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Old 06-14-2017, 08:16 PM   #1
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Are you doing your maintenance?

Now that I've been an owner for a few months, I figured it was time to get serious about maintenance. I looked inside my manual and found the list of maintenance items copied below.

Are most of you really doing all of these things religiously? Sure, I guess I could torque my lug nuts every trip and check the tire pressure, but I don't do that with my car. Are most of you instead doing some of these things every few months instead of "weekly"?

Also, I didn't see anything in the list about the gas appliances directly (fridge, furnace, water heater). I was planning on bringing my trailer to a dealer once a year to have them look at those things. And what about that waxing that I keep hearing about. Waxing is not in this list either, so it is really required or just cosmetic?


Each Trip or Weekly:
Inspect Safety Chains
Inspect Brake Wiring, 7-Pin Plug
Test Brake-away Switch
Inspect Tires (Inflation, Wear, Damage)
Torque Lug Nuts
Check Exterior Lighting
Test Awning Wind Sensor (if equipped)

1000 kms or 30 Days:
Lubricate Coupler Latch & Socket
Inspect Hitch Components
Clean Battery Cables & Terminals / Check Fluid

Every 3000 kms or 90 Days:
Inspect Brakes
Sanitize Water Tanks (if trailer has been stored)
Check All Seals + Openings Reseal as Needed

Every 12,000 kms or Yearly:
Check Water System Components
Pack Wheel Bearings
Inspect + Clean Vents
Inspect Suspension
Lubricate Hinges
Lubricate Locks
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:23 PM   #2
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Inspect the gas orifice on the fridge for spider webs and blow out with compressed air.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:24 PM   #3
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I think some of the things on that list are excessive Paul, but maybe that's just me. I don't repack the bearings every year, I can tell you. That's because they don't need it. Every two years, maybe. Some of the items that say every 90 days I might do once a year.

One thing I do happen to do regularly is to check all hitch related components, and make sure the trailer tire pressure is correct.

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Old 06-14-2017, 08:43 PM   #4
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We have always repacked bearings once a year which is what Trailer Life says, or 10,000 miles, whichever is sooner. We had a delay this time because we had picked up late in the year and then with winter, wanted them repacked spring, not done right before winter. Trailer is in Iowa. If in Texas, the schedule may change due to weather.

There would be info in the manual about cleaning and waxing so I don't think that everything is above.

When first picking up a new trailer, you need to check the lug nuts every 100 miles for first 300. Some then check before each trip.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I think some of the things on that list are excessive Paul, but maybe that's just me. I don't repack the bearings every year, I can tell you. That's because they don't need it. Every two years, maybe. Some of the items that say every 90 days I might do once a year.

One thing I do happen to do regularly is to check all hitch related components, and make sure the trailer tire pressure is correct.

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I agree. This list is a bit OCD, but that's my opinion.

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Old 06-14-2017, 09:13 PM   #6
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How about the air conditioner filter?
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
Each Trip or Weekly:
...
Inspect Brake Wiring, 7-Pin Plug
Test Brake-away Switch
...

Every 3000 kms or 90 Days:
Inspect Brakes
...

Every 12,000 kms or Yearly:
...
Pack Wheel Bearings
...
I suppose testing the breakaway switch is a good idea, and even that frequently might be a good idea... although I don't know how many times these cheap switches can be pulled before the testing causes failure.

Other than pulling the breakaway switch (and listening for a clack of brake magnets or test-pulling the trailer), what would "Inspect Brakes" entail? Did you mean "test brakes", by applying the manual lever on the controller? The shoe clearance can be adjusted, but other than that the brakes are hidden in the drums, not accessible without pulling the drum off, which means pulling apart the bearings.

