Not everybody uses their utility trailer year-round. You might be a professional landscaper who loves their Lamar Trailer for the versatility provided during the summer months. Or, you could be a homeowner with a few acres to take care of when the leaves change. Regardless, you may have wondered in the past: “How do I store a utility trailer?”
Regardless of how you use your trailer, storing your equipment in the off season isn’t difficult or complex. But, it does need to be done correctly. Here’s how:
1. Remove Trailer Batteries
Depending on the type of trailer you own, it might have batteries powering the hydraulics and emergency breakaway systems. Disconnecting and removing these power sources from your trailer is important to prevent corrosion and harm during long-term storage.
If your trailer is going to be outside, keep the batteries indoors and charge them every 90 days or so to keep them in tip-top shape.
2. Take a Load Off Your Trailer Suspension
Jack up your trailer and place the frame on jack stands. This will take all the weight off the tires and suspension, which is better for them if the trailer is just sitting.
Make sure to follow the manufacturers recommended practices for placing your trailer up on the jack stands. Never use the axle tube or suspension equalizers as a jack support or jack stand point! This can potentially cause expensive damage to the running gear. These points are also much less stable when compared to the frame.
3. Grease and Protect Moving Trailer Parts
This step is vital if you’re going to be storing your trailer outside. All moving parts such as the trailer hitch, suspension parts and hinges need a coating of lubricant and/or grease. If possible, placing the trailer beneath some type of storage cover would also be ideal.
4. Special Trailer Storage Circumstances
Some axles, like on boat trailers, are subject to repeated immersion in water. Prior to storage, remove the brake drums and clean, dry and lubricate all brake components. Inspect all bearings and ensure that they’re in good condition, then clean and lubricate everything.
5. Trailer Wheel Bearing Care
You may have noticed that on oil lubricated hubs, the upper part of the roller bearings isn’t immersed in oil all the time. During regular use of your trailer, this isn’t a big deal because the bearing rotates in the oil bath as the wheel turns.
Obviously, the tire isn’t rotating in storage. To prolong bearing life, revolve your wheels every two to three weeks during long periods of non-use. This will keep all of the bearings evenly coated and protected.
Store A Utility Trailer: Safety First
Even if you jack up your trailer for storage relatively infrequently, you should always exercise all safety precautions:
- Never lift or support your trailer on any part of the axle or suspension system.
- Don’t go underneath a trailer unless it’s properly supported on load-rated jack stands.
- Improperly supported trailers and vehicles can fall on you. That’s bad.
Because of these points, it’s normally not a good idea to store a utility trailer on its end or side. You might be able to get away with it on a lighter trailer (or even hanging the smallest of trailers from a shop ceiling), but larger ones are just too heavy to be safely stored like this.
Until The Next Season
Whether you’re wanting to store a utility trailer in a garage or outside, the process is much the same. Keeping these maintenance points foremost in your mind while preparing your open trailer for storage will give you the most life out of every single one of your utility trailer components.