Admittedly, we've not specifically been asked about trailers this week, but I've already had numerous "thankyou" replies to our seasonal trailer and towing reminder email which I sent out today...
I've sent this checklist out at the end of the season previously, but it's equally valid for the start too!
are my thoughts on preparing your trailer ready to launch your boat when the time comes.
There’s no real set order to these checks, but imagine your trailer’s been sat on the driveway all winter and now you're ready to get the boat back in the water…
- Check your tow vehicle is suitable for towing
Test your lights
- All the usual pre-journey checks, plus adjusting tyre pressures where required
Check your trailer is securely connected to your tow vehicle
- Trailer boards are known for working one journey and not the next. And, let’s face it, how many of us don’t realise a rear light is out until someone tells us?
Check the trailer brakes
- This includes checking the safety chain/cable is securely connected onto a suitable part of the tow vehicle from the trailer. Trailers do sometimes come loose...
Check the jockey wheel and winch for wear and tear.
- If your trailer is braked, do the brakes work without binding and getting hot? Check the hubs to ensure your bearings are functioning properly too – hubs should be cool to the touch.
Secure any loose items aboard the boat
- You don't want to get the boat to the slip, only to find the winch has seized and you can't actually launch it!
Check your boat is securely attached to your trailer!
- Including the upholstery! You'd be surprised how many times I've seen loose items hanging on for dear life when boats arrived at Tilley Inflatables...
- Your RIB should be tied so that it can’t go forwards, backwards or upwards. We never recommend tying over tubes where possible, but always off the hull. Don’t forget to inspect your rope and ties for wear too. Please - never rely on the winch to hold the boat on the trailer - it's a recipe for disaster!
Towing laws have relaxed slightly but, just in case, you can check out the full UK towing rules on the government website
We do have a few cleaning products ideal for use on trailers too: