Spring is the time to slather parts of snowmobile trailers in lightweight oil and grease to protect it from corrosion over the summer. Taking, literally, a few minutes now to work some preventive maintenance into your springtime ‘to-do’ list will help prevent serious corrosion that could take hours to repair in the fall. Here are a few for springtime snowmobile trailer maintenance:
1. Spray the vertical tube of the tongue jack with WD-40 or similar, lightweight oil and then crank the jack up and down a few times to coat the metal surfaces with oil. Don’t forget to shoot the little plastic wheel’s axle so it continues to roll easily. If your tongue jack has a grease zerk, pump a shots of grease into it to keep it working smoothly.
2. Coat the tie-down bar cranks with anti-seize lube so they don’t rust over the summer. If your trailer has a ramp that’s secured to the trailer with a crank, do the same to protect those threads.
3. Douse the coupler assembly with oil and operate it a few times to work the oil throughout the mechanism. Hose down the safety chains, too.
4. If you have the means, raise the trailer off the ground and set the axle on wood blocks or bricks, and then lean a piece of plywood against each wheel. This will protect the rubber from the sun’s UV rays that cause dry rot.
5. Most snowmobile trailers have greaseable wheel hubs that makes it easy to stay on top of maintenance. Pump a few shots of fresh grease into the hubs to displace water and lube the bearings. Some trailer axles have a small hole on the back of the hub so the old grease can be flushed out. Have a helper watch this area as you pump the grease gun until clean grease comes out, or you might be able to hear it crackle and pop as it oozes out.
At a minimum, the five snowmobile trailer maintenance tips listed above should be performed now. If you’re more ambitious, wash the trailer, too. Use a pressure washer to clean the deck — top and bottom surfaces — and rinse off the salt and grime that accumulated on the frame and wheels. Enclosed trailers should be washed with a soft-bristle brush and soap and water to preserve the finish.