Archived Trailer Guys Questions



The Boat Trailering Guys

I am having problems backing up my trailer (it has surge brakes) and I?m wondering if there is anything I can do. I've been getting out and hitting the lever on the top of the ball but this isn't a good way to go because I've forgotten about the lever position too many times and tried to pull the trailer in forward. I'm at the point of thinking about getting rid of surge brakes altogether. Joe. L Dayton, Ohio

Joe. L

Answered on: 6/2005

MIKE: You need to install a free-backing solenoid. This product is installed on your actuator and connects to your back-up lights on the tow vehicle. When you are backing your trailer (up or down a hill) the solenoid will engage and not allow the brakes to engage. This item will cost you $45-$50. Now, having said this, make sure your surge brakes are drum (not disc). The solenoid is designed for use ONLY with drum brake systems. GEORGE: To pick up on Mike's points, the "lockout solenoid" as it's called is installed on the actuator where the fluid comes out of the master cylinder. Now there's another way to handle this problem as well: You can run a separate wire to the lockout from your tow vehicle lights. The downside is you have to have your lights on in order for it to work and leaving lights on in the daytime while you are enjoying a boat ride can ruin a good thing.

The Boat Trailering Guys: Mike and George