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Thread: Trailer brakes while backing up

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    Member knudsemr's Avatar
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    Default Trailer brakes while backing up

    So I got a new trailer with the surge brakes and I know their is an electronic override so the the thing doesnt brake every time you back up but mine doesnt work with my current plug config. So heres the question......in your experiences do I just need a new plug for the truck or does this usually take rewiring of things.....just curious before i dig much deeper......its such a pain putting the block of wood in the tounge to defeat this!!!!

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    Surge brakes are hydraulic. They're activated by forward pressure on the hitch. Backing up will be no issue unless you like to back up on steep hills, and even then it probably wouldn't activate the brakes. I've never heard of any electrical override of hydraulic brakes. In any event you should have the proper plug configuration to connect the trailer to the truck. 6 Roblees probably has a plug adaptor to convert your plug without touching the wiring.

  3. #3

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    Check out this discussion and my experiences with surge brakes. If your trailer has disk brakes, and not free-backing drums, then the information may be helpful. If you do have the lock-out solenoid, then you will need more wiring (and a different kind of plug) than found on most tow vehicles.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=55529

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    Member knudsemr's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help....Ill get out my volt meter and a block of wood!!! Yeh I couldnt even back the trailer up a small incline without the boat on it. Off to fix it.

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Default Turn on your headlights

    If you turn on your headlights, your wiring configuration should apply the 12v from the running lights pin on your wiring harness to the back-up solenoid on the trailer. That should allow you to back up without the jolting stop.

    I just bought a 26 ft Kingfisher with a King trailer that has surge brakes. The owner clued me into this, and it works just fine. Sometimes I still forget to turn on my lights, but as long as I'm backing the boat up smoothly on relatively level ground, I don't have a problem. But you'll think your truck is grossly underpowered if you start in reverse quickly or up a hill. That'll cause the mental light bulb to come on......oh yeah, I gotta turn on my headlights!

    I think this is not a very well known solution by many. What I don't know is how this affects driving at night. Seems it would prevent the operation of the surge breaks, but right now that's not really a problem for me as long as I operate here in Kodiak. So, I haven't investigated it further.

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    Member CaptNemo's Avatar
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    knudsemr,
    I believe I have the same hitch as you, I am not aware of any lockout solenoid. I drilled a hole through the forward portion of the hitch just in front of the pivot point into which can be inserted a pin. When I back up hill into my shop the pin prevents the hitch from actuating the brake piston. I attached this pin to the same chain as the hitch lock pin so it dosent get lost. When towing down the road this pin rides in the hole in top of the hitch and dosent interfere with anything. Hope the pics help. Works good for me. CN
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knudsemr View Post
    So I got a new trailer with the surge brakes and I know their is an electronic override so the the thing doesnt brake every time you back up but mine doesnt work with my current plug config. So heres the question......in your experiences do I just need a new plug for the truck or does this usually take rewiring of things.....just curious before i dig much deeper......its such a pain putting the block of wood in the tounge to defeat this!!!!
    If need any help let me know.....I am staying home over the 4th and I just moved the boat behind the house out of the way. I am good with wiring.

    What truck do you have????

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    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knudsemr View Post
    So I got a new trailer with the surge brakes and I know their is an electronic override so the the thing doesnt brake every time you back up but mine doesnt work with my current plug config. So heres the question......in your experiences do I just need a new plug for the truck or does this usually take rewiring of things.....just curious before i dig much deeper......its such a pain putting the block of wood in the tounge to defeat this!!!!
    I am not sure on yours but my trailer (Karavan) has a 7 pin flat connector and my Chevy has the standard round plug. I got a 7 pin flat to round adapter at Walmart. It actually has 2 flat connector the 6 pin and 7 pin so I can use it with either trailer. On mine the backup light circuit triggers the lock out. I also have a little slot that I stick a piece of metal in to create a manual lockout if I don't have the wiring harness hooked up. On my trailer if I am backing on any kind of incline it locks my tires completely up and just slides them.

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    Default I use the block of wood

    I was the person that posted this question about a month ago. The thing that works best for me now is jamming a block of wood in there as to prevent the trailer from going forward and braking. I keep the boat on the trailer in Whittier, so I just tied a string around the wood so it stays in place all the time even when going forward. It's not like I'm going over 20 mph anyway and then I don't need to keep putting it back in. I will take it out when I bring it back on the highway.

    I was finding even all the smallest hill backing up it would lock it up. The block of wood works great.

  10. #10
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Way bad idea!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntKodiak View Post
    If you turn on your headlights, your wiring configuration should apply the 12v from the running lights pin on your wiring harness to the back-up solenoid on the trailer. That should allow you to back up without the jolting stop.

    I just bought a 26 ft Kingfisher with a King trailer that has surge brakes. The owner clued me into this, and it works just fine. Sometimes I still forget to turn on my lights, but as long as I'm backing the boat up smoothly on relatively level ground, I don't have a problem. But you'll think your truck is grossly underpowered if you start in reverse quickly or up a hill. That'll cause the mental light bulb to come on......oh yeah, I gotta turn on my headlights!

