When people take up a new hobby, it's not surprising that they focus on the details of the specific hobby itself and the amount of enjoyment that they will get as they pursue their dreams. They may forget, however, to focus on some of the details associated with delivering this enjoyment and overlook some of the requirements necessary to prepare in advance. This may be the situation for you, if you have recently purchased a boat in order to enjoy some leisurely weekends away. For example, did you know that you have to pay particular attention to the trailer used to transport your new boat, so that you don't run into any problems in the weeks ahead?
This piece covers the braking system of your boat trailer and how to check if you need trailer repairs.
Check the Brakes First
You may not have been used to towing any type of weight behind your regular vehicle before, but need to be aware just how much additional strain it could put on the braking system. Therefore, you have to maintain the brakes on the trailer very carefully to give your towing vehicle full support.
Understand How the Braking Systems Work
Trailer brakes can be hydraulic, electric or a combination of the two known as EOH. In fact, this latter system is more commonplace in your situation, especially as fully electric systems can be vulnerable to corrosion when immersed in water.
How to Check the Brakes
You may not know much about these specialised braking systems, but you have to take specific actions when working with them and especially when you're trying to back up. The hybrid systems in particular have a special controller which needs to be activated and you will have to isolate the brakes when you are trying to reverse, or you may not be able to move at all.
Check to see if you have an electric reverse lockout key on the trailer, which when activated frees up the brakes and allows you to steer the boat into the water. This key can be easily lost, so make sure that you have a replacement and know where it is kept at all times.
To enable the braking system to work correctly, especially with a hybrid system, you will need a certain number of special adapters and harnesses connected in the right order. If the system is configured to tow heavy weights, it will place a considerable load on your battery as well, so you need to check voltage readings and ensure that you have the right type of equipment in place.
Get Professional Assistance
As you are new to this, it's probably a good idea for you to take the trailer in for a full service first, so that you don't encounter any unpleasant surprises that could ruin your initial weekend.