Maintaining Your Off Grid Trailer: Must Have Tools

It is important to maintain your Off Grid Trailer to keep you out on the trail longer. Proper maintenance will extend the life of your trailer and its components. 

One of the most common inquiries we get, here at Off Grid trailers, is what tools you need to remove/replace an item or to do the scheduled maintenance checks from the owner’s manual.

This article will document what you absolutely need in order to stay safe on the road, as well as some handy extra tools that help when it comes to installing and removing the stubborn fasteners.

 

MUST HAVE TOOLS

  • 19mm or 3/4″ deep socket, thin wall, 1/2″ drive 
    Please note that these sizes are equivalent. Every fastener has an “across flats” measurement, and there is some tolerance there, so a few wrench sizes carry across.
    This socket will either fit directly on to the lug, or you will need the spline drive socket adapter that is included with your trailer. Make sure you check your gear bag for the spline adapter if you have the splined lug nuts – if you need another or if it is not there, contact warranty@offgridtrailers.com and we can send a replacement.
  • 1/2″ drive breaker bar   
    This tool can be substituted by an electric wrench, but a breaker bar is always handy to have as a backup and has unmatched utility when it comes to tightening any fastener, including those on the tow vehicle.
  • 18mm 1/2″ drive socket
    This is to operate the rear jacks – this if you have the scissor style Eaz-Lift jacks.
    The Jack manufacturer, unfortunately, is no longer shipping their jacks with a tool. These jacks are best operated with a speed handle or, alternatively, you can also use your breaker bar.
  • 9/16″ socket, 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive
    If you have an older trailer, the spare is retained to the front storage box by long 3/8″ bolts with washers under their heads. If you find this is the case, you will need a 9/16″ socket, in 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive to remove these bolts so you can access the spare.
  • Philips head screwdriver – PH3, PH2   
    These tools will drive the myriad stainless steel and black powder coated fasteners used to fasten items across the trailer – cabinets, hinges, the battery box etc.. You’ll always want to select the largest driver that fits the head of the screw. We recommend investing in impact rated bits. These bits have the greatest torque carrying ability and you can use them with a 1/4″ drive ratchet system, a bit holder, or an electric impact driver.

NICE TO HAVE TOOLS

  • Complete tool set, portable.
    A full set of crescent wrenches, sockets, allen wrenches etc.  These are often on sale at your neighborhood hardware store, and a great addition to your trailers storage compartment. 
  • Impact driver.   
    We recommend a 1/4″ hex drive, which will accept the Philips bits mentioned above.  With a socket adapter, you can use 1/4″ and 3/8″ sockets, deep and shallow, even up to 1/2″ drive sockets if required.   
    We recommend breaking  larger fasteners loose with the breaker bar, then you can switch over to the impact driver to spin off the bolts or nuts, and quickly zip them back on during reassembly. Ensure all final torque is done by hand.  This driver will also run your jacks up or down until they are close to the ground, and then you can carefully raise the unit with the speed wrench or breaker bar.
  • 1 1/16″ hex socket for the 5/8″ Grade 8 fasteners 
    This is used for tightening the Timbren suspension mounts between the suspension and the frame, with a 1 1/16″ combination wrench to hold the bolt in place.   
    For the outboard arm to control arm bolts, a set of 7/8″ or 3/4″ wrenches are required.
  • A 1/2″ drive torque wrench 
    This is good for wheel nuts and Timbren fasteners.  Ensure a 30-250 lb-ft capacity on the torque wrench.

FASTENER LOCKING COMPOUNDS

Many fasteners on the trailer, especially 1/4″ diameter fasteners (with the PH3 heads,) have the threads coated in blue thread locker at the factory. Just as its name implies, this product locks threads. It hardens when in the absence of air and when exposed to the ferrous materials in the fasteners – taking up gaps between threads such that the fastener is much less likely to loosen with vibration and other loads. Because this product is present, it is much more difficult to remove the 1/4″ screws and other fasteners than it would be otherwise. The impact driver, when set on maximum torque in reverse, is the best way to remove the philips heads screws, for example those retaining the battery box. When reassembling the parts you’ve taken apart it is a good idea to clean up the threads with a wire wheel or brush, as much as possible. We recommend cleaning the threads with brake cleaner, and applying a drop or two of thread locker before reinstalling.

This article is subject to additions and changes, so come back and check it out from time to time as you maintain your trailer and plan your trips.    

If you find any errors or omissions, and if you have any more questions, please email: warranty@offgridtrailers.com.

Off Road is Better!

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