Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
 
Old 12 February 2013, 14:11   #1
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
freebacking vs standard brakes

Can someone explain the pros and cons of both styles of drum brakes?

I have a sailboat trailer with freebacking brakes and makes it easy to backup without dealing with actuating the brake release lever.

I have RIB trailer with non-freebacking brakes and a manual brake release on hitch which sucks cause if you are on a hill you can't release the actuator without blocking the wheels.

What is the downside if any to replacing my RIB trailer brakes with freebackers?

thx
__________________

__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12 February 2013, 16:57   #2
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,650
I think you just answered your own question!

Over here the "freebacker" type (Auto reverse if you are looking at UK sites) have been the only type you are allowed to use over here for a while. Not so much for the "pain in the rear" reasons you quite correctly cite, but it means that in emergency situations you can back the rig up without the faff & time of getting out, possibly to be killed by the next passing vehicle.

"standard" brakes can also be accidentally left in reverse mode, the sort of mistake you only usually make once! (don't ask me how I know......)

Only "downside" (if it even counts as one) is they are a bit more of a fiddle to set up.

Another plus for you is as you have them on your sailboat trailer, it might be possible to standardise on spares...
__________________

__________________
9D280 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12 February 2013, 17:22   #3
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
Thank you.

Specifically I was wondering if freebacking required manual adjustment of brake shoes as they wear vs possible automatic adjustment with non-freebacking kind.

Either way, I'm going free-backing. There are enough train tracks around here I can envision getting stuck on the tracks as a 6 engine freight train is closing in on me and I can't backup. It's not a stretch, it's happened to me once with a car trailer.
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12 February 2013, 20:21   #4
Member
 
Peter_C's Avatar
 
Country: USA
Boat name: Uh...a kayak?
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,486
FWIW Europe has a totally different standard than here in the USA.

Drum brakes suck and are ancient technology. There is a reason you do not see them used on very many vehicles today. Almost all drum brakes even auto adjusting require an adjustment once in a while to keep a firm braking system.

My recommendation would be to go to a disk brake and install a 5 flat plug or use a 7 pin adapter to 5 pins depending on tow vehicle. Disks are far superior to drum, easier to flush the out salt water of, some of the rotors are made of stainless, but most are zinc plated, they will last longer with less maintenance, and most importantly the solenoid energized by the reverse lights will allow you to back up with zero resistance. You can also insert a "key" or a nickle when reverse power isn't available. You can also flip the flat four connector around and turning the lights on will disengage the brakes. The only downfall is the initial parts needed to change it to disk will have a higher upfront cost. For instance the master cylinder will need to be changed, but your current brake system may need a new master.
__________________
Peter_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12 February 2013, 20:33   #5
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
Thx Peter. I would totally do that but my axles specifically say not to use disc brakes, probably because they can't handle it. So then if I want to really do things proper, we are talking...

new axles
new springs (maybe not needed)
new disc brakes
electric disc brake controller

$$$$$

I do have a proper towing vehicle (10k towing rating) with 7 pin and even a full on brake controller. My RIB weights 5k pounds + 1k trailer. Not sure worth putting that much into this trailer, might be worth selling existing and getting a new trailer.

Not sure but I think I will investigate the cost difference. If I could keep existing axles / springs then I would say yes to disc.

My existing surge brake head and cylinder is brandy new. In fact the trailer is brand new but marginal for this weight RIB.
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12 February 2013, 23:37   #6
Member
 
Peter_C's Avatar
 
Country: USA
Boat name: Uh...a kayak?
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,486
How many braking axles do you have now?

What brand of trailer is it? I assume it is a decent galvanized trailer and worth keeping?

I have never seen a trailer axle that said "DO NOT" put disk brakes on it. Weird as we have done a few swaps on tandem axle trailers. Contacting the manufacturer might enlighten you as to their reasoning.

