Boat owners who regularly use a trailer in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina know that small mistakes when disconnecting a boat trailer can lead to significant consequences. The process of removing the trailer from the tow vehicle is not a challenging proposition but must be done with care and paying close attention. Here are five tips for disconnecting a boat trailer from the tow vehicle.
1) Putting the vehicle in park
After the boat and trailer or just the trailer is in position to be disconnected, remember to put the truck in park. Often backing in the tow into a spot requires a significant amount of changing gears from forward to reverse. As a result, shifting to the vehicle to park can be forgotten.
Failure to put the tow vehicle in park can result in dangerous if not deadly circumstances. The truck’s movement can strike someone or another object, and it happens more than you think. A good habit is also to apply the parking brake as a backup as an additional safety measure.
2) Wheel blocks
Much like shifting a car to park, wheel blocks prevent the trailer from rolling. I am sure you have seen a person chasing a runaway boat trailer parked even on the slightest incline on TV. The best way to avoid this is by blocking the trailer tires on the front and the backside.
When the boat trailer is in tow, stow the blocks in the back of the tow vehicle or inside of the boat. Make sure that you either purchase chocks designed for tailer tires or large because of lumber that will not drag or allow the tire to roll over it.
3) Locking the trailer jack in place
Once the vehicle is secured so it will not roll, head back to the hitch to disconnect the trailer. The trailer jack lifts the trailer’s tongue off of the ball on the tow hitch most often by spinning a crank. For a trailer jack to effectively do its job, the trailer jack locking pin must be securely in place.
The wheel of a trailer jack adjusts to align with the trailer’s frame while it is being towed and can be put into position by pulling the lock pin out before securing back in place.
An unsecured pin can lead to the front of the trailer collapsing to the ground. Not only can the hull of the boat hit the ground, but more importantly, people can become trapped underneath the trailer. Ensure the trailer jack is secure every time.
4) Disconnecting the chains and electric
While you’re positioned at the tongue of the trailer, raising it above the trailer ball, remember to remove the chains and electrical wiring.
Many have gone to pull away only to realize the trailer is still attached by a chain. When it comes to the wiring harness, it will typically pull free from the socket; however, wires can become damaged or broken, leading to the necessity of repair.
When the chains and electrical cable are removed, hand them on the top of the tongue so you can easily see that the task is complete.
5) Theft prevention
Boat theft happens more often than you may realize. In fact, the stealing of boats is big business. When a craft is stolen, it is usually parted out overnight and sold off rapidly. A few easy measures will help to avoid the loss of your boat and trailer.
Apply a lock to the tongue of the trailer and ensure that it is adequately clasped closed. Another form of lock is a wheel lock that secures around a wheel of the trailer. Consider either one or both of these methods.
Consider what is inside of the boat when you drop it off before heading home. Remove all of the valuable gear, including fishing equipment, electronics, water sport toys, and any other item of value.
Conclusion Disconnecting a Boat Trailer
Patience is key. Don’t hurry the process. Take your time. Many times the process is done in the dark of night. Bring along a good flashlight to make the process easier. No matter if it is day or night, always take a final walk around with a physical checklist or a checklist in your head to avoid any mistakes. After a few times, it will become second nature.