupler-latch assembly and brake actuator rollers. Also apply grease or metal-protection spray to the light harness and bunk rollers.
Pay attention to small odds and ends. Check for and tighten any loose bolts. Also, top off the brake-actuator reservoir with brake fluid.
Jack up the trailer to take the weight off the tires and prevent dry rot and flat spots. If you leave the tires on, stabilize the trailer with blocks. Also, reduce the air in the tires and cover them (don’t forget the spare, too) with tire covers to prevent sun damage. You can also remove the tires and store them inside on a flat surface.