ONLY the axles would need replacement at the worst. You can reuse your master, but there is a pressure holder for drum brakes that needs to be removed. Also a solenoid will need to be installed so it is cut loose in reverse.

7 wire means you can either make a 5 wire connector or buy one. I made one that has both 4 and 5 wire together on the same 7 pin connector. That just means I only need one adapter not two.
__________________
Peter_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 04:25   #7
Member
 
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
Make: Humber/Delta Seasafe
Length: 5m +
Engine: Merc 60 Clamshell
MMSI: 235068449
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,650
Simply an observation - Wow. you relying on electrics to disengage in reverse? Based on a sizeable proportion of trailer lighting that doesn't work over here, I really hope your standard connectors are a bit better designed than ours!

....and do you want electric actuation on a trailer that is going to go swimming in salt water?
__________________
9D280 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 11:07   #8
Member
 
Country: Ireland
Town: Dun Laoghaire
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 86
Are electric trailer brakes illegal in Europe?

Surely trailer manufacturers can design braking systems that can easily be flushed and sprayed with WD40 or similar to prevent corrosion caused by saltwater immersion.

I have only ever seen disc brakes on imported American trailers(... and the discs or rotors and mechanism were rusted almost beyond recognition) I guess that disc brakes could more easily be flushed and easily sprayed with a water repellent.
__________________
Tino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 11:35   #9
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
I called the manufacturer and asked their opinion. They said that yes these axles CAN take disc brakes. I was apparently looking at the wrong part#s in the catalog.

They advised a hydraulic disc brake system. I live on the border of OR and WA state. In WA apparently law says need to brake both axles, in OR only 1. I'm concerned with braking given the weight of this rig so I actually am favoring a disc setup at the moment.

The whole system including new actuator with solenoid and 4 disc brakes is just north of 1k.

I actually use the trailer 95% of the time in fresh water. The 5% of the time I hit the ocean the ramps are good enough that the actuator does not hit salt water, so thinking the solenoid should be fine. I should also be fine on the discs given the mostly fresh water use. Dumping it into a fresh water ramp gives it the best rinse possible.

I appreciate everyone's opinions on this. It's definitely not black and white.

My existing manual actuator is a POS. Definitely not user friendly.
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 11:43   #10
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
Electric brakes are not advised for boat trailers, as they rely on a magnet to actuate, and the magnet is iron, which doesn't do well getting wet.

Peter was talking about a surge-brake coupler, with a solenoid to release pressure when the reverse lights come on. It is not an electric actuation.


jky
__________________
jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 11:47   #11
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Seattle
Boat name: Water Dog
Make: Polaris
Length: 4m +
Engine: Yamaha 60hp
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tino View Post
Are electric trailer brakes illegal in Europe?
Electric brakes are very common on travel trailers, oversized utility trailers etc. Pretty much anything too small or intermittent use to have air brakes. Surge brakes are actually pretty rare in the trailer universe since the degree of braking depends on how much the trailer is "pushing" on the tow vehicle. If the road is bad or its not a straight push the trailer wants to jackknife the car. Hence the preference for brakes which are independent of the force on the hitch.
__________________
captnjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 16:44   #12
Member
 
Peter_C's Avatar
 
Country: USA
Boat name: Uh...a kayak?
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,486
I assume that is $1000 installed? Probably a fair price if the proper quality of kit is used. You could also buy the kits and have someone install them if you do not want to take it on yourself. If you decide to have someone purchase the kits for you, I would request at the least the first one listed below.

