Grandville Trailer Blog

Ten Tactical Tips for Trailer Tires in Grand Rapids

How often do you see bits of ripped rubber blown all over the sides of the highway? It seems like you can’t go a mile without seeing the remains of a blown tire. STX_3414Especially in West Michigan where the roads are so patched over, they might as well be dirt and the harsh weather is so unpredictable.

We get so caught up in what we are towing that sometimes we forget about the very things that keep our trailers moving! I’m here to remind you not to forget about your trailer’s tires. They are important.

In our store, we have a whole room devoted to trailer tires. Every 3 weeks or so, Dave makes a trip down to our trailer tire supplier in Indiana and brings back a load of tires. We carry a variety of Loadstar tires from Americana. We’ve got the best selection of trailer tires in Grand Rapids, so keep us in mind as you are winterizing your trailer.

Here are the Tires from Americana. We stock many from the Kenda Karrier ST Radial KR03 list, the Kenda Loadstar K550/ST BIAS list and the Kenda Loadstar K353 list. The ones that we carry are by far the most popular, but our stock is not limited to these. We are happy to order and pick up specific sizes for you. We can even deck out your trailer and order tires with custom aluminum rims!

We carry such a variety because every trailer is different, therefore requiring different tires. This is something that our staff would be happy to help you with if you have any questions.

But without further ado, here are Ten Tactical Tips for Trailer Tires in Grand Rapids.

CIMG39981. Trailer Tires ≠ Vehicle Tires. The tires on your truck are designed to accelerate, steer, and have traction on the road. Trailer tires are designed to be pulled and just go along for the ride. You should never used a trailer tire on a car or vise versa.

2. Inflate? Indeed! The leading cause of trailer tires failing on the side of the highway is underinflation. Pump those babies up! You can check the sidewall of the tire to see the maximum inflation.

3. Size matters. Ensure that all your trailer’s tires are identical in size. You might run into some problems if you don’t.

4. Change is important. Tires need to be replaced on a regular basis, regardless of what they look like. We recommend every 3-5 years, depending on how much you use your trailer.

5. Go the distance. Adding to tip #4, you can also gauge when it’s time to change your tires by keeping track of how many miles you are putting on them. Depending on the tire, it’s time to change them anywhere between 5,000 and 12,000 miles.

6. Watch your weight. The joined weight capacity of your tires should still exceed the weight of your loaded trailer by 20 percent.

7. Weakening over time. The weight capacity of your tires will slowly decrease over the years of use.

8. It’s getting hot in here. The heat on your tires caused by operation will, sadly, weaken the structure and integrity of the tire. Time, heat and the elements will eventually break down your trailer tires and they will need to be replaced.

9. How to measure bolt patterns. Here is a handy little graphic to help clear this up. Bolt_Circles_210. Make them last. With so many things that can ruin, wear and tear your trailer tires. Here are few tips to keep them in great shape as long as possible. Keep a close eye on your tires and care for them frequently to make them last and get your money’s worth out of them.

  • Check your tire inflation often, especially before going anywhere further than across town. Keep your tires at their maximum inflation rate. Deflation= friction= heat= worn out tires.
  • Only wash your tires with water and mild soap. Tire cleaners made with alcohol or petroleum distillates will eat away at your tires.
  • When you check your tire’s inflation, also check the actual treads for things like bulges, cuts and punctures.

Trailer tires are different than the tires on your car or truck. They need special care and they need to be replaced often. Our awesome staff would be happy to answer any questions you have. For the best selection of trailer tires in Grand Rapids, head in to Grandville Trailer.

This weekend, make sure you check your tire inflation and general well-being of your tires. We don’t want our friends to be stranded on the highway at all, let alone this winter. It might be a good idea to get your trailer tires replaced before the serious snow comes, or to at least purchase a spare.

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya!

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4 Key Benefits of the Curt Triflex Brake Control #51140

When it comes to towing products, one of our favorite brands is Curt. We know we are providing the best for our customers when we stock our shelves with their brand. Their American made products have gone through rigourous testing and engeniering. They use the best materials and manufacture trustworthy and durable products.

The one that I specifically want to talk about today is the Curt Trifelx Brake Control #51140. 715g4q5mrgL._SY355_

We have been so impressed with this brake control and our customers who bought this have been satisfied with it as well. Whether you pull a camping, utility or boat trailer in Grand Rapids, or anywhere in West Michigan, this accessory can serve you well. This compact device will easily mount above or below your dashboard and will automatically adjust your 2-8 brakes to keep your towing experience safe and smooth.