    I think this is not a very well known solution by many. What I don't know is how this affects driving at night. Seems it would prevent the operation of the surge breaks, but right now that's not really a problem for me as long as I operate here in Kodiak. So, I haven't investigated it further.

    So your brakes don't work when you have your headlights on way bad idea. Especially with a 26 foot boat. It does get dark sometimes and there are places where you are suppose to run your headlights(rarely enforced) all the time, hence disabling your brake system. This may also disable your breakaway system>>>>if your breakaway system activates before losing power.

    A cheap fix that can be deadly!!!! Do it right or don't do it at all!!!!!!

    Sorry I missed this post earlier.

  11. #11

    Default Sounds dangerous to me......

    I agree Dupont. Bad idea.....the reverse soleniod is supposed to be wired on the reverse light curcuit of the tow vehicle and not the running lights.

  12. #12

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    Same thing with my king saltwater trailer that I bought mainly for the brakes...even empty, the slightest incline locks 'em up. I bought a different plug and made a "key" that completely fills the void on the hitch. Will try them both out in the am. but will likely sell it...just too long and hard to maneuver into my tiny parking space. Can't imagine how much fun it would be with a boat on it!

  13. #13
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knudsemr View Post
    So I got a new trailer with the surge brakes and I know their is an electronic override so the the thing doesnt brake every time you back up but mine doesnt work with my current plug config. So heres the question......in your experiences do I just need a new plug for the truck or does this usually take rewiring of things.....just curious before i dig much deeper......its such a pain putting the block of wood in the tounge to defeat this!!!!

    What kind og trailer did you get? I have the same problem on my new trailer, and I am suspecting that either the lockout solenoid is bad or there is a wiring problem, but in my case I think it is the solenoid since both the trailer and the truck are pretty new. I heard of someone else with a failed solenoid, so I am wondering if this is a common problem.

    Jim

  14. #14

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    On my EZ Loader, the solenoid failed I think the first or second year.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    What kind og trailer did you get? I have the same problem on my new trailer, and I am suspecting that either the lockout solenoid is bad or there is a wiring problem, but in my case I think it is the solenoid since both the trailer and the truck are pretty new. I heard of someone else with a failed solenoid, so I am wondering if this is a common problem.

    Jim

    Jim,

    It is common. I went through 3 of them on my old trailer in about 8 years. Got rid of the trailer and the old boat and I put a new coupler/master cylinder from atwood that has a mechanical lockout on my new one. Mechanical lockout? What a great idea!!!! Best of luck to you

    Tim

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    Member knudsemr's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great help....I havent been on the forum in a while due to being out on the boat last week! Great fun. Anyway Ill try the headlight thing and also check out the wiring with my backup lights. Oh its a king trailer. I will post my solution for those who are also strugglig with this same problem. See you all on the water!!

  17. #17
    Member knudsemr's Avatar
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    Escalade esv

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    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knudsemr View Post
    Thanks for all the great help....I havent been on the forum in a while due to being out on the boat last week! Great fun. Anyway Ill try the headlight thing and also check out the wiring with my backup lights. Oh its a king trailer. I will post my solution for those who are also strugglig with this same problem. See you all on the water!!

    Please Do Not use your headlights to activate the solenoid. Doing this disables your brakes every time you use your headlights. If you are within 2 hours of Anchorage and would like assistance please PM me and I will assist you.......NO CHARGE!!!

    I do not want to see you or anyone else hurt in anyway by an improper setup. I tend to be a little anal about trailer setup as I have watched way to many people have ISSUES. One of my biggest pet peeve's is seeing a dual axle trailer going down the road with the nose of the trailer pointing way down. This is hard on the front axle, tires, bearings and could eventually lead to frame failure. Tow them level when loaded>>>>> it will make them tow alot nicer. Buying the right hitch wil save you a bunch of headaches.

    Anyone needing assistance setting up a trailer, boat, sleds, travel trailer or vehicles, I am very, very knowledgeable.....and am willing to help.

  19. #19
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Default My apologies

    As stated by Dupont Spinner, don't wire your trailer as mine is.

    I recently bought the trailer from a guy in Chugiak, and not being familiar with the King trailer and surge brakes, I thought the trailer's setup and his guidance was normal even though I was suspicious about the effect if I needed to drive with the lights on.

    After looking more closely at the wiring harness, it's obvious that the trailer's wiring was altered when I bought it, and as a result of this discussion, I'll certainly correct this discrepancy some time this summer before darkness becomes an issue around here.

    My apologies. I should have listened to my own suspicion and investigated the issue more thoroughly before posting.

  20. #20

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    Certainly nothing wrong with posting it. Lots of people learned something from it. The fix should be pretty easy.

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