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Taking your Trailer on a long trip preperations;

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Taking your Trailer on a long trip preperations;

Old 01-24-2020, 04:22 AM
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Default Taking your Trailer on a long trip preperations;

I have a running list in my head for a NC to South FLA trip bringing the boat.
What do you suggest as sufficient preparations before this April trip & must have tools to bring;

It is a 2 yr old Ameritrail single axle trailer towing a Keywest 186. (the trailer has torsion suspension w/ removable axles, upgraded tires, probably only has 100 miles on it so far)
PS it stays under a big oak, so the tires have been kept with armorall and out of the sun.
Old 01-24-2020, 05:16 AM
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Definitely make sure you have some boards to put the jack on should you have to change a flat. I've had situations before where my jack didn't go high enough to get clearance for the new tire. Probably wouldn't hurt to go ahead and make sure the nuts can come off if need be.

Obviously make sure you have greased the wheel bearings. Probably wouldn't hurt to have some sort of back up battery powered lighting should you need it. Just leave it in the package and return it if you do not end up using it.
Old 01-24-2020, 05:26 AM
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I usually carry a spare tire (duh), spare hub (extra cotter pins too), my grease gun, jack, electric impact and other basic tools needed to get the hub off, PB blaster, head lamp, rain poncho, bug spray, hand towels for clean up, road flares/hazard reflectors, zip ties/duct tape/WD-40 cause you never know what you'll need that for but they are life savers sometimes. I keep most of that stuff in a small tool box that i can easily access. Make sure to inspect your bearings and top off your grease before you go if you haven't in a while. Check your trailer lights. Always check your hub temp with your hand whenever you make a stop, and check your tire pressures each morning. I'm sure I've forgot something but you'll get plenty more advice on here I'm sure. I don't post often but I've been lurking for years and I've learned so much from this forum.

-Bird
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:33 AM
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Get one of the half moon trailer jacks, some extra bearings and grease. Have a spare tire, and last but probably the best option, get a 20V Dewalt impact driver, a 1/2" adapter and throw a couple deep well impact sockets that fit the truck and boat into the bag. You will be amazed how much less work changing a tire is when you don't have to break the lugs and turn them all yourself.
Old 01-24-2020, 05:46 AM
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All of the above - basically just have everything you would need to swap out a hub and/or tire.
Make sure your insurance has trailer coverage and it's not distance limited
Old 01-24-2020, 05:48 AM
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Great advice here! I wish I had read this before as I lost a complete wheel on a short distance trip this summer. The wheel rolled into the woods. Thank god for the double axle trailer. But it was really scary!
Old 01-24-2020, 06:12 AM
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At minimum a spare hub, tire and spare lug nuts and everything to replace those. If they look rough break them loose and retighten so you don't catch hell if you got to do it in a sketchy spot. If you want to go the full nine I'd have a safety cone and flare to set it behind the boat when changing it. I've changed a tire before and it was at 3 in the afternoon and a big yard landscape truck nearly took me out. If I would of been standing I'd got a mirror to the head and if I was half a foot back I'd be dead. This was on a busy highway and I couldn't pull off any further, I got passed by like 400 cars and at least did a last minute swerve. The hub blew up and locked the wheel and the tire dragged and blew up. This was on my brothers boat and we think it happened because his billage didn't work and the bottom of his boat was full with water. So don't overload you boat.

I almost lost a tire once all my lug nuts came off except one and it had half a thread left. I heard a flapping noise and had a buddy check the boat when I pulled over he said it was the strap slapping in the wind. Well it kept happening and I pulled over again to check it and I noticed the tire with only one lug. So lesson is check it yourself. I couldn't feel anything and no one honked or anything. Just the slapping noise that sounded like a strap in the wind. So I likely peppered some cars with lug nuts and was very close to a serious incident.

Last edited by Superfishy; 01-24-2020 at 06:19 AM.
Old 01-24-2020, 06:32 AM
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First thanks for your input and helping me make the decision to come to Carteret County on other Threads. I found Great indoor storage locally.
I use my trailer every year but usually on short runs to and from the local Ramp and last year a couple of trips to Montauk.
Last week I made the Big Haul from Long Island to Harkers Island, 650 Miles 12 Hrs. , Pre trip- I pulled my hubs I was surprised how bad my brakes were. Wound up with new brake assembly 's bearings and hubs. Let me tell you it was well worth it. My gross trailer weight is over 10,000 Lbs with Boat and tanks empty.
I have electric over Hydraulic brakes which worked flawlessly. While crossing the George Washington Bridge I was cut off by a small compact car and I'm sure W/O my reconditioning it would have been ugly.
That was my biggest fear " other drivers" so many don't realize they take their lives in their hands when they cut off a vehicle thats trailering anything. So Formost , be careful.
I bought a bottle jack from Harbor freight used it for the entire refurbish of my rig. Checked my tire pressure, most say inflate to maximum pressure as shown on your sidewalls. I went slightly below Max 80 psi ( (90 psi on the tire)
I took spare everything Hub ,bearings grease so if I lost a wheel I could make a spot repair. Obviously make sure your castle nuts are firm enough, that play has to be perfect.That and your tire condition are the biggest keys. Dry rot NG- Good luck on the Haul




Old 01-24-2020, 03:05 PM
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Great Stuff Guys! I knew someone would throw out some great hints.
I have the 24v impact & deep-well sockets, bottle jack, re-lubing the bearing budddies soon & will order the new wheel & tire combo w/ hub soon also.
Didn't know if I should opt for the trailer mount to accommodate the wheel & hub assembly & lock it securely or just toss it under the truck bed cover??
The plank of wood for a level surface (I did not think about)
The extra towels for clean up afterwards (awesome)
The safety equipment (great advice, would be nice to enjoy & return from vacation)

