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Help needed with trailer strategy

Sep 28, 2017
14
Catalina 22 Southeastern Pennsylvania
I put this disc brake kit on my Load Rite trailer last summer, <$500 with shipping. Easy install, the kit comes with everything you need, it is all nuts and bolts work. The caliper brackets bolt to the square flange that the drum brake backing plate bolts on to.
You will have to deal with your welded on actuator, nothing that a 4.5" angle grinder won't take care of. If you do a lot of salt water work they sell some pricier kits that come with stainless steel components.

https://trailerparts.com/tie-down-reg-complete-disc-brake-kit-5-bolt-10-single-axle.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIv-b23ZC64AIVxkwNCh3zXg_3EAQYAiABEgLZ3_D_BwE
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Apr 9, 2017
15
Catalina 22 Eagle Creek SC, Indianapolis
I like the idea of disc brakes. If I go with tandem axles, would you recommend installing brakes on both? It seems like balance would be good for handling and control, but I'm not sure if that would make the hydraulic system harder to work effectively. I'm pretty sure I've seen discs installed on a hydraulic actuator system, right? (I've watched a LOT of YouTube lately on how to do axle/hub/brake work)
 
Aug 1, 2011
3,558
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
For the difference in price, just do both. If you only do one, do the front one. It's not so much about the stopping power, you don't want the boat to come and sit with you, it is about the ability to control it in those situations that are a little dicey, like big hills where one set might overheat and warp a rotor, as having brakes on both axles would not be working as hard and you'd be fine.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,889
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Check with a professional before you do disks on both axles.

Disk brakes require significantly more effort to actuate the pistons with a relatively light load there may not be enough force to engage the disc brakes on two axles whereas on a single axle with disks or with drum brakes on two axles there would be. No sense in spending all that money if they are not going to do you any good.
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,889
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Rereading the initial post.
If this trailer is ever dunked into salt water it be getting iffy after six months and will be toast within a year. All things considered it may be worth a new trailer rater than all the time and effort into this one. There is a lot of paint on this one that may be covering the beginnings of what will become some severe corrosion. Not to mention the peace of mind that would come with the new trailer.

Were I to plan on the trips suggested I'd go ahead and bite the bullet on a galvanized trailer with brakes. The tounge jack and spare tire carrier can easily be added later. I'd also suggest if you go with a single axle trailer to consider a jack on the aft end of the trailer as well to keep the front of the trailer from lifting off the ground as you climb onto the stern of the boat or if it collects some rain water.
 
Sep 28, 2017
14
Catalina 22 Southeastern Pennsylvania
My trailer is single axle so I can't weigh in on the merits of brakes on a dual axle trailer. I would recommend looking into what your state requirements are. Here in PA a trailer over 3000 lb gvwr has to have brakes, and is then subject to an annual inspection requirement. The inspection regulations are pretty explicit that the trailer fails if any wheel does not have brakes. Trailerparts.com sells a tandem axle kit from Tie down engineering for around $800. You must get a hydraulic surge brake hitch that is intended for use with disc brakes. As I understand it the drum brake hitch has a check valve in the discharge of the cylinder, the check valve is removed for disc brake service.
 
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Apr 11, 2017
474
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
I have a 19 foot center console, probably about 5000 lbs, on a loadrite dual axle trailer, with only one set of disk brakes on the front axle. I've towed from MD to FL and back about 5 times, and never felt it didn't have more than enough stopping power on my rig, towed with an F150. I do believe the law in FL is that if you have brakes, they must also be on the 2nd axle, but I might be wrong on that.

I replaced the factory front disk brakes with stainless steel kodiac brakes, and they've held up really well so far. If you are doing the brakes yourself, you might consider the stainless, they aren't that much more expensive. I should add though, I don't think you want to dunk the brakes when they are too hot.
 
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Jun 2, 2004
2,889
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
I do believe the law in FL is that if you have brakes, they must also be on the 2nd axle, but I might be wrong on that.
Exactly, and any trailer capable of a gross weight of I think #3,000 might be #3,500 must have brakes. That only applies to trailers registered in Florida if you meet the requirements in the state you are registered in you are OK. Not sure if matters when the trailer was manufactured and meeting the requirements at that time.
 
Apr 9, 2017
15
Catalina 22 Eagle Creek SC, Indianapolis
Rereading the initial post.
If this trailer is ever dunked into salt water it be getting iffy after six months and will be toast within a year.
Rick, I have zero experience with salt water, so how much does it help if you hose down the trailer after each submersion? I'm hoping to do the Northern Gulf Coast and East Coast Cruises with the club this year, the trailer would get dunked 4 times total, all other use being fresh water. Before galvanized trailers were an option, what did you guys do to manage the corrosion? Rustoleum? Annual grinding and repaint? Some form of bottom paint?
 
