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  KEEPING MY NEW TRAILER LOOKING NEW

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Author Topic:   KEEPING MY NEW TRAILER LOOKING NEW
bigjohn1 posted 03-22-2004 09:37 AM ET (US)   Profile for bigjohn1   Send Email to bigjohn1  
Although this is directly related to the trailer that will come with my new Montauk, the principles apply to all galvanized trailers. How do I keep it from rusting away so quickly? Let me give some background on my specific situation before the obvious starts getting stated in replies.

I boat only in salt water and know the best way to keep the rust away is to wash it down right after you dunk it. My problem is, on Guam where this boat will be operated, access to fresh water at the ramps is not always there. Once I launch the boat, the trailer will have to sit there in the parking lot all day while I am boating with the hot tropical sun baking that salt right on. The trailer will have to wait until the late afternoon when I get home to get its thorough fresh water wash-down.

I have owned many boats and a few galvanized trailers in this tropical environment and know the pitfalls of the
environment on trailers. Years ago when we weren't near as friendly to our environment, we used to "paint" used motor oil on our trailers. Yes, it works pretty well but as we all know, this is NOT the way to go these days.

On my last trailer, I sprayed the springs, nuts, bolts, and all the attaching hardware with lithium grease prior to the first launch in salt water and I must say that it did help to slow the deterioration down a good bit. Trouble is, its very ugly and picks up all sorts of debris with time so I'm looking for a better way obviously this time.

I am already aware that ss fastners are the only way to go
in this environment and am already all over that. My hope is the new trailer supplied with the Montauk is already built with stainless fastners throughout. Even still, stainless still rusts quite quickly down here at 13 degrees latitude in this tropical heat, salt, and humidity.

Am I missing something or does anyone have a tip given my situation and lack of access to freash water at my ramp. The Montauk trailer looks to be a descent one and I want to keep her that way as long as possible.

Thanks,
Big John

AQUANUT posted 03-22-2004 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for AQUANUT  Send Email to AQUANUT     
Hey John

I lived in the persian gulf for three years in the 80's
while in the area I traveled to the red sea....and I will tell ya its almost as salty as The Great Salt Lake in Utah.

anyway. on a trip there I saw a Grady White being used as a dive boat, it was trailered due to theft in the area..the trailer was completely encapsulated in a coating done by a company in florida named Ziebart. It was explained to me that they spray/inject the undercoating inside of the frame to seal the voids..not sure how much it cost them...but seemed like a cool idea...stainless steel can even rust, regardless of grade...obviously the chrome plated stainless on the whalers is there for more than looks...it very durable

p.s.
they had a saying over there, on a clear night..you could hear chevies rusting...hahahaha...whats your tow rig?
it was so salty over there..that sheets of salt several inches thick and several feet wide hugs the shoreline like ice..and is visible at low tide

Florida15 posted 03-22-2004 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
John, I just spray my trailer off when I get home but I have a friend who is meticulous. He puts a 3 gallon pump up sprayer full of water in the back of his truck. After he launches his boat, he sprays the trailer off. I'm sure he's not able to get into all the nooks and crannies but he swears it helps.
bigjohn1 posted 03-23-2004 08:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Sprayer bottle on the back of the truck eh? Now that sounds original and also sounds like a damn good idea to boot!! I will have to look into that for sure.

Aquanut, I hear you on the "sand box" - been there, done, that, and hope I never go back. Guam is just like being on an aircraft carrier in the Red Sea or Persian Gulf...salt on everything all the time. At sea, those 40 million dollar F-14's got more fresh water baths than I ever did!

In Guam, you see the crystalized salt on and in your car each and every morning which necesitates at least weekly car washes if you want her to last any time. I will use a cheap 2-WD Toyota pickup as a towing vehicle. I have already been through that 4X4 stage and don't plan to go back if I don't have to....with a Montauk, a 2-WD will do just fine. Don't get me wrong, I love big 4X4's but the American vehicle marketing machine tries its best to convince us all that we can't live without all four wheels spinning. Here in Okinawa where I am currently posted, you just can't find pickups as they're mostly an American thing...the Japanese won't buy them. They do put 4WD on many of the cars here though so you see lots of locals towing boats with what you and I in the sates would have an SUV for. They religiously change tranny fluid and mostly run transmission coolers when towing so the cars hold up reasonably well. Further, since this is a small island with a top speed limit of about 45MPH, its really a none issue.

