Jump to content

 

Welcome to TheMalibuCrew!

As a guest, you are welcome to poke around and view the majority of the content that we have to offer, but in order to post, search, contact members, and get full use out of the website you will need to Register for an Account. It's free and it's easy, so don't hesitate to join the TheMalibuCrew Family today!

Sign in to follow this  
rakr

New (used) trailer checklist for first time boat owners

Recommended Posts

rakr

Hi, my name is Rob, don’t be me...

I picked up my first boat last weekend, a 2013 VTX. I’ve got plenty of boating experience, but no ownership experience, and that showed last weekend. 

 60 miles into our first trip to the cottage with the boat, we had a massive blowout on the highway. Needless to say my wife was super happy with two kids under 4 in the truck through out the 3.5 hour ordeal. I thought I would share some thoughts and ask for some feedback from The Crew. 

Spare - do you have one? If not Tractor Supply has some and the mounting brackets for the trailer are pretty cheap. 

Age - it seems that the consensus is that 5 years is as long as you want to keep a set of tires. (I’m betting mine were original to the 2013 boat so they were probably mounted in 2012...) 

Tire Iron - I would check to see if the tire iron you have with your rig will fit into the lug nut holes. Mine was slightly too big and had to buy a new “4 way” from TS. 

Jack - I would bet that the scissor or bottle jack you have isn’t rated to pick up 1/2 of a 4-5k pound load (boat+trailer-tongue). I have a 2015 GMC Sierra and the bottle jack was only rated for 1800 lbs. Also make sure the jack can lift the trailer high enough to change the tire. 

Tire Load/Speed - check the load range on the tire. Mine came with “d” which was barely adequate(I think a wet beach towel would have put it over the limit...). My wheels will go up to 2800 lbs, so I am upgrading them both to “e”. Also be aware of the max speed for your trailer tire. I was staying around 65 or so, but I have a feeling the heat, speed, age, and weight all played a role in my blowout. 

Brakes - check pads, calipers, etc if you have them. I am not sure where the master cylendar is, but I’ll be checking on that this weekend. 

Lights - a good idea anytime you tow, to check all light functions. 

Transom Straps - if you don’t have them, get them, they are relatively inexpensive. 

Water - I’m kind of extending this a bit here, but we were dying of thirst by the time the ordeal was done.

Anyway, we all ended up safe and got to get on the water last week. I am thankful for my wife who was the calm one. While I was fighting with the tow shops to figure out how to resolve my issue, she called around and made the Tractor Supply connection. Tractor Supply saved the day too. Without TS and my wife, our boat would have been stranded for at least a day 1.5 hours south of our destination. 

I was sunburned (it was 95 that day and it was about 1:30 in the afternoon), I busted up my hand after the ill fitting lugnut wrench slipped off the nut because of lack of “purchase”, tons of swearing, an hour round trip to Tractor Supply, and all of gear purchased above (I think I was at around $400 all in at TS). 

Had I had some insight or maybe done a bit more research, we would have been out of there in 15 minutes. I spent plenty of time with the guys at the dealership on the particulars about the boat, but probably 60 seconds on the trailer... does it have one? “Yup”...

I hope this post can help someone else out. 

A49EA812-519E-4C64-9A55-23D2BF5C7A0D.jpeg

37B0CE01-A56D-447B-BA7D-F1FEFE158399.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ahopkinsVTX

Had those wheels on my TXi trailer. You can get a socket in the lug nut pocket. I’ve use my 1/2” drive socket wrench with a deep well socket and s piece of pipe I have in my truck that is knicknamed “the enforcer”

Glad everything worked out for you withe minimal damage though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldjeep

Rule number 1.  Carry a spare.  Someone will have a lug wrench and jack if you dont.  As for the 5 year rule - meh.  Really depends on where the trailer lives.  If you leave it outside baking in sun, sure.  If stored in garage or covered then they last a lot longer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffK

Hit the tires regularly with 303.  That helps a lot to prevent dry rotting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michigan boarder

Great info, and it's good you can laugh about it a bit.  I'm guessing you did the work on the side of US131 or 96?  Either one would be awful.  Heck of a first trip.  I like those wheels, by the way.

I ditched the 4 way lug and simply keep a breaker bar and a couple of deep well sockets in the tow vehicle.  Good to know on the jack, though, I always assumed whatever jack with in the tow vehicle would get the job done.

That fender looks pretty beat up, did that happen with this blow out?

One thing that you didn't mention was wheel bearings.  That can definitely ruin a trip.  You should make sure you have good grease in there.  I have a small list of stuff for my trailer and one of the items is a hub assembly that attaches to the trailer and holds the spare too.  That way you've got an entire assembly available to swap out if needed, and you also have something that holds the spare tire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rakr
14 hours ago, ahopkinsTXi said:

Had those wheels on my TXi trailer. You can get a socket in the lug nut pocket. I’ve use my 1/2” drive socket wrench with a deep well socket and s piece of pipe I have in my truck that is knicknamed “the enforcer”

Glad everything worked out for you withe minimal damage though. 

