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Can Surge Brake Actuator be Left Installed with Trailer Converted to Electric Brakes

Question:

I have decided to change the old non-working hydraulic brake system on my 21foot boats trailer. Due to the way the tongue of the trailer is built, the actuator hitch works well for bolt holes the holes were blown with a torch and also I really appreciate the extra length it gives me between the tow vehicle and the boat. To get the old unreliable actuator hitch off, i bought a replacement actuator hitch for the reasons above. However, as mentioned, i think that i would rather go with electric rather than running new brake lines and replacing the hubs with new hydraulic versions. My question is can i just leave the actuator hitch on? I dont really like how it lets the trailer slide back and forth a bit but prefer that to a short straight hitch. One other question about the process. The hydraulics are just one one axle of my dual axle trailer. Is that sufficient for electric brakes too? One of the DIY videos on this site seems to show hubs being put on all four wheels. Any constructive thoughts are appreciated. Thansk

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Expert Reply:

You can leave your current surge brake actuator installed on your trailer and use electric brakes. The actuator would move like you mentioned unless you locked it out somehow (some people weld the pieces) but it would work fine.

Not every tandem axle trailer will have brakes on both axles. It's pretty common to see only one of the axles with brakes like yours.

I attached a link that will walk you through the entire process of adding electric brakes to your trailer for you to check out as well.

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Jameson C

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