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Trailer Question

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  • Trailer Question

    I am need some input to make a decision on what to do with

    my tandem trailer. I tow from Boston to Cape Cod many times

    and the traffic can be erratic at best. The tandem trailer

    that I currently have is in great condition however it has

    no breaks and I would like to install rollers to make the

    launch and retrieves easier. (Currently the trailer has bunks)

    To add the brakes myself will cost about $ 600. Parts quoted

    from local dealer. The cost of putting the rollers and replacing

    the bunkers would be about another $ 500. At that point I am better

    off purchasing a new trailer, I think.

    I have seen white glide strips added onto bunkers. How well do

    they work ? My bottom is painted. Seems like a cheaper was to go

    and retain my current trailer if they work well.

    You advise is appreciated.



    191 Mako

    Boston/Cape Cod

  • #2
    I had posted on the other thread and requested info on your existing trailer. First off, most tandem axle trailers will need to be looked at by the person selling you the brake kits to make sure the axle and hubs will take the brake units. Normally you will need another style axle to convert a no-brake trailer to a braking trailer. Have you gotten any info or addressed this issue, yet? Next, a new tandem axle trailer, with brakes, and rollers will run around 2200 to 2400, in our area. This is a new aluminum trailer that fits a 20 footer. If you go with bunks you will save around four hundred dollars. This may give you some food for thought.


    • #3
      actually, now that I think about it, I was faced with this same situation 2 years ago. The Magic Tilt galvanized trailer for my 23'er was shot and needed some serious work. The brakes were shoot, tires were balding, the lights were bad, bunks needed to be replaced, winch was rusting, and the main beam that the tongue connects to was almost rusted through. My options, for the amount of money I wanted to spend (about $2K), were to buy a new aluminum, rebuild, or buy a used one. I heard too many horror stories about some "cheaper" aluminum trailers being built too cheap and falling apart so didn't go that route. All the used trailers that I saw were either aluminum or galvanized that were in rough shape so no go there. I ended up spending $1500 so far to have the galvanized main beam and drum brakes replace, 4 new tires, bunks rebuilt, new winch, and replaced and rewired with LED lights. I still need to replace my finders but shouldn't cost too much more. Trailer works great (knock on wood).
      Steven[br]1978 Powercat 232[br]One flat broke, the other almost ready to float!!![br]Atlanta, GA


      • #4
        Oyster and all, thank you for the replys. I am sorry

        for posting twice, apparently I posted in the wrong

        forum then I repeated and it was moved to the correct

        forum. I thought I hadlost the original in email

        hell somewhere. Again sorry to all.


        Oyster, I 99 % sure the trailer is a caravan. The

        boat & Trailer are roughly 100 miles from me so

        I need to verify. I was told by my local dealer

        that if the axles had a "square Plate" at the ends

        of the axles then I would have the opportunity to

        add the brakes. This is what I was told. Does this

        sound correct ?

        Mention was made of the brakes rusting and locking

        up. The new trailers I am looking at have drums with

        a flushing device. Does this work out or not ?

        The $ 600.00 the dealer quoted was for all the parts

        I needed to install drums. Should I be considering

        disc brakes instead ?

        Again, thanks for your guidence. I am leaning towards

        adding the brakes and getting the slick strips added to the




        • #5
          the flushing device on the drums are half a$$, they'll still rust but it better than nothing. The best way to flush them is to submerge them in fresh water before the salt water has a chance to dry on the internal components.

          If you get the glide pads, be sure to buy a safety chains or cords and keep the front one for your bow eye connected while backing down the ramp. Don't rely on just the strap from the wench.
          Steven[br]1978 Powercat 232[br]One flat broke, the other almost ready to float!!![br]Atlanta, GA


          • #6
            QUOTE: I was told by my local dealer

            that if the axles had a "square Plate" at the ends

            of the axles then I would have the opportunity to

            add the brakes. This is what I was told. Does this

            sound correct ?

            That is correct.[]

            QUOTE: the flushing device on the drums are half a$$.

