When you see utility trailers for sale, you may feel tempted to bring one home, but you need to make sure you're prepared to care of it first. A utility trailer, such as an open aluminum trailer, has little protection from the elements, road debris, and other contaminants. Fortunately, aluminum is quite tough, so it requires minimal upkeep. Here are some tips on how to clean and maintain utility trailers.
Use Manufacturer Recommended Polish and Coatings
Aluminum trailers may occasionally need to be polished if the surface starts to look a bit cloudy. To make the aluminum shine again, choose a manufacturer recommended polish product. If you want to paint your utility trailer, the type of paint you'll use will depend on the material of the trailer. And you may need additional products such as primer as well. For example, if you want to paint an aluminum trailer, you may need to use an aluminum conversion product and a primer. If in doubt, contact the trailer's manufacturer for recommendations.
Clean With Gentle Cleaners
Just like the surface of your car, the surface of your trailer could suffer damage if harsh products are used. For instance, you'll want to avoid using an acid wash, which could erode away the top layer of the aluminum. Over time, this could actually weaken the trailer itself. So whether your aluminum is painted or not, you'll want to use gentle cleaning products to clean it. A mild dish soap solution can work well, as well as microfiber cloths or mitts such as those used for car washing purposes. You can also contact the manufacturer or check your trailer's product guidelines for recommendations on cleaners to use.
Use High Pressure Washer for Stuck-on Debris
Rather than scouring hard with a stiff brush, attack stuck-on debris on your utility trailer with high water pressure, such as from a pressure washer. However, remember that the higher the water pressure, the more strength it has. Really strong pressure washers turned up too high can actually damage metal panels. So start with a lower setting on the pressure washer.
Grease the Hinges Occasionally
Any hinges, latches, or similar spots on the trailer will occasionally require lubrication. You don't have to do this very often, but whenever you notice a latch or hinge getting stiff or squeaky, break out the grease. Check product manuals for recommended lubrication intervals as well.
These tips will help you to care for your utility trailer well. As you can see, aluminum utility trailers can be very low-maintenance, and as long as you avoid a couple of pitfalls, they should serve you well for a long time.