In March I began the project of replacing the axle and hubs. These were VERY rusted, with the remains of the drum brakes hanging from the hubs.
After posting some trailer questions on the Montgomery Sailboat Owners Group (MSOG) listserve, I was contacted by a Canadian M17 owner who had a good condition Trailrite trailer axle (Update: Trailrite closed up shop in 2015). We agreed on a price and I made an early April trip to collect this ‘new to me’ axle.
I had the axle installed by a local shop – Torklift. This shop has been in Kent for 35 years and does excellent work and provides outstanding service. Prior to taking the trailer to their shop I adjusted the ‘new to me’ hubs installed the ‘old’ axle’s two Bearing Buddy.
After a year of work I now have a reconditioned trailer.
- Be sure to fully inspect any trailer you purchase. I thought I had a structurally sound trailer and still missed an item that should have been repaired immediately. I was lucky not to have experienced a catastrophic failure at high speed.
- Care of the trailer is a task not to be ‘put off’.
- Check the trailer frame monthly for rust. Any spots found must be scraped, sanded and painted.
- Keep a constant eye on the condition of the trailer’s tires and hubs – before a trip, during the trip, and when returning home. Keep the hubs well greased (I use Bearing Buddy) and have them serviced if you see evidence of seal leaks.
- I use SWEET PEA’s trailer in the hostile to metal Puget Sound saltwater environment. This requires vigilance to slow the trailer’s destruction by doing preventative maintenance tasks. I am under no option that the trailer will ‘last forever’.