QUICK TRAILER TIPS
When trailering across the country, it’s important to check your equipment at every stop. We always put eyes on the hitch and electrical plug, test the tension on the straps, and do a full walkaround checking the tires and wheel bearings each time we fill up the truck. We have found countless issues before they came full blown problems during these inspections, and addressing a problem is a lot easier at a gas station than on the shoulder of the interstate.
We always put a hand on all of the bearing hubs and the tires on the trailer during every gas stop. They’ll usually feel warm and even downright hot when it’s warm out, but the important thing is that they should all feel about the same. A hot tire will be a low tire or one that’s about to come apart, while a hot bearing could indicate a wheel bearing or brake problem. It’s also not a terrible idea to check the lug nuts periodically, especially when the trailer is new.
Always check the tension on the straps. They will nearly always be loose at the first stop after you’ve loaded the vehicles, and in our case we had to tighten them multiple times. This was probably because we were sharing an anchor between the two vehicles, which is less than ideal. We plan to put another pair of anchors in the middle of the trailer to avoid this in the future. Always invest in a good set of tie-downs, avoid the cheap off-brand ones at all costs, and always use four separate straps on a vehicle. We have a set of Mac’s Tie Downs that are nearly 10 years old and are still serving us well. Note that the Mac’s doesn’t recommend crossing the straps as shown here, but it was the best option for the anchors on the trailer and vehicles.