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New Trailer, what should I do to it


Well-known member
Mar 28, 2022
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Palm Coast, Fl
As the title says just got a new to me flat bed 5x10 trailer and want to here what some of the "wish I did it sooner" things are that I should do to her. It does have a wood deck on it and on each side it has four 2x2 hitch receivers. Loose plans right now are a toolbox for up front with straps and tools and an E track wheel chock set, can be convinced otherwise with some good arguments lol. Welding is not an issue either :thumb

I plan on using it mostly for varied bike transport (mostly sport/naked and a good smattering of dirt, ADV, and cruisers), and for future cross country moves.
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Re-pack the wheel bearings if you don't know when last they were done. And check age of the tires... trailer tires should be replaced every 7 years regardless of the amount of tread remaining.
Torflex suspension?
If not lube leaf spring suspension..eye bolts and shackles
Repack the bearings
Check the grounds and harness
Lube and adjust coupler
Make sure the chains are legit and haven't been dragged to paper thin links
Check frame for any cracks
Grease the studs and lugnuts so you can swap a tire when needed. We actually wire wheeled the studs and used a slick bottle style wire brush for the nuts. Spinning a thread or a spline sucks and adds time. At least you are away from the salt.
I hadn't even thought of that will do! I like that more than trying to weld a mount onto it for the folding truck ramp I've got now. and sounds good, I'll get some wheel grease ordered to with everything else, thanks!!

Frame looks good with an initial inspection, will crawl all over it this afternoon for an in depth look and then paint over the primer later this week. Don't have chains but do want to add them on, any tricks to it or just find a good spot and make the mount strong?

and anti seize is added to the cart to now, good idea with making sure the tires can come off in case of emergency
When doing the bearings check the spindle for a knife edge at the seal shoulder. It can cut a new seal. I filed this off at a 45° angle. The spindle can be lightly dressed with a soft wire wheel or scotch bright including the threads. The biggest mistake I've ever seen is a false bottom when adjusting the bearings. This will result in a bearing blowout. I have caught other shops and owners doing this. And of course rusty spindles might have been the reason. I like the inner bearing to easily slide to the shoulder with no binds. I clean the spindles with air and wd40. Then apply a light coat of grease. Ha I also pack grease in between the 2 lips on the seals. Man I could go on forever...... too much to tell on something so simple.
And grease/oil the jack. One of the most annoying things ever ist to using two hands to turn the handle. Wiggle the handle and drop lube down the hole. Now you are a trailer pro.
And its a good thing its slow at work today, now I'm going down the torsion axle rabbit hole :lol3 I

Seems like that would be a good time to add brakes as well to it, any pros pros, cons, or preferences you guys have with braking systems on your trailers?

I'm all ears, or more accurately eyes Danno. This is a whole new world for me so any little tips are tricks are more than welcome! and we founf out the squeaky jack already, I think I'm going to add an extra nut or extension to it as well so I can fit a drill
I was the trailer dude. And loved the work. The torflex needs more attention because the lead time on replacement is 6 weeks. So dont wipe out a spindle.

If you have 4 bolt flanges that would be 10" assemblies and drums.

A break away kit is needed containing battery and the switch.

I would run a standard Bargman plug. A molded is available but expensive. A juction box could be used. But I was never big on the idea.

Next is the tow vehicle. Most trucks have some amount of preinstalled package. If not no big deal. Newer GM have the harness in the glove box. All the others can be purchased for the brake controller.

Big question is what is behind the bumper on the tow vehicle. 4 wires or 7.
Year and make of tow vehicle?
I've got an 06 silverado 1500, 7 plug and I believe Class 3 Hitch I do need to confirm that though. The truck does have the (OEM?) tow package as well. If only it was the V8 :lol3
You can wire 4 to a standard Bargman plug. The adapter is another piece that is only needed with multiple tow vehicles. Or for a quick fix. The gm should have everything there. But because of age might need some truck side plug attention. Most times these trucks will be missing the two 30 amp fuses for brakes and 12 volt. The power distrabution box pops up and there are two jumper wires with eyelets that need to be placed on the posts. And you will need the nuts. If the wires are attached then its gold. Under the dash will be 4 wires for the controller. Jeez been awhile blue goes to the rear. Orange? is 12volt feed. The thin white is ground. And the other is the stoplight circuit. Might be a thin blue with white tracer. Easily verified with a test light. Two thick wires and two thin.

