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Wiring a boat trailer is something that many boaters find themselves needing to do sooner or later.
I was doing a pre-season inspection of my trailer, which was only 2 years old at the time, and I noticed the ground wire on the trailer is screwed to galvanized metal, and the screw is not tight. The standard four prong connector to connect the trailer to the tow vehicle is perfect for a simple trailer light system.Notice the four prong connector on my boat trailer has 5 wires coming out the bottom. Some trailers have bunks custom-made to fit the hull of a particular model, assuring good, even support. Conversely, if you do your boating on the ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway, you should choose an aluminum trailer. In terms of the number of axles, a single-axle trailer is cheaper to maintain than a dual-axle trailer. While you’re crouched beneath the trailer counting leaves, also make note of the trailer’s hardware.
To avoid getting stuck with a poor-quality trailer, go to the end of the trailer and look at the thickness of the metal. When shopping for a trailer, you can tell a lot about them by paying attention to the details. I have a boat trailer for sale, brand new never seen a boat.17 foot galvanized boat trailer. There are plenty of advantages to owning a trailerable boat as opposed to one that you keep in a slip or on a mooring. Depending on the technology, I tend to vacillate between being an early adopter and an abject Luddite. When it comes to boat trailers, I’m sort of trapped between the two ends of the adoption spectrum. Electric-over-hydraulic systems are great for larger boat trailers because they offer the benefit of adjustment and smoother operation — but they are more costly than conventional surge-brake systems. On one hand, I ask, “What was wrong with surge-activated disc brakes?” They’re largely idiot proof; they have a terrific service history. The controllers allow for fine-tuning, which is something I would have appreciated when I was towing a 38 Wellcraft Scarab with surge brakes.
So maybe that’s the difference:  Surge brakes are still good for applications up to and including, say, 7,000- or 8,000-pound boat trailers. I think we might begin to see more of electric-over-hydraulic systems used on boat trailers, probably on high-end stuff at first. When replacing items like brakes or lighting, spend a little extra and get good components. Good news: trailers aren’t complex, so maintenance — even when deferred by a previous owner — is correspondingly simple.
With regular flushing, a year and a half is about the average lifespan for a set of drum brakes used in salt water, so if the previous owner was lackadaisical about flushing, plan on replacing the assemblies.
You won’t need to grease a trailer’s electrical components, but you will need to inspect them to ensure they work properly. Urban legend has it that some people have lubricated their bunks with Pam cooking spray, and ended up losing their boat off the trailer as they backed down the ramp. It may be to just connect the trailer lights on your vehicle, or you may find yourself rewiring the whole trailer with new LED boat trailer lights and a new wire harness.I have had light issues on an old trailer and to be honest it was quicker and way less hassle just to pull out the old wiring and lights and start again with a fresh wire harness and new lights.
A sure fire source of light problems!Make sure the ground wire on the trailer is attached to bare metal, not to painted or galvanized metal. This kit is includes Galvanized 8 Lug Idler hubs with Bearings, that install on your trailers spindle. They’re not as pretty as a steel trailer with paint that matches your boat and tow rig—think I-beam aesthetics—but as we mentioned earlier, they don’t rust. Rollers tend to make loading and offloading a bit easier, but they don’t cradle a hull like bunks do.
Boats that sit unused  on rollers for a long time—each winter, for example—can develop a “hook” in the running surface at the transom or other imperfections. Torsion-bar systems, in which a torsion bar runs inside the axle, allow for a lower ride height. Does it have stainless Bearing Buddy caps or chintzy stamped steel caps that leak water into your bearings? When you look at aluminum, not only should you look at the thickness of the metal, but also look at the height and the width. Probably the best way to look at a lot of different trailer brands is as easy as going to a boat show.


Before choosing a used trailer you should measure the boat from the bow eye to the transom at the bottom. Usually, the trailer stays with the boat and it’s rare that a boat of that age will be junked and leave the trailer behind. I bought a vehicle with fuel injection as soon as I could afford one—and would never go back to carburetors—but I hung back and waited a while before buying a smart phone. I’ve heard that electric-over-hydraulic brakes are making inroads into the boat trailer market. Their reliability is exceeded only by their simplicity, and they are cheaper to manufacture. Yes, the surge brakes stopped the trailer well enough, but when you lifted off the brake pedal to accelerate, the release could almost be described as violent. Anything from there up could benefit from the smoothness and adjustability of electric-over-hydraulic.
However, I think for runabouts and other boats that weigh 7,000 pounds or less, the simplicity of the surge-brake system is hard to beat in function or price.
Odds also are good that any money the previous owner spent to make the boat more appealing was not spent on the trailer. The systems that need regular maintenance are, in order of importance: brakes and bearings, electrical components, couplers, jacks, and bunks. Go for the whole shebang, which includes shoes, backing plates, hardware, and wheel cylinders. These can be the biggest headache of all if you don’t service them, and they are usually the reason you see boat trailers stranded by the roadside.
If that’s the case, be sure you have a set of stainless steel Bearing Buddy caps installed. We don’t know whether it’s true, but it’s a good idea to leave the winch strap attached to the bow eye until you have the boat in the water. This Caliper Bracket will mount both Slip Over Disc Brake Kits and Integral Disc Brake Kits.
These Kodiak Brake Pads Feature Stainless Steel Backings, for the ultimate in Rust prevention.
The rotor is then secured in place when the wheel is mounted and the lug nuts are tightened.
Like so many other products, the quality of  trailers varies widely, and if you look closely in all the right places, you can spot the differences. Four Winns boat company, which makes its own trailers, engineers them so that the bunks align with the linear stringers to provide support in places where the boat is strongest. And as much as you spent buying a boat that goes fast, and on modifications to make it go faster, the last thing you need is a tweaked bottom. Disc brakes offer more surface area between the friction material on the pads and the rotors than drum brakes. The system works more efficiently than surge brakes, and is common on campers, car haulers, and utility trailers. The drawback is that the system is more costly than leaf springs, and it can hide early signs of rust. Or does it have the really slick industrial, sealed oil-bath bearings, such as those that come on Extreme Custom Trailers. All the structural components should be more than beefy enough to haul their intended weight, with strength to spare.
Sure, they won’t rust anytime soon, but they can cause problems of their own, and need to be maintained. You’ll probably be the only one looking at trailers instead of boats, but it’s worth the effort. The return spring in the master cylinder slammed the piston back out, and it really jarred the truck and its passengers. That means if you want to be sure you get your boat to the water, you should give the trailer a good once-over before heading out.
A Bearing Buddy will keep water out, but it also will tell you immediately when your bearings are low on grease. Then have someone step on the brake pedal and actuate the turn signals to see that they work.
If your jack has a lock pin with a spring-loaded ball, shoot some penetrating lubricant on it, too.
This Kodiak Stainless Steel Trailer Brake Pad set outfits one complete axle set, meaning will replace the pads on (2) Kodiak 225 Calipers.


