Need Help Selecting New Trailer Brake Kit/Actuator

drewm3i

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
287
Hey guys, I'm sure there are folks here that know a lot more than I when it comes to boat trailers. I currently have a ~5,200 lb. Chaparral on a 1996 tandem Tow Master trailer that fits perfectly and pulls no problem behind my Durango R/T. The trailer has new bearings, tires, and is in excellent condition minus the brakes.

A few months back, one of the disc brakes locked up after a hard stop because of a deer near the road up near Munising, MI, about 1,000 miles away from home. We made it back safely and in one piece by replacing the hub/bearing and disabling the ancient surge brakes. The Durango really had no problem controlling or slowing the load even in the mountains of Pennsylavia at 55-60 MPH, however I want to put new, better brakes back on. I am wanting a kit with new actuator, calipers (4) and all new lines. I don't want to leave anything to chance.

I believe I have 3,500 lb. axles. The hitch ball is 2 5/16. The trailer originally had a boat that was about 1,000 lbs. heavier on it. I actually towed that boat and trailer package with the Durango and the difference was very noticeable.

There is a nice bundle for a 2" hitch ball and 6,600 lbs., but I'm not sure this is enough--even with four disc brakes installed:


I'm looking to keep it ~$1,000 or less. Tired of spending money on this trailer. I will likely be doing all of the work.
 
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Lou C

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
12,115
Do you need salt water corrosion resistance?
If so the way to go is full stainless pricey but you pay once. Even though it says Dexter it is really Tie Down because Dexter bought Tie Down as well as several other trailer parts suppliers. Kodiak or Dee Maxx both make full stainless disc brakes. Tie down actuators are ok I have an old one (from 2004) on my trailer that still works well. I use galvanized drums that work well for me because it’s a moored boat not a trailer boat. My brother has a 3 year old Venture trailer with standard disc brakes not stainless they still work ok but the rotors have a lot of rust pitting even though it is used the same as mine…only in salt 2x a year. The galvanized drums actually have next to no corrosion.
 

drewm3i

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
287
Do you need salt water corrosion resistance?
If so the way to go is full stainless pricey but you pay once. Even though it says Dexter it is really Tie Down because Dexter bought Tie Down as well as several other trailer parts suppliers. Kodiak or Dee Maxx both make full stainless disc brakes. Tie down actuators are ok I have an old one (from 2004) on my trailer that still works well. I use galvanized drums that work well for me because it’s a moored boat not a trailer boat. My brother has a 3 year old Venture trailer with standard disc brakes not stainless they still work ok but the rotors have a lot of rust pitting even though it is used the same as mine…only in salt 2x a year. The galvanized drums actually have next to no corrosion.
I probably should go for stainless. My existing actuator could probably be reused if I replaced the gas shock.
 

Lou C

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
12,115
What you could do is add one stainless pair & see how it stops with that; but I’d guess that with a boat that size you’d want to have brakes on both axles. I used to have a 3500 lb axle on my single axle trailer and it was fine for around town towing. I upgraded the axle to a 6,000 lb axle & 12” drums which stops quite a bit better. My 20’ boat though is quite heavy at a bit over 4,000 lbs…
 
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bruceb58

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
30,512
I had a trailer I dunked in salt water and just bought the Kodiak dacromet rotors and calipers. I made sure I rinsed the brakes after I got home and I never had an issue.

The big disadvantage of stainless rotors is heat dissipation. If you aren't running in mountains, that is probably not an issue. You also have the option of going dacromet rotors and stainless calipers.

I put an EOH system on my trailer but that will blow your budget.
 

drewm3i

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
287
I had a trailer I dunked in salt water and just bought the Kodiak dacromet rotors and calipers. I made sure I rinsed the brakes after I got home and I never had an issue.

The big disadvantage of stainless rotors is heat dissipation. If you aren't running in mountains, that is probably not an issue. You also have the option of going dacromet rotors and stainless calipers.

I put an EOH system on my trailer but that will blow your budget.
What is dacromat? Galvanized?
 

dingbat

Supreme Mariner
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
15,668
What is dacromat?
A version of galvaneal...zinc, aluminum coating that is then heated to allow the Fe to migrate from the rotor into the coating to act as a sacrificial anode

The dacromat rotors on my old trailer are still serviceable after 12 years of hard use.

