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How Often Should I do Basic Maintenance to my Adjustable Receiver Hitches?

Just like your truck itself, your trailer and adjustable receiver hitch need a bit of maintenance from time to time- and for the same reason. You want to be able to tow with your hitch for as long as possible and keep your cargo as safe and secure as possible. This means a little TLC every once in a while is in order. What should you do, and how often should you do it? We’re here to answer all of your questions!

Each Time Before You Tow

Any time you hit the road with your trailer, you should check the following before leaving:

#1 Lights Be sure to check the running lights, brake lights, and turn signals. Not only will checking your lights help to keep your cargo secure, but you and the other drivers on the road will be safer too. You also want to keep in mind that having a non-working trailer light could lead to a ticket. 

#2 Brakes Checking your trailer brakes is another safety crucial step. It is also important for the longevity of your trailer’s components. Trailer brakes should not drag your tires when breaking. Your trailer brakes should not lock up when applying the brakes in the vehicle.

#3 Breakaway The trailer breakaway system is designed to bring a trailer to a safe stop by activating the electric brakes on the trailer, should the trailer be disconnected from the tow vehicle while driving. If your trailer has a breakaway system, you should check both the battery and the brakes. The battery level can be checked on the unit itself, as it should have a multi-light battery level indicator. The system itself can be checked by pulling the breakaway trigger pin to see if the brakes engage.

Every Few Months

Occasionally, like once every few months, you will want to check the following things. This is equally as important as the list above:

#1 Wheels Checking them for cracks or dents can help prevent complete blowouts. Check the tightness of the wheel bolts or lug nuts. Loose lug nuts could result in losing a wheel going down the road, especially at highway speeds. 

#2 Hubs and drums You will want to look for any scoring or wear on the hub and drum assemblies. This is a good time to also check trailer brake internals for any damage or wear and tear.

#3 Springs and suspension These components can wear out over time due to overloading the trailer and submerging the trailer in salt water if it is a boat trailer. Every few months you will want to check to make sure the springs are not cracked, rusted, or bent. You will also want to check any linkages that connect the springs to the trailer. These can become susceptible to wear and tear over time.

Keeping you, your passengers, other drivers on the road, and your cargo safe on the road is the most important thing you can do when towing a trailer with an adjustable receiver hitch. This checklist is easy to do and incredibly important!

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