A full brake component inspection is suitable whenever the bearings inspected and repacked... which would be at one-year or longer intervals.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:22 PM   #8
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I check all the lights every trip (at departure), if they work so does the 7-pin. I check the brakes when I get in the truck

I lube the springs once a year.
I check the condition of the tires before every trip at the same time tire pressure.
Bearings and brakes checked (at shop) every 2-3 years, depending on miles towed.
No safety chains
Lube king pin as needed and same with hitch. Inspect then.
Clean Battery Cables & Terminals / Check Fluid, twice a year (one of those during winterizing).
Check all caulking around vents, lights every time trailer washed.
Lubricate all locks as needed or at winterizing.
Torque lug nuts twice within 300 miles after a wheel/tire change (and if I think about it any other time)
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Check all caulking around vents, lights every time trailer washed.
I have no idea what I'm looking for, if the caulk isn't obviously separated. I don't want to pick at it for fear of causing a problem. Any advice on what I should be looking for?
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I have no idea what I'm looking for, if the caulk isn't obviously separated. I don't want to pick at it for fear of causing a problem. Any advice on what I should be looking for?
Basically just that Glenn, is it separating, splitting, missing? If you take your wash mitt to the caulk does it try to lift. I certainly don't pick at it, but have noticed once it starts to go bad, it goes quickly. With as much rain as we get, it's important to stay on top of it.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:33 PM   #11
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Consider repacking the wheel bearings for the first time and checking your brakes much sooner than recommended. I just took our 11-month-old trailer to the local service shop to have those items done, and the tech discovered a huge amount of excess grease that has contaminated the brakes. The brake assemblies now need to be replaced completely on my nearly-new trailer (we have a bit over 4,000 miles on the trailer since new).

I contacted ETI and they told me to contact Dexter (axle company). Dexter tells me it could be a warranty issue, but I need to first get some photos and file a claim. A quick search of the forum indicates I'm not the only one who has had this issue.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonrider View Post
Consider repacking the wheel bearings for the first time and checking your brakes much sooner than recommended. I just took our 11-month-old trailer to the local service shop to have those items done, and the tech discovered a huge amount of excess grease that has contaminated the brakes. The brake assemblies now need to be replaced completely on my nearly-new trailer (we have a bit over 4,000 miles on the trailer since new).

I contacted ETI and they told me to contact Dexter (axle company). Dexter tells me it could be a warranty issue, but I need to first get some photos and file a claim. A quick search of the forum indicates I'm not the only one who has had this issue.
I take it that you had not been to a shop to have anything done since pick-up so no shop could have added that grease, right? And you did not add grease at any time, I assume.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
Now that I've been an owner for a few months, I figured it was time to get serious about maintenance. I looked inside my manual and found the list of maintenance items copied below.

Are most of you really doing all of these things religiously? Sure, I guess I could torque my lug nuts every trip and check the tire pressure, but I don't do that with my car. Are most of you instead doing some of these things every few months instead of "weekly"?

Also, I didn't see anything in the list about the gas appliances directly (fridge, furnace, water heater). I was planning on bringing my trailer to a dealer once a year to have them look at those things. And what about that waxing that I keep hearing about. Waxing is not in this list either, so it is really required or just cosmetic?


Each Trip or Weekly:
Inspect Safety Chains
Inspect Brake Wiring, 7-Pin Plug
Test Brake-away Switch
Inspect Tires (Inflation, Wear, Damage)
Torque Lug Nuts
Check Exterior Lighting
Test Awning Wind Sensor (if equipped)

1000 kms or 30 Days:
Lubricate Coupler Latch & Socket
Inspect Hitch Components
Clean Battery Cables & Terminals / Check Fluid

Every 3000 kms or 90 Days:
Inspect Brakes
Sanitize Water Tanks (if trailer has been stored)
Check All Seals + Openings Reseal as Needed

