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McClain - No wire service loops and poor trailer materials

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McClain - No wire service loops and poor trailer materials

Old 10-26-2020, 12:23 PM
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Default McClain - No wire service loops and poor trailer materials

Quick rant on McClain trailers and several oversights in the production of a saltwater trailer. (pictures to come)

Every wiring connection should have no less than 3" of available wire in a service loop near the splice. Why? Because if the trailer were to have a failure like my 2019 did at the point of connection due to salt water penetration of the buttsplice, you would have enought spare wire to redo the connection. However, McClain with all their years of experience has chosen to have the wires run tight to the point of connection. They have integrated strain relief along the rails of the trailer every foot or so but when a failure occurs, you now have to put in another point of failure. They could have easily applied a service loop at the strain relief point and kept the same tension to avoid chaffing of the insulation that can occur during movement.

If you are going to make an all aluminum trailer, powder coat the trailer rails, put on aluminum wheels, why the heck are you going to install steel torsion half axles and hub carriers? A 1 year old trailer is now painted in grease to avoid any further damage when it could have been done right in the first place with galvenized torsion assy's or at least powder coated to help slow some of the rusting.

If you are going to have a salt water boat, why would you use steel accessories on the lighting system? The 3 lower lights on the rear rail are mounted to a steel plate, that while new looks good, a couple of dunks in the salt are going to lead to corrosion. Again, powder coating, heck paint for that matter will help prevent a 1 year old trailer from looking like a 10yr old trailer.

The trailer is supposed to be custom made to the boat but due to improper angles on the bunk stansions, the gel coat was being compromised and had to be repaired after 1 year. The rear tunnel supports have air gaps between the hull and the bunks, again resulting in inadequate load distribution.

Maybe I am being too hard on McClain as this is my first experience with them but being an Engineer by trade, I can not for the life of me figure out why they neglected to put in the appropriate materials or have the foresight of a failure at a point of connection.

Are my expectations just too high?
Old 10-27-2020, 05:44 AM
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you obviously do not have much experience with powder coating and salt water!
Old 10-27-2020, 06:23 AM
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Rolls trailer is one of the best. Uncertain if they do the wire loops (which I agree with you). Their axle is aluminum and stainless with a serviceable suspension component. My loadmaster came with galvanized torsion but after 5-6 years they looked like heck and there was no way to know when they would fail so replaced with Rolls axles and great since that time.
Old 10-27-2020, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the insight. It would seem that trailer replacement is a relatively common practice with salt water in the 3-5 yr timeline. I will keep looking for methods to mitigate the damage. It would seem that the powder coating that McClain applies is a cosmetic thing and has not bearing on the surface corrosion aspects based upon Rolandt03 response. I will research a bit more because as an Engineer, I have a hard time believing that we can not make a salt water trailer that will survive more than 3-5 years but it is my first trip down the salt path. I know fresh water with vinegar will help if applied once the trailer is pulled out.
Old 10-27-2020, 03:13 PM
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In my experience, wiring on most trailers has much more basic quality problems than a lack of service loops. Service loops would be a nice touch, though.

Powder coating seems like a poor choice for durability and would be really expensive on large parts. Instead, some people use nylon and neoprene as spacers between steel and aluminum parts to isolate dissimilar metals and reduce corrosion. Tef-gel is also a good solution for fasteners.
Old 10-27-2020, 05:55 PM
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Friends trailer broke at a bend, he knows of 2 others that cracked as well (friends of his.) They stepped up as a company to fix 3 exact same trailers. But I would not recommend them to anyone.
Old 10-27-2020, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mavic View Post
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the insight. It would seem that trailer replacement is a relatively common practice with salt water in the 3-5 yr timeline. I will keep looking for methods to mitigate the damage. It would seem that the powder coating that McClain applies is a cosmetic thing and has not bearing on the surface corrosion aspects based upon Rolandt03 response. I will research a bit more because as an Engineer, I have a hard time believing that we can not make a salt water trailer that will survive more than 3-5 years but it is my first trip down the salt path. I know fresh water with vinegar will help if applied once the trailer is pulled out.
My loadmaster is 15yrs old which I bought with stainless hardware but used the coated Kodiak brakes which was a mistake. Will likely be a Rolls Axle trailer next time.
Old 10-29-2020, 06:05 AM
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Not sure where the broad brush "saltwater 3-5 years" is coming from. I've always had galv trailers and they seem to last a long time. If needed, I will simply put in a new wiring harness prolly 3-5 years.....

When you bought that trailer, did you research for reviews or what others used for your particular boat/model?
Old 10-29-2020, 06:21 AM
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Well, all due respect to this manufacturer, I haven’t seen a trailer yet that was properly wire or marginally wired. Most all of them are low end components and connections.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mavic View Post
Thanks for the reply. I appreciate the insight. It would seem that trailer replacement is a relatively common practice with salt water in the 3-5 yr timeline. I will keep looking for methods to mitigate the damage. It would seem that the powder coating that McClain applies is a cosmetic thing and has not bearing on the surface corrosion aspects based upon Rolandt03 response. I will research a bit more because as an Engineer, I have a hard time believing that we can not make a salt water trailer that will survive more than 3-5 years but it is my first trip down the salt path. I know fresh water with vinegar will help if applied once the trailer is pulled out.
3-5 years sounds absurd to me. While sites like this are often quite helpful, as things get repeated enough times, everything gets exaggerated.

I have a cheap trailer, not an expensive one. I have had it for ten years, it's used exclusively in salt water, and spends all of its days outside, within 20 feet of the saltwater slips.
During the past decade, it has been rinsed with water twice, the hubs were greased a few times, and air has been added to the tires annually. That's it.

Sometime soon I'll give it new tires and redo the lights.

Old 10-31-2020, 08:59 PM
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That is a very true statement. It would seem that if persons are settling for $4500 trailers every three years, their expectations are not high enought and allowing suppliers to put out this kind of low quality product.

Thanks for the insight Jobowker. I just redid the damaged trailer lights today, used liquid tape on all of the heat shrink connections just to add additional fortification. I then went to each of the currently working connections and did the same to hopefully slow the damage to the existing hardware since McClain seems to be short sighted and happy to sell trailers to those willing to pay it out every 3 years. Maybe when my posts are high enough, I will be able to post some pics of the reinforcements pre and post.

Last edited by Mavic; 10-31-2020 at 08:59 PM. Reason: added $ sign
Old 10-31-2020, 09:02 PM
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pgkeating, the trailer was sold with the boat. I have doing some research as Coastline is the primary trailer for most Haynies but this was on a McClain. I can say, I would never recommend or purchase a McClain based upon my experience. Maybe the land haulers are better quality.

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