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    trouble stopping my trailer-gctid385898

    I have trouble stopping my trailer. I figure the boat and trailer weigh around 7400 lbs. I have a 1/2 ton truck with front disk and rear drums. The trailer has hydraulic activated drums on the front axle. I had to stop quick, and it didn't go so well. I realized the front wheels were skidding and I drifted dangerously out of my lane. The hitch receiver is a class IV load carrying hitch attached to the rear of the frame only.What should I be changing, checking

    [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/689432=28168-panasea_trailered_5May2012.jpg[/img] ?

    #2
    I don't think your trailer brakes are working.

    Also your truck will automatically adjust your back brakes if you back up and hit the brakes. If you don't usually do that they may be out of adjustment. Try backing up and hit your brakes hard. Repeat several times. Unless they are froze that will adjust them.

    The front disc brakes don't require adjustment.

    Your trailer brakes should have a lock on them to keep them on. Try it and see if they are working by pulling it with your truck.

    Doug
    Started boating 1955
    Number of boats owned 32
    Bayliners
    2655
    2755
    2850
    3870 presently owned
    Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

    Comment


      #3
      Inside of your trailer coupler (actuator) is a hydraulic master cylinder, much like a car/truck cylinder.

      The actual tongue is free to slide forward/reverse within the coupler.

      (examples only, as there are many styles)





      The inertia from the trailer (while the two vehicle is decelerating) causes the tonque portion (against the hitch ball) to activate the master cylinder.

      This is when the trailer brakes are applied, and only when they are applied. (except while reversing.... but the brake shoe arrangement prevents this)

      There will also be one or two small shock absorbers within the coupler arrangement, called dampeners.

      These attach between the sliding tongue and coupler housing unit to prevent "surge hammering" while braking.

      If the coupler or master cylinder is not working (and/or the wheel cylinders) you will not have hydraulic action...., hence no trailer brakes.

      Generally, it's an easy fix to pull all of this apart and repair or replace the bad parts.

      ,
      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


        #4
        wildman wrote:
        I have trouble stopping my trailer. I figure the boat and trailer weigh around 7400 lbs. I have a 1/2 ton truck with front disk and rear drums. The trailer has hydraulic activated drums on the front axle. I had to stop quick, and it didn't go so well. I realized the front wheels were skidding and I drifted dangerously out of my lane. The hitch receiver is a class IV load carrying hitch attached to the rear of the frame only.What should I be changing, checking

        http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img] ?
        7400 lbs is way over gross weight for your 1/2 ton pickup.I think my 2005 is somewhere around 4,000 lb.

        Comment


          #5
          Depends on the truck Bob. Some of the new 1/2 ton pickups can tow over 10,000#
          Started boating 1955
          Number of boats owned 32
          Bayliners
          2655
          2755
          2850
          3870 presently owned
          Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

          Comment


            #6
            I'd convert both axles to disk brakes being that close to the max of the truck and you will be surprised what difference it makes! Even one axle with disks would be better but there's a problem: which one? If you brake your truck lifts the tail which reduces the load on the front axle. If you brake the rear it will lift the tongue even more.

            There are some US-States (and entire Europe) where all axles have to have brakes for good reason.

            Comment


              #7
              I had some trouble with my 2655 when pulling it with a 97 ram 1500 1/2 ton. It was scary trying to stop sometimes, just a little too much for the truck even if it was rated for it. i ended up with a 2004 ram 1500 quad cab w/ 4 wheel discs and wow, what a difference. And yeah some of the half tons have really good tow ratings, mine is rated for 8600. Just make sure the trailer brakes are working and it should be ok.

