It’s been a particularly bad winter this season in terms of snow and ice. All of the resulting salt and slush on the roads can accumulate fast and make cleaning your trailer a headache come springtime.
Keeping your trailer clean is really important for ensuring it has a long lifespan, especially if your trailer is enclosed. Enclosed trailers are usually given an auto finish with several coats of paint and sealant, and it’s a good idea to help your finish weather the weather.
The first step is to give your trailer a nice washing with warm water, using soap that is specially formulated to be gentle on auto finishes. If you know your trailer doesn’t have any type of auto finish, then warm soapy water works just as well. Use a regular hose to rinse your trailer off; high-powered pressure washers can damage the finish and degrade the trailer body.
One challenge you may face when giving your trailer a good cleaning is your trailer’s height. Some trailers can be awfully tall, but don’t worry – there are a lot of tools in the market to help make cleaning as painless as possible. Of course, a natural solution could also be a sturdy ladder with non-slip stepping surfaces.
Telescoping wash brushes can make the experience a lot easier. A telescoping wash brush is a long, metal pole that attaches to the end of your hose and extends your reach by several feet. It also comes with a variety of attachments, including spray nozzles, window squeegees, and round soft brushes.
Next, make sure you take some time to really polish your trailer’s reflective lights and plates so they’ll be perfectly visible to drivers at night. And don’t forget to also rinse your undercarriage, as road salt and dust can accumulate down there and easily damage your moving parts.
Keep an eye out for rusted areas as you wash your trailer. If you find any, be sure to sand them down with sandpaper or steel wool. After your trailer has dried, you can patch up these areas with rust-proof paint to ensure they don’t rust through again.
If your trailer is for boating, it’s especially important to keep it clean, specifically if you use it around salt water. Salt water collects on metal and evaporates, leaving behind a salt residue that accelerates corrosion, so you’ll want to pay careful attention to your wheels, suspension and brakes.
Keeping the metal parts of your trailer waxed is incredibly important in protecting it from the elements and preventing rusting, even if your trailer doesn’t require any other kind of maintenance. Apply generous amounts of wax to any exposed metal to keep your trailer functional for longer.