Boat towing can be nerve wracking for those without much experience. And even for those experienced in boat towing, problems can still arise. A lot of the time, problems occur when boats are being towed on rough unsealed roads, or high speed roads such as highways.
But they’re not unavoidable. For every boat towing problem, there’s a solution! In fact, a lot of solutions are preventative. So let’s have a look at some of the more common boat towing problems, and how to fix them.
Wheel bearings: This boat towing problem can have serious consequences, but the fix is easy
If you see a boat trailer with its hazards on beside a highway, there’s a fair chance it’s experiencing wheel bearing issues. Wheel bearings are a simple, but pivotal component of all boat trailers. They allow the wheels to rotate freely, and without friction. However, wheel bearings don’t last forever. Like almost every moving part of a trailer, wheel bearings have a shelf life.
The key to avoiding problems is to ensure that your wheel bearings are replaced before they fail! Wheel bearing failures can be serious. In some cases failure can generate enough heat to destroy the hub, and even cause the wheel to detach! For a lot of people, wheel bearing replacement is second nature – it’s a DIY fix. But it can be complicated, and it’s always a dirty job! So see the experts for help.
Trailer rust: this is a boat towing problem that can occur without you realising – here’s why
Rust affects almost all boat trailers at one point or another. Worse still, it’s insidious. Rust can start on the inside of a trailer, and work its way out just like termites do. That means that by the time you see it, the damage is done, and your trailer has lost its structural integrity.
Naturally, that will cause pretty significant problems while you’re towing your boat! To avoid rust, give your trailer a thorough clean with fresh water after every use. Make sure it’s not sitting in the weather for too long too. However, the only way to know for sure that your trailer won’t rust is to get an aluminium one.
Electrical failures are a serious boat towing problem, and they can take several forms
Electrical failures are relatively common on trailers, and they create a boat towing problem for you. Saltwater can corrode electrical wiring and components, which can cause indicators and brake lights to fail. That creates a boat towing problem for you, and for other road users.
The problem can be more serious, though, if you have a big boat. A lot of big trailer boats requires electrical braking systems to be towed safely. If you have a boat like that, then electrical failures can compromise your braking ability, while towing. To avoid that, test your trailer electrics before every use, and get a professional opinion each service.
Trailer blowouts are the most common boat towing problem, and you can help avoid them!
If there’s one boat towing problem more common than wheel bearing failure, it’s tyre blowouts! Luckily, these are the easiest to fix: simply change the tyre! Better still, check your tyre pressure and condition before each use. And keep in mind that a lot of trailers don’t come with spare tyres. If yours falls into that category, then get yourself a spare or two. It could save you from being stranded roadside, in a boat towing mishap!
Most boat towing problems arise out of poor maintenance – that’s why professional servicing is key
Keeping your boat trailer in good condition is the best way to avoid towing problems. So get your trailer seen to by the experts before your next big trip!