Ever tow your boat and see highway patrol behind you and you get a feeling in the pit of your stomach that your break lights on your trailer might be out? Don’t stress yourself out – keep your trailer lights in working order and replace if necessary.
It is an assumption that boat trailer lights appear not to have a long service life but in the defense of trailer lights, we do unknowingly abuse them by installing them on a metal trailer that is used as part of the electrical circuit and repeatedly dunk the trailer, wiring and lights into the water. Whether it is the trailer marker lights, the trailer side lights or the trailer bake lights the ground is often than not attached directly to the chassis of the trailer. It is this ground terminal that causes a majority of the electrical issues of boat trailer lights.
This technical habit works well but when it comes to dunking the trailer into the ocean or even fresh water, the practice has its shortcomings. Providing moisture to the trailer does a couple of things especially while we sleep. Aside from corrosion that can form and interfere with electrical conductivity there is electrolysis.
Electrolysis is natures way of bartering electrons from one noble metal to a less noble one. The more saline the moisture the more aggressive the electrolysis. Now to add to this a little DC current and now we do a little electroplating. Another installation habit is that the wiring is also not often tinned. Using tinned conductor helps mitigate corrosion of the conductor within the insulation. Grounding terminals notoriously have the wires exposed to the elements and this exposes the wire and a sure way for the corrosion to start and creep up into the insulation.
While all this is small scale it does add up over time and corrosion is a common failure with trailer lights. Incandescent boat trailer lights are rapidly becoming a thing of the past and are being superseded by LED trailer lights that are submersible. LED trailer lights do have more advantages than their counterparts and one is that there are no serviceable parts within making the waterproofing easier and more reliable. Another beneficial feature of LED light is the amount of light produced by a small physical size.
Several LED boat trailer light manufacturers are on the market, including Peterson,
The small size with an impressive punch makes LED lights ideal for location such as trailer guide lights, side lights and courtesy lights. All well-known boat trailer light manufacturers provide boat trailer light kits that make a new build or a repair easier by providing all the hardware required for the installation.
But boat trailering is not all about trailer lights. The downfall of any boat trailer is that it is submersed into the water a few times a season and although washing it down with a hose does help, it does not stop all the gremlins. Therefore, trailer maintenance still requires the bearing grease, the occasional tong jack, trailer wheel or even brakes. So, if boat trailer lighting is on your to-do list, rest assured Go2Marine has the items you need in stock, ready to ship at prices that will not break the budget.