Pre-travel Checklist for your Horse Trailer

Pre-travel Checklist for your Horse Trailer

Taking your horse trailer into a dealership and having it inspected and repaired annually is a good idea. Between trips, there are some things you can do at home to make sure your trailer is ready for your next road trip.

Wheel bearings – Bearings should be serviced annually, regardless of mileage, due to possible moisture buildup. Carry a spare wheel bearing set just in case.

Lug Nuts- Always check the torque of the lug nuts. This is especially important on new trailers or when wheels have been removed for reasons such as repairing a flat tire. Improper torque amount can result in wheel studs breaking and wheels coming off during travel. Most trailer’s owner’s manuals will give you the proper torque amounts for your trailer. These amounts usually range from 120- 150 lbs.

Tires – Examine each tire for dry rot, uneven tire wear, overall tire wear and damage. Plan on replacing tires every 3-5 years. Check the tire pressure as well. The recommended tire pressure will be printed on the sidewall of the tire. Don’t forget to check the spare at the same time. You never know when you’ll need it.

Hitch – Ensure that it is locked on the ball and that the correct size ball is being used.

Safety cables/chains – Check to see that these are securely connected.

Electrical connection – Make sure it’s plugged in, secured and working. Check lights for the brakes and turn signals, as well as running and perimeter lights.

Breakaway system – Ensure that this is connected and secured as well.

Emergency battery – Confirm the charge and check the battery for any external damage.

Brake controller – Test to ensure that it’s working properly. This can be accomplished by putting your tow vehicle in gear and slowly letting it roll and use the manual lever on the controller to see if the trailer will stop tow vehicle and trailer

Trailer horse compartment – Clean the manure and other debris from the trailer floor. Periodically remove floor mats and wash trailer floor completely out and allow to dry. This increase the life of the floor and will keep the trailer smelling fresher for your horses. Check the trailer for any hazards, such as tripping hazards or sharp edges on the interior of the trailer.

Doors – Secure and latch all trailer doors