Galvainzed Trailer Needs brake Upgrade, Salt water use

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by CloudDiver, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. CloudDiver
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 146
    Likes: 7, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: San Diego

    CloudDiver Senior Member

    I bought a used galvanized tandem axle boat trailer and I will need to add brakes to be 'legal', although I know no one will ever check, but safety first. The boat on the trailer is a very light (under 2000 lb) sailboat, and I've already had plenty of people say you don't need trailer brakes under 3000 Lbs. I agree to a point, but CA law says you need brakes on 2 wheels of the trailer for anything over 1500 lbs gross (trailer+load). I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    The trailer is a solid I Beam, the main hoop bent from one piece. Does not have a lick of rust on it because it was made right and galvanized right. The running gear on the other hand is totally shot; axles, springs, U Bolts all rusted to point of failure or near failure. So I'm about to order 2 new axles, 4 hubs, & required U bolts all galvanized, plus 4 new aluminum wheels. The rear axle and hubs will be idler and the front axle will have the brakes. I'll need a new coupler with a break away system to go with whatever brakes I get.

    So looking for recomendations on brakes for salt water launching. I know disc/caliper set up is more expensive than drums, but discs hold up better to corrosion than drums if you keep them clean? I'm willing to put the money into better/more relaible brakes, especially if they last longer.

    My tow vehicle is a 2009 4x4 Chevy Silverado, 5.4 L V8. Modern 7 pin connector and I already have a Prodigy Brake Booster installed that I use when hauling my Aluminum Toy-hauler. That trailer wieghs 3300 pounds empty, on 2 Dexter Torsion Axles with electric brakes and I have no issues towing it except big hills and shitty gas mileage, LOL!
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You have a few choices, but with that tow vehicle, you really don't need any of the good options, so the cheapest way to go will do.
     
  3. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
    Posts: 2,763
    Likes: 357, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 2040
    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    Go look at www.etrailer.com

    They had everything to put my original Catalina 22 trailer back in shape (drums and surge brakes with really old bearing sizes) and for less than I could buy local.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are quite a few online trailer outfits available and as John has suggested, good pricing.
     
  5. CloudDiver
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 146
    Likes: 7, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: San Diego

    CloudDiver Senior Member

    Thanks John, eTrailer has been a good resource. I've used them in the past and have been really happy with the prices and service. The brake kit that I will get will come from them, a disc brake set up with a new coupler for surge actuation, electronic lock-out for reverse, and a brake away. $500 for that kit, but that is the best price I can find so far. Everyone I have asked has recommended disc over drum for salt water, saying that they may cost a little more but are less maitenance and last longer. A fresh water wash down after splashing followed by spraying WD 40 to displace water keeps the components corossion free for years.
    A supplier in Gulfport Mississippi has galvanized 3500 lb axles in the size I need in stock for $159, shipped UPS for $29.
    When I add everything up its going to be about $1300, that includes the brake kit, 2 new axles, 4 springs, all the galvanized U bolts, 4 new aluminum wheels, and the hubs are inluded in the brake kit. Wow, that is more than I spent on the boat and trailer combined!
    I think I am going to get one new axle and 4 new springs. I will clean and repack the bearings with new bearing buddies. For now that will be under $300 and good enough to go pick up the boat. The trailer will not be splashed this time, I'll have a crane to load it so I can adjust the bunks properly. Over the winter months I will the 2nd new axle and brake kit in stages.
     

  6. CloudDiver
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 146
    Likes: 7, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 40
    Location: San Diego

    CloudDiver Senior Member

    Now that I'm thinking about brakes, my truck has 88K miles so its time to do a brake job this weeekend. At about 65K miles I had bought a new set of heavy compound brake pads. When I pulled the wheel off to check the caliper and pads I noticed the original factory pads were still more than half of the original thickness. So I just freshened up the high temp grease on the back of the pads and put the new box of pads on the shelf in the garage.
    20K miles later and several tows of my Toyhauler I have noticed some decreased brake performance. Recently I checked my brake fluid and its looking a bit brown, so I think its about time to go ahead and pull the rotors and have them turned, put in the new pads, and new brake fluid bleed. I'll probably go up from DOT 3 to a higher quality DOT 4 brake fluid.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.