Read Trailer Info text version



NOTE: This trailer section came out of a Tahoe Owners Manual, but most of this information will apply to all Trailstar models.

Tracker Marine, L.L.C. 2500 E. Kearney Street Springfield, MO 65803


Your TAHOE® boat is equipped with a drive - on TRAILSTARTM trailer custom built at our own trailer plant. The trailer is designed to be a perfect "match" with your boat to offer the optimum support during transportation and storage.

Salt Water Use

A galvanized trailer must be used in salt water operation. Galvanized trailers are available for all Tahoe models and must be used in brackish or salt water to prevent corrosion. Painted trailers will be damaged when exposed to the corrosive effects of salt water and will lose their structural integrity within a short period of time. Using a painted trailer in salt water will void your warranty. Proper maintenance of your galvanized trailer in salt water use is essential to the life of the trailer. After each use in salt water, rinse the trailer frame thoroughly with fresh water. Follow the suggested maintenance schedule listed in the Maintenance/Care section of this manual.

Capacity Information

Your TRAILSTARTM trailer has a certification label attached to the starboard side of the trailer tongue. The maximum load carrying capacity and GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is listed on the certification label. The GVWR is the load carrying capacity plus the weight of the trailer itself. Never exceed the maximum capacity information listed on the certification label. Load gear accordingly and store extra gear in the trailering vehicle.





Do not exceed the maximum capacity information listed on your trailer. The total weight of the boat, engine, fuel, gear and trailer must not exceed the trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Overloading the trailer could cause an accident resulting in serious injury, death or property damage.


Trailers are separated into four classes based on gross vehicle weight (GVW). Gross vehicle weight is equal to the trailer's weight plus the maximum load it may carry at 60 MPH.

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Class One Class Two Class Three Class Four


under over under over under over

1900 lbs. 1900 lbs. 3500 lbs. 3500 lbs. 5000 lbs. 5000 lbs.


Hitches are divided into classes that specify the GVW and maximum tongue weight. Hitch classes are numbered the same and specify the same GVW as the trailer classes. Always use a hitch with the same or greater class number than the trailer.



Trailering Checklist

Follow these guidelines each time you trailer your Tahoe:


Check trailer tires for proper inflation. The proper air pressure level is indicated on the sidewall of the tire. The load carrying capacity of the trailer is based on this pressure level.



Check trailer tire pressure before each use. Inadequate tire pressure can lead to conditions favorable for an accident as well as void the trailer warranty.

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Check tail lights and turn signals for proper operation before each use. Check coupler for proper connection before trailering. Check to see that disc brakes (if equipped) are working and that the safety breakaway cable is connected to the vehicle. Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder and fill if needed. If fluid needs to be added constantly, a leak in the system is indicated. Do not trailer until the leak is determined and repaired. For more information on disc brakes, refer to trailer brake section listed later in this manual. The trailer hitch ball on your vehicle must match the size of the trailer coupler. Never use a hitch ball that does not match the coupler. Your TRAILSTARTM trailer is equipped with a 2" ball diameter coupler.



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It is recommended to secure the boat to the trailer with an additional tie-down other than the winch strap in order to keep the boat from sliding off the trailer should the winch strap release. Secure the stern of the boat with the rear tiedown straps. Keep the wheel bearings properly lubricated at all times. Your TRAILSTARTM trailer is equipped with E-Z lube bearings for simple lubrication. Fill the hub with a good quality lithium based grease (also used on automobile bearings). Use a hand grease gun and grease through the zerk fitting until new grease comes out the end cap, and then wipe off the excessive grease. Do not over grease, especially on trailers with brakes.

