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Trailer Restoration and How to Maintain Them

How long have you used your trailer? How many times have you maintained it? Your trailer has seen better days, and this article will take you through the trailer restoration process. It is time to show your trailer some love since they have helped you through tough times.

Pay Attention To The Details

When cleaning your trailer, Sandblasting is the way to go. Also, consider using power-coating over traditional paint to get a smooth and hard skin finish.

If the trailer has steel wheels that have seen better days, are clean, prime, and painted to complete the trailer restoration.

There are a few things to look out for when inspecting to see if you need a trailer restoration:

  • The first is rust, trailers are prone to rust when it only receives minimal maintenance.
  • You must inspect your running gears as carrying heavy loads for a long time can take a toll on your trailer. The suspension and braking system can wear and tear. Check these parts to see if they need replacing.
  • For safety and efficiency reasons, rollers, skids, and bunkers must be in top condition. If you see cracks or hardened parts, you need to replace them. 
Trailer Restoration

Trailer maintenance is vital to make your trailer look brand new!

Use a Power Washer to Clean the Trailer 

After years of use, your trailer gets dirty, and a quick power wash can restore the look of your trailer. Excessive road travel and exposure to the elements will accumulate grime on the trailer surface. Rinsing your trailer will make the trailer look clean at first glance, but your trailer has many crevices that dirt can build up.

A standard garden hose will not deliver enough pressure to remove all the dirt. Instead, use a power wash and detergent to clean the trailer. A power washer uses a high-pressure water stream to blast stubborn dirt away. 

Over time, your trailer will become dull and discoloured. It does not need a new paint job, but a good washing can help bring out the natural shine of the trailer.

Remove the Rust

Trailers are often left outside all year round in harsh weather, causing the corrosion process to occur. This happens when a strain is within the metal, weakening the material over time. Rust will also eat away at the metal as flakes chip away from the surface. These two factors can lead to a weaker material on a trailer, which is a big problem.

Rusting is more likely to occur in unprotected metal. The longer the rust is untreated, the more likely it is to be irreversible, and it will damage the trailer. 

For small rusted surfaces, use an orbital sander specific for metal use. For heavier rust treatments, try rust remover first before sanding. Wear eye protection and a mask to protect you from paint dust and petal pieces. 

Road salt, unfortunately, is a major problem. When your trailer is exposed to road salt, it can experience oxidation. This is like iron rusting and causes discolouration and a compromised surface. 

Trailer Restoration

Rust will affect the performance of your trailer

Prime the Surface

A trailer restoration will help prevent the reappearance of rust and imperfections from showing, applying primer is a crucial step in all paint jobs. An automotive primer helps the paint adhere to bare metal. Without primer as a buffer, the metal surface will not bond well with the paint. This will lead to peeling, flaking, and rust, which turns a functioning-looking trailer into junk in no time.

Once the primer has dried completely, use a brush, roller, or spray bottle to apply the final coat on the trailer. Once the paint has dried, look at the finish and decide if a second coat will improve the results.

Use a good etch primer as soon as possible after cleaning. This will seal the steelwork and prevent any moisture from causing corrosion. Etch primer tends to have a lot of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which help the paint bond with the steel and the drying process. 

You must be careful when dealing with VOC, as it will cause negative effects on your body. While you may not feel any effects of the chemical when painting, you will feel its side effects a few days later. This is when your body tries to remove the toxins from your system. Be assured to use a suitable respirator designed for the primers and paints you are using.

Evaluate the Finish

After cleaning, priming, and placing restored parts, it is now time to add the finer details that will make your trailer more efficient. Some accessories you can do to your trailers are:  

  • Self-centring kneel rollers – these rollers help keep the boat in position and aligned. This is very useful in rough conditions
  • Bumper covers – these will provide extra protection for the trailer and the boat
  • Ratcheting hooks – this add-on helps the boat remain steady and stable during transit
  • Wheel clamp – another great add-on to prevent movement or access to the wheels
  • Bearing protectors – using protectors can protect your wheel bearings from dirt and water.

Let’s face it, trailer repairs are not a quick process. But you can prioritise what needs to be checked and replaced first. With your priorities straightened out, you can soon bring your old trailer back to its former glory.

Your Trailer is as Good as New!

Transform your trailer with these trailer restoration tips to turn your worn-out trailer into brand new! For more information and everything, you need to know about all trailers, check out our blog page

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