Archived Trailer Guys Questions

I pulled my trailer wheels to inspect bearings and saw the grease was white. I didn't install the bearings and am wondering if there is white grease used these days or if this is an indication water has gotten into the bearings? Which is it? K. Laslow, Whitefish Bay, MI.


Should I feel comfortable knowing the service station that has done work on my trailer wheels tightened the lugs with an impact wrench? I keep worrying that I won't be able to change a tire because I can't get the lugs untightened. Oscar M. Beloit, WI.


My trailer has started squeaking when I hit a bump and this is a new sound. I think it's probably the leaf springs but I?m not sure what to do. WD-40 oil? Grease? And would I put it where the spring attaches to the frame? T Carlton LaHoha CA.


What is your opinion of "cool hubs"? I understand they use oil rather than grease and I think George has talked about these in the past. What are the pros and cons of these because I'm going to have to change what I'm using now on my ranger trailer.


If I don't want to use the bathroom scale and lumber method to determine the tongue weight on my trailer, are there any other options?


I have a problem I have not seen in your Readers Ask... section. My trailer hitch seems a bit loose inside the receiver. When I stop or drive away I get a clank from my trailer connection. The trailer hitch when inserted inside the receiver can be moved a bit by pushing it in and out by hand. Is there any way I can stop this? Thanks and PLEASE keep your Readers Ask...as a permanent part of Trailering.


I have a tandem axle trailer for my 21 foot bow rider with surge brakes located on the rear wheels. This fall I noted the hubs were pretty warm so I tore down the bearings, cleaned and inspected them. When inspecting them I did not observe any rust, pitting or wear spots. The axles and races didn't appear to have any score marks or wear. I also noted that the brake shoes were not dragging on the drums. When it was all reassembled, the hubs with the brakes are still running very warm. Any suggestions?


I noticed that the wheels on my trailer are not balanced. Is there a reason that trailer wheels aren't balanced? I have an aluminum Loadmaster with the torsion axles and Goodyear Marathon radial tires. Would there be any benefit to having these tires balanced? The trailer pulls very smoothly as it is, but I am always looking for ways to improve the system.


My 16-roller trailer (4 roller assemblies, with 4 rollers each) is a replacement for an older 19 foot boat. Apparently the roller placement on the trailer is not adjusted for the boat's hull; and the boat will not center on the trailer, no matter how hard I try. The rubber rollers catch the strakes (ribs) on the hull's bottom. The rollers end up stretched or distorted and the boat off center to one side of the trailer. How do I adjust the roller assemblies on the trailer so that the boat is properly supported and centered on the trailer? The boat has a 10 inch wide flat keel at the stern that narrows to 3 inches wide by the front two trailer roller assemblies. The boat's hull has two stepped strakes on either side of the keel, between keel and chines. Do I adjust the roller assemblies on the trailer so that the inner rollers are a certain distance from the keel?


My boat sits on the trailer for months at a time. A buddy who was visiting says I run the chance of having what he called "flat spots" on the trailer tires as a result. What are flat spots and is this something I should be worried about?


I have a galvanized steel trailer and the frame has no holes anywhere which makes me wonder if water can be sitting inside after I put the trailer in the water. Does it make sense to drill some holes that would allow the water to drain and maybe allow some air inside? And if I do this, should I coat the holes with anything?


If I set the parking brake of my tow vehicle, is it also necessary to chock the boat trailer wheels if I'm doing some work on it? Seems like the truck should hold everything in place.


I thought your response to the question of how to measure the tongue weight of a trailer lacked some creativity (February 2004). The best way I know is to use the spring rate of the tow vehicle`s rear suspension as a guide. It is not as accurate as a scale, but to get to a range of 5-10% of your boat and trailer weight it is more than accurate enough. You do this by measuring the distance of travel the hitch makes as a weight is put on it. First measure a point on the hitch to the ground with no added weight. Then measure those same points when a known weight is put on the hitch. (I use a person to stand on it). Then take the known weight and divide it by the difference of the two measurements. This gives you the spring rate lbs/inches of travel. Simply measure the distance of travel the trailer gives the hitch, and you can figure its weight.