Grease Cap Grease Zerk Outer Bearing Inner Bearing

Grease Flow Metal End Cap Wheel Lug

Spring Loaded Double Lip Seal




Do not fill the E-Z lube bearings with a power grease gun to keep inner seal from being damaged. Lubricate only with a hand powered grease gun. 8-4



Immediately after trailering, periodically check the wheel hubs for excessive heat by touching the nose of the hub. It is normal for the hub to be very hot under normal conditions, warmer than is comfortable to the hand. Wheel bearings on trailers with brakes generally run a bit warmer than trailers without brakes. A good way to check for excessive heat is to compare the heat of the trailer nose hub with that of the vehicle hub, the temperature should be about the same.




The wheel bearings must be properly lubricated with a lithium based grease. Check the wheel bearings periodically after trailering for excessive heat by touching the nose of the hub. Bearings that are not lubricated properly could seize up, leading to possible hub or axle damage to the trailer.

! !

Stow all loose equipment so it will not slide around in the boat. Make sure all panels and storage lids are secure. Lower and secure the convertible top (if equipped). Check lug nuts to make sure they are tight before each use. Wheel lug nuts must be torqued to 90 + 5 ft. lbs. using a criss - cross tightening pattern.



Trailer lug nuts should be checked for tightness before each use. Loose lug nuts could result in an accident.






It is recommended that you carry extra wheel bearings, races and seals in case of bearing failure. You should also carry the proper lug nut wrench, jack and a spare tire. The lug nut wrench and jack requirements may be different than what you carry for your towing vehicle. Check with your dealer for extra bearings and a spare tire to match your trailer.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Wheel Bearings for Q3, Q4 & Q7: Rear Inner: L68149 Front Outer: L44649 Acceptable Seals for Q3, Q4 & Q7: Federal Mogul: 47336 NOK: AD2527E Chicago Rawlings: 16657

Wheel Bearings for Q5: Rear Inner: L25580 Front Outer: Lm67048 Acceptable Seals for Q5: (National: 56937 NOK:56937



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Use the motor toter bar to secure the engine during trailering. This will prevent the shock of road travel from being transferred to the transom and engine. Disconnect the trailer light harness from your tow vehicle before backing your trailer into the water to launch. This will reduce the likelihood of shorting out your trailer lights when submerged. Be sure to reconnect the light harness after loading and check the lights for proper operation. Rinse the trailer frame with fresh water after each use, especially on galvanized trailers used in salt or brackish water. Protect the trailer finish on painted trailers by waxing the frame periodically with a good automotive wax.

Hookup Procedure

The towing vehicle must be equipped with the properly rated hitch, 2" tow ball and the proper trailer light connection (supplied with the trailer). The vehicle must be rated to handle the maximum load of the boat, motor, trailer and gear.




Many newer vehicles are equipped with amber turn signals and red tail lights. If your tow vehicle is so equipped, you will need a special wiring adapter installed to be compatible with combined (turn and stop) lights on your TRAILSTARTM trailer.



To hookup, move the coupler over the trailer hitch tow ball. Make sure the hitch pin is removed from the locking hole in the side of the coupler. Push the button on top of the handle to the side. While holding the button to the side, raise the handle by lifting the front with two fingers. The coupler should unlatch easily.



Lower the actuator onto the tow ball by cranking the dolly wheel up. Lock the coupler latch by closing the latch handle. As a safety feature, the coupler latch will not close unless the ball is properly seated into the coupler. If the handle will not close freely, the ball is not fully inserted into the socket, the ball is oversized, or there are contaminants in the ball socket. DO NOT FORCE THE HANDLE. If necessary, replace the hitch ball with a unit that meets SAE specifications. After the latch handle is closed, the hitch pin should fit easily into the hole. If it does not, the coupler latch is not completely closed.








If the latch handle does not close freely, there is something wrong and the trailer should not be towed. Check that the ball is fully seated in its socket, the ball is of proper size, and there are not contaminates in the ball socket. An incorrect coupling connection could cause loss of the trailer. Replace the hitch ball if necessary.



