A “broke down” horse trailer can ruin your day, and maybe your whole trip! You’re loaded up with kids, dogs, horses, a cooler full of food, and who knows what else (where does all that extra baggage come from?). The last place you want to be is stuck at a gas station – or on a busy highway – waiting for a mechanic.
Sometimes, trouble just finds you (there’s never a guarantee that it won’t) but a few minutes of preparation up front can put the odds in your favor.
Take a nice, slow, walk around your horse trailer looking for anything that might be a problem. Here are a few things to look for.
- Broken wires
- Broken/cracked lights
- Broken windows
- Broken or sticky latches
- Broken safety chains
- Broken or missing emergency brake cable
- Doors that don’t properly close
- Anything dragging or hung up under the trailer
If see anything wrong, fix it before you leave home.
Check the tire inflation before you move the trailer. Bring the pressure to the spec in your owner’s manual.
Inspect the hubs… or even better, while you’re bent over, put some grease on ‘em!
Look for loose or missing lug nuts
Take a close look at the hitch. Makes sure the moving parts move and there’s no damage. Grease if needed.
Refill or top-off propane tanks
Batteries should be at about 12.7 volts when fully charged with the AC power unplugged. If the meter shows less than 12.1 volts, have the batteries tested.
Is the refrigerator cooling down like it should when running on propane and/or electricity?
Is the water pump pushing water out of the taps?
Does the holding tank need a shot of deodorizer?
Connect the horse trailer to the truck. Check to be sure all lights work, brakes are adjusted correctly, trailer clearances are correct, and the trailer is level for the safe towing.
And on Departure Day!
Triple-check that the hitch is seated like it should be, and locked. Safety chains should be fastened and the emergency brake cable secured to the truck.
Park the horse trailer on level ground, if possible. Open and secure the loading doors and any dividers or gates so you’re not fussing with them while loading the horses. When the horses are settled, close any dividers or gates and secure them as described in the owner’s manual.
Do one final walk around to be sure you checked everything, forgot nothing, and it’s all in good working order. If it isn’t right before you leave, it will only get worse along the way!
Always Remember the Six P’s
Proper prior planning prevents a poor performance! Say it three times fast and you’re ready to roll!
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