Saving Your Boat’s Trailer Lights by Randy Rowley


As most of you know, I bought a boat in July of 2010 and took it duck hunting several times in 2010 and 2011.  After a 11/19/10 – 11/21/10 duck hunt and fishing trip to lakes Belton and Stillhouse Hollow my non-waterproof trailer lights stopped working.  I couldn’t figure our why they stopped working, and I knew that it would cost me a lot to have the problem diagnosed at a trailer repair shop, so I went to Academy and bought new trailer wires and installed them.  Still no workie.

As I was finishing up with the wiring, I remembered something that Jim McGee told me about non-waterproof trailer lights – when you’ve driven at night the lights get hot from being on.  Then, when you back your trailer into a cold lake, pop go the bulbs.

I pulled the trailer light covers off and sure enough one bulb had exploded and the other was full of water (it had a pinpoint hole in it).  I replaced the bulbs and there was light!

Jim said that the first thing that he does when he gets to a ramp is to disconnect his non-waterproof trailer lights.  He then removes the tie downs and gets the boat ready to go.  His trailer lights cool down while he does all of that, resulting in his bulbs not popping when he backs his trailer into a lake.  I started to do this religiously and it resulted in fewer popped trailer light bulbs.

But the best solution was to buy waterproof trailer lights.  They’re more expensive than non-waterproof ones but you won’t have to spend a fortune in replacement light bulbs and the waterproof trailer lights at Academy come with a lifetime guarantee (just save your receipt).

Categories : Articles


  1. palirwin says:

    For many years of boat ownership, I never disconnected lights.However, the lenses were sealed properly and therefore it was never a problem. My point is, it would be worth it to spend a few bucks on some new light fixtures so that you don’t have to disconnect them each time, plus you will save money in the long run because you won’t be replacing bulbs or paying for a ticket or a wreck caused by forgetting to unplug or re-plug your lights. The last set of lights I bought were about $25 at Tractor Supply, but that was some time ago. Maybe I will land some big clients in the next week or two and I will just buy you a new boat for Christmas. How would that be? 🙂 I like your boat though, lots of room and perfect for duck hunting I think.

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Bible Verse of the Day

A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the LORD upholds the righteous.