Are you a current Featherlite owner or becoming one soon? Here are some of the common questions we receive here at Featherlite when it comes to the care and use of Featherlites. If you’re not finding the question and answer you need, please email us or call us at 800-800-1230.
Q: How often should I perform maintenance and service checks on my trailer?
Keeping up with inspection, maintenance and service assure reliable performance from your Featherlite trailer. Download our handy trailer use, care & maintenance guide for recommendations on the top maintenance items, or consult your owner’s manual.
Q: How do I care for the finish on my Featherlite trailer?
The best way to care for the finish on your trailer is to keep it clean both inside and out. Road chemicals, tree sap, environmental pollution and animal waste can be very harmful to your trailer. Frequent washing can be one of the best ways to prolong the life of your trailer. Most products suitable for automotive finishes will work well on the exterior of your trailer, although you should use extreme caution when using automotive “cleaner” waxes or polishing compounds as the abrasives contained in these products can damage the baked on finish of your trailer. Standard automotive waxes applied to the painted surfaces of your trailer can provide protection to the finish against staining and discoloration.
Q: How much clearance do I need between the bottom of my gooseneck and the top of my pick up box rails?
Six to eight inches is the best. Clearance of less than that can be used with additional care by the driver, and trailers that are used off the road or that are towed in uneven terrain require the driver to be extra careful to prevent damage.
Q: I do not have an owner’s manual for my trailer. How do I obtain one?
Owner’s manuals are available for download from our website. You can also call Featherlite Customer Service at 800-800-1230 to request one by mail.
Q: Is it necessary to haul my trailer level?
It is very important that when your trailer is loaded that it is as level as possible. If the trailer is not level, the suspension system in the axles can be damaged, or the tires on one axle may be overloaded. Measure the distance from the bottom of the trailer frame at the front and rear of the trailer on a level surface and compare the measurement. The measurements should be nearly equal. This should be done with the trailer in a loaded condition. If the measurements are not equal, the gooseneck stem or the hitch on the towing vehicle will need to be adjusted.
Q: Can I haul an older gooseneck trailer with one of the new ‘taller’ pickups?
An older gooseneck trailer can be hauled with one of the new taller pickups, but the clearance between rails of the pickup box and the bottom of the gooseneck needs to be checked out. Insufficient clearance will result in damage to the pickup box and underside of the gooseneck. Some older trailers will need to be raised to work with a new taller pickup. Most dealers can help you with this situation.
Q: How do I obtain warranty coverage on my Featherlite trailer?
Call your Featherlite dealer concerning warranty issues, and they will make arrangements to get the problem resolved. In the rare event your Featherlite dealer is not able to assist you, call Featherlite Customer Service at 800-800-1230 and they will help you.
Q: I am considering purchasing a ‘used’ Featherlite trailer. Will the warranty coverage transfer to the second owner?
Featherlite warranties are transferable. There are some restrictions, however. Transferable warranty is available only on a trailer with remaining warranty that is traded in for a new Featherlite trailer at an authorized Featherlite dealer and resold by the authorized Featherlite dealer. The dealer will need to complete the proper paperwork for the warranty transfer to be approved. If you have questions about a warranty before purchasing a used trailer, contact Featherlite Customer Service at 800-800-1230.
Q: How much air pressure should I run in the tires on my Featherlite trailer?
Most trailer tires should be run at their maximum inflation pressure. Consult the maximum pressure rating on the sidewall of the tire, and inflate your tires to this amount when the tires are cold. The pressure will rise as the tire heats up, so it is important to check them before you leave and not bleed off the pressure when they get hot. Most tire failures result from too low of pressure, overloading or excessive speed. These factors or a combination causes the tire to become hot and may result in a catastrophic tire failure.
Q: My bumper pull trailer ‘sways’ when I go down the road. What could be the problem?
The stability of bumper pull trailers is directly associated with the tongue weight of the trailer. Trailers loaded with too much weight on the rear of the trailer may have problems with sway. Trailers with too much weight loaded on the front of the trailer may have excessive tongue weight that could overload the hitch on the towing vehicle or exceed the capacity of the trailer hitch. It is extremely important to load your trailer properly. Please consult your owner’s manual for more information.
Q: How do I purchase parts for my trailer?
Select Featherlite dealers carry parts and accessories and have well-equipped shops to repair trailers. Locate your nearest parts dealer here.
Q: Where can I go for service?
Many of Featherlite’s dealers offer service at their dealerships. Use our dealer locator to find the dealer closest to you. You can also call Featherlite’s Customer Service Department at 800-800-1230.
Q: How do I determine the tongue weight of my trailer?
Tongue weight is the amount of the trailer’s weight that is transferred to the tow vehicle through the trailer tongue or gooseneck. As a rule of thumb, Featherlite estimates the tongue weight to be 10 to 15% for bumper pull trailers, 20 to 25% for gooseneck trailers and 30 to 35% for gooseneck trailers with living quarters.
Q: I’m considering trading my trailer in for a new one. How can I determine what my used trailer is worth?
Unfortunately, there is not a source for used trailer prices as there is in the auto industry. Our best advice is to use our dealer locator to find your closest dealer for their opinion. Prices will vary greatly by region, and they are the best source for this information.
Q: What do I need to know about load weight?
The load weight is important because if the trailer tongue and tow vehicle hitch are not carrying the proper amount of the loaded trailer weight, the trailer can develop a sway when traveling down the road, which can lead to accidents and injuries. An overloaded trailer also places excessive strain on your tow vehicle. This could result in problems with the hitch or the inability to stop in an emergency. Overloading also puts tremendous strain on your trailer’s frame, axles, bearings and tires causing premature wear. In addition, load distribution is important because no part of the trailer can be loaded beyond its rating. Axles, tires and wheels also have ratings to consider. Just remember, the total weight of the trailer and its contents should never exceed the trailer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which for most trailers you can find on the VIN label.
Q: Where should a load be placed on the trailer?
It’s recommended heavier items are loaded over the axles and kept closer to the floor of the trailer. Be sure to also maintain even side-to-side weight distribution. Well-designed and constructed trailers will maintain proper tongue weight, which is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball, provided they are properly loaded. Featherlite recommends that 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight should be on the tongue on bumper pull trailers, 20 to 25 percent on gooseneck trailers and 30 to 35 percent on living quarters trailers.
Q: Will a weight distribution hitch work on my trailer?
Typically, yes, owners can use weight distribution hitches. It is acceptable for holes to be drilled through the treadplate cover on an A-frame to utilize these hitches.
Q: Can I change the GVWR of an existing new or used trailer?
A GVWR is assigned by Featherlite as part of the certification process, and it is not legal to downgrade the GVWR once the trailer has been sold to the customer or dealer. The only exception to this is if a correction would need to be made to an error with the originally assigned GVWR.