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lewisb13
08-24-2010, 01:53 PM
So I tried doing a search on this and theres a ton of info that pops up when you search "trailer brakes", but I didnt see anyone thats having my specific problem. Yesterday when I was towing the boat out to the water, everytime Id hit the brakes like coming up to a light or to make a turn the trailer would shake violently. Anyone have this problem or know what the deal is. I dont even know what kind of brake system I have on the trailer. Its a boatmate, and Im sure it has surge brakes on it because the tongue will slide in and out at this pin that goes through it. Thanks wayyyy in advance. This forum has been a life saver.

thesack
08-24-2010, 01:55 PM
I had this problem once. In my truck the fuse that controls the trailer brakes was blown. The fuse that controls the lights was still ok. I would go check your fuses first.

lewisb13
08-24-2010, 02:02 PM
I dont have a brake controller on this truck unless its built in and I dont know about it. Usually theres a little box or whatever right?

thesack
08-24-2010, 02:27 PM
I don't have a trailer brake controller either. But your trailer brakes are still controlled by the truck. When you push your brakes the trailer brakes engage. When the fuse is blown your trailer brakes will no longer engage when you engage your truck brakes. At least with Ford there is 2 inline fuses for the trailer hitch reciever. One that controls the lights on the trailer, and one that controls the brakes on the trailer. I would look in the manual for your truck and see which fuses control the trailer hitch reciever and see which one is blown.

The violent shaking is causes be the tongue on your trailer is sliding in and manually engaging the trailer brakes.

mmandley
08-24-2010, 02:42 PM
OK little confusion here guys.

1 Boat Mate uses hydraulic surge / pressure brakes with 1 electrical component.

If you have electric brakes you have to have a brake controller like what i have in my F350 and the trailer has to have an on board battery to power the breaks in case the connection is lost to your truck.

Boat Mate brakes work on this system = Electrical connect is a valve that only stops the trailer from rolling back wards. Its hard to explain but its basically an electrical valve that apply the brakes only when you try to reverse it. Thats the only electrical part about the brakes.

The trailer brakes work hydraulically by the weight of the trailer. When you press the truck brakes, the forward force of the trailer will push on the truck, this in turns causes the sliding section of the trailer tongue to compress, applying an equal amount of force to the brakes.

Think of it as you press the truck brake pedal, the tongue is the Brake Peddle for your boat trailer.

This same effect happens when you go down steep hills, the trailer will try to force your truck forward and apply the trailer brakes automatically to slow the trailer down. Even if you don't press the truck brakes the trailer brakes will be applied. Natural gravity does this for you.

This is exactly why you NEVER NEVER did i mention NEVER drop your trailer in the water as soon as you get to a ramp if you were traveling down hill for a good bit. The brakes are smoking hot and you will at best warp the rotors, at worst you can crack them and or blow out you brake caliper seals and or worse yet sealed axle bearing seals.

I take some water and splash it on my brakes, if it sizzles then i wait longer till they don't sizzle.

I was at Lake Billy Chinook all weekend and its a narly down hill grade, i could smell my brakes they got so hot and we waiting 30 minutes at the launch prep area to cool off. Sucks but doesn't suck as bad as breaking my trailer brakes.

Now to the original problem, first check the fluid level on the trailer, back plastic can on your tongue. Should be full, uses standard break fluid. Full? Then shuddering is most likly warped brake rotors and they need to be resurfaced or replaced. This is the same thing as when you press your brakes in the car and feel vibration in the steering wheel.

zegm
08-24-2010, 02:45 PM
I agree --- warped rotors!!!

And boats trailers don't ever use electric brakes, something about water and electricity. Now horses!!!

lewisb13
08-24-2010, 02:46 PM
Wow great information! Thanks for typing all that out, I definately did not gather that from the searching that I did. This JUST started happening and I believe it to be intermittent. Ill check the brake fluid when I get home and report back! Theres SOOOOOOOO much maintenance and different things to check with these boats its ridiculous. What a maintenance nightmare, but you gotta pay to play right?

zegm
08-24-2010, 02:50 PM
Wow great information! Thanks for typing all that out, I definately did not gather that from the searching that I did. This JUST started happening and I believe it to be intermittent. Ill check the brake fluid when I get home and report back! Theres SOOOOOOOO much maintenance and different things to check with these boats its ridiculous. What a maintenance nightmare, but you gotta pay to play right?

