Lee Huddleston’s Tips on Trailering Safety

With apologies to Lee if I missed something.

  • Check for Wasps when unwrapping the boat
  • Make sure you have 150-200 lbs. of tongue weight
  • Too far back on the trailer causes fishtailing and reduced Traction when towing
  • Use the Jack… Not your Back
  • Be sure the hitch is down over the top of the ball, make sure the lever locks down on the ball. Be sure the hitch and the ball are made for each other – there are 1 7/8′ and 2″ balls, they look pretty similar.
  • Always use Trailer safety chains and make sure they are sized to the boat – Cross them over from side to side and hook them so they can’t bounce loose.
  • Trailer brakes – if you have them make sure they are working, it will help keep the trailer behind the truck when stopping.
  • Make sure shrouds and lines are held off the deck so they won’t chafe the deck- use zipties or wrap in a pillow slip.


When backing to hook up to trailer…

  • Use a Backup Camera – these can be had for as little as $60 at Harbor Freight
  • Use a Magnetic Ball and Stick setup so you can see the lineup easier
  • Steer from the top of the wheel and move it in the direction you want to correct – MAKE SMALL ADJUSTMENTS !
  • Short wheelbase trailers turn faster and you need to make very small adjustments


Launching –

  • On a roller type trailer do not undo the bow or the boat will roll off the trailer.
  • On a bunk type trailer – the bunks can and do rot – the bunks need to bend to cradle the boat – don’t use very heavy timbers it will deform the hull


Miscellaneous words of wisdom ~

  • Trailer Tires can and will dry rot over time – the tread will be fine but the sidewalls will be weakened and fail.
  • Inspect and  clean and regrease wheel bearings at least a couple of times a season and before long trips. Carry spare bearings and a small grease gun.
  • Use bearing buddies to keep the wheels full of grease and water out.
  • Always Torque Wheel nuts as specified.
  • Chock your vehicle wheels when launching in case the brake slips or you lose traction.  Harbor Freight also has these.
  • Turn your wheels to the side before launching so if the truck slips it will move sideways to the ramp. ( A Herb tip )

Thanks Lee for your fine presentation.

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