Frequently Asked Questions
What is the warranty on a new Karavan Trailers, Inc. trailer?
Each Karavan Trailer has a 1-year limited warranty. However, some individual parts have their own individual warranties. Refer to your Owner's Manual to see the warranties for those individual parts. To see the complete description of the Karavan Trailers, Inc. Warranty Policy, click on the link below. If you experience any difficulties or defects with specific parts of the trailer, please look for the manufacturer's name on the part and contact them directly. Click on the link below for a list of Karavan's current vendors from whom we purchase parts. Karavan Warranty Page Parts Warranty Information
What should I do if I have a problem with the tires on my trailer?
Tires have their own warranty from the manufacturer. The manufacturer's name and phone number should be found on the tire wall itself. Call that number for assistance with any tire problems that you might have. For your convenience, the names and numbers of our tire manufacturers are listed below.
What tire pressure should I inflate to?
You should always maintain your tires at full pressure. This is indicated by the tire manufacturer on the tire's sidewalls or on the trailer manufacturer's certification label. Always check tire air pressure when the tires are cold.
What basic routine maintenance should be done on my trailer?
Refer to your Owner's Manual for complete trailer maintenance and part maintenance (such as trailer actuators and brake readjustment) directions. The following are just a few maintenance tips that should be checked each time before towing your trailer.
- Be sure all parts, bolts, and nuts are tight.
- Secure load to trailer with BIA approved tie-downs.
- Check tire pressure while tire is cold. Check and adjust wheel bearings if necessary after the first 50 miles of use.
- Inspect and repack wheel bearings at least twice a year and before storing.
- Check that the Bed Locking Pin is in place,
- Do not exceed trailer capacity.
- Be sure all lights are operating and are disconnected before backing into water.
- Coupling ball- make sure you are using the size marked on the trailer coupling and coupling must be securely latched to the ball.
- Cross safety chains under tongue and secure to towing vehicle.
- Check brake operation.
When your boat is launched or off the trailer, it is a good time to check over the bunks or rollers to make sure they are in working properly and are in good condition. These contact your boat directly each time you use your trailer, so you want to be sure they are in good shape. Also, check your safety chains and winch straps to make sure they are in good working condition.
After each trip with your boat, be sure to rinse your boat and trailer off in fresh, clean water, removing any plant material, snails, etc. so that they are not transferred to other bodies of water.
Check your trailer over for any nicks or scratches, and touch them up with paint as needed. Check over flooring material and make sure there are no weak or rotting spots that may need replacing.
What are some tips for launching and loading my boat?
Please see page 65 (page 63 of 68 when viewing the PDF document) in Part II of the Owner's Manual for helpful launching and loading tips.
How often should I grease the axles?
Axles should be greased at least once or twice a year. It depends on the frequency of use of your trailer, the way you use your trailer, and, if it is a boat trailer, whether it is in salt or fresh water a lot. Karavan Trailers, Inc., uses a Sure-Lube grease system. Your Owner's manual details the benefits of this system, and how to change the grease in your axles.
What kind of grease should I use?
Karavan uses Texaco Starplex #2 Grease in our factory. Any good marine grade water-resistant grease is recommended. However, different grease types shouldn't be mixed.
My trailer fishtails. Why?
Fishtailing is usually caused by having improper tongue weight on the tow vehicle hitch ball, and can cause loss of control of the tow vehicle and can result in serious injury or property damage. You will need to adjust the tongue weight to correct this problem. Make sure your towing vehicle can handle the extra weight.
How do I calculate the tongue weight for my trailer?
It is recommended that 5-10% of the total weight (trailer weight plus the weight of everything loaded on the trailer) be on the tongue. For example, the gross (or total) vehicle weight of the trailer and load is 2,000 pounds. The tongue weight should not be less than 100 pounds and no more than 200 pounds.
How do I know if my vehicle is big enough to tow my trailer?
Your dealer can tell you how much your boat, ATV, lawnmower, snowmobile, etc., along with your trailer, weigh. Then refer to your towing vehicle's owner's manual or check with your vehicle dealer, and see what the towing capability of your vehicle is to see if they are compatible.
Do rollers or bunks support a boat better?
When properly adjusted, both the roller and bunk style offer a safe support system for your boat. It is mainly a matter of personal preference and depends upon what the main types of launches that you use are.
Roller trailers are easy to drive-on/drive-off when launching, and work especially well at shallow launches. You don't have to back your trailer into the water as far. Bunk trailers are made for floating the boat off and on the trailer, and are better for steep or deeper launches. You do have to back your trailer into the water farther. Depending on where you launch your boat most often, your dealer can help you decide which type of trailer would best suit your needs.
