Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Trailer Brakes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    331

    Default Trailer Brakes

    After two years at RYC Dry Storage with no trailer problem moving Koke Honu (Corsair F-24) to and from the hoist, I wanted to bring her home to do some work. Her trailer is single axle surge brakes.

    I got as far as the Richmond Pky Way and had to take her back when I found the brakes wanted to grab/pulsate when stopping.

    I am guessing the drums are rusty and/or maybe the pads have swollen with moisture from low use. Before I open a can of worms and jack her up and pull the wheels/drums, I thought I would check with the trailer sailing community for advice and any related experiences.... Thanks....Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    578

    Default

    My first thoughts agree with yours. When I had my Tuna on a trailer in Sausalito, the "drive" to the lift was 100 yards. My top speed was 2 mph. Before I hauled the boat to Monterey for the Nationals at 55 mph I checked the brakes. Yup, lots of rust even though the trailer wasn't a launch model. It was an old Steve Seals (he owned the boat years before) trailer and really well set up, but the brakes had been around for a long time. I cleaned, brushed, and lubricated and took a drive up 101 toward San Rafael to check them out. I don't know if what I did helped, but they pulled straight when I braked and released when I accelerated. While I was at it I also lubed the bearings and checked the brake fluid. Two things I never did between those 100 yard launch hauls.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Bodfish, CA
    Posts
    162

    Default

    In some towing situations, trailer brakes are essential and other times the brakes are a nice redundancy. When towing the Moore 24 from Victoria, the trailer brakes were essential for my 4 cylinder Tacoma. On a 10,000 mile towing a 1,000 vintage travel trailer, the trailer brakes were not hooked up.

    So, it depends.

    If the trip home is short and the tow vehicle has excess weight for control and stopping, I would suggest a half dozen hard stops to see if brakes begin to operate smoothly. That exercise may remove enough rust to allow smooth operation. Then, the drums / rotors can be fully assessed.

    If hard stops don't make things smoother, some attention may be useful at RYC. Most of the surge brakes have some way you can test the master cylinder by leverage at the coupler. That will let you know the system has capability to lock up the brakes, but it won't help rust removal on stopping surfaces.

    If your vehicle has 10,000 pound tow capacity and boat and trailer are around 3,000 pounds, I think there is a margin of safety. As the vehicle tow capacity and tow weight approach each other, smooth trailer brakes are essential for piece of mind.

    Ants

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    331

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AntsUiga View Post
    If the trip home is short and the tow vehicle has excess weight for control and stopping, Ants
    I almost locked the backup pin in but with a small X5 and driving two hours North to Granite Bay I decided to sleep on it.

    I did see a YouTube idea of attaching the ball and arm to the trailer tongue, jacking up the tire, get it spinning, and then slowly stepping on the ball arm squeezing on the surge brakes. I think this done several times might help clean the drum rust and pads.

    I am beginning to think I should make a practice of taking the empty trailer a few laps around Point Richmond on some of my sailing weekends....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Arnold, CA
    Posts
    449

    Default

    As long as the brakes are operating and not pulling to one side or the other, I think the rust causing the surge will diminish until gone with several stops.
    If it gets better with a few stops I wouldn't worry about it.

    If it pulls to one side or the other then a hydraulic wheel cylinder is frozen and not actuating the brake.
    This I would repair first.

    If you just can't trust it, pulling drums to sand the rust and check bearings is not too difficult with a few basic tools.
    The bearings should be adjusted slightly loose, not tight.
    A mobile mechanic might be an option.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    37.205346,-121.963398
    Posts
    691

    Default

    Ants, I received your package.
    Brian

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •