Posted on: 13 July 2017
If you're new to the world of boating, you may have just purchased your first vessel and are planning a weekend away. You may have added a trailer to your fleet as well and are figuring out how you should hook everything up properly. As the boat and trailer combination can represent a considerable additional weight, the whole rig will require some assistance when it comes to braking. What is one of the big braking issues you should be aware of in this situation, so that it doesn't catch you unawares?
How Trailer Brakes Work
Trailer brakes are extremely important and have to be maintained properly. They're not quite the same as the brakes on your towing vehicle, however, as they're designed to operate differently. This type of braking system can be electric, hydraulic or electric over hydraulic, also known as EOH. This latter system is a bit of a hybrid and is used more often when it comes to boat trailers. Many owners prefer them, as fully electric brake systems are somewhat vulnerable if immersed in water and are subject to corrosion.
If you have a hybrid system, you'll need a special controller, which will activate the hydraulic system whenever needed.
Trying to Go Backwards
People who are new to towing may well encounter an issue when they try to reverse their rig. They may begin to back up the towing vehicle, only to find that the brakes have locked on the trailer and they're not going anywhere fast. What should you do when this happens?
Check Your Hookups
Often, this will have a lot to do with the way that you have hooked up the electrical components. Does your rig use that hybrid or a full electric brake system? If so, is the harness connected correctly? In some situations, this may require a number of adapters and you need to see if you're connecting the right number of wires or pins on each end. Often, you will have to replace the entire harness if you choose a different type of braking system. It's also not unusual for certain heavy duty components to require a different power level, so you should check your voltage readings carefully.
Did you know that your braking system has a special electric reverse lockout key? This is quite a simple device that manually stops the trailer's brakes from working, when you are reversing the rig. All you do is rotate this one way or the other for the short period of time involved. Some people choose to have a special cap on top of the brake fluid reservoir, which does the same job.
If you've recently bought the trailer from somebody else, did you check to see if the key was included? It's easy to forget this or to lose it, but you can get a replacement fairly easily.
Still Got a Problem?
If you're still having issues with backing up your trailer, then you should seek out some professional help. Get in touch with technicians who are experienced in trailer repairs to help you.Share