Got 5 years out of dacromat calipers with minimal attention. Switched over to kodaguard on last swap.

New trailer came OE with galvanized calipers and hubs. Will change over to Kodiak dacromat rotors and kodaguard calipers when the time comes

The secret to longevity with dacromat rotors is using Kodiak ceramic/SS brake pads.

Saltwater only....10k miles per year
 
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04fxdwgi25

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
484
Drew, as you know, I had the same boat, but with a different trailer.
I did the actuator rebuild and it worked well with no problems. I also went with the Kodiak dacromat rotors and calipers and they stopped the boat just fine.

The boat I have now, I have the Tie Down rotors and calipers, but converted to electric over hydraulic, since I was going to rebuild the actuator anyway. There is absolutely no comparison between surge and EoH. EoH is 1000% better.
 

Scott06

Vice Admiral
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
5,885
Hey guys, I'm sure there are folks here that know a lot more than I when it comes to boat trailers. I currently have a ~5,200 lb. Chaparral on a 1996 tandem Tow Master trailer that fits perfectly and pulls no problem behind my Durango R/T. The trailer has new bearings, tires, and is in excellent condition minus the brakes.

A few months back, one of the disc brakes locked up after a hard stop because of a deer near the road up near Munising, MI, about 1,000 miles away from home. We made it back safely and in one piece by replacing the hub/bearing and disabling the ancient surge brakes. The Durango really had no problem controlling or slowing the load even in the mountains of Pennsylavia at 55-60 MPH, however I want to put new, better brakes back on. I am wanting a kit with new actuator, calipers (4) and all new lines. I don't want to leave anything to chance.

I believe I have 3,500 lb. axles. The hitch ball is 2 5/16. The trailer originally had a boat that was about 1,000 lbs. heavier on it. I actually towed that boat and trailer package with the Durango and the difference was very noticeable.

There is a nice bundle for a 2" hitch ball and 6,600 lbs., but I'm not sure this is enough--even with four disc brakes installed:


I'm looking to keep it ~$1,000 or less. Tired of spending money on this trailer. I will likely be doing all of the work.
I put that kit on my trailer back in 2015- dual axle Magic Tilt - just under 5k total weight. I don't tow that far or that often, only had one issue where I pulled the boat at end of season and the pads were rusted to the rotors (trailer sits outside during summer) , so good thing they switched from metallic pads to ceramic pads.

The dexter/tiedown stuff is more entry level. While this is perfect for my limited use application , but depending on my often and far you tow I would recommend you consider something higher grade like the kodiak stuff. You will see a number of threads on here where people who dunk in salt went swapped out tie downs or what ever oem stuff was on the trailer for Kodiaks and never looked back
 

drewm3i

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
287
I would love to go EoH but it isn't in the current budget. Maybe it's best I rebuild my actuator and then replace with EoH when I can swing it.
 

04fxdwgi25

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
484
The dexter/tiedown stuff is more entry level. While this is perfect for my limited use application , but depending on my often and far you tow I would recommend you consider something higher grade like the kodiak stuff. You will see a number of threads on here where people who dunk in salt went swapped out tie downs or what ever oem stuff was on the trailer for Kodiaks and never looked back
Yeah, I believe that too. I would have changed them out to Kodiaks, but the Tiedown calipers and rotors were new on all 4 wheels when I got the trailer last year. Figured I would wait till they needed work before tossing them and upgrading.
 

drewm3i

Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
287
Going to be doing this project soon. I think I have settled on Dacromat and will probably be replacing the actuator as well. If anyone has a recommendation on a kit, it would be much appreciated!
 

04fxdwgi25

Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Messages
484
Going to be doing this project soon. I think I have settled on Dacromat and will probably be replacing the actuator as well. If anyone has a recommendation on a kit, it would be much appreciated!
The Kodiac setups are pricey, but give you those coating / material (including S/S) options and are top tier.

Those are what I am going with when the time comes to change out the ones I have.

Go to eTrailer to get an idea on the actuators and brake components selections
 
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