Do A Corrosion Check On Your Boat Trailer

This post was written by ghoj on April 25, 2011
Posted Under: Uncategorized
Galvanized U-Bolts

Galvanized U-Bolts

If you have been towing a boat trailer for any length of time, then you probably have at least one roadside horror story to tell. Keeping a boat trailer safely on the road is not an easy task. Of course, salt water accelerates the corrosion process. Once a trailer is more that a couple of years old, it is wise to start inspecting the many trailer components at least once per year.

Most boat trailers are bolted together. You should always start by inspecting all bolts, nuts and washers, especially those that get immersed during launch and retrieve. The most important hardware to check is the u-bolts that fasten the leaf springs and axle together. These u-bolts actually are the only thing holding the axle to the rest of the trailer. A little surface rust is not a problem but corrosion will actually degrade the u-bolts to the point that they can no longer handle the stress imposed at this point. Other suspect hardware is as follows:

* Axle to spring tie plate u-bolts
* Leaf spring center pins
* Spring shackle bolts
* Spring hangers and equalizers
* Fender hardware
* Bunk/roller bracket to frame hardware
* Lug nuts/bolts, studs
* Cross-member to frame hardware

In addition, the frame, axles and cross-members should be inspected where it has contacted corroded hardware. We have seen a few incidents where the cross-member or axle integrity has been compromised at this point, especially on trailers with aluminum frames.

The solution to these corrosion problems is to replace the compromised hardware with new stainless or galvanized such as this:

1/2″ Galv. Square U-Bolt, 2-1/16″ x 4-13/16″ #86223

If you cannot find galvanized or stainless hardware, a good compromise is to use zinc-plated products with a good coat of a product such as this:

Instant Galvanize Spray Coating, 13 oz. #06054

There are already enough hazards on the road when towing a boat. Don’t wait for corrosion to reduce your safety footprint. Try some of these tips and tow your boat with a more secure feeling. You can find these products along with many replacement trailer parts at our online store TRAILER PARTS SUPERSTORE

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