Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BrianBM

Trailers, brakes, near- and real disasters

10 posts in this topic

A thread in Boating on SUVs leads to this ....

 

I'd like to hear opinions on what trailers are best suited for towing. Some don't have brakes, which sounds to me like it ought to be illegal. Some have brakes that stink, or which freeze into uselessness when they sniff salt water. Let's chat about this a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boating in salt water either an aluminum or galvanized trailer is the only choice. Rollers or bunks, depends on your launch/load situation. If you have a steep ramp with deep water a bunk will work fine but if you have a shallow ramp, shallow water a roller will be better. Not all hulls can go on a roller without damage however, so check with the boat builder on this point. The other major points are that the trailer  must be long enough to properly support the hull and the axles and running gear must be able to support the weight of the boat. Getting the boat weighed can be inconvenient but the only way to make sure you get the right weight capacity trailer. 


No matter what brake system you get, it will need maintenance in salt water (greasing mounting pins on disc brakes, and all moving parts on drum brakes). If you want something that will last with minimal maintenance you have to spend big bucks (like $700 per axle) and get a full stainless disc brake system. If you try using the cheaper rotors they will rust like crazy. I have drum brakes and have been able to make them last by using zinc plated drums and modifying the wheel cylinders to prevent the piston from seizing in the wheel cylinder. Even then I usually change the cylinders every 4-5 seasons. 


I flush the trailer with water after pulling the boat and 2-3 times per year spray all ubolts with Corrosion X or Boeshield T-9. I also ran separate ground wires to all the light housings as its the only way to keep them working. 


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LouC, are stainless disc systems available as a part of an OEM trailer or does that have to be done on an aftermarket basis? ... what engine are you using for an avatar?

 

Squidlips, that somehow strikes me as a rare and not-too-plausible fishing platform. .... tractor and trailer probably cost more than most fishing boats under 21,' actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they are usually standard because of the cost factor, but there are trailer companies who will install Kodiak disc brakes instead of the more common Tie Down brakes. You could ask for an upgrade, its expensive but in the end you will wind up with less repairs by far. Take a look at used trailers in any marina and look at the brake rotors and how corroded they are, and you will see what I mean. 



I've been able to use drum brakes and make them last but I keep my boat on a mooring so they do not go in the salt often. I used a set of zinc plated drums and modified the wheel cylinders by greasing the pistons and sealing the dust boot to the cylinder with High Temp RTV. That keeps salt water from seizing up the piston which is the problem you usually have with drum brakes...



For disc brakes I'd coat the dust boot with OMC/Bombardier triple guard grease to keep salt water out of  the recess between the dust boot and the caliper body. Disc brakes can seize up the same way as drum brakes it just takes longer. 



Figure on taking them apart yearly to grease things, I don't have to because like I said my boat is kept on a mooring...1824443


 



The engine is the 5.7 liter Chrysler Hemi as used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of my favorites. Fast, smooth and fun....


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It varies by state regulation. Here in NY all they say is that a trailer over 3000 lbs has to have brakes, it does not say that a multi axle trailer has to have brakes on all axles. But if you want to be safe, that just makes sense. Vehicles have brakes that are sized to their load. So it does not make sense for a trailer that has 2 3500 lb capacity axles to have only 3500 lbs worth of brakes (brakes on only one axle). 


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sense a lot of lobbying money spent to keep trailers cheap and let the driving public incur the costs. It's probably good for my brethren in the liability bar, anyway.

 

LouC gets this week's virtual beer for Most Useful Post of the Week in this Forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:

Originally Posted by BrianBM View Post

I sense a lot of lobbying money spent to keep trailers cheap and let the driving public incur the costs. It's probably good for my brethren in the liability bar, anyway.

LouC gets this week's virtual beer for Most Useful Post of the Week in this Forum.



LOL, I had to tow the boat in the pic above a few times before the trailer had brakes with my old '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Needless to say, that the 11" disc brakes on the Jeep, did not want to stop a combined load of about 8,000 lbs very well. I got a new axle made for the trailer with brake flanges and added a pair of 10" drum surge brakes. This does not sound like a whole lot but it really helped. My 07 Jeep has much bigger brakes than the 98 but still I'd have brakes on any trailer over 1500 lbs. They way I figure it, if the trailer weight exceeds the rated payload of the vehicle, you need trailer brakes. Yes they take maintenance in salt water but so does everything else. 


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.