Raise dolly wheel into the locked, traveling position. Connect the safety chains to the vehicle, leaving enough slack for turning. Cross the chains to prevent the tongue from dropping to the ground in case the trailer becomes disconnected from the hitch ball while trailering. Connect the trailer lights and check for proper operation. Hook surge brake breakaway cable (if equipped) to towing vehicle. To close the handle without a ball in place (for storage), push safety pawl inside the coupler back with a screw driver and close the handle.






When pulling line off the winch, extreme caution must be used. To pull line/load in: First, always engage the ratchet in the hold position. Before moving a load, make sure that the ratchet snaps into engagement. Now turn the handle in the appropriate direction. When turning the handle you should always hear a clicking sound indicating the ratchet is working properly. If the clicking sound stops, do not let go of the handle because the handle can spin dangerously backward. Lower the load to a safe resting place before letting go of the handle. To let line/load out: First, take a firm grip of the handle, then push the ratchet to the reverse position. You may have to turn the handle slightly to free the ratchet. Keep a firm grip on the handle and turn slowly. Never let go of the handle when letting out or lowering a load. If you want to stop and rest, always engage the ratchet first, then let go of the handle gradually to make sure the ratchet is holding the load.



Be careful when using the winch to load/unload your boat from the trailer. The winch and winch handle could cause injury if not used properly. Always keep a firm grip on the handle at all times. Never engage the rachet until you have a firm grip on the handle and are ready to lower the boat. Never let go of the handle when letting out or lowering your boat. 8-11


Trailers with Brakes

Your TRAILSTARTM trailer may be equipped with a surge braking system as an additional safety feature. Trailer braking is controlled by the actuator mounted on the tongue. As the tow vehicle brakes are applied, the "surge" or "push" of the trailer towards the tow vehicle energizes the brakes and synchronizes the trailer brakes with the tow vehicle brakes.

Disc Brakes

Some trailer models have been equipped with 10" disc brakes. Disc brakes have improved resistance to fade on downhill grade and they are also self adjusting, so as pads wear, braking efficiency is not reduced. In addition, disc brakes recover quickly after being submerged, require little maintenance, are easy to flush out and are less susceptible to water induced corrosion. Maintenance / Care instructions for disc brakes are included in the Maintenance/Care section of this manual.


Your Tahoe trailer is equipped with an actuator that is designed for use with a 2" hitch ball. Please read and familiarize yourself with the actuator handbook that was included with the purchase of your trailer. The Q4 I/O, Q4 Ski Fish I/O, and Q5S boat trailers are all equipped with a UFP (Trailer Buddy) Model A-60 Brake Actuator. The Q7 is equipped with a UFP (Trailer Buddy) TA Disc Brake Actuator.



Brake Fluid

The brake fluid level in the master cylinder should be kept full of DOT 3 brake fluid. To access the reservoir, remove the brake lockout cap on top of the actuator by turning it counter-clock-wise to the Remove position and lifting up on the cap. Pry the reservoir plug off with a screwdriver. Clean brake fluid off the level indicator on the plug. Reinstall and remove plug. Fluid should just touch the end of the level indicator. Check for foam or bubbles in the brake fluid. If either are present, drain fluid from master cylinder and replace with new brake fluid. See actuator instructions included with the owner's packet for proper procedures.

Reservoir Plug

Fluid Level Indicator

If fluid is constantly low, a leak in the system most likely exists. Have the system checked by your dealer to determine the cause of the leak.



Check brake fluid level before each use to insure that fluid level is full. If fluid must be added constantly, a leak in the system exists. Do not pull the trailer until the cause of the leak is determined and repaired.



Your trailer may be equipped with a brake lock out cap on top of the actuator. The lock out allows the trailer to be backed up over soft ground or inclines without fully engaging the brakes. The mechanism is designed to disengage when the trailer is pulled forward after backing. It must be reset manually prior to each time the trailer is backed up. To operate the brake lockout cap, the actuator must be fully extended. This can be done by pulling the trailer forward slightly. Next, move the lockout cap from the TOW position to the BACKING position by depressing the button on the lockout cap and rotating the cap clockwise until you feel resistance and it stops in the backing position. Back the trailer to desired position.