Jun 2, 2004
2,889
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
The salt can not be just rinsed off. I do not remember anytime before galvanized trailers but those whose painted trailers I've seen used in the salt water went south very quickly. Add up all that would be required to get your trailer in shape and you are probably not far off the quote for the new trailer.
 
Apr 9, 2017
15
Catalina 22 Eagle Creek SC, Indianapolis
Here in PA a trailer over 3000 lb gvwr has to have brakes, and is then subject to an annual inspection requirement.
Same in Indiana for the weight requirement, but no annual inspection.

You must get a hydraulic surge brake hitch that is intended for use with disc brakes.
Yep, I'm seeing actuators on some systems that have both hydraulic and electronic components. I thought the rule of thumb was electric for RVs and hydraulic for boats for the same reason its bad to drop a toaster into the bathtub...
 
Apr 9, 2017
15
Catalina 22 Eagle Creek SC, Indianapolis
Add up all that would be required to get your trailer in shape and you are probably not far off the quote for the new trailer.
That's how I got here. Any chance the Fort Walton Yacht Club has a small boat lift available? :biggrin:
 
Sep 28, 2017
14
Catalina 22 Southeastern Pennsylvania
I think the electronic component you are seeing is the reverse lockout. It is wired to the reverse light circuit on the trailer plug, and blocks hydraulic pressure to the brakes when you are backing up. Not sure how long it lasts if you submerge it.
 
Jul 13, 2015
582
Catalina 22 #2552 Kennewick, WA
For comparison sake-- I took my stock '73 Sail Rite and bolted up a new #3500 axle / springs / hub/ wheels for around $600.00. Did all the work myself, and find the results (we road tested with the boat 300 miles round trip) quite pleasant. Think if I was to do anything short of what I accomplished I would just go new -- Philosophy is that my 1/3 investment should get me far enough down the road to not care when it comes time to talk trailer again.

Fair Warning-- the upgraded Axle adds HEIGHT!!! I had raise my bunks to accomodate the keel -- doh :)

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Apr 9, 2017
15
Catalina 22 Eagle Creek SC, Indianapolis
the upgraded Axle adds HEIGHT!!! I had raise my bunks to accomodate the keel -- doh :)
Nice work, and you are lucky to have adjustable bunks. Mine are welded so I'll need to keep the replacement axle(s) as close to oem as possible, height-wise. Thanks for sharing your experience!
 
Jul 6, 2017
27
Catalina 22 MKII Providence RI
I have an 87 Catalina 22 swing keel in great shape. It came with an 89 Trail-Rite trailer with drum brakes that are totally inoperative. The axle is a "drop" type, attachment points have old-school lug bolts. Surface rust appears on the leaf springs and brake housings, but overall the frame and bunk supports seem solid.

A local semi-trailer operation quoted over $4300.00 to rebuild the brakes with a new actuator and lines, convert to lug nuts, replace wheels/hubs/bearings, tires and leaf springs. After paying $80 just to have them right the estimate, I learned that I can buy a whole new trailer for less than that. Clearly they did not want the work.

I've requested quotes from two different dealers on a replacement trailer from Road King. I won't embarrass the dealers here but neither of them know much or seem particularly interested in selling anything. I had to call the plant in NC myself to confirm their model number of the trailer currently shipped with new C22s (it's RKGSK 20-22).

Base price looks to be $3550 with brakes, then another $500 or so for "upgrades" like a jack and spare tire carrier.

My plan involves lots of trailer time. Living in Indianapolis, I am one day's striking distance from the Gulf Coast, the East Coast, and most of the Great Lakes. I need to do Interstate trips without registering a constant 9 on the pucker-factor scale.

Here are my questions:
Given that the frame is 30 years old, would you rebuild the existing trailer even if it could be done at half the cost of a new one?

(The brake actuator/hitch is welded onto the tongue extension, so replacing would mean cutting that off and bolting the new one onto the end.) Otherwise I would need to replace master cylinder, assuming it is still available for that actuator. Anyone done this?

Do you agree from the photos that the rust in question is likely surface only, and does not impact its load bearing capacity? Owner #2 used it to launch and haul once per season, but not sure about the original owner. I don't own any 30 year old cars, but I'm not sure that is a fair comparison anyway.

I'm kind of having analysis paralysis on this whole thing and would appreciate some other thoughts.

Thanks,

Paul
If you can rebuild the trailer for half the cost of new I think you should do it. Just because it's 30 years old doesn't mean the metal is bad. Make sure the rebuilder knows what he (or she ) is doing. I had a lot of work done to my trailer the work was done by a firm that specializes in serious rust repair of cars and trucks. They did a nice job.