If you’re in the market for an enclosed cargo trailer or already own one, congratulations! These versatile trailers can be used for a variety of purposes, from hauling tools and equipment to transporting motorcycles and ATVs. However, owning a trailer comes with its own set of responsibilities, particularly when it comes to hauling and maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll go over some tips for making trailering easy and keeping your cargo trailer in top shape, according to Millennium Trailers.
Properly hauling your enclosed cargo trailer is essential for safety and security. To ensure a successful haul, there are several important things to keep in mind before you hit the road.
- Know Your Trailer’s Weight Capacity: Before you start loading up your cargo trailer, make sure you know its weight capacity. Overloading your trailer can cause serious safety hazards, including tire blowouts and brake failure. Check your trailer’s owner’s manual or consult with the manufacturer to determine its maximum weight capacity.
- Distribute Weight Evenly: Once you know your trailer’s weight capacity, it’s important to distribute the weight of your cargo evenly. A trailer that’s too heavy on one end can cause it to sway or tip over. Place heavier items towards the center of the trailer and distribute the weight as evenly as possible.
- Use Proper Tie-Downs: Secure your cargo with the appropriate tie-downs to prevent it from shifting during transport. Use straps or chains that are rated for the weight of your cargo and make sure they are tightly secured to the trailer’s anchor points. Check your tie-downs periodically during your trip to ensure they remain tight.
- Check Your Tires: Before hitting the road, inspect your trailer’s tires for signs of damage or wear. Make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure and have adequate tread. Consider investing in a tire pressure monitoring system to keep an eye on tire pressure while driving.
- Practice Safe Driving: Remember, you’re not just driving a vehicle – you’re also hauling a trailer behind you. Take turns more slowly and give yourself extra braking distance. Keep a steady speed and avoid sudden maneuvers that could cause your trailer to sway or tip.
- Use Trailer Brakes: If your vehicle is equipped with a brake controller, make sure your trailer’s brakes are connected and working properly. Trailer brakes help reduce the strain on your vehicle’s brakes and can provide better stopping power in emergency situations.
- Consider a Weight Distribution Hitch: A weight distribution hitch can help evenly distribute the weight of your trailer, reducing the strain on your vehicle’s suspension and improving stability. If you frequently haul heavy loads or travel long distances, a weight distribution hitch may be worth the investment.
- Keep the Trailer Level: When you’re towing your trailer, it’s important to keep it level. A trailer that’s too high or too low can put extra strain on your vehicle’s suspension and affect handling. Use a leveling device to make sure your trailer is level before hitting the road.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies: Accidents and breakdowns can happen, so it’s important to be prepared. Keep a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench in your vehicle in case of a flat tire. Consider investing in an emergency kit with flares, reflective triangles, and a fire extinguisher. And always carry a cell phone and charger in case you need to call for assistance.
- Regular Cleaning: A clean trailer not only looks better, but it also helps prevent rust and corrosion. Wash your trailer regularly with soap and water, paying special attention to the undercarriage where road grime and salt can accumulate.
- Lubricate Moving Parts: Moving parts such as hinges and latches should be lubricated regularly to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Use a silicone-based lubricant or a dry lubricant to prevent dirt and debris from sticking.
- Check Your Bearings: Your trailer’s bearings allow the wheels to turn smoothly, so it’s important to inspect them regularly. Check for signs of wear or damage and repack the bearings with fresh grease as needed. Properly maintained bearings can help prevent wheel lockup and reduce the risk of a tire blowout.
- Inspect and Replace Seals: The seals on your trailer’s doors and windows can deteriorate over time, allowing moisture and debris to enter. Inspect your seals regularly and replace any that are cracked, torn, or missing. This will help prevent water damage and keep your cargo clean and dry.
- Check the Suspension: The suspension on your trailer helps absorb the shock of bumps and uneven roads. Inspect your suspension regularly and replace any worn or damaged components, such as springs or shock absorbers. Properly maintained suspension can help prevent tire wear and reduce the risk of a blowout.
- Inspect Electrical Components: Check your trailer’s lights, brakes, and other electrical components regularly to make sure they’re working properly. Clean any corroded connections and replace any damaged wires or bulbs.
- Maintain the Trailer Floor: The floor of your cargo trailer takes a lot of abuse, so it’s important to keep it in good condition. Check for signs of damage or rot and repair or replace as needed. Use a protective coating or sealant to prevent moisture from penetrating the floor.
- Check the Trailer Hitch: The trailer hitch is the connection between your vehicle and the trailer, so it’s important to keep it in good condition. Inspect the hitch for signs of wear or damage and replace any worn or damaged components. Make sure the hitch is properly lubricated to prevent friction.
- Inspect the Roof: The roof of your trailer is exposed to the sun, wind, and rain, so it’s important to inspect it regularly for signs of damage. Check for cracks, holes, or other damage, and repair or replace the roof as needed. A properly maintained roof can help prevent leaks and water damage.
- Store the Trailer Properly: When you’re not using your trailer, it’s important to store it properly. If possible, store it in a covered area to protect it from the elements. Make sure it’s parked on a level surface and chock the wheels to prevent it from rolling. And don’t forget to disconnect the battery to prevent drain.
Owning an enclosed cargo trailer can be a great asset for transporting equipment, tools, or other cargo. However, it is essential to properly maintain your trailer to ensure it remains in good condition and operates safely on the road. Regular maintenance tasks such as checking tire pressure, inspecting brakes, and keeping the trailer level can prevent accidents and prolong the life of your trailer. It is also vital to inspect and replace seals, check the suspension, use a trailer cover, and store the trailer correctly. By following these tips, you can enjoy a hassle-free towing experience, knowing that you and your cargo are safe, while also preventing costly repairs down the road. Remember, proper preparation and regular maintenance are key to a safe and reliable trailer.