Archived Trailer Guys Questions



The Trailer Boat Experts

I have a trailer with surge drum brakes. When I accelerate after a stop, I always hear a noise from around the coupler..sort of like a "clunk" and I'm wondering if this is normal. I ask only because I usually tow the boat alone but I took a friend with me last week and he kept saying "that doesn't sound right." Neither of us are by any means trailer experts. T. Corcoran, Indianapolis, IN

T. Corcoran

Answered on: 6/2005

GEORGE: It's one of 2 things: (1) There is an air pocket in the brake line. Bleed it and the "clunk" will stop. (2) The shock absorber that is located beneath the actuator has gone bad and needs to be replaced. MIKE: Usually that "clunk" is coming from some play at the connection of the coupler to the receiver. The coupler pin is a bit smaller than the hole (as much as a 1/4?) causing a noisy contact at sudden starts and stops. There is a product on the market that is basically a coupler pin that has a urethane coating on the pin, from One Step Products, which acts as a cushion for the impact and quieting things down. If you still experience a noise check the brake actuator coupler for proper installation and operation. Also, check the connection points of your hitch and the tightness of the trailer ball.

the Trailer Boat Expert: Mike and George