Boat trailer tires should last a few years, especially in Ohio where most boat trailers end up parked for several months of the year. Not using your trailer does have its downside, as far as your tires are concerned, however. Tires that aren’t used regularly are at risk for dry rot, flat spots & slow leaks. These are small issues that can turn into big problems if left unattended. The tire at left was holding perfect air pressure.
It can ruin a fun day of fishing when a seemingly good tire suddenly blows out or goes flat. To avoid inconvenient and sometimes costly side of the road repairs, here are a few tips to keep your trailer tires rolling safely down the road.
1. Apply Sunblock
If you leave your boat trailer parked outside, be sure the tires are not getting excessive sun exposure. Nothing dries out rubber faster than hours and hours of basking in the sun. This can cause cracks in the seams and sides of the tire that weaken it. Use wheel covers to protect your tires.
2. Strip Your Trailer for Long Term Storage
If you store your boat for the winter, a good way to avoid flat spots is to take the wheels off of your trailer and store on blocks. This also gives you a chance to address any issues that have surfaced throughout the year with the tires conveniently. Needless to mention, it is also one of the best theft deterrents – a good idea for large or unattended storage facilities.
3. “Kick The Tires” Before Driving Off
Ok, you don’t really have to kick them… but taking a walk around the trailer before you leave home and the boat ramp is always a good idea. You ever know what you might have picked up (or lost). Look in your side mirrors every once in a while to ensure everything is still rolling smoothly, too.
3. Carry a Spare
Not all boat trailers come equipped with a spare tire. After market mounts are available, however, and we highly recommend them! at least carry a spare for the trailer in your vehicle or boat. Getting stranded by the side of the road with a flat tire can ruin any good fishing day.
4. Call for Help
Insurance policies and roadside service programs are abundant. Be sure you have your policy and/ or account numbers with you along with the phone numbers to call in case of an emergency. Write down your trailer tire size also.
Some incidents are unavoidable, of course. Following just a few steps to ensure your tires are in good condition can avoid a whole lot of headaches down the road.