There were a few moments where I thought about dropping the trailer and heading back to GR because I knew I could solve the problem. One tow shop didn't have any trailer tires on a wheel and recommended I limp the trailer up to Cadillac and have their tire shop replace the tire on the wheel... I have a feeling they could have totally helped me out, but didn't care to think about the mechanics to get the job done.

The 4 way provided the advantage of being able to push and pull with a good bit of leverage. I am going to be putting together a bit of a kit to keep in the truck when towing. I think along the way most folks owning toys like this have a piece of gear that could be considered "the enforcer", I think it is written somewhere that it is a mandatory part of the operation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rakr
59 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

Great info, and it's good you can laugh about it a bit.  I'm guessing you did the work on the side of US131 or 96?  Either one would be awful.  Heck of a first trip.  I like those wheels, by the way.

I ditched the 4 way lug and simply keep a breaker bar and a couple of deep well sockets in the tow vehicle.  Good to know on the jack, though, I always assumed whatever jack with in the tow vehicle would get the job done.

That fender looks pretty beat up, did that happen with this blow out?

One thing that you didn't mention was wheel bearings.  That can definitely ruin a trip.  You should make sure you have good grease in there.  I have a small list of stuff for my trailer and one of the items is a hub assembly that attaches to the trailer and holds the spare too.  That way you've got an entire assembly available to swap out if needed, and you also have something that holds the spare tire.

I was just looking up about bearings the other night. I was thinking of getting some bearing buddies, and potentially look at a spare, and putting the tools in my growing "trailer kit". I think I read somewhere on the forum somewhere that it is recommended to repack every other year?

Yes, it was on 131 N, about 10-15 minutes south of Cadillac.

Yes, the blowout totally ruined the fender. it is kind of an oblong shape now, and there is a corner of the bottom of the fender that is about 1/2 of an inch away from the wheel. I have been trying to think about a reasonable way to get it back into shape somewhat cheaply... rags, 2 x 6 and a hand sledge? Also, the steel belts from the tire beat up top side of the back of the fender (you can see the bare metal in the pic), and the diamond plate step, so ill be working on some bondo and/or paint here soon as well. I'm going to get a new set of screws to put the carpeted "bumper" back on the inside of the fender, that was pretty much toast as well.

Sigh...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ahopkinsVTX

Dead blow hammer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michigan boarder

I'd say bend/beat it back as best you can, and then have it cut off and a new one welded on this fall/winter.

The good news is the fender did it's job and kept all that flapping & flying stuff away from the boat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
footndale

I got the call from a friend on the 4th to come help him with similar. They were on there way to my place.  His jack for 1/2 ton GMC truck would not go high enough for trailer, though the lift point seemed to be lower.

Brought the real jack lift, pry bar and 5lb hammer. Had to bend the fender back to get spare.  He had to go home a few days later with out the boat, brought his own jack and new spare tire too. Good thing because on his way home the next day the other tire blew. 

He purchased the boat in May and it made it safely 6 hours. Didn't make it 1 hr, twice. :) Fortunately he didn't keep going when the trailer felt funny. Tires where not completely down to rim. Top layers ripped off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
asp13

Crappy first experience. Glad it all ended up ok and everyone was fine. Im happy my little sunsetter has a dual axle trailer. Hopefully it would help in a situation like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chrisjjbrown

I never go anywhere anymore with out two spare tires.      Had them blow once 50 miles apart from each other. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wedge88

If you've ever been on the side of the interstate changing the tire nearest the road, you never leave, again, without:

Spare Tire

Bottle jack https://www.walmart.com/ip/12-Ton-Bottle-Jack-in-Case/52597888

2-3  2x6 scrap boards 12"L to place under jack because shoulder is uneven and jack won't lift the boat high enough

4-way tire iron wrench

3' schedule 40 1.5" pvc pipe to use as a breaker bar over the lug wrench

3-5lb sledge hammer to beat the destroyed fender away from new tire.

I also drop the PSI in the tires a couple pounds if I know its gonna be 95degrees+ as we trailer 4-5 hours many times.  

We had a noob family member that bought a used boat come on vacation with us this year and had two blowouts on his journey home.  We were eating lunch about 20 miles behind him when I got the first call. "My jack won't lift the boat and I can't break the lugs lose"  We helped with that one and then followed him to buy a new spare and the second went.  This time we got to use all the tools and smash the fender out of the way.  He said he couldn't believe I carried all that with me and I said "it goes with me whether its a 20 minute ride or 5 hours. 

