End of Summer Trailer Maintenance Checklist – Part 2

Aug 25, 2023 | Trailer Axles

Summer is a busy time for your trailer. Excessive trailer use results in general wear and tear from the hot temperatures and dirt and debris on the roadways. As we near the end of Summer, it’s time to check the key components of your trailer and do general trailer maintenance so you’re prepared for safe and efficient towing this Fall and Winter. 

Last week we shared an End of Summer Trailer Maintenance Checklist Part 1 which discusses maintenance for your wheels, tires, and axles. This article provides a checklist for maintenance and care for your trailer’s electrical components, brakes, and breakaway system.

Electrical Components

The electrical system of your trailer is one of the most important components to maintain. This system is responsible for powering the lights, brakes, and other electrical components of your trailer, so it’s essential to make sure it’s in good condition.

Every time you tow your trailer, it’s important to always make sure that all the trailer lights are working properly and illuminating on demand. Have someone step on the brake pedal and activate turn signals and brake lights to confirm they are illuminating properly.

Always inspect the trailer’s wiring for wear or damage. Fraying wires could short out against the frame. Also, inspect the battery for any signs of damage or wear. Make sure it is properly charged and in good condition.

Breakaway System

For trailers with brakes, federal law requires that your trailer is equipped with a functioning breakaway system. Your breakaway cable attaches to the brake system on your trailer and then attaches to the back of your tow vehicle. You must have fully operational electric brakes for the breakaway cable to work properly. The battery must be charged and the switch cable attached to the vehicle for the system to operate properly.

As part of your general trailer maintenance, test the breakaway system battery annually to make sure it’s in operating order. To test your breakaway chains, follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Pull the pin out from the breakaway switch
  2. Brakes should engage
  3. Drive the tow vehicle forward slightly to be sure the brakes have locked

Regular Trailer Maintenance is Key to Trailer Longevity

Routine trailer maintenance is important for the longevity of your trailer. Like any piece of equipment, your trailer parts may experience wear and tear over time. Knowing when and how to detect possible issues with your trailer is important to ensure safety while hauling. Ignoring possible maintenance concerns can also result in more costly repairs in the future. 

For additional trailer maintenance tips, read Trailer Maintenance Checklist Part 1 where we discuss maintenance requirements for your trailer’s wheels, tires, and axles.