Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Boat trailer question... brakes locking in reverse

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    180

    Default Boat trailer question... brakes locking in reverse

    I purchased a used King Saltwater trailer this winter and when I back up (usually up a hill) the brakes are locking up on me. I understand the basics, like when the pin is pushed when I put the breaks on my truck, it activates the brakes on the trailer. Am I missing something here? There is a wire that's not plugged in, but I have no connection on my truck for it. Backing down a hill/ramp is no problem. I included some pics of the front end of the trailer.






  2. #2

    Default Surge breaks

    Your trailer is set up with surge breaks. It's designed so that when the truck slows down the trailer surges forward and activates a pin that applies your breaks. The same thing is happening when you back up a hill, you are activating the break. I have surge breaks too and not sure of any way to avoid it other than to try to avoid backing up hills.

    That wire has nothing to do with your brakes. The cable it is tied onto is your safety mechanism that you should always attach to your truck with your safety chains. Then if the truck and trailer ever become unhitched that cable pulls that flat metal lever which activates the brakes on the trailer without the surge. That wire must be for your lights or an extra wire that is not needed.

  3. #3

    Default

    Do you have disk brakes? On drum brakes, they will be free-backing. That means that when you back up, even though the trailer is "pushing up against the truck" and activating the brakes, that they will still allow you to back up. If you have disk brakes, like my trailer, then you can't just back up. There's a solenoid on the tongue that when the truck brakes are applied, will "lock out" the brake fluid and prevent the fluid to traveling to the trailer brakes and engaging them. That might be what the extra wire is for. Your truck will have to be wired correctely to allow the trailer wiring (including the loose one you have) to be hooked up correctly.

    I have disk brakes with the backup solenoid. Ordered it special. Wish I hadn't.

  4. #4
    Member markopolo50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Fenton,Michigan
    Posts
    838

    Default Brekes

    Emu, I believe there should be a cross bolt to prevent the moveable front part of the hitch from pushing back when you back up. In essence you are applying the brakes when you back up and backing downhill you are not applying any pressure to the brake cylinder. If there isn't a crossbolt then there may be a release lever to be pushed before backing. I had a boat trailer that had the release and it was located under tongue behind the ball. Mark

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    96

    Default backup solenoid

    If its disk brake it should have backup solenoid just like SKYDIVER said. Wire coming out from that solenoid needs to be connected to backup light on the trailer plug. Most case it would be middle round connector if your plug is 8 prong round plug. With that wire connected to backup light, solenoid will close the brake line and brake will not lockup while vehicle is in reverse gear.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    If its disk brake it should have backup solenoid just like SKYDIVER said. Wire coming out from that solenoid needs to be connected to backup light on the trailer plug. Most case it would be middle round connector if your plug is 8 prong round plug. With that wire connected to backup light, solenoid will close the brake line and brake will not lockup while vehicle is in reverse gear.
    What he says about not locking up when in reverse is technically true. What I've found, though, is that this is only sometimes the case. Here's when it won't work -
    Truck rolls to a stop. Trailer surges forward and applies trailer brakes. Put truck in reverse and automatically the soleniod closes and keeps brake fluid from going to the brakes when backing up. BUT, the brakes on the trailer were already applied when you stopped the truck. So when you try to back up, you trailer brakes continue to be locked.
    To get into my driveway, I drive downhill past my drive and stop my truck (brakes on trailer engage when I stopped). Get out and put chocks in front of the trailer tires. Get into truck and pull forward enough to disengage trailer brakes. Put truck into reverse (this activates the soleniod and will keep fluid from going to trailer brakes when I back up) and back up a little and get out and remove chocks. Get into truck and back the boat up the hill to my drive entrance and then down into my drive. What a pain.

    If you stop on a flat area and then pull forward to disengage brakes and slowly come to a stop, then you can back up. I thought disks would be easier to keep rinsed and from rusting like my old drum brakes used to do. I'd rather have the drums back.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    180

    Default where to plug in wire on 8 prong

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    If its disk brake it should have backup solenoid just like SKYDIVER said. Wire coming out from that solenoid needs to be connected to backup light on the trailer plug. Most case it would be middle round connector if your plug is 8 prong round plug. With that wire connected to backup light, solenoid will close the brake line and brake will not lockup while vehicle is in reverse gear.
    I was able to get in contact with the person that sold the trailer and like you guys said I need to supply power to that one red cable in the picture... but he stated that sometimes even that doesn't work all that great. So he stated he does the wire and then cut a piece of wood so it would fit inside the couple between the ball and the pin that makes that breaks go off. Basically, having the wood there prevents the trailer from being able to shift forward, hence making it so that brakes don't go off. Not sure exactly how to do that, but I'll look at it when I'm back at the trailer.

    As for the wire and where to connect it. I see two slightly bent/flat plugs in the middle of my 8 prong plug. Which one do I plug into, or do I have the wrong plug. The red wire in my previous post looks flat. I don't have the trailer with me... but now that I look at that red wire it doesn't even look long enough to connect to the truck.


  8. #8

    Default Trailer plug

    What you have is a 7 way plug, the 2 in the middle are for one round prong in the center and the 6 around the outside are for flat blades. yes the center is for your backup lights, you can easily test that with a simple 12V test light to make sure it is wired correctly
    19' Lowe Roughneck
    90/65 Honda 4 stroke
    Outboard Jet

  9. #9

    Default One more thing

    I read a little more through your post and relized a little more confusion, that should be wired into the plug you allready have on your trailer that works with your trailer lights
    19' Lowe Roughneck
    90/65 Honda 4 stroke
    Outboard Jet

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    40

    Default

    There is a hill into my shop...I wedge a 2x4 in between the hitch there keeping the breaks from working. not pretty but works every time, on almost every trailer.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    712

    Default

    Usually you can wedge something into the tongue to disable the brakes. That's been the case for every trailer I've seen. On a smaller King trailer with disk brakes, we used the safety cable hooks for this.