4 Key Benefits of the Curt Triflex Brake Control #51140

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The Triflex brake control comes with all the mounting hardware needed and will only take a few minutes of your time. It’s ability to mount in a variety of angels allows you to place it above or below your dashboard, wherever you think is best. Just find a stable surface that you can easily reach while sitting in the driver’s seat. Once it’s mounted, you will need a Curt wiring harness to connect the control to your vehicle’s wiring. (Yes, we carry these too!) If your vehicle does not have the plug available, you will need to hard-wire in the brake control.

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The brake control has a triple axes motion sensor and it automatically adjusts your brake output. This makes going up and down hills a lot easier and produces smooth and precise stops. There is also no setup required with it’s automatic calibration and leveling. It’s so easy to use and will make such a big difference on your towing experience!

For All Trailers Alike fifth-wheel-trailer-and-pickup-truck-public-domain

Even though we don’t sell some of these trailers you see on the side, I’d still like to talk to those of you who pull them. (By the way, for those of you with boat trailers in Grand Rapids, we do carry parts in our store for you, too!) If you are taking a trip with your camper to the mountains, this products will assist you throughout the terrain. If you are pulling your boat trailer in Grand Rapids and out to the lakes, It will help you navigate the beautiful, curvy roads along the shore. And if you’re pulling ANYTHING through our unpredictably snowy weather, this device will aid in keeping you, and your precious cargo safe. The Triflex brake control will benefit anyone pulling anything.

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One of the biggest reasons we encourage trailer owners to check out this gadget is because of the added safety it provides. Especially now that we’ve had our first snowfall, one of the best things about the Curt Triflex brake control is that it decreases your stopping distance. If it lowers your chance of getting into a wreck, isn’t that alone worth the small investment? Also, on the side of the brake control there is a nob to control it’s sensitivity. This way, you can ensure it is at the optimal level for the weight of your load and the conditions you are driving in.


Instead of explaining to you exactly how this tool works, take a look for yourself. This is Curt’s video of their handy product. Plus you’ll learn about a few more of it’s features like the power adjustment and the sleep mode timer.

Add this to your Christmas list or swing by Grandville Trailer to get your Curt Triflex Brake Control. Winter is practically here! What else do you need to do to get your trailer ready?

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin for ya!

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4 Trimax Products That Will Help a Trailer Owner to Sleep at Night

Trimax Locks

Okay Trailer Owners, time to talk about something a little more serious. There is an upsetting and frustrating trend that has been growing.

I am calling it the “Stolen to Homemade Movement.”

It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds. It’s when someone steals a trailer and eliminates the identification number. They then register it at the Secretary of State, claiming it as a homemade trailer. Can you imagine going to hook up your trailer and realizing that it is just gone? Apparently all kinds- big and small trailers are up for grabs. Many people have lost not only trailers, but their valuables as well. Lawn equipment, ATVs, boats, cars and even horses!

Like I said, it is extremely frustrating that we even need to worry about this- protecting something that is rightfully ours- but we do. And so, this is where Trimax comes in. We carry several of their locks because we think  they are the best when it comes to securing your trailer. Here are a few of our favorite products that you will find on our shelves.

Coupler Locks

Some of their most popular products are the Universal Unattended Coupler Locks. We have both models; the UMAX 100 and the UMAX 50. They are extremely durable and designed to fit all couplers. Easy to install and exceptionally difficult to break, customers have been very happy with the locks that Trimax has designed. Here is a short video that demonstrates the simple installation process.

Wheel Chock Locks

Another great product by Trimax is the Wheel Chock Lock. We carry the TCL75 model, and this product is one that everyone seems to love! Like the coupler locks, it is SO easy to use and it’s great for big and small trailers alike. It literally takes seconds to place on a wheel of your trailer when you park it. Here is short video about this lock, I think you’ll be impressed.

Door Locks

At Grandville Trailer you will also find several door locks made by Trimax. Like the other Trimax locks, they are hefty and durable. A tough cookie to crack. Not only do you need to protect your trailer, you most likely want to protect your possessions inside your trailer. If you haven’t placed a lock on your trailer door yet, or are looking for an upgrade, consider stopping by Grandville Trailer for a Trimax lock. Here are a few pictures of their top sellers.


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Receiver Locks

One last awesome product by Trimax that we carry are their receiver locks. After a quick setup, these locks are easy to use, effective and will make you feel like you’re cracking the Da Vinci Code. Take a moment to watch one more video and see how these work on your trailer.


