Safety & Maintenance Tips for Your Utility Trailer

Imperial Trailer Sales April 2021 pic

Cargo Utility Trailers are great for those of you who are looking for a little extra space and capacity, without buying a whole new truck. Utility trailers can connect to almost any vehicle, large and small, making them accessible to a large range of vehicle owners. Whether you’re experienced with using a utility trailer or not, it’s extremely important that you manage the upkeep of your utility trailer to ensure it’s in as best condition as possible. 

You may be overwhelmed by the idea of trailer maintenance, but it’s important you invest some time into the upkeep of your trailer to extend its lifespan and keep everyone and everything safe. Fortunately there are some easy steps you can take to do this! Here are some easy safety and maintenance tips for your trailer:

  • Weight. Before you begin driving with a utility trailer attached to your vehicle, make sure you know the weight limit of the trailer and the haul capacity of your vehicle. This will affect the type of trailer hitch you use, and will determine what and how much you can actually put on the trailer! Distribute the weight evenly on the trailer so that it doesn’t fishtail back and forth. 

  • Tire Pressure. Another thing that weight could affect is the tire pressure on your vehicle tires. If your tire pressure gets too low, your weight capacity is greatly reduced, and too much weight could cause your tires to go flat faster than you think. Be sure your tires are properly inflated to avoid any of these issues. 

  • Lights. Make absolutely sure your brake, signal, tail, and any other important lights are connected from your vehicle to your trailer. You’ll want to guarantee that these lights are synchronized perfectly with your vehicle. Do some tests on your lights before you take the trailer out on the road.  

  • Cleaning. At the end of every season, give your trailer a thorough cleaning and check-up. Use a hose or pressure washer with vehicle safe cleaning solutions, and get rid of any caked on dirt, dust, pollen, grime, etc. Pay special attention to tires, the undercarriage of your trailer, and other nooks and crannies that could be obstructed by debris and dirt. You should also check that lug nuts are tight, your safety chains are in good shape, and that everything is properly lubricated. 

    • Driving Habits. It should go without saying that the added weight and length of a utility trailer will affect the way you and your vehicle drives. Adjust your driving habits to account for these changes: avoid sudden turns, increase your stopping distance behind other vehicles, and check your mirrors and surroundings often. 

  • Bearings.  One of the most neglected maintenance items on any trailer are the wheel bearings.  Most trailers set idle for extended periods, allowing the wheel bearing grease to cake and dry up.  Furthermore wheel bearing maintenance gets forgotten until there’s a problem.  Most of today’s axles have greasable spindles with “zerk” fittings to add grease easily.  4-5 pumps of grease per year, from a hand grease gun, provides adequate protection from bearings drying up, seizing up, and burning out.  Not doing this simple maintenance can lead to catastrophic hub failure sending one of your tires falling off & running down the road ahead of you!  Better yet, we recommend that bearings should be removed, cleaned, inspected for scoring, repacked, and have new seals installed every 3-4 years or 10,000 miles

Trust Imperial Trailer Sales to get the utility trailer and RV you need. With over 45 years of experience, the Imperial Trailer Sales team is here to not only help you find the perfect trailer, but help with the upkeep of it even after purchase. When you buy from us, you know you’re getting the stamp of approval on a high quality vehicle or trailer from someone who knows RVs and trailers inside and out. Visit us today! For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 518-279-9345.