Archived Trailer Guys Questions



The Boat Trailering Guys

I always enjoy reading your Q&A. Your recent column raised three questions: (1) The adjusting nut on my surge brake unit is used to adjust the amount of brake force. It sounds like that is the same nut you reference as also needing to be set all the way out to ensure the brakes don't drag. Mine don't (disc) but I have turned in the nut a little to get more braking force. Is that correct? (2) What is a moisture displacer? (3) Exactly what points should be lubricated on the surge brake actuator? There seem to be only a few? Thanks!

H. Kaplan, Coral Springs, FL

Answered on: 6/2005

(1) The adjusting nut you are speaking of is called a "damper" or a "gas shock" and it's never supposed to be tight. Snug is OK, but never tight. In fact, if the trailer is new, you shouldn't even be adjusting it because the damper is set at the factory. If the trailer is older, then an occasional adjustment might be necessary. Tightening the damper too much will cause the brakes to lock up. (2) A moisture displacer is something like Marine 668 which is a silicone-based spray that coats any part of the trailer that is prone to rust. (3) Most trailers have a zerk fitting on the actuator for lubrication. That's the only one I know of but I did see a new trailer last week that looked like something from Mars that had a number of places for lubrication. It depends on the manufacturer but most have a single zerk.

The Boat Trailering Guys: George