We have heard several stories from devastated customers who have had their big and small trailers stolen or broken into. Customers who wish they would have paid a small price to protect what was rightfully theirs. Your boats, toys, work equipment and belongings are important to you and no one should feel like they can take them. Honestly, I don’t like the fact that there is even a need for us to sell locks. But there is, and thankfully, Trimax has some great products. That is why we have chosen to offer their locks to our customers to provide them some security. If you haven’t placed any locks on your trailer yet, it’s time to think about doing so.

Often times, having a lock on your trailer just works as a visual deterrent. Let’s end the Stolen to Homemade Movement and hold on to what is rightfully ours. Stop by and get a lock for your trailer- before it’s too late!

At Grandville Trailer, We’re pullin’ for ya!

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4 Reasons Every Utility Trailer Needs a Gorilla-Lift

Gorilla-Lift

One of our favorite products in our store is the Gorilla Lift. It is a tailgate lift assist for your utility trailer and it has been on the market for 5 years improving the lives of trailer owners. Its a fully enclosed lifting system that will take off 100% of the weight of most tailgates. Here is Gorilla-Lift’s (cheesy, yet informative) video of their product:

4 Reasons to Install a Gorilla-Lift

1. Adjustable for varying sized tailgates: It’s designed to not let heavy tailgates fall to the ground and to keep lighter tailgates from popping up off the ground. When it is installed properly, it’s meant to give the tailgate a floating effect when going up and down. It works on tailgates 4-6 feet tall.

2. Attaches to both sides of the tailgate: This is helpful for a few reasons. It will keep the pressure even on both sides to prevent the hinges from deteriorating in an untimely manner. It will also stop the tailgate from warping. And it acts as a secondary support; in the rare event that one side would fail, it will keep the tailgate from smashing to the ground. Overall, the thorough system should allow your trailer’s tailgate a longer life.

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3. Prevents injury: Most utility trailers have pretty heavy tailgates. My guess is that there have been quite a few broken toes and worker’s compensation claims thanks to tailgates being dropped. This can also be beneficial if you have little hands that like to help you often. It’s one less “accident waiting to happen.”

4. Easy install: The Gorilla Lift comes with the hardware to attatch it, however you can also choose to spot-weld it to your utility trailer. But at Grandville Trailer, we can make it even easier for you. Come to our store where we have these in stock and we will be happy to install it for you. The lift does work best on utility trailers with side rails 10-24 inches high.

Gorilla-Lift-6If you want to know more about the details of the Gorilla-lift, you can read about it on their website.

***I spent some time reading some reviews online and I’m blown away at how much customers are really appreciating this product. It seems to be making a big difference in the lives of trailer owners! The most common comment I see on this is how much of a “back-saver” it is. If you want to see some reviews, you can look here and here. Go ahead and see for yourself why everyone loves this product so much! And come see us when you are ready to have one installed on your utility trailer.***

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya!

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A Homemade Trailer Worth Talking About

The Lawley Pop

We have something really cool to share with our readers today! This is a project from one our our customers, Kenn. Kenn is a retired west Michigan business owner with a passion for boats. He has a replica of the boat launch that was designed by George Lawley in 1907.  The boat here was built by the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Grandville, MI. The original boat had a 5 horse power engine that popped when it ran, so it was named “The Lawley pop.” (Pronounced “Lolly Pop”) This boat was started in 2013 and Kenn took over and finished it. Here is the finished product

Lawley Pop Launcher

But Kenn didn’t stop there. What he really wanted was to bring his boat to boat shows throughout the US. He took the matter into his own hands and built his very own boat launch aluminum trailer. IMG_1327

The Hauler

Kenn also wanted an enclosed trailer to protect his boat when traveling to his boat shows. That’s when he came to us. He bought a trailer from Aluma through Grandville Trailer and he went to Iowa himself to pick it up. Here is the model that be bought from Aluma. 7814st-utility-trailer As you can see, this is not an enclosed trailer. Kenn bought this as a base so that he could build the exact aluminum trailer that he wanted. He built an aluminum frame on this trailer and then sided it with aluminum sheets. He even finished it off with Aluma decals.  And for the top, he had a vinyl snap-on cover made for it. 050 (1) 055             019 016

The Final Product

The two trailers work together perfectly to protect his boat and launch it into the water. The homemade boat trailer goes into the aluminum trailer on an electric winch system. 013 014             008 (1) IMG_1321

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We think that Kenn did an awesome job on his boat and trailers! I’m thrilled that he shared his story and all these pictures with us. So far he has won 2 awards in the 3 shows that he has entered. Best of luck to you Kenn! Please keep us updated on all your future projects!