As a side note just to tick everyone off...the Japanese laugh at the American SUV market where we pay $30-45K
for a vehicle. In the case of Nissan and Toyota, they buy the same vehicles here for about half price!! Only difference is, the domestic models here have the steering wheel on the right side.

I'll drive a prestine 2003 $11,000 Toyota SUV all day long with the steering wheel on the wrong side instead of getting screwed like we do back home...aint life grand~!

John

DaveH posted 03-23-2004 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
bigjogn1:
If the stainless steel you are using is still rusting, see if you can find a supplier of 316 grade or 316L grade S/S for better corrosion control. All stainless steel is not created equal with regard to corrosion protection.
Maximus posted 03-23-2004 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
Speaking of trailers...

MT170 was bought new last August and I was NOT planning on touching the bearing this year. Total mileage was less than 500 miles. Can anyone let me know if this is a good/bad idea. As a rule, on my last Montauk, the bearings would be repacked at a minimum each spring.

Buckda posted 03-23-2004 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
A recent issue of TRAILER BOATING MAGAZINE had a "how to" article on a self-contained washdown kit. The water tanks mounted directly on the trailer and it came with a sprayer nozzle and battery operated pump.

The kit cost approximately 400-600 bucks and they said it took about 2 hours to install.

Was either December, January or February issue.

Dave

bigjohn1 posted 03-24-2004 04:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Maximus,

Get you a pair of "bearing buddies" and forget about repacking your bearings for a few years. Just make sure you check that the bearing buddies stay at about 80% full - adding grease as needed. These take the guess work out of bearing worries regarding water intrusion, dilusion of grease, low grease amount, etc.

With 500 miles so far and taking into account that you did not previously have the bearing buddies, I'd take them off, clean and re-pack them...then install the bearing buddies. Now you can forget about having to re-pack every year simply making sure the bearings remain almost full. If it were me, I would now re-pack about once every three years once the "buddies" were installed just to be safe. With lubricant technology being what it is today, high temp bearing grease is pretty stable even at high temperature.
Of course, if you're taking long interstate road trips at highway speeds, pack a grease gun with you and periodically check the grease level at every stop. I am assuming you are not now towing your boat on long distance trips:-)

Someone is no doubt going to come in here and flame me saying this is not enough attention to bearings and you should re-pack them more often that I state. Its your choice but alot of bearing failure is attributed to people not paying attention to detail when they clean and re-pack. Some also make the mistake of "spin drying them with compressed air--this is a big no-no. Also, many people replace bearings when they get a little play in them and neglect to replace the races (what the bearing rides in). Another big no-no here as bearings and races must be replaced together.

For me, I choose to only deal with all that muck and grease on my hands every few years vice every year.

Also, if you're wondering why I state above to only fill bearing buddies to about 80%, its because if you overfill them, the inner wheel grease seals will pop and you'll have nasty grease all over your pretty trailer and boat hull.

John

Milepost43 posted 03-24-2004 06:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Milepost43  Send Email to Milepost43     
Saw FLUSH AND GO system for boat, brakes, and motor washdown @ Ft myers boat show. Link
www.flushgo.com
Maximus posted 03-24-2004 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maximus  Send Email to Maximus     
My EZ-Loader trailer came with bearing buddies.

Thanks for the info.

Buckda posted 03-24-2004 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Milepost 43 -

That was the system - thanks for the url!

www.flushgo.com

Dave

bigjohn1 posted 03-25-2004 07:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Buckda/Milepost,

Thanks for the info and URL....that looks like a sweet system and one that would work well. Florida 15's idea of his buddy who kept a sprayer bottle in his vehicle is more like what I'd be inclined to do though.

Also, I plan to buy a new water blaster to use on the trailer after my outings (the cheap ones with a small lawn mower engine). You screw on a medium power nozzle setting so they don't damage anything you spray. I have found they do a more thorough job of getting salt off trailers than just a garden hose nozzle. They can be bought as cheap as about $350.00 here in the islands but I bet you guys back in the real world can get them even cheaper than that at the local Walmart or Home Depot....Food for thought.

Thanks to all for the ideas,

John

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