Backing Tow Remove Button



Before towing the trailer, check that the brake lockout cap is in proper operating condition, the cap button is up and the cap is in the normal towing position. If for any reason the cap does not reset or function properly, remove the cap from the trailer. Failure to do so may inhibit normal trailer braking performance.



Your trailer may be equipped with electronic free backing brakes. Whenever you backup, a 12 volt electrical signal from the tow vehicle backup light circuit energizes a pressure control unit inside the actuator. Hydraulic pressure is prevented from building up, so the brakes will not activate. A "Flat Five" adaptor plug is shipped with units equipped with electronic backing brakes. The blue wire must be wired to your vehicle's backup lights for the system to operate. (See wiring diagram.)




















Secure the breakaway cable to the bumper or frame of the tow vehicle. The breakaway cable will activate the braking system should the trailer become disconnected from the tow vehicle. The cable must be long enough to permit turns without pulling the breakaway cable forward. To reset the breakaway cable should it become activated, with the actuator fully extended, push up on the tab located under the actuator behind the ball socket. This will allow the cable to retract into the actuator and release the trailer brakes (see figure below).


For additional information on surge brake and actuator operation, read the actuator owner's manual supplied with the owner's packet.



Operating Tips For Trailers w/ Disc Brakes

Check your brake system before each trip: ! Make sure there are no leaks in the hydraulic system. ! A surface rust will build up on the rotor brake surface if the trailer isn't used for a week or more. The brake pads will wipe off the rust in the first few miles of travel. If the trailer has been idle for several months, or has been frequently submerged in salt water and the brakes are not flushed out, severe corrosion can occur. Review the maintenance instructions later in this section. When starting out: ! The trailer should tow easily. If not, or it is swaying to one side, a rotor may not be rotating freely. Investigate and solve the problem. ! Try your brakes at slow to moderate speeds and develop the "feel" to sense they are functioning properly. On the road: ! When towing a trailer, with or without brakes, you need an extra distance to stop. ! On long, gentle downhill grades, try to avoid downshifting. Running in low gear can actuate the trailer surge brakes continuously for the duration of the grade, causing them to overheat. ! On moderate and steep sections, downshifting into lower gears may be necessary. Slow down before the grade and keep your speed under control. Do not apply the brakes continuously as they can overheat. ! Driving on a stretch of highway without brake usage is the quickest way to cool down the brake system. Before launching: ! If the brakes are hot, let them cool down. The sudden change in temperature when submerging very hot calipers and rotors stresses all parts and could cause damage.




If you have never towed a trailer before, it is a good idea to practice maneuvering procedures in a large open area such as an empty parking lot. Keep the following guidelines in mind when maneuvering your trailer.


Back up slowly. The trailer will go in the opposite direction of the towing vehicle's wheels. You will need to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction you want the trailer to go. After the trailer begins moving, turn the steering wheel to follow it. It is easier to back a trailer if you have a second person to assist you.



Corners and Curves

The trailer wheels will not follow the path of the towing vehicles wheels. You must steer wider on corners to allow the trailer wheels to clear the curb. Stay well on your side of the center line on curves.




The additional weight of the boat/trailer will reduce the towing vehicle's acceleration. You will need more room to pass. Make sure you do not cut back into the right lane too quickly after passing a vehicle. Change lanes smoothly to avoid "whipping" the trailer.

Being Passed

Air turbulence from a passing truck or bus will push the trailer to the right. The trailer will correct the sway naturally as the vehicle passes. Avoid sudden braking.


The extra weight of the boat/trailer greatly increases the stopping distance. Be sure to maintain enough distance to safely come to a stop. Keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one ahead in case you need to stop suddenly.


Proper maintenance and care of your trailer is a must for safe and reliable operation. Follow these maintenance and care guidelines.

