7 steps to maintaining your horse trailer

Having just come out of winter most trailers have stood unused for some time, and looks like they are going to continue to be out of use for a while to come. Now is the perfect time to give your trailer a check over and make sure it is all in working order and prepared for when you are ready to use it again.

  1. Check that all the lights are working. Hitch it up to your car and connect the cables, then check all of the lights, indicators, brake lights, hazard lights and interior light are working. If any of them are not get replacement bulbs and change them.
  2. Give the trailer a thorough sweep out, paying particular attention to the floor under the hay net area, make sure there are no hay seeds stuck in the rubber matting. If you can remove the rubber matts lift them out of the trailer and check the floor over for any signs of damage or wearing away. If you cannot remove the matts still give the floor a thorough check, paying particular attention to the areas at the back of the trailer where the horses poo etc.
  3. Give the inside of the trailer a good scrub out, you can do this with a disinfectant wash such as dettol, or a caravan or car wash solution, washing up liquid also works well. If you have removed the rubber matting make sure you scrub this as well. Wait until the trailer and matting are throughly dry before putting back. If you do have removable matts it is a good idea to leave them hanging over the breast bars and let the floor air, whist the trailer is not is use. Once the inside is all done close everything up.
  4. Give the outside of the trailer a good wash, again you can use a normal car shampoo or caravan shampoo. Whilst you are washing check for any signs of damage, or wear and tear. Especially on the trims around the windows and doors.
  5. Remove the light casings and give them a thorough wash and dry, before putting them back them on. Don’t forget to change any bulbs that need replacing. Check the brake cable for any signs of wear, and give the plug connector (bit you attach to car) a sweep out with a clean, dry long bristled brush.
  6. Grease the tow ball and check to see if the wheel bearings need re-greasing, put WD40 or oil on all the hinges on the ramps and jockey door. Make sure everything is closed up, but leave the sliding windows slightly open to allow air flow through the trailer.
  7. Finally park the trailer on level hard standing (where possible) and check the tyre pressure is correct. You can find this information in the manual that came with the trailer, or on a sticker on the jockey door. If you do not have the manual or sticker you can find it out by contacting the manufacturer or a trailer service centre. Also check the tyres for cracks and worn treads, don’t forget to include the spare tyre in these checks. Leave bricks or chocks under the tyres and leave the hand brake OFF. Make sure you lock the hitch lock and put on a wheel clamp, and if you can put a cover over the trailer.

Check the trailer over every couple of weeks to make sure it is ok and no mould is starting to form. If your trailer has been out of use for a while it is highly recommended you get it serviced by a professional before using.

The Tidy Tack Rooms Team

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