              Comment


                #8
                wildman wrote:
                I have trouble stopping my trailer. I figure the boat and trailer weigh around 7400 lbs. I have a 1/2 ton truck with front disk and rear drums. The trailer has hydraulic activated drums on the front axle. I had to stop quick, and it didn't go so well. I realized the front wheels were skidding and I drifted dangerously out of my lane. The hitch receiver is a class IV load carrying hitch attached to the rear of the frame only.What should I be changing, checking

                http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img] ?
                7400 may be an underestimate. That is a 28' boat and steel trailer. I would guess that both of those alone are 7500-8000lbs and then add fuel, water, gear etc. I am guessing that the truck in the photo is your tow rig. Looks to be a early 90's GM truck. Can not tell if it is 4x4 or not. 4x2 is 6500 towing capacity and 4x4 is 6000lbs (V8 engine) and I believe 5000 lbs if it is the 4.3 V6.You can convert the drum to disc on the trailer for only a few hundred dollars, a great investment rergardless of tow vehicle. But I'm with Bob, I believe you are over capacity for the truck, IMO.
                Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
                1998 3055 Ciera
                (yes, a 1998)
                Previous boat: 1993 3055
                Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
                Sea Doo XP
                Sea Doo GTI SE
                Life is short. Boats are cool.
                The family that plays together stays together.
                Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club

                Comment


                  #9
                  itsabowtime2 wrote:
                  7400 may be an underestimate. That is a 28' boat and steel trailer. I would guess that both of those alone are 7500-8000lbs and then add fuel, water, gear etc. I am guessing that the truck in the photo is your tow rig. Looks to be a early 90's GM truck. Can not tell if it is 4x4 or not. 4x2 is 6500 towing capacity and 4x4 is 6000lbs (V8 engine) and I believe 5000 lbs if it is the 4.3 V6.

                  You can convert the drum to disc on the trailer for only a few hundred dollars, a great investment rergardless of tow vehicle. But I'm with Bob, I believe you are over capacity for the truck, IMO.
                  That's what I will never understand! The brake systems are all the same yet the larger engine truck is rated a lot higher.... Looks like the regulations only worry about you getting up the hill fast enough but no one cares how you can stop that beast!

                  Found out something funny: one of the Ford F150 is also sold in Europe (exact same model). The tow rating in the US is almost twice as high without trailer brakes as it is in Europe with mandatory disk brakes!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree with averyone else, you are overloaded, particularly with the additional weight of the fifth wheel hitch. If the boat and trailer is as heavy as you say and the trailer is properly set up for the boat, you are putting too much weight on the rear of the truck.

                    You should weigh the boat and trailer, find the tongue weight. and make any adjustments needed to bring the tongue weight to 10% of the trailer weight.

                    Make sure the truck and trailer brakes are bled and working properly. You can check the operation of the actuator when you bleed the brakes. There should be some lube points on the actuator, use them. You may be able to find a manual for the actuator online or it is real easy to replace the actuator.

                    You should also get a weight-distributing hitch for the boat, it will put more weight on the front wheels of the truck.

                    Make sure the trailer is level when it is on the truck since a tongue-down situation will push the nose of the truck up under hard braking.

                    Just a few thoughts.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks Doug. That is a good idea with the trailer emergency trip. I'll try tripping that (and hopefully it won't freeze and I can release it).Rick/2850Bounty. Thanks, but I have to figure out if the actuator is broken first. It moves in and out correctly, and doesn't clank.I did another test today, braking hard with trailer in tow. The front tires skidded without much puchase. They are very lightly loaded it would seem. The back drums must be doing most of the work. Without the trailer, when I hit the brakes, my front disks really grab and the truck stops well.Converting to disk brakes on the trailer is something to consider - especially if the drums are working properly. Something sure isn't stopping back there.The boat is 26 1/2 ft and listed at 5100 lbs. The new metal trailers of similar size list at about 1500 lbs.Here is the truck info:96 Dodge Ram 1500 (1/2 ton).Tow package, 7400 lb tow rating.GVWR is around 8400 as I recall.

