What is the Best Maintenance Schedule for My Trailer?

Safer towing is more than just knowing how to properly load and haul your trailer. Proper trailer maintenance is a must, so it’s important to learn the best maintenance schedule for your trailer before you start towing.

We always recommend consulting the owner’s and axle manuals for your individual trailer, but there are some general guidelines all trailer owners should be aware of for maintaining and operating your trailer safely.  Just like your car, your trailer needs regular maintenance so you can use it for years to come

Before You Tow

Each time you plan to tow your trailer, inspect and service the following items:

  • Breakaway Brakes (electric and hydraulic) – Check operation.
  • Breakaway Battery – Ensure connections are clean and the battery is fully charged.
  • Electric Brakes – Check operation.
  • Surge Brakes – Check operation and master cylinder level.
  • Shoes and Drums – Adjust.
  • Safety Chains and Hooks – Check for wear and damage.
  • Coupler and Hitch Ball – Check for cracks, pits, and flats. Replace with ball and coupler hitch having trailer GVW rating if needed. Grease, and then check locking device and replace when worn.
  • Ring and Pintle – Follow the same steps as you would for the Coupler and Hitch Ball. Replace with a ring and pintle having trailer GVW rating if needed.
  • Tires – Check tire pressure when cold and inflate as needed. Also, check for damage.
  • Wheels (lug nuts or bolts and hub) – Check for tightness and tighten. For new or remounted wheels, check torque after first 10, 25, and 50 miles of driving and after any impact.

Monthly

Once per month, inspect and service your trailer for:

  • Lubrication – Lubricate gate and door hinges if your trailer is equipped.

trailer maintenance

Every Six Months

At six-month intervals, inspect and service the following areas on your trailer:

  • Electric Brakes (magnet) – Check wear and current draw.
  • Electric Brakes (controller in tow vehicle) – Check power output (amperage) and modulation.
  • Tires – Thoroughly inspect tread and sidewalls. Replace tires when treads are worn and/or the sidewall is worn or has a bulge. Rotate tires every 5,000 miles.
  • Electric Brakes – Check operation
  • Surge Brakes – Check operation and master cylinder level.
  • Brake Shoes and Drums – Adjust.
  • Safety Chains and Hooks – Check for wear or damage.
  • Coupler and Hitch Ball –  Check for cracks, pits, and flats. Replace with ball and coupler hitch having trailer GVW rating if needed. Grease, and then check locking device and replace when worn.
  • Ring and Pintle – Follow the same steps as you would for the Coupler and Hitch Ball.
  • Wheel Bearings – Check for loose, worn, or damaged wheel bearings. Lubricate the bearings as needed. (Please see Utility Owner’s Manual, Section 9, Pages 43-51)

Annual Maintenance

Every year, be sure to check the following:

  • Brake Shoes and Drums (all types) – Check for scoring and wear. Replace per manufacturer specifications.
  • Jack, Drop-Leg (if equipped) – Grease gears at the top.
  • Structure Frame Members – Inspect all frame members, bolts, and rivets. Repair or replace damaged, worn, or broken parts.
  • Structure Welds – Inspect and repair all welds as needed.
  • Wheel Bearings – Disassemble, inspect, assemble, and repack. Replace immediately if immersed in water.
  • Wheel Rims – Inspect for cracks and dents and replace as needed.
  • Axle Attachment Bolts – See your dealer for inspection.
  • Brake Wiring – Check for bare spots, fraying, etc. and replace as needed.

Additionally, trailers should be professionally inspected annually, as well as after any impact incidents.

A properly maintained trailer will serve you well for many years and make for a safer haul each time you tow it. If you have specific questions regarding your trailer, consult your owner’s manual or your dealer.

Trailer Maintenance Resources: