I thought I would throw this in here because I have been asking different people questions about their trailer maintenance, and found out something I didn't expect: A lot of people do little if any!
I have also done a search on various sites and couldn't find any threads covering this important topic. Here are some of the things I have been dealing with recently. Now remember that I use my trailer all throughout the winter each year, and it gets a salt bath regularly. Please chime in with your trailer maintenance war stories.
OK, the sanding, painting, and tail/marker light replacement stuff is self explanatory. So is the corrosion in the harness connector at the tongue. I spray WD40 in mine regularly and it never gets that green corrosion in it any more.
But how many of you ever check your brakes, spring eye bushings, shackles, and bolts?
If neglected too long like these, it makes no sense to try to unseize all of the moving parts, replace the shoes, trailer brake magnets and hardware. You can get the whole setup you see here for less money than if you tried to buy the parts separately. I get my parts HERE.
After my second set of spring eye bushings in six years on my old trailer, I mentioned to a friend that I was getting tired of this all too frequent trailer repair work. He said he simply uses an oil squirt can to lubricate his shackles and bushings every so often. I started doing this and virtually eliminated the [2 to 3 year] spring eye bushing replacements. Very simple.
How can you tell if your spring eye bushings and shackles are excessively worn? All you have to do is get down and take a look at them. The arrow is pointing to a wear mark from excess play from completely worn out spring eye bushings.
In this advanced case, the bushings were shot for so long, that the spring eyes were wearing the bolts out as well. They were all grooved up from the shackles rubbing on them. The formerly round holes in the shackles were now ovals. Don't let this happen to you. Check and lubricate your shackles and bushings frequently. It's like the old Fram commercials used to say: "You can pay me now or pay me later".
This is a generic picture, my bushings are actually much thinner than these.
One last thought: the spring eye bushings I keep referring to are really thin and cheaply made. I say it's planned obsolesence on the part of the trailer supply manufacturers. But in the past 20 years, I have never seen anyone's trailer come with anything else. But there is a better way. A place like Albany Spring can bore out your spring eyes and install bronze bushings in your springs, complete with zerk fittings to grease them. They will last the life of the trailer with ease. Why don't they make them that way in the first place?
So, what shape is your trailer in?