Many light assemblies use the mounting bolts as their ground connection, so clean the metal surface around the mounting bolt holes down to bare metal.
All Kodiak rotors feature the vented design to dissipate heat and yield a low towing temperature. Crucial elements—and these are all choices you must make—are materials, support systems, braking systems, suspension, construction, and hardware. Greater surface area and larger pistons equals more stopping power with less effort, and on today’s clogged freeways, that’s becoming more important.Disc brakes also flush more easily and have fewer nooks and crannies for salt water to hide. For boat trailers, which can lead hard lives in and out of the water, the jury is still out on this choice.
Yes, it seems like a lot to go through for a trailer, but the quality and details are what make for trouble-free trailering as the years wear on. These measurements should be fairly close if not you will either need to adjust the boards or the winch base on the tongue to compensate. The latest hardware includes controllers that are no more difficult to install than plugging them into your tow vehicle’s cigarette lighter… er… 12-volt outlet. Figure about $220 for a pair, and they come assembled, so all you have to do is bolt them on. As you can see, much of the maintenance involved in electrical systems is a mere matter of inspecting them. You do need to be sure the carpeting that covers them is in good shape and that the wood the carpeting is stapled to is sound. Poor ground connection to the trailer frame is a common problem with lights that don't work.Below is a simple wire diagram for a standard four wire light harness. They are available at marine hardware stores and are a crimp connector with a waterproofing adhesive inside and an integral heat shrink cover to seal the connection. This particular combination utilizes Kodiaks Stainless Steel Calipers, proven to be the best trailer disc brake caliper on the market. Raw steel is a cheaper material than aluminum, but that doesn’t mean all steel trailers are cheaper than their aluminum counterparts.
Electric brakes haven’t been on boat trailers long enough for us to know their service history, and in such a case, we’d probably give the nod to surge brakes, which have a proven track record.
The second measurement is the width of the boat at waterline then measure between fenders on the used trailer for fit. Though it is rare, hitch balls have actually worn through the top of the coupler, so be sure the coupler stays greased. The white wire (ground) on the following boat trailer wiring diagram is drawn in grey so that you can see it against the white background. As a general rule, if you do all of your boating in freshwater, you can more easily get away with a steel trailer.
Regardless of how often you top them off, pull them apart at least once a year and clean, inspect, and repack them with fresh grease and always, always use new seals.
Do it the easy way, without getting your hands dirty: Two or three times a year, simply turn a tub of grease upside down and lower it onto the trailer ball. One to control the boat trailer brakes, and one auxiliary power to charge the battery that you will need to have on the trailer so the brakes can be energized should the trailer come unhitched from the tow vehicle.Obviously you will need a six prong connector to connect the trailer to the tow vehicle in this situation.
It will rust if you leave scratches in the paint unattended, but a decent steel trailer should last the life of your boat if you maintain it properly. If you do have to replace any of the lamps, spring for sealed LEDs, which are more reliable because there are no incandescent bulbs to fail. Bunk carpeting can tear a bit more frequently on trailers that carry stepped-bottom boats, because the steps rub the material as the boat slides up and over the forward edges of the bunks. The tongue weight is extremely important to a safe ride and your ability to adjust the load across the fulcrum point is limited to these adjustments.
Movement of axle or position of the load in relation to axle.The latter requires the winch post to be moved or the bunk supports lengthened and or shortened or both. Remember to light of a tongue weight will cause you to fishtail, too heavy can cause steering issues or a bent, tongue.
Other factors include the winch strap should be leveled to the bow eye after that you still have the placement of the support underneath to the New hull to contend with also requiring adjustable brackets. Lastly is your local state DOT laws as the seller does not have to provide you with a compliant trailer that is up to the person who will now be towing it on the road.



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