4 Wheel & Off Road - - ALTERNATE ADVENTURE -

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.

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