Should I purchase load Guide-on's for my boat trailer?
Load Guide-on's are optional on most Karavan trailers. They help you center your boat when loading. If you load where there are strong currents, such as on a river, or there are waves or windy conditions that may make loading trickier, guide-on's are an option you might want to consider.
I am traveling to Canada and am taking my trailer with me. How do I get a Letter of Compliance so that I can enter Canada?
Call our Karavan Customer Service Department. They will help you obtain your compliance letter. Their number is 1-920-928-6200.
Does the law require brakes on my trailer?
In most states, trailers with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 3,000 pounds or more are required by law to have brakes on all wheels. Upon special request, you can order axles with brake flanges to be able to install brakes. Brakes are becoming more of a necessity, especially since the introduction of the smaller sized cars. Laws regarding brakes vary from state to state. You must check with your state's local Department of Transportation to get the brake requirements for your state.
Can I use a weight equalizer or a sway control device along with the braking system on my trailer?
Absolutely not! Weight equalizing or sway control devices inhibit the performance of surge brake actuators and must not be used. Air shocks on the rear axle of the tow vehicle offer a good means of leveling the vehicle and trailer when necessary.
Which is best-a painted, galvanized or aluminum trailer?
Salt-water is hard on any type of finish, and makes it deteriorate rapidly. Either an aluminum or a galvanized trailer would be a good choice if you boat in salt-water. Always rinse your trailer off in fresh water after loading to prevent rust corrosion and lengthen the life of your trailer. A painted trailer works best in fresh water. Karavan trailers have a polyester powder coat, baked-on finish because it is superior over a liquid spray-on finish, and because of its impact and UV resistance. However, even in fresh water, there can be brackish conditions, and road salt and other elements in the environment can work against a painted finish. Washing and waxing your trailer periodically will extend the paint life on your trailer, and be sure to touch up any nicks or scratches immediately to prevent rusting.
Can I purchase a trailer directly from the factory?
No. We sell our trailers to distributors and dealers across the United States and Canada, who will help you select the best trailer to fit your boat, ATV or snowmobile. Click the link below to locate a dealer near you. Dealer Locator
Where is the VIN located on my trailer?
On all newer Karavan trailer models, there is a white sticker with a bar code located on the left-hand or driver's side, side-tube in front of the taillight. There is another sticker located on the right-hand or passenger side, side-tube up towards the tongue. Older models may have the sticker print worn off or unreadable. Refer to your Bill of Sale or Registration Paper for the VIN information.
What is the difference between a waterproof and a submersible light?
Submersible lights use the bell-jar concept. This allows a small amount of water inside the housing. The resulting air pressure inside the cavity prevents any additional water from reaching the area where the contacts and sockets are located. Waterproof is usually associated with a completely sealed light. Some companies claim their light is waterproof, but in actuality, their light also uses the bell-jar concept.
What is the wiring schematic/color code for my trailer?
Yellow Wire-Left Stop & Turn
Green Wire-Right Stop & Turn
Brown Wire-Taillights, Rear Marker Lights, Front & Rear Side Lights
State and Federal regulations require all types of trailers to be equipped with tail, stop, turn and side marker lights. Trailers over 80 inches wide must have clearance and identification lights. All the necessary lights are supplied by us, the manufacturer. However, it is the owner's responsibility to maintain them in good operating condition at all times.
How do I troubleshoot wiring problems on my trailer?
The Karavan electrical system is quite trouble-free, especially with the use of the automotive type wire harness that we use. This eliminates shorts in the system due to bad or corroded connections. We suggest, however, that you use the following precautions for trouble-free trailering.
- Disconnect the tongue harness from the towing vehicle before backing the trailer into the water. This will eliminate the bulbs from lighting while submerged in the water. Lighting submerged light bulbs will cause them to burn out. (This is not necessary if your trailer is equipped with waterproof taillights and rear cluster.)
- Carry a spare taillight bulb, #1157, which is the large bulb in the taillight. The smaller bulb in the taillight for the sidelight is #57, and is also used in the rectangular amber sidelight.
- Once a year remove the light lenses and spray or coat the metal components with either WD-40 or CRC. A light coat of petroleum jelly also works quite well so that the metal doesn't rust and it makes water run right off.
- Make sure your towing vehicle's electrical system is sufficient to handle the extra load required to power your trailer lights. Check with your local automotive dealer for specifications and any options available to increase the electrical capacity.
- In order to insure a positive ground connection between the trailer and the towing vehicle, it is important that the white ground wires are secured properly to both the trailer and the towing vehicle. A poor ground connection will cause the taillights to blink or not function properly. Some towing vehicles are equipped with a 4-wire taillight system. It then becomes necessary to use a four to three wire converter.