Knowing how to tow your trailer safely is only part of being a responsible trailer owner. Making sure your trailer is well-maintained is an essential step in keeping your trailer in good condition and fit for towing. Learning how to grease your trailer is an important part of your routine trailer maintenance.
We always recommend reviewing your owner’s and axle manuals or consulting with your Carry-On Trailer dealer for specifics on your trailer, but we’ve compiled some general guidelines and tips to help you know how to grease key components of your trailer so you can prevent rusting and corrosion damage to any trailer parts that move or could be susceptible to wear and damage over time.
Coupler and Hitch Ball
Grease your coupler and hitch ball before each tow, as well as monthly and at six-month intervals or every 6,000 miles. Apply a thin layer of automotive bearing grease to the ball and the inside of the coupler.
Ring and Pintle
Lubricate the inside of the pintle with a thin layer of automotive bearing grease. Check and grease as needed before each tow and at six-month intervals.
Landing Leg or Jack
If a grease fitting is present, apply grease with a grease gun to lubricate the jack mechanism. The gears in the top of hand-cranked jacks should be greased once a year. To do so, remove the top of the jack and either pump or hand pack grease into the gears. This should be done once a year unless advised otherwise.
If your trailer’s axle(s) are equipped with a grease zerk on the ends, the bearings must be greased every six months or 6,000 miles to ensure functionality. To apply the grease, remove the rubber plug from the axle end and place the grease gun on the zerk. Pump grease until new grease begins to appear. (TIP: Use a different color of grease with each application so it will be easier to see when the new grease appears.) Then install the rubber plug and cap, and repeat for the remaining wheel bearings.
If your trailer’s axle(s) are not equipped with grease zerks, consult your axle manufacturer’s manual for specific service and maintenance information.
Tips for Hand-Packing Grease into Bearings
Proper lubrication helps maintain functionality and reliability of your trailer’s axle(s). Bearings should be lubricated approximately every 12 months or 12,000 miles unless otherwise specified by the axle manufacturer. Carry-On Trailer uses Dexter axles for our trailers, and their recommendations for hand-packing bearing grease are as follows:
- Place grease into the palm of your hand.
- Press a section of the widest end of the bearing into the outer edge of the grease closest to your thumb, forcing the grease into the interior of the bearing.
- Repeat the process while rotating the bearing from roller to roller.
- Continue this process until the entire bearing is completely covered with grease.
- Apply a light coating of grease in the bearing cup surface before reinstalling.
(See Dexter Axle Manual, page 51)
While it might seem like a small step, making sure your trailer is properly greased will help keep the necessary parts lubricated and working properly. As always, consult your owner’s manual or with your dealer for all best practices for maintaining your trailer.