This is why our full size 3/4 ton truck is loaded to the gills for every vacation.  I like to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Edited by wedge88

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wheelman
35 minutes ago, wedge88 said:

If you've ever been on the side of the interstate changing the tire nearest the road, you never leave, again, without:

Spare Tire

Bottle jack https://www.walmart.com/ip/12-Ton-Bottle-Jack-in-Case/52597888

2-3  2x6 scrap boards 12"L to place under jack because shoulder is uneven and jack won't lift the boat high enough

4-way tire iron wrench

3' schedule 40 1.5" pvc pipe to use as a breaker bar over the lug wrench

3-5lb sledge hammer to beat the destroyed fender away from new tire.

I also drop the PSI in the tires a couple pounds if I know its gonna be 95degrees+ as we trailer 4-5 hours many times.  

We had a noob family member that bought a used boat come on vacation with us this year and had two blowouts on his journey home.  We were eating lunch about 20 miles behind him when I got the first call. "My jack won't lift the boat and I can't break the lugs lose"  We helped with that one and then followed him to buy a new spare and the second went.  This time we got to use all the tools and smash the fender out of the way.  He said he couldn't believe I carried all that with me and I said "it goes with me whether its a 20 minute ride or 5 hours. 

This is why our full size 3/4 ton truck is loaded to the gills for every vacation.  I like to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Your air pressure is what keeps your tire from overheating so your logic of decreasing pressure in high heat is actually backwards. Always run your trailer tires at max pressure cold. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rakr
1 hour ago, asp13 said:

Crappy first experience. Glad it all ended up ok and everyone was fine. Im happy my little sunsetter has a dual axle trailer. Hopefully it would help in a situation like this.

I looked at a couple of boats with duals, and am now somewhat wishing I would have taken that into consideration...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wheelman
7 hours ago, JeffK said:

Hit the tires regularly with 303.  That helps a lot to prevent dry rotting.

Tires will actually dry rot from the inside out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rakr
1 hour ago, asp13 said:

Crappy first experience. Glad it all ended up ok and everyone was fine. Im happy my little sunsetter has a dual axle trailer. Hopefully it would help in a situation like this.

I looked at a couple of boats with duals, and am now somewhat wishing I would have taken that into consideration...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dalt1
21 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Rule number 1.  Carry a spare.  Someone will have a lug wrench and jack if you dont.  As for the 5 year rule - meh.  Really depends on where the trailer lives.  If you leave it outside baking in sun, sure.  If stored in garage or covered then they last a lot longer. 

I only got 3 years out of a new set that was always stored in garage except for weekend when boat was on water,and always run at correct 50PSI. Same results from Goodyear. Carlisle, High Run and Trail America, over last 16 years.

Edited by dalt1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MadMan

I rotate my trailer tires side to side after they are 3-4 years old.  Only one side gets sun, so I let the  others take a beating for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffK
13 hours ago, wheelman said:

Tires will actually dry rot from the inside out. 

Hmmmm.  Didn't know that.  Is there a prevention method then?  I was always told it was sun and UV exposure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldjeep
10 hours ago, dalt1 said:

I only got 3 years out of a new set that was always stored in garage except for weekend when boat was on water,and always run at correct 50PSI. Same results from Goodyear. Carlisle, High Run and Trail America, over last 16 years.

Maybe I'm just lucky.  Current set is 6 years old.   Never really had an issue with any particular trailer tire brand, only blown 3 trailer tires in 20+ years - 2 were foreign objects - not sure what caused the 3rd one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chrisjjbrown
3 hours ago, oldjeep said:

Maybe I'm just lucky.  Current set is 6 years old.   Never really had an issue with any particular trailer tire brand, only blown 3 trailer tires in 20+ years - 2 were foreign objects - not sure what caused the 3rd one.

How many long Tows are you doing?  

I just got back from trailering my boat 12 hrs each way.   I was never so happy to get home with out an issue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldjeep
5 minutes ago, Chrisjjbrown said:

How many long Tows are you doing?  

I just got back from trailering my boat 12 hrs each way.   I was never so happy to get home with out an issue. 

Not many.  Couple of 4 hour one way max trips a year, the rest is all 5 miles or so to the local launch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffK

If you have to replace them, I'd look at Kenda.  I have no personal experience, but a guy I know that owns a shop and deals with lots of go-fast boats says he and all of his buddies swear by them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oldjeep
3 minutes ago, JeffK said:

If you have to replace them, I'd look at Kenda.  I have no personal experience, but a guy I know that owns a shop and deals with lots of go-fast boats says he and all of his buddies swear by them

Kenda Loadstar is what I have been putting on my trailers for years.  Although the stock Trail America tires on my current trailer have been fine so far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...