Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Boat trailers and trailering

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Roberta
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Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Roberta » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:38 pm

Looking at trailers and wondering what brake systems are best for a tandem axle trailer of about 5000 to 6000 gvw.
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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Bill Edmundson
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Bill Edmundson » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:19 pm

Roberta

The trailer for the Tahoe has drum/surge brakes, or it did. I'm in salt/brackish water and I flush them each time. They're gone. The trailer guy, that's going to fix it, says to go with surge /disc. He won't do drums. Unless it's a big trailer, I wouldn't mess with electric.

Bill
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Roberta
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Roberta » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:42 am

I like the idea of being able to control the trailer with the elctric hand controllers in the cab, but I'm not really liking the moving parts in drum electric brakes. I like the electric over hydraulic as you can control the brakes from the cab and have the simpliity of the disc brakes. But it is pricey. But when has cost really mattered to me!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Roberta :D :D :D
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Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by steveh41 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:38 am

Roberta,

Read a quote from William Garden the other day when asked "How much money does it take to build a boat?" His answer...
"All of it!" :?

Seems to be pretty true across the board... at least we can slow down progress a bit when the wallet gets a little thin.

Steve

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Roberta
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Roberta » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:52 am

Yup!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: And you can't take it with you so you might as well enjoy it while you can!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Roberta :D :D :D
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by cusoak » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:43 am

Roberta
With my 66 Century Resorter that weighs in at about 2800 pounds with a full load of 38 gallons of gas, I have a used bass boat trailer that I re bunked to fit the boat. It has a surge, disk break system and you can hardly tell you are trying to stop with a boat behind you.
The other thing is we have a pretty steep hill I have to go down to get to our lake and with the surge break it helps to keep the boat from pushing you down the hill.
I used to work on heavy equipment and drove a 2 ton service truck and it had electric breaks for the trailer. and one day while towing a duel axle trailer the the winter I started down a freeway hill that had snow on it the trailer started to put me and I started to slide reached over and tool the lever on the control and pushed to set the breaks on the trailer and it slowed the trailer and straightened us right out so I guess there is a case for both types.
Jeff

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Roberta
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Roberta » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:46 am

That's for sure. I am leaning towards electric/hydraulic discs, though.

Roberta :D :D :D
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Milhouse
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Milhouse » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:40 pm

Roberta - What did you decide on? How do you like them?

I am going to rebuilding my 16' ski boat trailer and I'm looking for advice on what to go with for brakes.

It currently has surge brakes but they are from the 60's so they need to be totally rebuilt or replaced.

I will be using it in Salt and Fresh water.

I am not sure of the weight of the trailer / boat yet.

I can't tell if the CA law requires electric or electric over hydraulic to meet the definition of power brakes.

26302 Every trailer over 1500 lbs must be equipped with brakes on at least 2 wheels. (does this include the weight of the boat?)
26453 Trailer brakes shall be maintained in good condition and in good working order and adjusted so all brakes work equally on all wheels. (do i need brakes on all 4 trailer wheels)
26458 The braking system on every motor vehicle used to tow another vehicle shall be so arranged that one control on the towing vehicle shall, when applied, operate all the service brakes on the power unit and combination of vehicles when either or both of the following conditions exist: (1) The towing vehicle is required to be equipped with power brakes. (2) The towed vehicle is required to be equipped with brakes and is equipped with power brakes.

From: http://www.eyershitch.com/california-towing-laws.html

Edit: Looks like Surge brakes are allowed per the DMV website:

Folding camp trailers and boat trailers are usually fitted with surge brake systems which operate separately from the tow vehicle's brakes.

Surge brakes are applied by a mechanism attached to the receiver/ball connection. As the tow vehicle slows, the forward motion of the trailer compresses the mechanism which in turn applies the trailer brakes.

From CA DMV

Edit 2: good discussion on this forum with a handful of people saying that surge brakes are just fine.

Thanks,

Jim
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Roberta
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Roberta » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:01 am

Loadmaster basically does the electric drum and that is what we ended up with. We're in our 4th towing season and all seems to be fine, so far. We are towing with a Ford Expedition and our trailer and boat weigh in about 4500lbs. Trailer is a tandem axle with 4 wheel brakes.

Roberta
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Bill Edmundson » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:04 am

If you go with surge/disc you will need a 5 pin connector. The 5th pin locks out the surge when you go into reverse. If you use a standard 4 pin the trailer breaks may just lock up.

Bill
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Jimbob » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:02 am

My trailer was built with disc surge breaks. It came with the 5 pin plug so that the breaks would release when backing up. I got an adapter that allowed me to plug the 5 pin into into my 7 pin trailer connection. If you need to use the 4 pin plug, my trailer hitch came with a metal pin that you can put into the hitch to prevent the brakes from applying when backing up. This pin is also used when the trailer is to be moved around with a fork lift etc. Just remember to remove when you are going forward. I had the option to use the electric break actuator which I could use with my electric break system in my truck that I use for my 5th wheel trailer. I passed on that option because it would have added $1,000 to the cost of the trailer.

Jim
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Milhouse
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Milhouse » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:50 am

Thanks Roberta, Bill, Jim,

Jim are you happy with the surge decision? Electric over hydro is still darn expensive. So I think I am leaning to surge. Disks are easier to maintain than drums. I Need to look into the price difference. Considering I already have drums that could be rebuilt.
Last edited by Milhouse on Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jim
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Jimbob » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:41 am

Surge breaks are fine.
I had a larger boat with surge breaks with drum breaks and they worked just fine. If you go with the electric assist, you will need a brake controller and the wiring in your tow vehicle, including the 7 pin plug. The trailer will need a "break away kit" which involves a battery, and I have heard that you can't get the electric actuator wet.
Jim
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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by kens » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:43 pm

There IS a way to back up a surge brake trailer with a 4-pin hookup, and not have to pin the surge controller.
Take the 5th pin (trailer) to the lights pin (truck) on the 4 pin connector, then turn on your truck lights.
your 'lights' power is used to release the surge brake for backing.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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Re: Electric, Electric/Hydraulic, or Hydraulic Surge

Post by Milhouse » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:24 pm

Thanks for all the advice! Surge brakes it is!!!

Ken - I read something similar for a hack, hook up to the reverse lights to release the surge brakes :D They are only on, conveniently, when you are in reverse. One will still want brakes if you are towing at night so I think the reverse lights are better than the lights for this connection. But I guess that is effectively adding a 5th connection...

I also found this kit that allows for backing without a lockout or special wiring (it is only possible with drums) because I guess the drum can tell what way it is rotating.

https://www.pacifictrailers.com/collect ... galvanized

I may go with this approach.
Jim
16' Ski Boat Restoration
17' Overnighter Sloop

I'd rather have a $h!tty meal than an $h!tty resume because a totally awesome resume will feed me steak one day - Steve Poltz

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