  12. #12
    Member TAC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    24

    Default Boat Weight

    Emu,

    I noticed that you are pulling your new boat with a late model Toyota Tundra. How much does your boat weigh, and how does the Tundra handle the load?

    I recently purchased a 26' Boulton (I haven't picked it up yet), and I am concerned that my Tundra may struggle to pull the boat. My boat, trailer, and a full tank of gas may come it at around 7000#.

    Any info would be appreciated.

    TAC

  13. #13

    Default

    I have a 27' Boulton that weighs 7800# on the trailer. I pulled it last summer with a Nissan Titan. The Nissan did a decent job of towing it and with the surge brakes there was no problem stopping it. It did look funny having the small truck with the big boat. One thing I did that helped was buy a hitch that didn't have much length to it, the ball was only an inch or 2 out from the receiver. That seemed to help with the sway. This year I bought a Ford Excursion to pull the boat and it does a better job with stability, but has no more power than the Titan.

    I have the surge brakes on my King trailer too. There is a large switch you should be able to flip to disable the brakes. Mine quit working this year and I started the 2"x"4 trick.

  14. #14
    Member TAC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    24

    Default Boat Weight

    Western,

    Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try with the Tundra...mostly trips between Anchorage and Whittier. Toyota claims that the tow capacity of the Tundra is 10,400#, so hopefully I will be able to get by OK.

    I wish I didn't need to trailer at all; however, I just talked to the folks at the small boat harbor in Whittier and they claim that the waiting list for my size boat is about 12 years. Looks like I'll be putting some serious miles on the trailer.

    Thanks again,

    TAC

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    96

    Default Nissan Titan and burned out transmission

    My friend pulled 6000# boat from Service High School area to Whittier for one season (about 10 trips) and toasted his transmission on his 2 year old Nissan Titan last year.

  16. #16

    Default

    Gotta keep up on the maintenance when towing. A 6000# load should have a minimal affect on a vehicle with 9000 # tow rating. Wonder if the fluid got low/dirty/or just a bad transmission. My front differential split this winter for no apparent reason. No water in it and I didn't hit anything.

    Saw a guy at Whittier last weekend towing a big fiberglass boat with a Tundra. The boat had to weight at least 10,000#s. I think he was only pulling it from the parking lot to the ramp. Made the back end squat down a little.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    180

    Default We love our Tundra

    Quote Originally Posted by TAC View Post
    Emu,

    I noticed that you are pulling your new boat with a late model Toyota Tundra. How much does your boat weigh, and how does the Tundra handle the load?

    I recently purchased a 26' Boulton (I haven't picked it up yet), and I am concerned that my Tundra may struggle to pull the boat. My boat, trailer, and a full tank of gas may come it at around 7000#.

    Any info would be appreciated.

    TAC
    We have the 2359 Trophy which has a weight as follows:

    TypeWithout TrailerWith TrailerLength Overall (LOA)23'5" (7.14 m)Beam8'5" (2.57 m)8'6" (2.59 m)Approx. Weight (w/Base Engine)5,235 lbs (2,375 kg)6,635 lbs (3,010 kg)


    That tundra handles it with no problems at all. I also tow a 27 foot travel trailer that is about 4,000-5,000 pounds and the boat actually lowers the Tundra LESS than the travel trailer. Probably because there is less tongue weight and the wheels on the trailer are taking more of the weight of the boat.. Anyway, I don't use weight distribution or anything like that... just hooked it up straight and I very pleased with it. The brakes on the Tundra also handle it great. Because it's a new Tundra and I knew that I would be doing a lot of towing, I got the warrenty for it. The Tundra is a new beast in town that can handle the load... and I seem to get a lot of people asking "that Tundra really can tow that."

    As for the trailer thing, I'm going to try to use the 2x4 thing. Oh, I didn't say to you guys but guess when I was having the brake locking problem... after I lauched the boat at Whittier and was parking the trailer. Talk about the wrong place to do that.

    Here is a pic of the boat on the Tundra.. as you can see very little sag with the boat hitched on (I should get some commision for some Tundra Sales):


  18. #18
    Member patrickL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,131

    Default

    I towed a 7K pound plus trailer full of household goods moving up from Reno. 6 day trip traveling 12 hours a day with my Titan. Pulled the trailer just fine. Didn't do so well on gas but has plenty of power and control for a trailer that size. You don't need a massive truck to pull a 7K load.

    Emu, my wife and I are getting ready to buy a boat just like yours to pull with our Titan. How do you like your boat? The one we looked at sure was in good shape, new motor, outdrive, glass in great condition. Seemed like a pretty great boat to start out with in the salt.

  19. #19

    Default

    do you have a 4 flat connection on the trailer or a 5 flat? It looks like you have a 4 flat, with the red wire not connected. If you switched to a 5 flat and added that red wire to it, it should fix the problem. Then you would have to get the right adapter at the truck. We had the same problem with our trailer. difference between the 4 flat and 5 flat is the 5th wire(red wire) disables the brakes when the truck is in reverse....Or you could use a 2x4, which I've done successfully for years on the old trailer

  20. #20
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Anchorage, Trapper Creek, Seward
    Posts
    1,799

    Default red Wire

    I took the cover off of my rear lights on my yukon, tapped into the rear back up light with a wire, ran it behind my bumper to the area around the ball and added a clip to it. Placed a clip on the red wire from the trailer and presto...backed right up in my driveway..This prevented me from haveing to change from a 4 plug to a 5 plugand took about 10 mins.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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