Does it make sense to put something like a corrosion preventive compound on my trailer's electrical contacts to make sure water doesn't get in or rain/snow when the trailer is stored? Or should I just wrap this in a plastic bag like my neighbor does? D. Lawrence, Mission, KS


What are your feelings about the trailer flush systems where a garden hose is attached. My trailer is in salt water all the time. I pull the brakes off once a year to check for corrosion. Is the flush system enough? Is there anything else I can be doing?


I apply my brake lights and all the lights on my trailer go out. What's going on?


I need to replace the springs on my trailer for my searay 18' bowrider. It is the factory trailer and I am having trouble finding the right springs. They are 4 spring 23.5 inch eye to eye. I am also wondering if it would just be easier to put a couple sliders in that are rated obout 1500lbs. each. What do you guys think? Jeff L.


Hello, I have a triple axle eagle trailer that I'd like replace the fenders on but, I have yet to find anyone who carrys them. Someone apparently manufactures them, I just can't find out who. Any help would be appreciated. Alex Countryside,Illinois


I purchase a new boat in march'04. A 19'7" sea fox cc with a venture tandem trailer as a package. One of the trailer spring broke about 2 weeks ago. It is the large spring on the left side. I contacted the dealership. They state it in not under warranty but offered to give me a new spring but i would have to take it to a repair shop and pay the cost of installing it. They have not inspected the trailer as i have requested, as i belive that all the springs need to be replaced as they appear to be rusted. This is my first boat and do not know what to expect. It is usual for springs to go after 2 seasons, The trailer was put to use 12 times since it was purchased and i washed it down every time immediately upon arriving home which is 10 minutes from the ocean/launch.


How do I replace a trailer tail light bulb? I can remove the lens, but the bulbs are encased, obviously to keep the trailer from shorting out. Can the clear enclosure be removed easily? Is there a trick to this? Steve (steve_macari@hotmail.com)


I want to replace the tires in the two axle trailer of my 20 ft. boat. I have an hidraulic jack to lift the trailer and other supporting jacks but I need your advice about the right way to do it.Thank you for your help. Hector Brito


Just a comment. I have found when changing springs, bunks and axles (I do more of this than I would ever want) the use of a $40.00 grinder with a steel cutting wheel performs magnificently when cutting bolts and clamps which have rusted/corroded to the point where bolts are welded to their screw end. Also access to even "doable" nuts can be impossible. I find the grinder cuts through like a hot knife through butter and almost always some sort of reasonable access is available. Jim Gerrity Weston, MA


I have been told that aluminum boat trailers deteriorate quickly when used in salt water. I am looking at a 5 year old aluminum trailer for my 21 foot Four Winns and wonder if it is worth buying. It would be used mostly for launching into salt water.


I have a LoadRite Dual Axle whose front passenger side spindle threads are a little striped. I bought the trailer with a StringRay 656zp last year for a good price. The boat is georgeous and runs well. The trailer....well, i've worked on it. I bought a package from EasternMarine for $400 that replaced the brake actuator, surge brakes, drums changed to hub-discs, lights, et al. I am happy, but found that a spindle is a little stripped. I'd like to get a trailer spindle, but several people said no one would weld it because of the liability. The drop axle is $500....that is too rich just to remediate just a stripped spindle. Can I rethread the spindle smaller to take a smaller nut? Can I replace the spindle ? Can a new spindle be welded in ? Spindles are less than $25 at TrailerParts superstore. I like that price better than $500 so long as I can find someone to weld it in. Any recommendations ? Thanks, chris


were can i get parts for my cox super loader trailer i need the hourse shoe shaped cross member that holds the back wheels thank for you help lm206@comcast.net


Hey Guys. Should I be concerned about trailering my boat without additional motor support/ braces. I have a 16' prosport skiff fiberglass hull with a yamaha 90 that I pull with motor up and tilt support levers in place. The only boats I ever see with additional braces are aluminum. Am I asking for future problems.