            I agree.[]

            Disc Brakes are the way to go and Kodiak leads the pack. There are about 4 diffrent Disc Brake packages. The most expensive is the best.


            • #7
              Thank you all for the input.

              If the general thought is that bunker modification

              makes a big difference in launching and retrieving

              then I will go with the modification. I thought the

              painted bottom would hamper but I guess not.

              I will re-firb the current trailer with

              disk Brakes. I will go with the best. Any advise

              on where to get the best price would be appreciated.

              I would rather fix what I got, its more satisfying.


              • #8
                I am going through the same process with my 1988 Continental aluminum trailer - no brakes!

                Having recently refurbished a smaller galvanized trailer, I have found a good supplier in Slidell, LA: Champion Trailers


                They list a first axle stainless disc brake kit for about $400.00, and the second axle kit for around $250.00, made by "Tiedown Eng". They do have a comprehensive online catalog which you can download, in the "PDF" format, which includes just about any trailer part you can imagine. Shipping to your location may not be cost effective, but it should give you a good shopping comparison.

                Hope this helps!

                1988 Mako 231[br]Jackson, MS


                • #9
                  My dad and I rebuilt our Myco Alum two years ago and converted to disc brakes on both axles.

                  Forget drums. I dont care if you have washouts etc, dunk them in salt and their toast in short order.

                  We went with the die down disc brakes...did alot of research, each have good and bad points. We have had no problems with ours, the stopping power of these disc breaks is absolutely amazing. I drag my 26 with a '98 touch the brakes and you literally DONT KNOW that this behemoth of a rig is behind you. Smooth and sweet, discs are hands down the way to go.

                  There is a place down south...mail order,, I think the Tie Downs cost us $250 an axle, had the best prices at least at the time. They have a catalog they'll send too.
                  1990 261 T/2001 200 HPDIs[br]Basking Ridge/Mantoloking NJ[br]


                  • #10
                    Thank you all for the advice and information.

                    Capt Bob


                    • #11
                      I dont know what size your boat is and the gross weight is, but if you have a 3/4 ton pickup dont worry about trailer brakes, they are a waist of money in salt water! I tow a 19 mako and a 25' proline and have no trouble at all. Just watch your following distance. I prefer a float on trailer, if you have wood bunks carpet works fine. Every couple of years just rip it off and replace it with some more scrap,any carpet installer will give you all the scrap you want.
                      chip[br]1971 mako 19\' / 2013 Pathfinder 22TE[br]Panama City,FL[br]


                      • #12

                        Thats all well and good until some blonde idiot tags you. Whether or not it was your fault, most states have laws mandating brakes over a certain weight, you're without them and its your fault not the blond's.

                        Life would be so much easier with f'n lawyers!
                        1990 261 T/2001 200 HPDIs[br]Basking Ridge/Mantoloking NJ[br]


                        • #13
                          We have an 1800 lb limit now. Also, when traveling between some states, the brake laws are enforced for most boats, and a real hastle with the authorities if you are stopped or involved in an accident with what may appear to be the slightest bit heavy.


                          • #14
                            Don't forget about load width also. Same deal if you have an accident and you are too wide without a permit. Just because your boat is less than 8'6" doesn't mean your trailer at its widest point is.
                            [br]***[br]\'82 Ski Nautique - Lake Martin, AL[br]\'80 236IB - Lake Martin, AL[br]\'03 Pursuit 2670 - Destin, FL


                            • #15

                              If you want to contact Keith at Dossell trailers, down here in New Jersey. Keith is an honest man who has sold, repaired and helped me in the past on many trailers. Keith could give you some idea's about what a new trailer (galvanized) would cost and also some estimate on the cost to sell/trade your current trailer in. Keith is a dealer for Venture Trailers and used to carry LoadRite until Venture came along. He will also give you an estimate on those parts, I don't think shipping the parts from NJ will save you any money but he may recommend someone in the Boston/Cape May area.

                              BTW- I get no kickback from Keith's, he's a person who has saved me much aggrevation and money in the past.
                              Justin- Malvern, PA[br]20 Mako fish from[br]22 Mako work on