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How to Protect Tow Vehicle from Saltwater

Old 12-01-2020, 03:18 AM
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Default How to Protect Tow Vehicle from Saltwater

What all can be done to protect brakes and other vehicle parts from exposure to saltwater? My rear brakes (on my truck) have been going out in less than two years, due to corrosion. Obviously set up the trailer to minimize how close the vehicle gets to the water. And spraying a lubricant on the trailer bunks makes the boat come off and on easier, so the trailer need not go out so far. And I'll probably spray Saltaway on the underside of the rear end before and after each launch/return...though this is a pain before daylight when we usually put in. And rinse well immediately after every trip. Is there anything else?
Old 12-01-2020, 03:23 AM
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The other thing you could do is spray the back 1/2 of your undercarriage with Fluid Film. I just bought a brand new 10,000 pound trailer for my Parker. One afternoon I spent 2 hours spraying every bolt, every net, wiping down every part of the aluminum , spraying the brakes, etc. with Fluid Film. I will do this quarterly on this trailer. The stuff works.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:09 AM
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For small boats up to 17-18’ a trailer like this works well. It has a rocker in the back.

I don’t need to disconnect the lights, I just drive until the tires touch the water, then push the bow up and the boat slides down. Awesome trailer, no corrosion and nearly maintenance free. On shallow ramps I might have to get in up to the hub of the trailer. My car stays far away from saltwater.

If you’re older or not in the very best physical shape an electric winch would work well. But I was always able to get it on by myself.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:21 AM
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Are your brakes going into the water? Drum or disk? They probably make stainless components but they will cost ya

you can spray the undercarriage with bed liner
Old 12-01-2020, 05:26 AM
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Your vehicle should not get wet when launching. You need to adjust your trailer so that the boat will launch and retrieve with the tires at the edge of the water. Maybe you boat needs to be farther back on the trailer (without messing up your tongue weight)?

When I rinse off my boat with fresh water at the end of the day, I usually also rinse the truck wheels, undercarriage, and hitch.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:33 AM
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A trailer shop can put a longer main front beam on the trailer so boat is further back from the truck. That might work.
Old 12-01-2020, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the good points so I will try to address each one. I read about Fluid Film and plan to look into it; ' sounds like its more durable than coating in Saltaway. I am trying to keep my truck tires and brakes out of the water, though some ramps are more difficult (due to angle). But the way its set up now, the tires are near the edge of the water. And there is some splashing that can go on if the water is rough; ideally I'll keep tires, rims and brakes dry...except for whatever might be splashed. I thought about shifting the boat back on the trailer, but think that would make it too light on the tongue. And installing a longer main front beam would aggravate another problem, because I have to make a very tight turn backing into my driveway. So, I appreciate your good thoughts and will consider them all.

Any others will be welcome too. FYI, the boat is a 22' Pioneer CC on a dual-axle Westco trailer.
Old 12-01-2020, 02:05 PM
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Coating your bunks with this would make the boat slide off and on much easier

https://www.amazon.com/3-ONE-Professional-Lubricant-STRAW-SPRAYS/dp/B001E5DLVO/ref=mp_s_a_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=3in1+silicone+spray&qid=1606860273&sprefix=3in1+sili&sr=8-8
Old 12-01-2020, 05:24 PM
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You might get some useful information if you posted a photo. Your boat is relatively shallow and it's not unusual to see boats situated higher on a trailer than they need to be, would it be possible to position the boat lower on the trailer?
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:35 AM
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I'll explore the possibility of lowering the boat on the trailer; that would probably call for a different bunk configuration? ' will try to figure out how to post a photo.

To cfarmd's point, I found a spray called "Liquid Rollers" , Trailer Bunk Boards Lubricant, made by Marykate, and sold by West Marine. It definitely makes the bunks slick, which helped my problem considerably.
Old 12-02-2020, 02:24 PM
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Get a draw bar extension, so you can keep your truck wheels dry.

The example below is from a NZ website, I assume similar product would be available in USA.

Swing Away Drawbar - DMW Trailers
Old 12-04-2020, 10:56 AM
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I hear that Fluid Film stuff really works, I don't recommend any under coating or bed liner that stuff tends to cause more issues than it protects against. Im a novice with boating but I'm an auto mechanic and Ive noticed that undercoating causes water to become trapped and it rusts from inside out before you ever notice because the coating.
Old 12-04-2020, 02:54 PM
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Installing the plastic skids on the bunk boards, that are supposed to make them buttery slick. I can't lengthen the trailer due to tight turn backing into driveway. But from using lubricant on bunks, I can get the boat onto the trailer with the truck four feet out of the water. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:20 AM
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Long beam works for me. Previous owner did it and I had no idea why, but backing in my tires barely get wet at all. Never wheel or brakes. Tight turns aren’t much different, especially with the swing you can get if backing in (as u stated). Problem just a little practice and it’ll get easy. Good luck
Old 12-06-2020, 12:32 PM
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Agree with hitting eveything with fluid film
Old 12-14-2020, 07:28 AM
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When you say brakes only last two years, do you mean the pads or the whole brakes? Do you have disc or drums on rear?
Old 12-14-2020, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Los1986 View Post
I hear that Fluid Film stuff really works, I don't recommend any under coating or bed liner that stuff tends to cause more issues than it protects against. Im a novice with boating but I'm an auto mechanic and Ive noticed that undercoating causes water to become trapped and it rusts from inside out before you ever notice because the coating.
Fluid film is awesome! I've been using it on my cars, trucks, mowers, boat trailers, snowblower for years. The bottom of my 2008 Saab looks brand new. My buddy sprays he AC units at his beach house and they last 4 times as longs as his neighbors

https://amzn.to/2WbdkVU


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