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Trailer Brakes

There are numerous theories out in the boating world as to which braking system is best for boat trailers. The answer is that it really does depend on each customer situation as well as how the trailer itself will be used. The on-going dilemma is surge vs electric, and also drum vs disc.

The benefit to a surge brake system is that the brakes are able to be activated with pretty much any tow vehicle, there is no additional wiring required. The disadvantage is that they are not legal in every state or province, they do not provide any braking in reverse and can lock up on you if I you try to back up any sort of an incline.

With electric or electric over hydraulic braking, the customer does need to have a brake controller installed inside the tow vehicle, and needs to be sure the proper wiring is provided in the tow vehicle. This system, however, is legal all throughout the US and Canada, they active in forward and reverse and do not lock up on you. You do want to be sure, however, that the trailer manufacturer uses sealed connections and components.

Disc brakes require less maintenance than drum, however they are typically a fair amount more expensive. For saltwater use, it is always recommended that a customer choose disc brakes rather than drum.

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