                      [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/689579=28184-dodge_ram_96_beacon_300x176.jpg[/img]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        First, go weigh your boat and trailer, including tongue weight. Second, is that trailer built for that boat? It looks like there was an add-on on the rear. Verify the tire and axle ratings, along with the capacity plate on the trailer. If your truck's front brakes lock up with the trailer and they don't without, that means you have too much weight on the rear axle, and your front axle is unloaded, which also creates a hazardous steering condition. The ONLY cure for this is a weight distributing hitch, which has been mentioned. And I'd bet a case of beer that your 7400 lb. tow rating is WITH a weight distributing hitch. I would also hazard an educated guess that the boat and trailer weighs at least 8,000, if not 9,000 lbs. You really can't do anything until you weigh it, guessing is dangerous. There's no shortage of scales in the Delta area, and it will only cost you $5-10...
                        Jeff & Tara
                        (And Ginger too)
                        Lake Havasu City, AZ

                        2000 Bayliner 3388
                        "GetAway"
                        Cummins 4bta 250s

                        In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

                        Comment


                          #13
                          wildman wrote:
                          Thanks Doug. That is a good idea with the trailer emergency trip. I'll try tripping that (and hopefully it won't freeze and I can release it).Rick/2850Bounty. Thanks, but I have to figure out if the actuator is broken first. It moves in and out correctly, and doesn't clank.I did another test today, braking hard with trailer in tow. The front tires skidded without much puchase. They are very lightly loaded it would seem. The back drums must be doing most of the work. Without the trailer, when I hit the brakes, my front disks really grab and the truck stops well.Converting to disk brakes on the trailer is something to consider - especially if the drums are working properly. Something sure isn't stopping back there.The boat is 26 1/2 ft and listed at 5100 lbs. The new metal trailers of similar size list at about 1500 lbs.Here is the truck info:96 Dodge Ram 1500 (1/2 ton).Tow package, 7400 lb tow rating.GVWR is around 8400 as I recall.

                          http://baylinerownersclub.org/media/....jpg[/img]
                          Couple of things;In addition to your trailer brake system probably not working correctly, you only have brakes on one trailer axle which is not enough for the weight you are carrying. You should have brakes on both axles and depending on where you live is probably mandated.Based on the front wheels locking up, that year truck probably has RWAL (rear wheel anti lock) it works based on how much the rear axle moves up with regards to speed decrease due to heavy braking. The more the axle moves up the more fluid is released to avoid a lock up to the rear wheels. With all that weight on the bumper the rear axle isn't moving so the system can't do it's job.FWIW from different post, front brakes are designed to provide 70% of the braking power over the rear brakes.I realize you realize you have a problem and are working to fix it but guessing is no substitute. Go find a scale, I'd bet in addition to the trailer system not being in top mechanical condition that TV is overloaded by several hundred pounds as well.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sorry for mistaking the Dodge for a GM product.

                            7400 is the maximum capacity. To be safe, 80% of that is a good target. That would be 5920lbs. Even 90% is 6600lbs. Best thing to do is get the rig on a scale and see where you are at. Boat weights, especially then, where notoriously light. My 3055 is listed as 8000lbs. No matter with a single BB, twin small blocks or the twin diesels, 8000lbs. Point is get it on a scale, you may be surprised at how much weight there really is back there.
                            Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
                            1998 3055 Ciera
                            (yes, a 1998)
                            Previous boat: 1993 3055
                            Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
                            Sea Doo XP
                            Sea Doo GTI SE
                            Life is short. Boats are cool.
                            The family that plays together stays together.
                            Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Dave, in the coupler/actuator will be the master cylinder. It will have a reservoir cap on it just like a car/truck master cylinder.

                              Remove the cap, and look at the brake fluid level. If the level is down, look for signs of rust.

                              At each wheel cylinder, there will be a bleeder valve. These are almost always rusted and are very difficult to open, so use caution.

                              If you can open them, you will be able to bleed the system by manually operating the master cylinder.

                              Have you raised a wheel and pulled a hub to look at the braking system?

                              .
                              Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                              2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                              Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                              Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                              Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                              Comment

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