Inspection Ready

In Virginia, all trailers weighing 3,000 pounds or greater are required to have brakes on at least one axle and require a state inspection. For more information on state towing laws please see our downloadable form on our site here: Towing Laws.

Here is a helpful checklist on making sure your trailer is inspection ready:
  •  Make sure to “bleed your brakes”. In most cases this will require two people, one to pump the actuator and another to turn the wheel until fluid appears; the fluid should travel from the actuator freely to the wheels.
  • All lights must be in working order and all lenses that are faded, cracked or broken must be replaced.
  • Make sure all tires have the proper PSI and proper tread depth. The suggested PSI can be found listed on the side of the tire.
  • Inspect your bearings and races to determine if you need to repack or replace them.
  • If your trailer currently has incandescent lights, now is the time to consider upgrading to LED, use fewer amps and therefore they never get hot. Heat & water do not mix. This also means fewer instances of the wires shorting out.
  • Make sure your coupler or actuator has a locking pin to keep it secure on the ball. This will eliminate it from popping off of the ball on bumpy roads or rough terrain.
  • Check your suspension for abnormal wear and tear, i.e.: rust that is beyond surface rust, cracks, parts not freely moving, etc.
Please keep in mind this is just a brief list, and a thorough inspections is always suggested before taking long trips or if it has been more than a year since your last inspection.


Worn Out!

    If you haven't done so recently, now is a good time to check the wear and tear on your tires! You will want to check for dry rot and abnormal wear patterns.
    When checking for dry rot, you will sometimes need to get under the trailer and check from the inside. Dry rot will show as small or even large cracks in the side wall of the tires. If you notice either of these then it is time to replace your tires.

Dry Rot on trailer tires

Dry Rot on trailer tires

    Our friends over at Dexter Axle have come up with another excellent chart that will help you in determining tire wear patterns and what they mean.

Center Wear   Edge Wear   Side Wear

Toe Wear  Cupping  Flat Spots

As always if you notice something you are not sure about, need help with, or simply want us to give your trailer a once-over, just call or stop by and we will be happy to help!

Happy Trailering!


Winter Storage

Can you feel that? That chill in the air signaling that winter is coming? Yep, it’s that time of year again, time to watch the beautiful colors of Fall disappear and be replaced by the crisp cleanliness of Winter. We know for some people winter is not a welcomed season, but it does bring us one step closer to Spring and all the wonderful activities that follow. Our friends over at Dexter Axle have put together a very helpful list to help you prepare for storage during the Winter months.

“Storage Preparation

If your trailer is to be stored for an extended period of time or over the winter, it is important that the trailer be prepared properly.
  1. Remove the emergency breakaway battery and store inside out of the weather. Charge the battery at least every 90 days.
  2. Jack up the trailer and place jack stands under the trailer frame so that the weight will be off the tires. Follow the trailer manufacturer’s guidelines to lift and support the unit. Never jack up or place jack stands on the axle tube or on the equalizers.
  3. Lubricate mechanical moving parts such as the hitch, and suspension parts, that are exposed to the weather.
  4. Boat trailer axles are subject to repeated immersion. Before storing, remove brake drums; clean, dry and re-lubricate moving brake components; inspect bearings – clean and re-lubricate.
  5. On oil lubricated hubs, the upper part of the roller bearings are not immersed in oil and are subject to potential corrosion. For maximum bearing life, it is recommended that you revolve your wheels periodically (every 2-3 weeks) during periods of prolonged storage.”


Calling all Snowbirds!

It’s that time of year again, as you are heading south for the winter, to prepare yourself and your equipment. Whether you have an RV, Motor coach, boat trailer, enclosed trailer, horse trailer, or any other type of trailer, there are a few simple tips to get them road worthy. Here is a small list that we hope can help:

  1. Make sure to inspect your bearings and races and repack or replace as necessary.
  2. Check your brakes, including shoes and magnets for electric brakes, shoes and wheel cylinders for hydraulic brakes, and brake pads and calipers for disc brakes.
  3. Test your break away system to insure it is fully functional.
  4. Do a thorough inspection of your tires including your spare tire. Check for wear patterns, dry rot, and verify your tire pressure is correct especially when traveling long distances.
  5. Make sure all your lights are working, it is best to have a helper so you can test all light functions.
  6. Check your springs and suspension system for any visible cracks or wear.

It never hurts to have backups of the most common break down items. Keep extra bearings, races and seals, and grease. We offer some of our hubs in pre-packed kits that come greased and ready to go. You will always want to have a spare tire on hand as well.

We hope that these tips will help you in your travels. If you have any questions or there is something we haven’t addressed, please let us know, we welcome your input. Have a safe trip!


Coming Soon!

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The team here at Portsmouth Trailer Supply would like to let you know that we will be starting a blog soon. We are looking at focusing on how-to guides, informational articles, and a little fun thrown in of course! While we are in the process of finalizing our first post, we were hoping we could get a little feedback. Tell us some things you would like to read about. Maybe you need help with something or know of something that might be useful to other trailer owners. Please keep comments and contributions clean as we are open to all ages.

Thank you,
PTS Staff 

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