Hello, I need a little help. I own a 2005 Magic Tilt aluminum trailer with tandem axles,GVWR is 8000 lbs,new Towmaster tires size ST205 75 D14, F78 14 st class C .The boat is a 2005 Polar 23ft walkaround, 5000 lbs dry weight. My problem is that I keep having blowouts. The last tires had less than 600 miles on them, all tires were within 1 pound of max. pressure. I had only been driving hour and a half at 58 to 60 mph.Hubs are cool, tires are hot.Always pass. side of trailer, different axle. Please , any help would be much appreciated.Thank-you Keith


I have a duel axle trailer and have not move it for a few months this winter. I was in this process of taking my boat and trailer to a service center when the left forward wheel had locked up and will not rotate. It is acting as if something has triggered a locking mechanism. I have a 18.5 Robolo center console on a fairly good trailer that is spending it's first winter outside after being meticulously garaged for the last 6 years. The trailer and boat has been regularly serviced. Do you have any suggestions as to what to look for as the cause or where to look first. Bill Pollock Orcas Island, WA


I have two trailers one 8300 lb trailer and a 1000 lb trailer. Could you tell me what the torque should be on the lug nuts on the wheels and is it the same on both trailers. I am looking at buying a air impact wrench to put them on with because my hands and arms have arthritis in them so it is painful to tighten with a wrench. Do I need a torque wrench. How do you know if it is torqued enough without a torque wrench. I have not had a problem with lug nuts coming off or loosening up. I do put them on pretty tight buy hand. Arthur Gilford, N.H.


Dear Boat Trailering Guys I have looked all over the internet and can find no good info on the new 2008 electric break systems. Is the rational still the same to go for electric over hydrolic? Disc ve pad?


I have just completed installing new bearings, new pads, new capilers and a new brake actuator on my trailer. The trailer has disc brakes on both axels and a "Disc Brake Ready" actuactor. After a short test drive, the rear axel gets hot while the front axel is much cooler. I can only hold my fingers omn the rear axel for about 3 seconds. System has been bled and all wheels are spinning freely although the front axel wheels seem to spin more easily then the rear wheels when the trailer is jacked up, about a 1/2 turn more. Do you any idea what could be causing the rear axel to run hotter then the front? Is this normal? Thanks in advance. Dennis Leary Randolph, NJ


Even though I've been really good at lubing my single axle trailer bearings - I did have a blow out the other night. Friends have suggested I simply replace the entire hub assemble rather than trying to replace the older and /or borken parts. I was wondering if you knew of anywhere on the net that provided a simple instruction on replacing the entire hub - thanks


How hot do bearings (drum brakes) get? Info: Tandem axle American trailor w/drum surge brakes. Repack bearings every year also have bering buddies. Clean and grease brakes at same time. This year one was hung up and the hub was super hot. Backed brakes off all the way. Took a trip today (25mi)an hot again but I never felt the hubs on any of my trailors before so I have no reference point. Took temp today 90 deg. on rear axle. 190 deg. on brake axle (ouch!!) Please help. Never had to worry about this before. Ease my mind or point me somewhere. Thanks


My boat is hard to launch until the rollers "break free" on the ramp. What kind of lubricant can I use on my trailer rollers that will not wash out and pollute the water?


Recently replaced the axil on a Continental trailer for a 17' Whaler also replaced hubs and tires (15"). The tires are cupping after only 700 miles. What could be causing this?


Boat Trailer lights don't come on. Worked last year. This year at first appeared to work intermittently, then quit. I get what looks like appropriate voltage in the flat 4 wire adapter from the truck, & truck lighting appears normal. I get continuity checks within the trailer circuits. Looks like same results with 2 different trailers. Did find a loose wire at one of the tail lights which has been fixed.


HI GUYS, MY TRAILER LIGHTS ARE NOT WORKING AT ALL. THEY HAVE WORKED FINE ALL SEASON (MAYBE REPLACE A BULB) BUT NOW THEY DO NOT WORK AT ALL. I HAD A "LOOSE" WIRE CONNECTION AT ONE OF THE LIGHTS AND REPAIRED BUT THEY STILL DON'T WORK. THE BULBS ARE FINE AND I AM GETTING POWER TO THE TRAILER 4-WIRE PLUG. WHAT IS MY BEST WAY TO TROUBLE SHOOT TO FIND OUT WHERE THE PROBLEM IS? OR DO I REPLACE THE WHOLE TRAILER HARNESS? THANKS, LISANTOM1


What type of lubricant do you guys recommend for the rollers & wobble assemblies on boat trailers? I have a tri-axle, (1994 vintage), which I am having to completely rebuild, including new urethane rollers & I have found that the spray lithium I was using has made an awful mess. Thanks for any help you can throw my way, Fred Grau