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DIY trailer maintenance?

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  • DIY trailer maintenance?

    Time to "farmer it up" and take care of my own equipment rather than doing it "hunter princess" style where I pay the trailer place to do what I could at home.

    Can I do this?:

    Replace the rusting spring in my hitch

    Oil the hinges on my ramp.

    They look like aluminum to me, so I use WD-40, Lithium grease or something else? Also, they should have small oil holes on the underside? Can't see any from the top.

    Put that crinkly plastic "casing" around the too-long/exposed wires from the new break-way doo-hicky near my hitch that connects to my trailer battery. (And had the last trailer place not done such a half-assed job this way, I'd still be lining up to pay someone.)

    Replace bent aluminum "prong" at the top of one of my storm doors that sticks into a rubber socket to hold it open. Where do I get this part? (See above about trailer place and "it sure as heck wasn't bent when I dropped it off. Don't know how it did get bent.)

    WD-40 is the right stuff for my jack and hitch's hinge?

    Many thanks from the hunter princess who likes nice equipment and is willing to take care of it as a farmer would.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    I sheepishly admit I now pay to have the wheel bearings repacked. I used to do it myself. (another sign I'm getting older......)

    Yes, you can do a lot of preventative maintenance yourself. Most of this is just doing things like checking wires for signs of fraying, testing lights and brakes, checking tires for signs of dry rot or excessive or uneven wear, keeping the ramp hinge absolutely spotless, ensuring the trailer floor is not kept wet or with dirty bedding on it - that sort of thing.

    Replacing the rusting spring on the hitch... not sure which spring you're talking about. Might be something easier done when you take the trailer in for its annual inspection. A simple, lightweight spring can usually be replaced with just a pair of pliers and maybe a few curse words.

    Oil the hinges on your ramp. WD-40, lithium grease, anything is fine. The main thing with the hinge is to never allow any bedding or manure or pebbles to lay there - and never try and close the ramp with bedding or material stuck in the hinge.

    Do you mean a wire nut? If so, yes. Some people use electrical tape - I prefer wire nuts. Here's a you tube video - there are others - check them out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxYKb6D8eds. It's not difficult to do.

    The bent part? You can order that off the internet. I bought some from.... geez I think it was my feed store. I'll try and find a link for you or maybe someone else will chime in.

    Generally hinges can be oiled with 3in1 oil, WD-40, or other light household type lubricants. But for the ball, and the jack stand (if it's the kind I'm thinking of), you want to use a heavy duty grease (especially for the ball).

    But the main thing is - keep the trailer cleaned out between uses, check for signs of wear, lubricate moving parts, check lights and brakes, check connections and keep the ramp hinge pristine.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

    Comment


    • #3
      White Lithium grease is much better than WD40. WLG remains and keeps lubricating the area, while WD40 disapates very fast. Explained to me years ago by reputable trailer service staff

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for your advice. And Tobruk Farms here took the time to e-mail me with some more education that I thought I'd pass on to you guys.

        The door-holder-opener-peg part I'm looking for is called a "pecker leg"-- sounds kinda dirty, but I'll ask for that at a trailer shop because Tobruk Farms told me to!

        The white grease comes in aerosol form, complete with a little "straw" that helps put it where it's needed into the cracks of the hinges.

        The wire casing I'm talking about is formally called "alligator wire." Oh yes, and it comes in spunky colors if you like.

        And JSwan, I'm with you: Keep the trailer clean and cared for during yearly inspections goes a long, long way.

        You all have heard me hem and haw about acid washing. I'm still on the fence about this. It's Guilherme's fault (or to his credit), as he's all about acid "working" by taking off a layer of aluminum as it also takes off oxidation.

        My Diesel Dude, however, gave me one piece of advice I thought I'd pass on: If/when you acid wash, make sure you wet the glass of the windows with water first and keep them wet. Apparently acid does things to glass (and maybe the rubber seals around it?) that you don't want done.

        Also, and related to Guilherme's concern, my trailer's manufacturer told me that a thorough rinsing is key. You have to return the pH to neutral. For those of us with extruded aluminum parts on our tailers (parts of the walls that have those horizontal "waves" in the metal), I think it might require a careful acid washing place to do the job right.

        There you have it, you DIY-ers. Anything you would like to add to this thread is most welcome!
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mvp View Post
          Replace bent aluminum "prong" at the top of one of my storm doors that sticks into a rubber socket to hold it open. Where do I get this part?
          Here-

          http://www.horsetraileraccessorystore.com/

          http://www.horsetraileraccessorystor...or_holders.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            I personally like MotorKote better than WD-40 or WLG. That crap takes FOREVER to go away, and has cured every single squeak, creek and stick that I've ever applied it to. We grease the hitch locking mechanism as well as the ball, too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mvp View Post
              The door-holder-opener-peg part I'm looking for is called a "pecker leg"-- sounds kinda dirty, but I'll ask for that at a trailer shop because Tobruk Farms told me to!

              Geez.... it doesn't look like a - oh never mind.

              I use the canned grease with a straw too. Works great for getting into those tight spots.

              It was nice of Tobruk to contact you - he and others helped me with a really frustrating electrical problem last year. (parasitic draw that wreaked all kinds of havoc).

              If you don't already have a membership to US Rider, that might be a good thing to have.
              Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
              Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
              -Rudyard Kipling

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks! And take a gander at the cool gooseneck-friendly edge of truck-bed water tank on the first site before you get down to the business of ordering what you really need.

                Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                Geez.... it doesn't look like a - oh never mind.

                I use the canned grease with a straw too. Works great for getting into those tight spots.

                It was nice of Tobruk to contact you - he and others helped me with a really frustrating electrical problem last year. (parasitic draw that wreaked all kinds of havoc).

                If you don't already have a membership to US Rider, that might be a good thing to have.
                We are *this* close to the greased trailer balls topic and thread.

                Tobruk Farms has always stepped up with advice for me. He is in the business if you other trailer folks are looking for parts and doohickies.

                Yup, have the USRider membership and a trailer that's pretty for it's age but not completely perfect any more. I'm trying to help maintain its youthful appearance.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mvp View Post

                  Thanks! And take a gander at the cool gooseneck-friendly edge of truck-bed water tank on the first site before you get down to the business of ordering what you really need.
                  I have been looking at that, just wonder if it will work with our rolling bed cover?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Try http://www.humphreystrailerparts.com for parts. Look under door holders in the trailer hardware and cargo control section.
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A good site for help/recommendations is www.horsetrailerworld.com -- pretty good forums with few posters, but they are knowledgeable.
                      "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        How about an aluminum version of those pecker leg things? Mine look to be aluminum and the ones I see on these sites are zinc-coated steel.

                        My inner Joan Crawford comes out: "No Wire Hangers!" aka, stuff that will be mismatched and rusted on my rig!
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

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