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Old    USC Wakeboarding (USCWakeboarders)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-07-2012, 8:13 PM Reply   
Just realized the brakes on my trailer have been out of commission. Asked the shop and I was looking at $600 to fix everything.

The boat is a 21' Tige 1998 with about 400lbs of lead which I am guessing brings it to about 3300lbs.

Trailer is an Extreme dual axle.

Truck is a 2003 Tundra V8 2WD.

Will it be OK to just leave extra stopping room or should I fork out the $600? Doesnt seem too bad right now...
Old    Cole K (SkySki)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-07-2012, 8:42 PM Reply   
2WD Toyota and 3500lbs - fork out the cash. First time someone swings out in front of you, you will be sorry and wish you forked out the cash.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-07-2012, 9:26 PM Reply   
My last boat the PO had welded the master cylinder rod to eliminate slop instead of fixing the brakes. It was alright but you knew there was a lot to stop. But I was towing with a F-350 Supercab so more weight and probably bigger brakes than a smaller Toyota.

Had two panic stops while I owned that boat. One going the 10-15 minute drive on slower roads to the river. Someone pulled out in front of me going slow when I was right on them. Jacked the trailer bad and it took a lot to keep it from coming around and hitting the truck or oncoming traffic to my left. Another was on the highway and I kept it straight and stopped fine with plenty of room, but not quite comfortable

My Supra has brakes on both axles and it is night and day difference. You know it's there but it stops almost as fast as the truck alone and stays straight. Never again will I do without brakes on a heavier boat.

FYI depending on what's wrong with your brakes it could cost $50-$300 to do the work yourself. It's really not hard to do brake work. Bleeding them can be a pain but I use a vacuum bleeder and it's a lot easier. Brakes are very simple if you are handy with a few basic tools.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-07-2012, 10:00 PM Reply   
X2 do it yourself. $150 tops. I did mine last winter and it was a piece of cake. Couldn't believe the difference new shoes made.
Old    Bu Coo (brett564)      Join Date: Jul 2006       02-07-2012, 10:39 PM Reply   
Pay for the breaks!

The vast majority of the time leaving extra stopping room will do the job, but what happens when traffic suddenly stops, a wreck occurs in front of you, some kid runs out into the street, or your regular breaks fail from the extra work load? Its irresponsible to the guy driving in front of you who will get rear ended when he has to slam on the breaks, not to get those breaks fixed. DO IT!
Old    Tom N (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       02-07-2012, 11:02 PM Reply   
When it comes to safety never skimp. If you happened to get into an accident and you knew the brakes were bad you could have some serious liability issues. the $600 will seem cheap.
Old    Tom (boardjnky4)      Join Date: Dec 2011       02-08-2012, 7:14 AM Reply   
What did they say needs fixing? Trailer brakes are pretty basic.
Old    Michael Hunter (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       02-08-2012, 7:43 AM Reply   
If your insurance company finds out about you towing with bad brakes it may void your policy. Fix it yourself or have it repaired.
Old    Newty (newty)      Join Date: May 2005       02-08-2012, 7:56 AM Reply   
Mirroring what everyone has said. Fix them for sure! I would do it yourself. Very simple and lots of free info and how-tos on youtube etc.
Old    Kevin Skonnord (kskonn)      Join Date: Mar 2011       02-08-2012, 9:15 AM Reply   
Also depending on what state you are in it could result in a big ticket. I have heard stories in Texas of people getting into accidents and when an officer found out their brakes on the trailer where not working they received a big ticket.

I know in texas there are specific weights/lengths etc... that you have to have trailer brakes.
Old    Topsidemarine (topside_marine)      Join Date: Sep 2005       02-08-2012, 10:48 AM Reply   
My first thought is if your trailer is registred in California then it is the law to have brakes at your gross weight so there is no good rationalization to leave them in disrepair.

More importantly to the boat owner there is a worst case scenerio. If you tow a boat/trailer and there is an accident involving serious injury or death ask yourself this question "How far is the attorney for the other side going to crawl up my behind with a blow torch"?????? When the other lawyer finds out there were no brakes on the trailer (and he or she will) they will be planning their next vacation and automobile purchase while you will be scrambling to figure out how to repair your life. Not to mention possible mental anguish for you and your family. Do yourself a favor and repair the brakes.
Old    USC Wakeboarding (USCWakeboarders)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-08-2012, 11:22 AM Reply   
Haha, lots of good advice thanks everyone.

On second look I think the shop was trying to overcharge me. I found a new master cylinder for $42 and brake pads for about the same. Should make a pretty quick weekend project.

Reason I asked was because my old boat (Larson 18') had a single axle trailer with no brakes, and it was not too bad and clearly legal.

Anyway, shouldn't be too bad if I ca get away with fixing it for under $200.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       02-08-2012, 11:22 AM Reply   
Does the trailer have disc's or drums? IS the master cylinder bad? In Cali I think you only have to have brakes on one of the two axles. If you have drums just replace the front axle brakes with a set of disc brake/hubs. I would guess a single axle with discs stops better then dual axle drum brakes.
Old     (saberworks)      Join Date: Sep 2010       02-08-2012, 12:22 PM Reply   
Just to chime in, I had a prostar 190 on a single axle trailer with no brakes and it felt perfectly fine to me. Then I bought a sanger with a dual axle trailer. It has drum brakes on only one of the axles but it makes a HUGE difference. After this, I'd rather now tow w/out trailer brakes.
Old    Tim C (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       02-08-2012, 2:16 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCWakeboarders View Post
Reason I asked was because my old boat (Larson 18') had a single axle trailer with no brakes, and it was not too bad and clearly legal.