Every 12,000 kms or Yearly:
Check Water System Components
Pack Wheel Bearings
Inspect + Clean Vents
Inspect Suspension
Lubricate Hinges
Lubricate Locks
Repacked bearings after 2 years , checked brakes again then too. If I don't remove a wheel I find don't need to check wheel lugs as much as when trailer was new . Just replaced tires with Maxis D rated . Wash and wax trailer consistently,especially top of storage box . If trailer will sit for awhile it get washed, waxed and covered with cover . Check batteries and water levels every few months . Hook to a battery charger to keep batteries up . Have installed a Victron battery meter so now can really see how batteries are doing . Use 303 on the graphics and rubber seals when trailer is washed. Touch up paint when needed. Once a year clean AC filter , dismantle fantastic fan and clean screen etc. after every trip throughly clean trailer , refrigerator , stove , floors , wax the wood , basically detail the inside trailer . Trailer still smells new .Have wheel sensors so I can check tires even in the house for air pressure.
Will repair anything that needs attention . I think that is it. Pat
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by float5 View Post
I take it that you had not been to a shop to have anything done since pick-up so no shop could have added that grease, right? And you did not add grease at any time, I assume.
Correct, nothing since picking up the trailer.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:07 AM   #15
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My maintenance list is quite short.

If it broke, fix it!
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:30 AM   #16
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What about rotating tires on four-wheel trailers? I didn't think about it until I noticed my front tires had significantly more wear than my rear tires, so I rotated them in March.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:06 AM   #17
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Before most trips:
Air pressure
Test gas appliances.

Yearly:
Lube hinges, locks, stabilizers, jacks, hitch, dump gates, awning arms, roll up screen door, step
Check caulking
Touch up frame paint
Wax trailer, at least I try. The front of the trailer gets waxed a lot more often as I'm always scrubbing off bugs
Clean vents

As needed:
Brakes and bearings, roughly 2 years
Sanitize fresh tank, when it's been sitting for a month or more
Batteries, a few times a year
Tire wear, when I think of it
Clean awning mildew

Had the brakes and bearings checked the first year after it's first long trip, 7 or 8k miles. Will have them done again this summer, about 25k miles total.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I suppose testing the breakaway switch is a good idea, and even that frequently might be a good idea... although I don't know how many times these cheap switches can be pulled before the testing causes failure.
I was thinking the same thing, that testing the breakaway switch this frequently might lead to early failure. On the plus side, you'd catch the failure early.

I figure some of these things are listed as required on every trip for liability reasons. Then, if there is an accident the lawyers can ask "did you inspect the breakaway switch before leaving?"
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:55 AM   #19
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Thanks for all the replies so far. In reading the responses, most people seem to check their lug nuts infrequently instead of each trip, which matches my experience with cars, so I'll probably do the same after the initial break in period. The rest of the weekly inspection items seem fairly quick and easy to do as part of attaching the trailer. Those of you that check tire inflation frequently, do you do it via a dial, or just look to see if the wheel is sagging and resort to a dial if something looks amiss? Tire inflation is one of those things that I agree should be checked regularly, although maybe not each week.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:47 AM   #20
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Uneven tire wear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
What about rotating tires on four-wheel trailers? I didn't think about it until I noticed my front tires had significantly more wear than my rear tires, so I rotated them in March.
Mike, here is my tire post from a previous thread in January 2016:

We have over 20,000 miles on our 21'. I think I didn't have the Andersen weight distributing hitch mounted just right, so there seemed to be a little more wear on the rears. So I rotated ours including the spare--same side, just front to back. Based on the moderate wear, I expect to see 40,000 miles, but we travel a lot. I do a lot of my own maintenance, so there was no expense. I'll probably do it again after the May and June travels, but not on a tight schedule of 5,000 to 7,500 like I do the cars.

We now are about 37,000 miles on the trailer, and the original tires are wearing evenly. I've rotated at least twice. If you have significantly more wear on one axle, I'd double check your ride angle/level or your WDH set up, if you have one. Another possible cause might be one axle has been doing more braking than the other. These brakes seems not to be very self adjusting.
Bill
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