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Should Electric Brakes Be Used on a Boat Trailer

Question:

I want to purchase a bunk style trailer for a 2900 lb 25 ft pontoon boat for use in freshwater. I will tow a LOT through the Appalachian mountains and will need some serious braking for portions or for emergencies when a yahoo pulls out in front of me. I currently have a tekonsha primus IQ brake controller and weight distributing hitch if needed for my 2014 VW Touareg TDI diesel. I was considering a Loadrite trailer, but cant seem get the local dealer to understand that a hydraulic surge braking system just will not be enough. Can you teach me about my options?

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Expert Reply:

Electric brakes are typically NOT used on boat trailers because water and electricity don't work well together. But what you could do is use an electric over hydraulic braking system. With this set up the tow vehicle will use the electric brake controller (but the Primus is not compatible) to control an actuator on the trailer that, in turn, will control hydraulic drum or disc brakes (depending on how the trailer is set up).

I have included a couple of links that explain everything needed to add electric over hydraulic drum or disc brakes to a trailer.

For a compatible brake controller I recommend either the P2, # 90885, or the P3, # 90195. The cost of an electric over hydraulic set up is much more than regular surge brakes. Surge brakes on a boat trailer remain the ideal solution.

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