I am going to go through the trailer here soon & maybe even get a professional to look at it right before the trip. Keep it coming! You guys are great.
Old 01-24-2020, 06:51 PM
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For the plank of wood, a trick I was told that can make life much easier and faster if you have to change a tire : before you leave lift the trailer with the Jack and measure how far from the frame to the ground and add a couple inches - cut the wood that length. If you have a blowout you get pulled over, put the piece of wood again a u bolt or something near the tire to hold it in place and angled forward (toward the tow vehicle). Now you just pull forward a foot or so and the trailer will lift up on the wood instead of having to screw with the Jack. Can get the tire changed lickety split, which on the side of the road is a good thing. I lost a tire earlier this summer and was back on the road under 5 minutes with the aid of the impact as well. Worst case you still have the wood for the base of the Jack.
Old 01-24-2020, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bogue View Post
I have a running list in my head for a NC to South FLA trip bringing the boat.
What do you suggest as sufficient preparations before this April trip & must have tools to bring;

It is a 2 yr old Ameritrail single axle trailer towing a Keywest 186. (the trailer has torsion suspension w/ removable axles, upgraded tires, probably only has 100 miles on it so far)
PS it stays under a big oak, so the tires have been kept with armorall and out of the sun.
I may be the odd man out, but if I had a 2 year old trailer, I wouldn't even worry about the bearings. Unless you tell me you have put 40k-50k miles on the trailer in the last 2 years. Freshly packed bearings should not have a problem going 40k miles. Especially if the trailer is new and they haven't been re packed. Factory packing always lasts longer
Old 01-25-2020, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Codycat View Post
I may be the odd man out, but if I had a 2 year old trailer, I wouldn't even worry about the bearings. Unless you tell me you have put 40k-50k miles on the trailer in the last 2 years. Freshly packed bearings should not have a problem going 40k miles. Especially if the trailer is new and they haven't been re packed. Factory packing always lasts longer
I don't think our 18 year old trailer has 40k miles.

Bearings and hubs get changed on about a 2 year basis.

Saltwater is tough on them if you are utilizing the trailer a lot.
Old 01-25-2020, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by scdiver View Post
I don't think our 18 year old trailer has 40k miles.

Bearings and hubs get changed on about a 2 year basis.

Saltwater is tough on them if you are utilizing the trailer a lot.
I agree it's not just a mileage thing, but OP said trailer was only 2 years old.

We dont know how many times he has dunked the trailer. If he wants to be proactive he could re pack the bearings. I just dont feel that he needs to go through the trouble of bringing a spare hub and bearings. When I bought my trailer this last summer, the bearings are 5yr/100k no touch hubs.

Let me ask you this Scdiver, when you repack your bearings on your trailer every 2 years, how does the old grease look? I know on previous trailers, mine looked brand new still. I am not asking to be snarky, just wanting to know your experience
Old 01-25-2020, 06:30 AM
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Sometimes it's better to have it then to need it. If you have a failure and have to go get everything sometimes that can be several hrs of jackassing around. It takes time to get to the shop and back and then you don't know if everything is 100% right or worst it's a Sunday and you got to wqit. Nobody likes to leave it on the highway while they do the run around. On a long trip I usually got stuff in the boat that I don't load in the car and wouldn't want to leave. Things happen and luck favors the prepared. I'd have the full set of hubs, lugs, two tires if I had a dual axel. The only thing that ages is tires other than that the spare hub is there when your ready and it's smart to change the lugs before they rusty to hell in back.
Old 01-25-2020, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by nc23mako View Post
Definitely make sure you have some boards to put the jack on should you have to change a flat. I've had situations before where my jack didn't go high enough to get clearance for the new tire. Probably wouldn't hurt to go ahead and make sure the nuts can come off if need be.
^^This, definitely. I ran into a situation where my jack didn’t raise the trailer enough. Left me scrambling.

I know it’s basic, but I always carry wheel chocks.

Just for anything I’m working on or especially if you need to leave the trailer to get parts.
Old 01-25-2020, 07:36 AM
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In place of a spare tire, my Peterson trailer came with a spare tire/hub combo...

So far in my many years of towing, I have changed two tires and had to get towed because the hub blew out.
Old 01-25-2020, 07:48 AM
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All good advice above.

Might have missed it if someone posted this but be sure to have a couple jack stands to secure the trailer if you have to jack it up, especially with a single axle trailer.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:50 AM
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Do yourself a favor and loosen and retighten the lug nuts now, while it's in your driveway. Also, re-torque them 50 miles down the road.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:10 PM
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Boat US Trailering coverage:
https://www.boatus.com/products-and-...mbership/plans
Old 01-27-2020, 01:33 PM
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I greatly appreciate the hints, tips & back stories! I hope to have to use none of them but if so, they will definitely help fend of the "I TOLD YOU SO" from the Mrs.
We have never traveled with the boat as of yet but this time it is the center piece of this trip, we rented a house off of Ft Meyers and want to get her to Sanibel & Captiva so she can go shelling & the boy & I can do some fishing.
I liked the statement about the bearings & the factory warranty, last time I had the dust caps off the grease looked perfectly un-molested. I do want to add bearing buddies, so I am going to have to find this pink factory grease that Ameritrail used.

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