Now the rear plug might only be wired for 4 wires but most likely the other 2 are in the bundle. Ha hope I didnt confuse you. But I'm use to running around with a test light vs explaing. This is way easier than it sounds. E trailer has a to of videos. And GM were by far my favorites for brake installs. I ways tested all circuits as hooking up. The brake should be applied with the turn signal and tested for both functions.

There are two wiring codes. Gm and bargman...this one eats people up. I only think in function and terminal position. But fortunately the flat 4 way is GM code.
Ok I think I follow you there, now is Bargman different from 7 pin or just another name for it? and it looks like the truck is actually wired 7 pin and then it had an extra thicker white wire with its own separate single connecter, (i'll get a pic after work)

I'm leaning to giving the trailer the bargman connecter as what is on the truck looks somewhat professionally done and what is on the trailer was just twist capped together

Also updated original post with current pics as I got her
Bargman is the brand name but kinda standard name for a 7 flat pin. Pollak is the other brand. 7 pin can also be round terminals like semi stuff. And usually referred to as signal stat. I'll try to link some videos for you. And possibly the plug scematics if I can find a good one. The old shop eventually put the schematics in color on the business cards for customers. Long story on years worth of my nagging. I was quite happy!
Sweet I appreciate it! I've got an overnight tonight so this will all end up being homework for me lol
P3 is as good as it gets. Solid wires, grounds and clean terminals will equal years of a good setup. Corrosionx can be used in the truck side plug. If the plug is in a bracket...the brackect can be bent down some so water never collects in the plug.

Also all these newer trucks use the same plug for a quick change setup. If you need to do any plug work you can put the connector on. Kinda comical in the add a connector to replace a connector logic. But it is fast when the plug gets smashed or worn.
I like that idea for the chain!

I think the brakes I'll get over the summer here, it'll let me decide if I want to go torsion or leaf spring but I do have the controller already saved as a link for when that comes!

Anti seize, safety chains, wheel bearing grease are all ordered

Is there an easy way to determine the wheel bearing needed without pulling the hub off? I don't see anything definitive just looking at it

also might reroute some wires, this looks a little short lived lol

Not really on the bearings. Even with bearings out you cant see the inner race. You have to put pressure and spin the rollers. Kinda rare but you can feel a bad one. The only time you know the bearings are bad is when the hub spins for a long time with no wheel making nice sounds. New bearings will get water etched sitting. Tall grass or shade and the moisture will collect in the hub. These etched marks can justify replacement. Glazing isn't ideal either.

Idler hubs are cheap and the studs/lugnuts are new. And a big time saver.

I also saved alot of time just installing new bearings. Never even looked at the bearings. But a damaged race was visible. Or smell, grease color or feel of hub.
Ok this one is decent. The wire color is GM code like a flat 4 way plug. This from the backside of trailer plug and face side of truck plug
Cool thanks! yeah that matches what I have on the truck as well.

Took each tire off, got some of the rust off the mating surface and antiseized the studs. got a plan for some low rails down the sides so I'll grab some 1x2 steel monday and get to welding. Also have the spare tire mount located and locks for her. Now I just have to figure out how I want to smooth out those wiring harness holes
The holes through the crossmembers? Maybe the little sanding rolls for die grinders. I make mandrels with whatever...threaded rod, round rod or anything that fits in a drill chuck.Just has a slit cut in the end to slide a short piece of folded sandpaper in. Ive even used folded over coat hanger wire. These work great for many things.

Also wire loom can be used or fuel line hose at the crossmember holes. One of the easiest rewires is a boat trailer split harness. I mock up down one side and mark the split point at the back. Then roll tape over the whole harness. Rolling tape and banging bearings races in and out were my favorite part of trailer work. The harness should be stapled/secured to the wood deck. Ha away from the ubolts. Which chops the wire. And a service loop is nice for future repairs. One at the tongue and tail lights. Have fun!
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