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By John Campbell
As I slipped my Ranger 620 VS off the Rangertrail, trailer I couldn't
help but think of how important the trailer is on a boat package. Most
anglers want a specific boat and they want all the bells and whistles in
a boat, but they fail to realize that the trailer is probably just as crucial
to the selection as the power supply or the depth finders.
RangerTrail, trailer is performance engineered for maximum support and
protection. From the waterproof lights and available disc brakes to the custom fitting bunks, a lot of thought has gone into making a trailer that fits the boat and is not an add on. In fact, Ranger Boats advertises that the RangerTrail, has the advantage, because details make a difference.
If you have every passed a boat trailer along side the highway and wondered where their trailer problem stems from, you may want to check your trailer. The first place I start to check are the connections. Does the trailer rest on the hitch ball correctly? Are the safety chains crossed and do they have any weak links? What condition are the electrical connections in? My RangerTrail, is equipped with a custom wiring harness that is sheathed in steel conduit, instead of the cheaper plastic wire ties attached to the frame. At Ranger they make a custom
wiring harness for every trailer, model in-house. My RangerTrail, also has a custom swing tongue that fits snuggly over the ball hitch and when not in use, can swing away for storage and added security. The RangerTrail, does not have safety chains, instead it has steel cables that are wrapped in a plastic sheeting to protect them from outside nicks and scraps and allows for additional protection of the tongue and winch stand.
When you are inspecting your trailer look at the frame of the trailer. Most trailers look good when you bring them home, but after a season or two they start to get paint chips and eventually rust starts to show. The next thing you notice is that your trailer is rusting right before your eyes and it can develop weak spots and cause your boat to ride improperly or pieces of the trailer may start falling off. The RangerTrail, is made of channel beam steel that delivers exceptional strength and won't rust from the inside out like other tube frame
trailers. My Ranger trailer also has the exclusive Road Armor trailing cover that provides a secure protective coating for trailer frame and axles. The super tough Road Armor shield guards against virtually every normal road hazard. Grit, gravel, and road debris are no match for this exceptional finish that delivers lasting piece of mind.
While inspecting the frame you might want to check to see if your boat is resting on the trailer itself. Many times when inspecting this aspect of your trailer you will notice that your boat instead of resting on the frame of the trailer, it is resting on just a few rollers. This can cause damage to the hull by putting dents in the hull referred to as "fish hooks". If you have an aluminum boat you might find that a rivet or two have been damaged and this will cause your boat to leak. My
Ranger boat has a trailer that actually cradles my boat and this provides a stable, secure traveling position. Additionally, the fiberglass fenders protect the boat/trailer while offering easier access to the boat itself.
One of the most overlooked areas on a lot of trailers is the tire and axle area. If your trailer has been sitting for a long period of time, you will want to make an inspection of the tires. Check to see if they are weather checked or if they need inflation. Low tire pressure can lead to many breakdowns along the highway.
Probably the most important area to check and maintain are your bearings. So many anglers assume that if the trailer has grease in the bearing area they should be all right. Again, this is an area that is just as important as the hitch and the hookups. In fact, the leading cause of breakdowns are the bearings. If you have bearing buddies installed on your trailer you have an advantage. You can easily use a grease gun and check to see if the bearings are properly lubricated. If
you don't have the spring loaded device, it might be something that you should check into. If not, you have to remove the dust cover on your bearings and check the amount of grease on your bearings. A word of caution if you do this, make sure that you get your dust covers back on properly and don't smash the bearings as you reattach the cover. On my trailer I have a unique device called "C.O.O.L. hubs". This device is a hub lubrication system designed to continuously bathe the wheel bearings while sealing out damaging moisture.
Don't forget to check out your lights on the trailer. Check brake lights, signal lights, brightness and don't forget when you arrive at the lake it might help if you unplug those lights. Most new trailers have the lights sealed, but they do get cracks in the housing and they can get a cold blast of water on a hot bulb. RangerTrail, has sealed L.E.D. lights. This feature can translate into even more available stopping distance and greater traffic safety. The epoxy sealed L.E.D.
technology is virtually maintenance free with greater impact resistance than acrylic lenses provide.A variety of options may also be something that you would like to consider on your trailer. A swing-away tongue is valuable when you want the peace of mind when your rig is unattended. It also makes storage in confined areas much easier. Additionally, trailers can be ordered with front trailering faring, extended tongues, retractable tie down straps, a spare tire or a custom roller system for shallow water launch sites. And finally, a good looking boat/trailer combination is a source of pride in the driveway, on the road or at the launch ramp.
I would like to hear from you about trailering or fishing you can contact me at www.walleye.info. Hope hear from you soon.