Sure about that?
Straight off the Cali DMV website:
In California, brakes are required on any trailer coach or camp trailer having a gross weight of 1500 lbs. or more.


Of course, if it didn't have brakes originally I don't know how they treat that. Knowing Cali they make you install them if they find out...
Old    USC Wakeboarding (USCWakeboarders)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-08-2012, 2:39 PM Reply   
The trailer has drums on the back axle only. The master cylinder was completely full of rust do I'm pretty sure it's junk.

I am just confused, why is it so vital to have brakes on this boat when my other one had none and weighed only a little less?
Old    USC Wakeboarding (USCWakeboarders)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-08-2012, 2:42 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifetimewarranty View Post
Sure about that?
Straight off the Cali DMV website:
In California, brakes are required on any trailer coach or camp trailer having a gross weight of 1500 lbs. or more.


Of course, if it didn't have brakes originally I don't know how they treat that. Knowing Cali they make you install them if they find out...
That's pretty crazy. I didn't realize that was the law considering I know tons of people who have single axle trailers with no brakes. Guess a lot of people are breaking the law
Old    Cole K (SkySki)      Join Date: Feb 2010       02-08-2012, 3:35 PM Reply   
I wonder if they are saying trailer weight only and not considering a loaded trailer with a boat.
Old    Tim C (lifetimewarranty)      Join Date: Oct 2008       02-08-2012, 4:50 PM Reply   
Declared gross vehicle weight (GVW) is the weight that equals the total unladen weight of the vehicle plus the heaviest load that will be transported on the vehicle.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       02-08-2012, 6:06 PM Reply   
1500 lbs really is light. Figure a one ton pickup can carry 2000 lbs without any additional braking capability. My grandfather's boat weighs about 2600 lbs by the manual + maybe galvanized single axle trailer with no brakes. I've pulled that a few times with my truck and can't even tell it's behind me accelerating or stopping. There's virtually no difference in how the truck drives. My boat + trailer is probably around 5500 lbs as I tow it and I definitely know it's there. 1500 lbs for brakes seems ridiculous to me, but then again it is Kaliphornya, so to be expected.
Old    Tom (boardjnky4)      Join Date: Dec 2011       02-08-2012, 7:45 PM Reply   
A boat shop overcharging for basic work? Color me shocked...
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       02-08-2012, 9:19 PM Reply   
Tom is shocked!!!
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       02-08-2012, 9:21 PM Reply   
Sorry, completely irrelevant but I just had to do that.


On the brakes - Having brakes is always better than not having brakes.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       02-09-2012, 3:57 AM Reply   
My last boat, a 16'9" Sea Ray I/O with a single axle trailer has no functional brakes. I could tell they didn't work, but the truck still braked well without them. But that is a lot lighter boat that what you are dealing with. I'd hate to tow our Malibu without brakes. I will also bet your actual tow weight with fuel, gear, etc. is more likely to be 4500lbs+.
Old    Meathead (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       02-11-2012, 11:20 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifetimewarranty View Post
Sure about that?
Straight off the Cali DMV website:
In California, brakes are required on any trailer coach or camp trailer having a gross weight of 1500 lbs. or more.


Of course, if it didn't have brakes originally I don't know how they treat that. Knowing Cali they make you install them if they find out...
The quoted law applies to travel/tent trailers only. Boat and cargo trailers in CA are required to have brakes on at least one axle at the 3000 pound mark.
Old    Tom (boardjnky4)      Join Date: Dec 2011       02-11-2012, 3:48 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by rallyart View Post
Tom is shocked!!!
I said color me shocked...not gay!
Old    Hey, You scratched my anchor! (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-13-2012, 2:12 PM Reply   
rust in the master cylinder means the entire system is toast, everything will need to be replaced, thats why $600
Old    Hey, You scratched my anchor! (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-13-2012, 2:14 PM Reply   
A good boat shop will replace the entire axle with new backing plates and all new hardware, cylinders etc. otherwise you will pay $100 an hour to have the mechanic fiddle with a bunch of rusted junk.
Old    Kevin Skonnord (kskonn)      Join Date: Mar 2011       02-13-2012, 4:20 PM Reply   
I had this quoted for my trailer and they were going to replace the master cylinder and drop in a new axle. they told me it was cheaper to replace the master cylinder rather than repair- if you are paying to have it done.
Old    USC Wakeboarding (USCWakeboarders)      Join Date: Jan 2012       02-13-2012, 6:33 PM Reply   
Last time I ask the shop to do anything. Fixed the brakes yesterday and it cost me under $100 ($40 of that was for a brake vacuum bleeder) to do the entire job, and about 2 hours with no experience doing brakes before. If anyone else is thinking of doing it its seriously not difficult.

I must admit it makes a huge difference. I can stop in literally about 1/2-2/3 the distance from before.

Thanks for all the input!
Old    David Langston (rdlangston13)      Join Date: Feb 2011       02-13-2012, 11:52 PM Reply   
My trailers brakes have been a nightmare. Last June we had the right front caliper seize up and apparently no one in Houston sells UFP calipers so I had to get a kodiak kit that came with seals, hubbed rotor everything. That was 140 buck. Then a couple months ago the left front seized up so I bought a new caliper from boatmate at 80 bucks. Took the wheel off to replace it and found the rotor to be cracked. Right rear wheel seal is leaking and caliper is starting to seize. I just ordered 2 more calipers for the rear and 3 more hubbed rotors, figure I'll just replace everything so I know it will be good -340 more dollars.

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