Winter is well on its way, even here in sunny Florida. While we probably won’t be contending with the snow, sleet, and the bitter cold that our neighbors to the north deal with each year, it’s still recommended that you take the time to prepare your trailer for the changing season. There will probably be at least a few sub-freezing nights, and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to caring for your trailer during colder weather. Here’s what you need to do to winterize it:
- Determine your storage method. Many people prefer to store their trailer indoors to protect it from the cold. If you are planning outdoor storage, be sure to use a proper covering to minimize exposure to the elements.
- Make sure the trailer lights are dry. If you’re storing your boat until warmer weather returns, you don’t want excess moisture in the lights. Remove the bulbs, and use a moisture repellant on the sockets.
- Inspect the winch, wiring harness, and trailer bunks to ensure they’re in good shape, then add a bit of petroleum jelly to the connectors to keep them lubricated while they’re not in use.
- Test the wheels by jacking them up and spinning them. If they spin freely and without any grating sounds, they’re good to go. If not, you may have a problem with the bearings that will need attention. If there are no obvious problems with the wheels, remove the wheel assembly, add fresh grease, and replace.
- While you’re working with the wheels, take the time to inspect the tires as well for proper inflation and condition. Look for cracks, bulges, or significant or uneven wearing and replace as necessary.
- If your trailer will be sitting for an extended period, it’s recommended that you remove the tires entirely to protect them from the elements (if being stored outdoors) and from developing flat spots (indoor or outdoor storage).
- Use a jack to raise the trailer, making sure the axles are raised and the springs are in the load position.