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Keep wheel bearings lubricated with a lithium based Grade II or better grease. Check hub often and re-grease as needed. Check coupler mechanism for smooth operation. Lubricate pivot points, winch and coupler periodically. See actuator owner's manual for lubrication points. Check hitch ball condition for corrosion or damage. Check coupler operation for proper fit on ball.



! ! ! ! ! ! !

Trace wiring system from tow vehicle to trailer. Inspect for bare or chafed wires or corroded terminals. Put a small amount of silicone grease on light plugs to prevent corrosion. Inspect winch strap for wear and replace if necessary. Inspect trailer for rust spots, nicks and chips. Touch-up paint is available through your dealer and should be used to touch up nicks or scratches. Rinse trailer with fresh water often. Clean with mild detergent and water regularly. Wax frame with a quality automotive wax at least once a year to protect the finish.

Trailers With Brakes

Check brake fluid in master cylinder reservoir before each use. Keep filled with DOT 3 brake fluid. Use only DOT 3 and do not mix with DOT 4 or 5. If fluid needs to be added constantly, the system has a leak and should be repaired. After parking the trailer, manually extend the actuator to keep moisture from corroding the master cylinder bore. If you have been in saltwater, the single most important maintenance step for disc and drum brakes is to flush them thoroughly with fresh water.



Saltwater use can be damaging to the braking system. Proper maintenance procedures must be followed to assure safe operation. Failure to properly maintain the actuator could result in conditions leading to an accident.



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Your braking system should be inspected regularly by a qualified technician. Hoses, fittings and tubings should be checked and replaced as needed. See your dealer for more information. The trailer brakes on the Q5S and Q5L are not selfadjusting and must be adjusted after the first 300 miles of use. After initial adjustment, they should be adjusted annually or every 1000 miles, whichever comes first. Brakes should be adjusted only by a qualified technician.



The trailer drum brakes must be adjusted after the first 300 miles of use and every year or 1000 miles thereafter, whichever comes first. Failure to do so may lead to conditions favorable for an accident. For more trailer care/maintenance information, read the brake actuator owner's manual supplied with the owner's packet. Follow the maintenance procedures listed and contact your dealer for more information.

Brake Pad Wear

For trailers with Disc Brakes, pads must be replaced when 3/32" (.094") or less of the pad friction material is left.



If you are not familiar with disc brake pad replacement, have this work performed by a qualified service shop. Improper pad replacement may decrease braking effectiveness, potentially causing an accident from not being able to stop the tow vehicle combination within an acceptable distance. 8-22


Rotor Damage

Rotors must be replaced if the distance between brake surfaces becomes less than 0.882" (21.4mm) due to wear or machining. Otherwise, brake effectiveness and rotor integrity will be reduced resulting in loss of brakes. Pad and Rotor condition should be checked at least annually. Rotors should be resurfaced by a qualified brake specialist if extreme galling or wear marks are present.

Actuator and Hydraulic Line Service

Follow the actuator manufacturer suggested service routine. Always be sure hydraulic fluid is clean. Be sure that fluid level is within ½ inch of top of reservoir. DO NOT fill beyond that level. Brake systems use DOT 3 hydraulic fluid . Check for leaks in the brake lines and fittings. Leaks will lead to loss of trailer braking ability. Repair or replace as necessary.

Brake Replacement Parts

All trailer and trailer brake replacement parts can be purchased from your Tracker Marine Dealer. Replacement pads can also be purchased from auto part stores using brake pads from the following vehicle models: YEAR 1891 1891 1891 1891 MODEL Plymouth Acclaim Plymouth Sundance Dodge Daytona Dodge Spirit

NOTE: Use only organic, non-metallic pads. Metallic pads will rust and depreciate rotor surface. 8-23



The Tahoe Q4 and Q5 boat trailers have a built-in swing-away tongue for convenient storage. To retract the tongue: 1. 2. Remove safety lock from locking pin. Remove locking pin.


Retract by pushing trailer tongue towards reed or trailer.



Trailer Info

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