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Old 06-03-2021, 10:20 AM   #1
The Real BigGuy
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Default Boat Trailer Brakes

I have a tandem boat trailer that needs a total rebuild of its surge brakes from master cylinder to lines to drums. It sat for years and the brake fluid basically turned to a brown dirt. Iím looking for places that can do the repair as The Trailer Outlet has said they are backed up with new builds and a yard full of repairs and wouldnít be able to get to it before haul out in the fall.

Any suggestions from forum members?


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Old 06-03-2021, 06:30 PM   #2
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Try them in Tilton NH. https://traileroutlet.net/
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Always Remember, The Best Safety Device In The Boat, or on a PWC Snowmobile etc., Is YOU!

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Old 06-03-2021, 06:32 PM   #3
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I did. As my post said they said they canít get to it this year because of new builds and a lot full of repairs. Searching the web for alternates yielded no joy.


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Old 06-03-2021, 06:35 PM   #4
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Default Repair Shop

One would think any decent Auto shop should be able to handle the project. pretty much all the parts are standard car parts and nothing should be a huge challenge to a decent mechanic.
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Old 06-03-2021, 06:51 PM   #5
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Sorry, wrong link.

Did you try Tractor Supply; https://www.bing.com/maps?q=Trctors+...ANNTA1&PC=HCTS
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:08 PM   #6
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Default Boat trailer brakes

I had excellent service from Alton Motor Sports (603) 875-7575, on Rt 28 about 500 yds north of the Alton Circle (where Rt28 and Rt11 criss-cross). Give them a call and see what they can do.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:01 PM   #7
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When u go in ask how much to do it with electric and disk. When my surge brakes needed total rebuild it was not much more to convert and well worth it.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:22 PM   #8
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Default RE: Boat Trailer brakes

Hi
You could try Brian at Brian's trailer repair in Berwick.
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?i...845&__tn__=C-R

He repaired my brakes when one brake locked up a few years ago.
We also converted to disk brakes as part of the repair.

My brakes had been worked on by a good auto mechanic that was not so
good on trailers.

Scott
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Old 06-04-2021, 08:13 AM   #9
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If the trailer is that old it may actually be more cost effective to replace the trailer. When you start getting into doing a rebuild of this magnitude the costs can be pretty substantial to where you are paying well beyond what the trailer is worth to fix. Furthermore, if the brakes are that bad from sitting for so long what about the rest of it?

I would definitely recommend if you go forward with this to consider replacing the surge w/drum brakes setup to electric actuated disk brakes as a superior solution and pretty much the standard today. Your tow vehicle does have to be wired for it, most are these days.
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Old 06-04-2021, 08:24 AM   #10
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Thanks all.

The trailer is in good condition and was repainted and wired last fall (unfortunately the rodents got at the wires again this winter). I checked on replacement prices and I was seeing prices in the $8k - 9k range. Figure I can do a lot of repairs for that. Especially on a trailer that gets used twice a year.

I have also thought of switching to electric brakes. Was wondering if it requires any new, in cab wiring? Are they harder to calibrate then hydraulic brakes?

Again, thanks for the input.


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Old 06-06-2021, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real BigGuy View Post
Thanks all.

The trailer is in good condition and was repainted and wired last fall (unfortunately the rodents got at the wires again this winter). I checked on replacement prices and I was seeing prices in the $8k - 9k range. Figure I can do a lot of repairs for that. Especially on a trailer that gets used twice a year.

I have also thought of switching to electric brakes. Was wondering if it requires any new, in cab wiring? Are they harder to calibrate then hydraulic brakes?

Again, thanks for the input.


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If you only use it twice a year, I wouldn't even worry about the brakes, UNLESS, it is an extremely big, heavy boat, OR, it is trailered a long distance those two times it gets used. JMHO
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:32 PM   #12
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Iím with you on this Cal. Unfortunately, I traded my towing vehicle a couple of years ago (Marina was picking it up & dropping it off on their own trailer) and a friend is moving the boat for me now. Boat is about 3600 lbs and he is a little uncomfortable with the way it pushes him as he comes to a stop.


