Trailer maintenance

I recently purchased a new Load rite 2 kayak trailer and am very pleased with it.

The question I have is this. I have never had any other galvanized frame trailer. The trailer, by space necessity, will be stored outside year round in northeast Pennsylvania.

What preparations should I use to protect and clean the galvanized frame. Should it be painted or left as is.

Thanks for any quideance.

Zero to do. Keep wheel bearings lubed. Touch it up with spray galvanizing if you see rust.

Zero to do. Keep wheel bearings lubed. Touch it up with spray galvanizing if you see rust.

I recall reading that getting paint to stick to a galvinized finish is problematic without the correct (zinc chromate perhaps?) primer.

Just finishing up assembly of my new Malone trailer. As it was in parts, I had this option: I got a bottle of combination car wash with wax in it (who would put that on a car???) and mixed up a bucketful with a far higher % of wash/wax to water than recommended. I then dipped each part in that, down to each nut/bolt/washer, and bigger parts I “mopped” with a rag. Now every surface was a coat of wax, even places I will not be able to reach after assembly. Hey, I’m not going to enter it in trailer shows, but it’s an extra layer of protection. With your trailer you would just wipe it on the surface and I even saw the auto parts store has wax you can spray on.

Galvanizing is sacrificial. Last for years. Looked at fence at my house 50 plus years old no rust. Nuts and bolts bolts will corrode first. Salt water use rinse well. Never sieze on lug nuts and studs.

As the others say…
it really shouldn’t need much maintenance at all.

But if it goes near salt water then hose it down thoroughly just as soon as you can.

And if they’re not already fitted get bearing buddies for the wheels. They’re cheap insurance that protect the wheel bearings.

not nothing

– Last Updated: Jun-08-16 4:32 PM EST –

Little scratches are ok but keep an eye on dings and deep gouges. Also if you add any holes. I'd keep an eye on welds also. You can use a zinc paint or touchup made for galvanized metal.

Once each in the shoulder seasons, give it a look-over. If you don't gouge or ding or drill it you should be ok.


– Last Updated: Jun-08-16 4:46 PM EST –

Thanks to all. I assumed as much, but wanted to ask the experts.

Purpose of Bearing Buddy hub covers
The purpose of spring-loaded grease retainers is to prevent a negative-pressure condition when suddenly immersing the hubs in water (when a hot hub is suddenly cooled that way, the air inside contracts), leading to the possibility of water being sucked in past the seals. Thus, these are a really good idea on motorboat trailers, since the hubs are submerged with every single use. For hubs that don’t get submerged in water, Bearing Buddies might be a convenience for extreme mileage situations, but just think about how long the wheel bearings on your car will last without new grease being added. Also, think about how many times you can add grease with a Bearing Buddy before the spring piston reaches the end of its travel and you simply blow out a seal or even have the cap pop off while on the highway. Because that piston can only move so far, adding grease simply because you can is a dumb idea.

same as paint

– Last Updated: Jun-09-16 8:54 AM EST –

cept the steel is galvanized.

check/inspect inside corners, bolt holes, rivet areas.

wax or paint the trailer is not exceptional.

The maker made trailer to sell it to you not for you to keep the rig in AAA condition.

Is no big deal to wash the trailer n degrease it then with mask spray paint down wind with Rusto Pro clean metal primer then topcoat in an orange or yellow.

Spray paint is not necessary tho best checking with the paint manufacturer on what primer goes best with galvanized. Ruston produces a farm paint line perfect for trailers. Learn to brush on...inside first. Your trailer is light so tip it over for horizontal surfaces.

add extra LED lights side and rear....check Amazon.

we had one on the lot with a Hobieyak. Appeared sensible n light. I did not check the inside joints.

new concept
wax outlasts paint.

galvinizing quality
is highly variable. PYA

bearing buddy
are there BB’s with an outlet for excess grease without compromising the ‘full pack excludes water’ design function ?

Hub/bearings rotation produces metal dust from wear, repack or adding grease introduces clean grease n maybe removes excess water-on more terrestrial BB not intended to b amphibious.

That metal dust reduces grease effectiveness eventually or sooner rendering grease to grinding compound.

here’s a sample:

"I run muh BB for 27 years n …

So how do you explain …

– Last Updated: Jun-09-16 9:31 AM EST –

... the fact that most people who drive a pickup until it has 300-thousand miles on it or more, almost never repack the wheel bearings, and yet failures of wheel bearings are nearly unheard-of? (it is worth mentioning that the new style of bearings used on the front of many modern 4x4 trucks seem to be a lot more delicate than their older counterparts).

