Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Boat trailers and trailering

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Andy Garrett
Posts: 1289
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:44 pm
Location: Nampa, Idaho

Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby Andy Garrett » Sun May 08, 2016 2:58 pm

I've been happily pulling my little Zip on its perfectly proportioned trailer for a couple of years now without a single issue.
IMAG3673[1].jpg


It tracks great. Has no sway or play. It's perfect. Or rather..., it was.

Recently, the wife and I replaced our travel trailer with one that will permit us to double-tow a camper and a boat in line and in that order.

Yes. It's perfectly legal in Kansas and Oklahoma where I will be towing. However, I read the statutes and spoke with a KHP commander over the phone who read over the statute with me to cover all my bases.

The bottom line on double towing around here is that the first trailer must have anti-sway control--check, and the second trailer must have brakes. Now the stautue says, "active braking system". To my mind, that means electric brakes rather than surge brakes which seem to be 'passive' by definition, but KHP insists that surge brakes are just fine. Fine.

Now, my trailer had a 2K pound axle with some odd looking brake flanges--Isn't gonna work. Shopped around, talked to a number of shops, watched oodles of Youtube videos, read forums, wound up custom ordering a 3K axle made to my specific measurements with brake drums and leaf springs installed.

I also ordered an Atwood actuator/hitch.

Finding the correct fittings and flexible lines from automotive parts stores was a week long odyssey, but in the end, perseverance prevailed.

I have no experience with brake systems..., at all, but I'm not one to let a silly thing like ignorance stop me. Read, watch videos, become an expert.

I acquired the proper tools and before I knew it, I'm cutting and flaring steel tube and going crazy with a tube bender and zip-ties. I had to work in some flexible hose at the swing away hitch and the frame to axle connection, but its almost done now.

My only concern is how it will ride. The boat is a bit higher off the ground now after swapping for the bigger axle, but the RV bumper is pretty high so it should be ok. I just don't want it dancing around back there.

The funniest part is that I doubt the boat has enough mass to activate the surge brakes. :roll: :lol:

I should finish and test tomorrow. I'll let you know!
Andy Garrett

Perhaps the slowest Zip build in Glen-L history...

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kens
Posts: 4574
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:25 pm
Location: Coastal Georgia

Re: Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby kens » Sun May 08, 2016 5:44 pm

Your boat probably will activate the brakes, my boat is #2500lbs on #7500lb tandem axles, and the surge brakes do really work.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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psychobilly
Posts: 1012
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 3:07 am
Location: Tomball, TX

Re: Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby psychobilly » Sun May 08, 2016 9:32 pm

http://www.pacifictrailers.com/ has a whole lot of tech tips, info, as well as all the stuff you had issues locating locally.

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Andy Garrett
Posts: 1289
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:44 pm
Location: Nampa, Idaho

Re: Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby Andy Garrett » Mon May 09, 2016 2:42 pm

That site would have been nice last month. :lol:

Success!
It work wonderfully!
The trailer tracks great. The brakes do work!

I got the wife to help me bleed the system, and after tightening a leak, we were off and running.

Couldn't be happier! I'll be doing some welding reinforcement on the RV bumper the weekend and then..., camping!

Some pics of the installed system:
Attachments
IMAG0901[1].jpg
IMAG0900[1].jpg
IMAG0899[1].jpg
Andy Garrett

Perhaps the slowest Zip build in Glen-L history...

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Andy Garrett
Posts: 1289
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:44 pm
Location: Nampa, Idaho

Re: Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby Andy Garrett » Mon May 09, 2016 2:43 pm

more pics
Attachments
IMAG0905[1].jpg
IMAG0904[1].jpg
IMAG0903[1].jpg
Andy Garrett

Perhaps the slowest Zip build in Glen-L history...

garrech
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:22 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby garrech » Tue May 10, 2016 8:05 pm

Is that a manual lock-out for backing? Our trailer doesn't have that, so I had to get a flat 5-pin adapter for my '08 F150 in order to back the trailer. Without it, if there was any resistance (such as an incline or soft ground) the surge brakes would kick in and lock the trailer down when I tried to back it up.

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psychobilly
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 3:07 am
Location: Tomball, TX

Re: Surge Brakes for a Zip? WT..?

Postby psychobilly » Thu May 12, 2016 11:02 am

Nice install!!! Remember Pacific next time. I order stuff from them for my trailer overhaul. I needed some more stuff recently and since I'm in Texas, everyone has some sort of trailer in my lil country town. There's a trailer shop less than 3 miles from the house. ;-) I put all flexible line on mine last spring and all four new brake assemblies. But the UFP-60 actuator came from Pacific.



garrech wrote:Is that a manual lock-out for backing?




That's what it is. You can get them either way. Instead of getting a 5pin on your truck you could have changed the trailer plug I bet.


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