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Old 06-10-2021, 07:22 PM   #13
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Lon,
Can you move the boat forward on the trailer to increase the tongue weight easily? If so think about doing that, adding a weight distribution hitch, and doing away with the brakes entirely.
I'm not a fan of electric brakes because they seem to me to be a bit weak and inevitably require a lot of maintenance as the electric brake pucks lose the magnetic abilities. I've had a few trailers with hydraulic surge brakes and liked them a lot better, both for maintenance and performance, and I tow a lot heavier loads than a boat.
My suggestion would be to stop by Outdoor Sport Center in Concord and talk to them. They are on Manchester Street opposite the Red Blazer about a mile up from exit 13 off I-93. First rate!
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Coon View Post
If you only use it twice a year, I wouldn't even worry about the brakes, UNLESS, it is an extremely big, heavy boat, OR, it is trailered a long distance those two times it gets used. JMHO
Hmm. I think the brakes are there for a reason....
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:22 AM   #15
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Unless there has been an industry change, electric brakes on boat trailers were always frowned upon. Always gave very poor service life from the total submersion in water.

Maybe thats changed, but all the new boat trailers I have seen still have surge brakes.

As for needing them or not, as previously said it really depends on use AND the tow vehicle.

If the use is limited and you dont want to spend a fortune, then rent a real truck for the day. Any 1500 2WD truck will easily stop a 3600 LB boat on a tandem trailer.

Alternatively find a friend with a real truck, or hire someone, tons of people do short distance bumper pulls for short money.

Many options including fixing the current trailer or trading up.

Good Luck
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XCR-700 View Post
Unless there has been an industry change, electric brakes on boat trailers were always frowned upon. Always gave very poor service life from the total submersion in water.

Maybe thats changed, but all the new boat trailers I have seen still have surge brakes.

As for needing them or not, as previously said it really depends on use AND the tow vehicle.

If the use is limited and you dont want to spend a fortune, then rent a real truck for the day. Any 1500 2WD truck will easily stop a 3600 LB boat on a tandem trailer.

Alternatively find a friend with a real truck, or hire someone, tons of people do short distance bumper pulls for short money.

Many options including fixing the current trailer or trading up.

Good Luck
Electric drum brakes work great on a boat trailer and are much more reliable and easier to maintain than hydraulic drum brakes, in my experience. The electric part is a simple electromagnet that is completely encapsulated and unbothered by submersion.
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:12 PM   #17
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If the trailer has brakes itís for a reason as I mentioned above. Itís weight related and regulated by DOT.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAB1 View Post
If the trailer has brakes itís for a reason as I mentioned above. Itís weight related and regulated by DOT.
Trailer brakes are a "supplement" to the tow vehicle's brakes to enhance safety. The tow vehicle's brakes are the primary brakes and should be in perfect working order. Yes, it is better to have working brakes on a trailer if it has brakes, but it is not an absolute necessity for a 3600lb boat. The tow vehicle's brakes may wear a little prematurely as a result, but it's not the end of the world. You just have to keep your speed down, pay extra close attention to the road and what's around you, especially what's in front of you, but you should be doing that anyways whether you are towing or not. There are some states that don't even require trailer brakes for a 3600lb boat.
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Old 06-12-2021, 07:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NH.Solar View Post
Lon,

Can you move the boat forward on the trailer to increase the tongue weight easily? If so think about doing that, adding a weight distribution hitch, and doing away with the brakes entirely.

I'm not a fan of electric brakes because they seem to me to be a bit weak and inevitably require a lot of maintenance as the electric brake pucks lose the magnetic abilities. I've had a few trailers with hydraulic surge brakes and liked them a lot better, both for maintenance and performance, and I tow a lot heavier loads than a boat.

My suggestion would be to stop by Outdoor Sport Center in Concord and talk to them. They are on Manchester Street opposite the Red Blazer about a mile up from exit 13 off I-93. First rate!


Thanks Peter


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Old 06-12-2021, 07:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XCR-700 View Post
Unless there has been an industry change, electric brakes on boat trailers were always frowned upon. Always gave very poor service life from the total submersion in water.

Maybe thats changed, but all the new boat trailers I have seen still have surge brakes.

As for needing them or not, as previously said it really depends on use AND the tow vehicle.

If the use is limited and you dont want to spend a fortune, then rent a real truck for the day. Any 1500 2WD truck will easily stop a 3600 LB boat on a tandem trailer.

Alternatively find a friend with a real truck, or hire someone, tons of people do short distance bumper pulls for short money.

Many options including fixing the current trailer or trading up.

Good Luck


Being towed now with a GMC Sierra 1500 4WD.


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