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Caring for an Unused Trailer

I installed a boat lift on my dock two years ago and the 1998 Ram-Lin trailer has been sitting outdoors, unused since. I put the tires/wheels in the basement to prevent rot, and the trailer is up on blocks. I know it will start rusting at some point (probably has already started) but I really don't want to take up half of the garage for just the trailer. What do some of you do to care for an unused trailer stored outdoors? It looks so sad with the tall grass growing up through it.


  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,887
    It's a 98 trailer so it's already seen 19 years of outside, more than likely. Clean it, wax it, grease everything that is greasable, and let it sit. Trailers are made to sit outside.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • EdmundEdmund Posts: 129 Baller
    The trailer spent its first 17 years garaged, so that's why I am concerned about taking good care of it sitting outside now. OK, I will do what I can for it.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 588 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2017
    Inside or out, I wouldn't trust tires older than 5 years or so pulling a boat on a long trip. Or really any significant distance at highway speeds.
  • DavidNDavidN Posts: 173 Baller
    edited September 2017
    I built a flat supporting frame out of wood on top of the trailer, put a cheap universal boat cover over it, strapped it down as tight as possible and covered the tires. It sits outside in the Florida sun since 2.5 Years now. Still all good.
  • EdmundEdmund Posts: 129 Baller
    @DavidN Good idea. Thanks.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,851 Mega Baller
    C channel or tube frame?
  • EdmundEdmund Posts: 129 Baller
    Tube frame
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,851 Mega Baller
    There are products to apply inside. This rust from inside out
  • DavidNDavidN Posts: 173 Baller
    edited September 2017
    Here is a picture of my trailer all covered up.
    I was mostly worried about the carpet on the trailer bunks rotting due to our harsh sun and daily rain during the summer months.
    The universal boat cover holds up pretty well. It used to be black, now badly faded but still watertight.
    It's a little hassle everytime I have to use the trailer, (2 times in 2.5 years now), but it is worth to me.

  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 249 Baller
    I second @ScottScott's concern about the age of the tires. In general the serviceable life of a tire is 6 - 10 years. Trailer tires take a beating - so I switch out my trailer tires (including the spare) every 6 years regardless of remaining tread.

    Rubber breaks down over time even if not in use.

    You can check when your tire was manufactured by looking at the last 4 digits of the serial number which are the week (01-52) and the last two digits of the year it was made.

    On a side note Goodyear has a great new trailer tire called the endurance - made in the US, N speed rating (86 mph) I don't advise confirming this! And they have a built in scuff guard.

    I put them on my trailer and am very happy with them.

  • GarGar Posts: 260 Baller
    I'm wary of tires (all) after 5 years.
  • WishWish Posts: 7,316 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    plastic tarp cut to shape (they are made to cut) and plastic spring clamped to trailer. Holes cut in center where it sags and can collect water. Wait till the first rain or use a hose and cut holes accordingly to allow drainage. Some composite sheeting leaned up against tires (no sun) and the back on blocks to reduce weight on tires. Only use trailer once in a great while. A 1997 and looks almost new.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 1,848
    I have a 2011 CC200 that has never left our private Lake and sits in an enclosed boat house. The Trailer has 9 miles on it. I purchased a fully enclosed 10 x 20 canvas car port that the trailer sits in on blocks. Had to replace the cover once, but the trailer looks like brand new. Last week I saw a fully enclosed 10 X 20 car port, tan cover, at Pep-Boys for only $195.00. That's a good deal since my replacement cover costs $185.
    Loving the Reflex Supershell with R Style Rear !!!
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 588 Crazy Baller
    @jmoski Thanks for the info on the Goodyear Endurance. That N speed rating is a big thing for trailer tires. Most people don't realize that most trailer tires are only rated up to 65mph. Driving long trips at 70-80 mph hwy speeds (especially with older tires) is a big part of why you see so many trailers (boats and RVs) on the side of the road (and bearings.) I had 2 blowouts in one trip, and neither tire was over 5 years old, before I did a little research and found that out....
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,456 Mega Baller
    Don't leave mine out but use NuFinish wax once a year.
  • EdmundEdmund Posts: 129 Baller
    Lots of great ideas. Thanks everyone.
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