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Old 12-02-2006, 08:07 AM
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Default Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

We can't seem to back up the trailer because the surge brakes are being applied when the tow vehicle pushes back on the tongue. Is there supposed to be some kind of mechanism to lock out the surge brakes? I couldn't find anything on there.
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

i used a trailer the other day that in fact had what your talking about , you have to relocate the pin at the bottom of the neck near the hitch
its right at the bottom where the neck slides , the trailer i use was a 5 starr
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:32 AM
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Default RE: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

Quote:
mikerdu - 12/2/2006 7:07 AM

We can't seem to back up the trailer because the surge brakes are being applied when the tow vehicle pushes back on the tongue. Is there supposed to be some kind of mechanism to lock out the surge brakes? I couldn't find anything on there.
Most trailers with surge brakes have either a pin that you place in hole which prevents the actuator from sliding or a reverse solenoid on the brake line to shut off pressure when the truck reverse backup lights come on. If you have a five prong plug on your wiring harness, it probably has or had a reverse solenoid.

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Old 12-02-2006, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

well, they actually 'work' by the back up lamps on your vehicle. your back up lamps come on, as if you were backing up, the brakes are disengaged. the pin is a manual override, for like a tractor moving your boat in the yard or such. if the brakes are engaging while you have the wiring harness plugged in, then there is a connection or wiring issue with the harness.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

For some reason my Pacific Trailer rated at 7500 lbs does not have the reverse solenoid... The Dealer said to use a "C-clamp" to prohibit the tongue from retracting in reverse. I simply disconnect the brake line at the trailer since I have a fast disconnect due to being able to remove the tongue so the trailer fits in my driveway. Kills my back each time I remove that tongue...gotta get a longer driveway some day
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

The Dealer said to use a "C-clamp" to prohibit the tongue from retracting in reverse.

Certainly brings the quality of your dealer or trailer into question. That's like saying your truck doesn't need an emergency brake, just block the tires with a brick ...
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

Surge brakes can be either drum or disc. The drum brakes will not engage when backing up due to their design, so you must have disc brakes. As stated above, you need the lock out solenoid installed in the brake line and connected to your back up light circuit, or you have to insert a pin in the actuator at the tongue to prevent the piston from applying pressure to the brakes. The best, and most convenient in my opinion is the solenoid. When the back up lights come on in reverse, the solenoid is energized and reroutes the brake fluid back into the reservoir rather than allowing the brakes to be actuated. Your trailer manufacturer or any trailer store can help with the solenoid route.
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

My surge brakes are drums and they lock up in reverse.

I do not have electrical capability to prevent the surge mechanism. I have a knob on the side of the surge mechanism. Push it down and it prevents activation. The problem I have is that it won't stay down, so I keep a piece of wire and wrap the knob and the tongue to lock the knob down until I complete reverse.

I also have a quick release on the hydraulic line intended for removal of the tongue to shorten the trailer. I am very reluctant to use it for fear that it may allow air into the hydraulic line. Does anyone know if these quick release devices prevent air entering the hydraulic lines?
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

With drums why not just use the freebacking units, I have them and there is never a problem with backing up.
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

Inlander, that's the first I've heard of drum brakes that lock up in reverse, I didn't think anyone used them anymore. I stand corrected. The next time you need major maint. on the drum brakes I would switch to discs, or at least the freebacking brakes, they are so convenient.

Also, how is it you don't have "electrical capability", if you trailer your boat with a vehicle, you have that capability don't you.
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

You definitely need to lose that dealer...

a c-clamp? The trailer should have a reverse solenoid, what if there is some situation where you need to back up in a hurry, that could be dangerous.

Another way to rig it is to cut a block of wood the right length to wedge in between the actuator and some fixed point on the trailer frame. Just wedge it in there when you want to back up
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Old 12-02-2006, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

Bokat,

I don't have an electrical connector on the surge actuator. I dont see anything to connect to using electrical for backing up. My surge actuator is fully mechanical.

My surge brakes were aftermarket. My trailer did not come with brakes, so my dealer subbed the job out before I took delivery. I didn't know anything about brakes at the time. A little less than 3 years old. At least everything is working well.
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Old 12-02-2006, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

should be a blue wire
sounds like they did not hook up right
we have a trail-rite
the tongue actually moves in and out
when we unhook the trailer to push the trailer in revers we use a block of wood so the tongue does not fully retract
post some pics
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

Dealer said use C-clamp?...dealer admits to being a moron...wonder how many times he's steered you and others in WRONG direction w/ his brilliance?...
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Old 12-03-2006, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Trailer surge brakes, how do they work in reverse

A "fine" point of operating surge disc brakes with a solenoid valve for backing up is realizing that the solenoid operates a valve that shuts off brake fluid flow from the actuator to the calipers. It does not release pressure, at least not on my trailer. Consequently, when you put your tow vehicle into reverse after stopping, if the trailer brakes were on when you stopped, they're still going to be on when you back up, even though the solenoid is energized and the valve is closed. After stopping you need to pull ahead and stop very gently so the trailer brackes don't engage, then shift into reverse. That way, the trailer brake lines are not pressurized when the solenoid valve is energized and flow will be shut off to the calipers. I've seen lots of guys with larger tow vehicles not even notice that their brakes were still engaged when they backed up. Doing so, they burned up brake pads very quickly. Just my experience. Hope it helps someone.

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