Does your horse trailer live outside? Most likely your answer is yes, along with your cars and trucks if you are like most Californians. Very few of us have a large enough garage for a basic 2-or-3-horse trailer with an attached tack room or living quarters.
Whoa! Do you need to run through a truck and trailer safety checklist before hitting the road?
Horse Trailer Paint Takes a Beating
So there the trailer sits, day in and day out being bombarded by the sun, wind and hopefully sometime soon, rain! Southern California has some of the highest UV index ratings in the country. It’s no secret that this area is not the perfect environment for your trailer or vehicle’s paint. Neither is the tree sap from the oak trees or the lichens that grow on roofs and in nooks and crannies. All these conditions not only impact the paint on your trailer or vehicle that is supposed to be protecting the metal from rusting out, but also impact the overall value of your vehicle or trailer.
A spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association says that the condition of the vehicles paint ranks among the top five items that can affect the vehicle’s value and that paint condition can cost owners thousands when they sell or trade in a vehicle.
Oxidation A Destructive Force to Horse Trailer Paint
Oxidation is one destructive force on vehicle paint. You might have seen the chalky dull look on a trailer or vehicle that has been outside and not waxed for a long period of time. This isn’t just accumulated layers of dust and dirt, there really is a reaction that is taking place and damaging the paint.
Mobil oil describes the oxidation process this way: “Once this process starts, and the paint is left unprotected for an extended period of time, paint surfaces can decay quickly past the point of no return. The reflective, shining, mirror-smooth tropical lagoon that was once the beautiful painted finish on your vehicle can be reduced to the cracked, arid, dusty, dry desert lake bed in less time than you might think.”
Protect Your Horse Trailer’s Paint
Trailer manufacturers recommend that waxing be done every couple months to maintain the protection on the paint.
Jerred formerly of Jerred’s Horse Trailer Wash has seen the results of oxidation on many a trailer. Sometimes his wash bucket turned milk-white with paint that had oxidized and came off like chalk. However, he adds, “Depending on how far the surface has degraded, oxidation can be addressed on your trailer. Once addressed, regular waxing will help seal the elements out.”
Rain, now wouldn’t that be a welcome sight here in drought-stricken California? Yes, rain would be a welcome sight in California. Drought or not, waxing does more than protect your trailer from a rain storm. Waxing puts a layer of protection on your paint from UV rays, bird droppings, and other airborne contaminates. Trailer manufacturers recommend that waxing be done every couple months to maintain the protection on the paint.
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Fall weather is coming and the hot days of summer will soon behind us, yet the impact of the UV rays coupled with the rain that we hope will fall can leave your trailer’s and other vehicle’s paint in dire straits.
Protect your investment; protect the paint by regularly washing and waxing your horse trailer and other vehicles. Your efforts will be returned to you in the long run for the value of your vehicle investments will be sustained. Use a top-quality car wash soap like Meguire’s Gold Class car wash and conditioner. Follow that up with Meguire’s Liquid Wax and buff with microfiber towels. Reach up to the top of your trailer with a long-handle car wash brush.
Be sure to do a safety check every time you hook up and hit the road with your horse partner in tow.
Keeping your horse trailer covered when not in use can aide in protecting your horse trailer’s paint and may reduce the frequency of washing and waxing the horse trailer.
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Get ready to hit the road with your horse in tow. Developing your trip pre-check of your horse trailer and truck is made easier using our downloadable checklist. You can bring it up on your phone to use as a guide. Also you can print it out, slip it in a plastic sleeve and mount it inside your tack room door. Using a wet erase pen, you can then mark on it every time you haul horses. We’ll continue to add horsing around stories to our website. You can stay up-to-date by becoming a SLO Horse News herd member. Get your Horse Trailer and Truck Trip Pre-Check Checklist here >.