This kit is probably the one I would use on my own boat.
Kodiak Disc Brake Kit - 10" Rotor - 5 on 4-1/2 - Dacromet and Stainless Steel - 3,500 lbs Kodiak Trailer Brakes K2R35DS

You can always upgrade to stainless rotors down the line.
Kodiak 10" Rotor - 5 on 4-1/2 - Stainless Steel - 3,500 lbs Kodiak Accessories and Parts KR10S

Of course if Pimp is your middle name...
Kodiak Disc Brake Kit - 10" Rotor - 5 on 4-1/2 - Stainless Steel - 3,500 lbs Kodiak Trailer Brakes K2R35S

Options for the brake actuator/release solenoid.
etrailer.com - Products reverse solenoid

There are plenty more options and you can probably ask the manufacturer for the install manual in PDF.
Kodiak Trailer Components - home

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
Simply an observation - Wow. you relying on electrics to disengage in reverse? Based on a sizeable proportion of trailer lighting that doesn't work over here, I really hope your standard connectors are a bit better designed than ours!
Y'all should be doing a light check every time you connect to your trailer. Takes a quick walk around the trailer. How hard is that? Turn on the running lights and the hazard lights and you just checked everything. Okay so not reverse, but there is always a manual option to disengage the surge brakes, that can even be accomplished with a coin. Plus if backing downhill or a ramp the surge brakes won't be engaged anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9D280 View Post
....and do you want electric actuation on a trailer that is going to go swimming in salt water?
If you are submersing your brake actuator, you are also submersing your master cylinder. Neither are good. Keep them high and dry.
__________________
Peter_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 17:58   #13
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
Peter,

You just saved me a bunch of money and I'll be getting better parts as well. Thx, for the links.

Chris
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13 February 2013, 18:36   #14
Member
 
Peter_C's Avatar
 
Country: USA
Boat name: Uh...a kayak?
Length: 4m +
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,486
Cool, I know who to call next time we are up that way for a boat ride We'll bring lunch!

The more I think about it, I would recommend calling Kodiac Trailer tech support and explaining to them your current setup and ask their advice on the actuator and pressure valve, along with the release solenoid. Might want to have a picture ready to email, along with the current brand of equipment if possible.
__________________
Peter_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 February 2013, 14:18   #15
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
I like lunch.

Will post back what ended up with. Looks like I may be able to retrofit my existing actuator but not sure yet.

Will call Kodiac as well.
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 February 2013, 15:33   #16
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
Ok, so reporting back in this thread on what I ended up with in case it informs someone else.

I was able to actually retrofit my existing hydraulic surge actuator for drum brakes to a disc brake actuator with reverse solenoid by purchasing a new master cylinder designed for disc brakes and also by purchasing a reverse solenoid for it. So that works really well and saves me money. The existing actuator is new and I hate throwing out new parts.

I ended up not going with Kodiak. I ended up with UFP kits. They have stainless pistons and aluminum calipers and calipers mount directly to my bolt pattern without a bracket. Supposedly they hold up just as well as the more expensive Kodiac dacramet/stainless. But I'm sure someone is going to debate that. The kits also came with full bearing sets and even bearing buddies for $265 a set which is awesome price.

So basically, a full disc conversion on all 4 wheels is running $650 with free shipping as well and no tax. The original quoteI got with not as good a setup was almost double that.

That's a great deal. Can't wait to try this setup out.

http://www.pacifictrailers.com/index...o&prodId=56545

http://www.pacifictrailers.com/index...o&prodId=46176

http://www.pacifictrailers.com/index...o&prodId=48364
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14 February 2013, 16:03   #17
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Hood River
Boat name: Seal Team 7
Make: Zodiac SRA-750
Length: 7m +
Engine: Evinrude ETEC G2 300
MMSI: WDI 8895
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 266
Oops, well not quite that simple.

I can't keep the Attwood, or at least it's not economical to do so. Would need more than just master cylinder, so I'm getting this actuator instead which is designed for dual axle disc.

UFP A-75 Brake Actuator for TANDEM Disc Brakes, 7500lb. cap. (bolt-on). #47102
__________________
clloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15 February 2013, 14:58   #18
Member
 
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
$650 for 4 wheels is pretty damn cheap. As I recall, pricing a Kodiak kit for my single axle was running just over that.

jky
__________________

__________________
jyasaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 17:59.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.