Quick Tip: Trailer Trouble

By Scott Richmond

It was an unpleasant and unwelcome sound, a noise I really didn't want to hear. I was pulling my boat trailer out of a ramp on the North Santiam River, following a solo search for steelhead. When I left the ramp and turned a corner, the trailer made a screeching, metal-on-metal grind.

A quick check revealed bearing grease all over the left wheel. The bearing itself was a gonner, no doubt a victim of a previous trip down a rough Deschutes River access road. I wasn't going to pull that trailer anywhere.

What to Do?

Fortunately I had a cell phone and called AAA. AAA has bailed me out of past predicaments--dead batteries, keys locked in the car, the occasional need for a tow. But many people don't realize that their standard AAA membership or car insurance doesn't cover towing a trailer. Under the standard policy, they'll tow your car quite happily; but unless you pay full retail for the service, your trailer and boat will sit beside the road, a helpless target of any thief or vandal that comes along.

There's a solution. For a minimal yearly fee, you can get extra coverage for your trailer. Just ask for the "RV" option, and you're set. I found this out a few years ago, and willingly paid the extra bucks.

It was money well spent that day on the North Santiam. Shortly after I called, a tow truck showed up and hauled my trailer--with boat still on it--to a nearby Les Schwab where it could get repaired.

Scott Richmond is Westfly's creator and Executive Director. He is the author of eight books on Oregon fly fishing, including Fishing Oregon's Deschutes River (second edition).