Well if you are like me and you have too many toys that you can't afford to get them maintained / repaired............well I have to get dirty to play and do it myself! But it turns out to be an education and then I know what I do need to do and what I don't need to do. Then when I do take them in for maintenance I know what really needs to be done and what they don't need to charge me for! The last time I took something in to have it mainained it cost me the engine in my boat! Luckily SC took care of that and I change my own oil now.

mmandley
08-24-2010, 02:52 PM
Wow great information! Thanks for typing all that out, I definately did not gather that from the searching that I did. This JUST started happening and I believe it to be intermittent. Ill check the brake fluid when I get home and report back! Theres SOOOOOOOO much maintenance and different things to check with these boats its ridiculous. What a maintenance nightmare, but you gotta pay to play right?

Thats a fact, and most of us that own these boats do all the maintenance in the off season, but you still gotta do some in the boat season, you have to pay to play or learn to do it yourself to afford to play <myself included>

lewisb13
08-24-2010, 02:52 PM
Well if you are like me and you have too many toys that you can't afford to get them maintained / repaired............well I have to get dirty to play and do it myself!

Im a mechanical engineer so I have a fundamental problem with letting anyone work on my stuff besides me. Id change anything in this boat with my bare hands if I had to. But man, between the 4 dirtbikes, my crotch rocket, my tow vehicle, and my turbo daily driver, and this boat I barely ever have any free time lol. 8)

mmandley
08-24-2010, 02:56 PM
But you got a lot of toys to play with on your weekends LOL. All i got is a boat my truck and my woman..thats all im gonna say about that.

thesack
08-24-2010, 02:59 PM
Some great educational info there Mike. All I know is that when my trailer did the same thing last year it was all related to a blown fuse.

zegm
08-24-2010, 03:00 PM
Im a mechanical engineer so I have a fundamental problem with letting anyone work on my stuff besides me. Id change anything in this boat with my bare hands if I had to. But man, between the 4 dirtbikes, my crotch rocket, my tow vehicle, and my turbo daily driver, and this boat I barely ever have any free time lol. 8)

hey I am an ME too! I had several dirt bikes but sold them when I moved here because of no place to ride (St Joe paper company owns the Florida Panhandle and has it locked down tight). The wife is still refusing to let me get the Ducati! I changed my own brakes on the Touareg after the dealer wanted 1200 dollars and well you know the boat is another I take care of. And I have 2 young kids I love spending time with. So the last car we bought came with 36 months maintenance free, we spent another 7 bucks a month to make this for the life of the car! So I understand, too many toys!!! But you got to have fun!!! ;)

mmandley
08-24-2010, 03:02 PM
Some great educational info there Mike. All I know is that when my trailer did the same thing last year it was all related to a blown fuse.

I can see that happening and i wasn't meaning to impune anything you had mentioned, i can see if the valve wasn't getting power it might be dragging the brakes or something causing a shudder, i was more meaning to explain how it all works for those who don't know.

aintskeered
08-27-2010, 10:45 AM
The one item I might add to this. The valve is operated by the back up lights on the tow vehicle. (Its wired into the plug)It allows the surge pressure to bypass and not apply breaks. When getting ready to back up stop slowly and place vehicle in reverse. Pause before backing up. This will give the fluid a chance to bleed off.

For the shuddering I agree with rotors warped/ low brake fluid and I would also check the saftey chain and make sure its not been pulled. There is a little lever on the underside you can push up and release the spring pressure for the safety line if its been partially pulled.

Side note I was having bad heating trouble last year drove me nuts! finally ran into a old mechanic/boater found the trouble. We drop and pull our boat in and out of the water 4-5 times a week. the break pads had gotten soft spongey from in and out of the water. There is no break return/release on these. Its the runout on the disks that knock the pads back away from the rotor. Soft pads no knock back..... Caliper rebuild kits new pads bearings and bearing buddys back in bussiness!