Do any of our other readers have any custom trailers to share? Weather you made improvements yourself, or ordered it specifically for your needs, we want to hear about it and see a picture!

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya! unnamed

Inside Grandville Trailer

I just want to take a minute to talk about our store. Dave and Andrea Tosh took ownership of Grandville Trailer in 2012. They have poured a lot into making the store look as good as it does. They have also worked hard on the inventory inside of the store. We really want our business to be a place where our customers can come for everything they need. We want to ensure you the capability of coming to once place for your trailer service, parts and trailers in Grand Rapids. Before I tell you about what we stock, here are some pictures to show you the transformation of the outside of the store. We are really proud of this!

Grandville Trailer in 2012:

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Grandville Trailer today:

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Our sign also had a makeover of it’s own.

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I recently did a post called More Than Trailers as just a basic overview of Grandville Trailer. But now I want to go a little more in-dept into what we actually have in our store. We like to say that we are a trailer owner’s “One stop shop”. We want to save you from the hassle of searching all over town for what you need. That’s why we have worked so hard to keep our store well stocked. We pay attention to what’s new on the market as well as what our customers come looking for. Here is a list of what you will find in our store. Keep in mind that we have even more that what is on that list. But here are just a few of our main items that every trailer owner should be familiar with.

Tires

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We have a whole separate room stocked with tires for your trailers. Every 2-3 weeks, Dave (owner) takes a trip to Indiana to our tire supplier. He comes back each time with a load of 50-100 tires. That’s quite a load! Good thing we sell trailers, huh? So keep us in mind when you need new tires on your trailer.

Locks

It’s a small, inexpensive item that just may save you from losing a large possession. We really encourage all trailer owners to take this extra precaution to protect their property. We carry these right in our store, so when you come in for any parts, accessories, or service, please consider grabbing a lock as well.

Ball Mounts

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Here is another thing that we like to keep well stocked. A lot of our ball mounts are top quality and made by Curt. These are big sellers here, and for good reason. We have a wide range of models so that you can have the best selection possible. So check with us instead of searching all over town.

 

Tongue Jacks

This is a necessity for every trailer, so you bet your bottom dollar that you can find them in our store. Once again, we have a wide variety to ensure that you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Swift Hitch Portable Camera System

This is one of our newer products that we can’t get enough of. It is super cool, so handy, and you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. We have had  lot of fun playing with ours. It is very durable and user-friendly. I don’t know why someone didn’t think of this sooner! We love it so much, I wrote about it a couple weeks ago. You can see that post here. We have this on display by the counter in the store, so feel free to play around with it next time you’re here.

LED Lights

LED lights are a great way to give your trailer a sensible, modern update. For one thing, they last for a really long time… I mean, it’s really kind of ridiculous how long they last. We’re talking 10-20 years! Thanks to the fact that they are mercury free, they are much better for our Pure Michigan air. They are perfect for trailers because they can withstand extremely cold temperatures and they are resistant to shocks and vibration. Low maintenance, durable, and long lasting. Why wouldn’t you switch to LED?

Well there you have it. Some of our favorites and top sellers. Check out this video for a peek into our store.

We’ve been working hard and we will continue to do so. We’re proud to have the best parts, service and trailers in Grand Rapids. Happy as we are about how our store is looking, we’re not done. We just purchased the tattoo shop next to our lot. We contemplated learning another trade, but decided on sticking with trailers. Instead, we will be tearing down the building and extending our lot so that we can keep a bigger stock! Stay tuned as we move forward. We’re pretty excited about this! But for now, we’re just enjoying telling everyone that we bought a tattoo parlor!

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin’ for ya!

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More Than Trailers

At Grandville Trailer, we take pride in what we do. Our small and honest business thrives on loyal customers like you. We are family owned and operated and serving all of west Michigan. Whether you’re looking to buy a trailer, or you are in need of parts or service for your existing trailer, Grandville Trailer is the perfect place for you.trailers1

Because we’re the leading Grand Rapids trailer supplier, we work hard to make our store a one stop shop for all your trailer needs. Here are a few ways that we can serve you.

  • Service department– Our knowledgeable team is experienced in all kinds of trailer repair and maintenance.
  • Parts and accessories– Instead of searching the
     town to find the part you need, come to us first and we’ll get you hooked up.
  • Trailer Rentals– For your weekend trip or project.
  • Trailer Sales– We have all the major brands and styles.

Watch this short video to see more of this Grand Rapids trailer store and let us know what we can do for you.

At Grandville Trailer, we’re pullin for ya!

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