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geeviam

Trailer brakes advice needed

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I've been towing my boat with a Chevy Tahoe with no problem.  Now, I want to tow the boat with a mid-size SUV that is only rated to tow the weight of my boat, motor, and single axle Ameratrail trailer if the trailer has brakes.  I have not installed trailer brakes before.  I'm guessing hydraulic surge disc brakes is the way to go.  Need advice and brand name recommendations.  Corrosion resistance is important of course.  Thanks in advance for any help.

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Another question: My driveway is on a steep slope and I back the boat uphill to the garage.  I just realized I will be fighting the surge brakes when backing up (and leaving).  Can the boat trailer brakes be turned off temporarily for this?  Or should I not be concerned?  Thanks.

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I went Kodiak when I did my Pathfinder. They or Tie Down seem to be the ones most people use and you can get local parts for them as well. I used Etrailer.com very knowledgeable and got a great price. The people at Kodiak were great as well.

I know the brakes lock out electrically in reverse and there is a key that you can use to make sure it doesn't lock up but I am no expert in that area. I am sure others will cjime in as well.

Good luck with your project.

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Brakes are locked out by reverse light power. You need a 5 pin trailer light plug. It can be done manually, but it's a pain to do everytime you have to backup. 

Kodiak are they only way to go. 

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Hydraulic surge brakes is what you want. When you buy the actuator (part that connects to your tow vehicle) make sure it has a reverse lock out solenoid. The solenoid will have a single blue wire that connects to your vehicles back up light wire. When you put your vehicle in reverse, the solenoid locks out the brakes so you can back up without activating the brakes. You need a five pin plug on the trailer and tow vehicle for this to work. 

I agree that Kodiak brakes are very good, especially if you get all stainless. However, any trailer brake will fail prematurely if you don't keep them clean. Hose off with fresh water or dunk the trailer in a fresh water lake ASAP after dunking in saltwater. 

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Thanks for the help guys!  The reverse lock-out feature is exactly what I need.  Kodiak in all-stainless sounds like the way to go.  Great info!!

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I'm with ya Chuck! There is two things Tie Down brakes are good for; 1. making my wallet lighter and 2. like you said, within 6 months making the guy who picks up junk metal in my neighborhood richer!

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Have used Tie Down Engineering brakes......don't do it. Kodiak all the way. If you are in salt water stainless will pay dividends over time, but they are expensive at first. The E Coated are cheaper but they will rust up sooner in brackish or salt water.

This is a company I have dealt with several times they sell everything you need.

https://www.easternmarine.com/trailer-disc-brakes/

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When I talked with Kodak people they estimate the dacomet parts last 5 years in salt and the stainless 10. I just put mine in storage and the rotors had a light coat of rust, the wheels turned so I think I did ok with the lower priced line. Their pads are ceramic so they don’t rust to the rotor. If I still have the boat in 5 years I’ll buy another seat and still be ahead price wize.

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I used Flagler Trailer. I was happy with the work but they were not the easiest people to deal with as far as returning calls and finishing the work on time. I should have used Best trailers in Holly Hill. Carlos over there is great to deal with and there price was not much different and they would have supplied everything plus the install.

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Absolutely get the SS backing plates on the pads. The traditional metal backing plates start to rust, then they swell and start to separate in layers (like a biscuit). As they separate and swell, they push against the pads and the pads contact the rotors. Your brakes start to drag and soon will lock-up. 

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