I'm okay with reasonable maintenance and grease replacement, and Bearing Buddy caps do make that easier, but that doesn't change the fact that you can only add grease a finite number of times until you blow the seal, and it doesn't change the fact that it takes a LOT of accumulated mileage (more than most people need to worry about) to contaminate the grease in the way that you describe.


I don’t know is why I asked.

my experience is from various types bicycle hub bearings in a semi tropical climate. A bearing buddy exists for some bicycle hubs or did. Bicycle components evolve faster than boat trailers.

The BEARING BUDDY maker appears online if searched for what ? BEARING BUDDY.

There could be other makers of BB’s not using that name.

Not providing a thru grease port while sealing with a NO GREASE ESCAPE design indicates a necessity for routine bearing repacks n inspections…as suggested by a few but not many BB users in forums.

The BB is neither Mil Spec not fail safe…like the galvanizing …

Ford Econoline advises a repack/inspection every 50000 and replacing front bearings at 100.

A result of the Twin Ibeam ?

Sealed bicycle hub bearings, Shimano seals are AAA, in a moderately wet climate less than Portland eg could be inspected every 4-5000/year. Avoiding excess wear leading to hub replacement.

I use garages at a Gulf Coast storage area abt …let me check…

5’ above sea level.

Locking boat trailer wheels was not infrequent with all types of disaster…blown tires…exploding brake drums…various schreeching sounds on leaving to the street.

The situation has improved over the last 3-4 years with new equipment poss all equipped with …

and intelligent maintenance.

What happens is the owner rushing home drops off the trailer then goes back. Next season with trailer at 5’ for 6 months, owner rushes back, gets loaded n comes over hooks up the boat n drives off…

Do that 3-4 times n the tires blow out draggin em down the street…

eyehahhahah film at 11

you could cover tires with some plastic to keep UV rays off them also. DOT recommends replacing tires every 5 years no matter what now.

Don’t forget the tires.
Unless the trailer will always be shaded, I would suggest that it would be good to cover the tires with something to keep the sun off of them where it is stored.

The sun will ruin the tires long before you will wear them out.

I was responding to the “metal dust” …

– Last Updated: Jun-09-16 12:43 PM EST –

... remark in that other post. Most people simply don't put enough miles on their trailers for that to happen. Related to that, and regarding what I said about high-mileage vehicles seldom having bearing problems, I DO inspect and repack wheel bearings if they are serviceable, and I have repeatedly seen that it takes practically *forever* for the grease to stop looking brand new, indicating that it takes a lot of miles for "metal dust" to accumulate.

As for there being a grease outlet on some other brand, no, to my knowledge there aren't any that have that. It seems like a decent idea, but most of the in-place grease would surely stay where it was while the fresh grease simply followed the path of least resistance on its way to the outlet. You can already watch this happen on most grease-able steering joints, and they present far less opportunity for that to happen than would a wheel bearing. Even commercial "re-packing" tools do a terrible job of actually replacing the grease that's already in the bearing (you can pump grease through the thing forever and still find plenty of old grease inside when you open it up), and that's a more- ideal design than what could be installed on a hub. I've noticed that many non-driving hubs on trucks and semi-trailers now use oil for the bearings, and that oil can be easily changed without disassembly. Maybe that will someday be a feature on small trailers.

The bottom line to all that I've said is that there's only minimal benefit to having Bearing Buddy hub covers on trailer wheels that don't get submerged in water, there's a definite limit to how many times grease can be added, and the grease within standard hubs lasts a very long time as it is (I might add, you can be more sure that it will last if you install the grease yourself, right from the start, because there might be only a trace of grease on the bearings when the hubs are fresh from the factory).

you’ve been lucky

– Last Updated: Jun-09-16 12:32 PM EST –

and your fence isn't a trailer

Leave it
I’ve owned around 10 trailers over the years ranging from large boats and construction to my current 4x8 utility and have to say that trailers generally require little maintenance to their finish. All of mine have been aluminum or painted steel and even the painted steel look good after many years of being used and stored outside.

I always check bearings once a year; at least checking for water contamination in the grease. I have found water intrusion on trailers that were submerged in water on a few occasions but generally get many years of service out of the trailers that just see road use.

I have used bearing buddies and turbo lube hubs on the boats but use standard caps on the road trailers.