Trailer Maintenance intervals

exp24

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Jun 21, 2023
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Curious: what are everyone's thoughts on trailer prep? How often do you adjust the brakes, inspect bearings, replace brake components, and replace tires? And what extra trailer parts do you have readily available? extra spindle nuts, hubs, or another axle?

I am running a Vimetal 20' 12K with 2000 miles on it, and I plan on taking it to Cabo in the spring for a race.
 
I run small tires and a stock motor, so nothing breaks, there for I never prep. my trucks. in case something does fail, I do pack: steering box & full set of steering arms for when I hit too big of a ditch, brake lines if I hit too big of a bush, tire plugs if the wheel hits the center of the bush, 3ft tubing for prying or making a splint, nut & bolt bag, electrical bag, crapping bag of basic tools, spare drive line, tow straps & old limit straps to link ropes together.
 

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Obviously it all depends on use, but i tell most of my customers if the trailer is used multiple times each month i would do a full service/inspection every 8-12 months. If used only a few times a year i would service axles every 2 years. Yes, you can check for bearing play by jacking up the trailer to check for side to side movement, but the proper way is to pull the drum off, remove the seals to inspect the bearings, spindles and backing plate assemblies. At that point you have to replace the seals anyways so you might at well change the bearings and races while you're in there. Your topic is probably deemed more towards car trailers, but for my travel trailer (single axle) i keep a spare hub/drum, bearing kit and a leaf pack. I'm not worried about spare brakes in emergency situations. As long as it can roll im ok. Keep in mind Tractor Supply carries a ton of trailer parts, so If you happen to have a problem check to see if there is one near you before spending a shit ton of money to have someone come out to fix something for you. Carrying a spare axle i think is a little extreme, but hell if you can find one in your exact configuration it might be worth it to have on hand,
 
Curious: what are everyone's thoughts on trailer prep? How often do you adjust the brakes, inspect bearings, replace brake components, and replace tires? And what extra trailer parts do you have readily available? extra spindle nuts, hubs, or another axle?

I am running a Vimetal 20' 12K with 2000 miles on it, and I plan on taking it to Cabo in the spring for a race.
Did you say trailer? I though you said trail. Sorry.
 
Geoff, your input is still valuable!
Haha, thank you! I guess my point is that, we can easily over maintenance these things where we may not need to. You could do some basic stuff like repack the wheel bearings, double check that all the lighting works and do a visual on the trailer framed to see if there’s any cracks that may get worse, also the leafspring mounts always been known to break but mostly I wait for stuff to go bad because how am I, ever going to learn how long that stuff will last. The more you use some thing the more you have faith that it will hold together and when we are green, we worry about stuff that may never go wrong. I just know that you can always fix anything and keep your trip going every time something happens once every 16 years. That just makes for great stories from that trip because I don’t remember the trips where things went smooth!
 
If you have the buddy bearing system with the zirc fittings I would consider still packing the bearings by hand. Even if you spin the wheel while pumping grease, you can blow past the inner seal and ruin your brakes. Also, check electrical connections. A loose connection can have your trailer brakes give out when its the least convenient.
 
When it comes to your baja trip....

I'd order up a full spare axle with leaf springs attached and mount it in front of the front axle.

I'm not 100% sure on the cost but 1000 miles each way on baja roads is just rough on trailers. Better to have it and not need it IMOP.

If it were anything in the US I too would think it's overkill but not in Baja when the next place to have an axle might be 300-400 miles away.

Wally
 
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