Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

Moderators: kmclemore, beene, NiceAft, Catigale, Hamin' X

Post Reply
User avatar
Egress
Deckhand
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:47 am

Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Egress » Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:31 am

I have a 99 X with trailer. Has anyone just removed the Drum brakes and used the trailer brakeless. I have had problems in the past with the brakes rubbing the drums and super heating the wheels and blowing tires. I am in las vegas and it gets really hot here so this is a problem. I have tried to adjust the pad clearance but have been unsuccessful as the adjustment seems to keep changing. Was thinking of removing the drum brakes altogether and just using the trailer with just the wheels. I have already disconnected the brake lines at the brake resovoir outlet to keep the brakes from engaging. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I tow with a Chevy 2500 HD with the full trailer package so the tow vehicle has enough stoppage as set up and for my vehicle the X and trailer is harldy felt as is way below the vehicle limits.

User avatar
Greg
First Officer
Posts: 384
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 6:54 am
Location: MD 2002X Yamaha T50

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Greg » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:54 pm

Hi Egress,
I checked 2 sites and it looks like you are required to have trailer brakes by law in Nevada (BoatUS, Rocket Trailers ). Regardless of the law, I wouldn't tow my Mac without trailer brakes. One of the first upgrades I did was replace the original drum brakes with stainless steel disks. Last year I upgraded the tires to 225/75 15 Goodyear Marathon radials and they run much cooler and have more capacity than the old bias belted 215/75 14's. Even with the upgrades, I intend to add another axle w/brakes for peace of mind and to reduce the load on the single axle. I also like the redundancy of 2 axles in case of tire failure.
Greg

Kelly Hanson East
Admiral
Posts: 1786
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:35 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Kelly Hanson Marine........Mac 26M Dealer......Freedom Boat Works

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Kelly Hanson East » Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:38 pm

Egress - Im in the middle of replacing drum brakes with discs. I got 6 seasons out of my drums, but you do have to take them apart every couple years and make sure they are working correctly.

I lost a wheel bearing last trip and that took out the spindle, axle, drum which means new axle which means disc brakes!

A fresh water disc brake conversion will run about 250 USD while the salt water one can be 400-700 with the high end being all Stainless brakes.

Champion down in LA are the folks I went with and they delivered perfectly made parts 3 days before promise date.

User avatar
craiglaforce
Captain
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 8:30 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Houston, Tx

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by craiglaforce » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:57 pm

Removed post since I had errors in it.

Apologies.
Last edited by craiglaforce on Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kelly Hanson East
Admiral
Posts: 1786
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:35 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Kelly Hanson Marine........Mac 26M Dealer......Freedom Boat Works

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Kelly Hanson East » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:00 am

Most every state requires trailer brakes for the weight of the Mac plus trailer per link above. The heaviest trailer you can tow without brakes is 4500 in Texas, most of the other states have a 3000# limit for brake-less trailers. Even a lightly loaded Mac plus trailer will tip the scales over 4500# I think.

Other than rolling down the driveway I think it is ill advised to trailer without brakes but it is a free country, excepting the costs of citations and fines.

You cant tell how well your trailer will stop by how easy it is to pull of course. In a panic stop I would sure want some breaking force on that boat - if it gets out of line it will be sure to twist off the ball and end up coming past you on the highway.... :? :? :?

User avatar
craiglaforce
Captain
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 8:30 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Houston, Tx

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by craiglaforce » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:05 am

Good points. I live in Texas now and the mac should be around 3800lbs trailer weight if I recall. Heck, the axles, hubs and tires are not rated for more than that ('97 single axle). Tires and original hubs are rated around 1750-1850 lbs each if I recall. Like I said, if you don't have a huge overkill type tow vehicle the brakes are essential.
Info from West marine on their hub kit.
5 Stud Hub, 4-1/2" Dia, 1-3/8" to 1-1/6" Spindle, 15" Wheel, 1750lb Cap 368441 13511 Only $69.99

Everything is marginal on the mac trailer. I am sure I will get a new one with duals and brakes in the next year or so. The older macs didn't even have trailer brakes if I recall. If you are really wanting a safe design, you need to go to dual axles I think. Breaking an axle or seizing a hub would be of equal concern to me. So the choice is; do you want to put money into the old trailer or start over with something a bit more substantial? Maybe the newer trailers are getting better.

User avatar
Egress
Deckhand
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:47 am

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Egress » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:01 pm

Thanks to everyone for the replies. Imagine I will go w/ the disc brake setup eventually. Boat is in slip so not an immediate concern. But would like to trailer in the fall so I have plenty of time. Thought that brakes did not matter as I know that in the late 90's there were 2 trailer options offered with the boat from the factory. One option was no brakes for less money and then the other was a brake trailer as an optional accessory so wondered if removing the brakes was a viable solution to my problems. Anyway thanks everyone for your valuable input. Happy sailing.

User avatar
USAF M26X sailor
Chief Steward
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:24 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Manassas, VA

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by USAF M26X sailor » Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:31 pm

Just got my trailer back from the shop. The brakes never worked. The surge coupler had rust inside, the lines were fouled, and the wheel cylinders were trashed. Got a complete replacement with disks, lines, new coupler and re-grounded the lights for $700. Spent Saturday spot sanding and painting. Looks almost like a new trailer. VA requires trailers over 3000lbs or trailers with brakes (any weight) inspected annually. Most VA residents are either not aware of the inspection or choose not to get it done as I just purchased a 2006 27' travel trailer. When I was researching Title/Registration requirements I came across the inspection requirement and asked the PO to get the trailer inspected prior to closing the sale. In fact, most of the trailers in the storage lot were missing the sticker.

Phillip
First Officer
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:49 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast Australia 2000 26X Tohatsu 50hp

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Phillip » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:05 pm

Trying to pull up a (approx) 2 ton Mac, contents and Trailer, without trailer brakes, in a hurry, is going to get pretty messy, no matter what size your tow vehicle.
Trailer weight does not equate or compare to the weight a truck can actually carry in its own axels.
That is an irrevelant comparison.
If you are towing at 50mph and have to slow or stop, the 2 ton Mac etc is an independant vehicle on its own wheels doing 50mph in its own right, which means your tow vehicle has a 2 ton force pushing you at 50mph.
The option of purching a factory trailer without brakes I believe is to meet the demands of those wanting a ramp-type trailer, or a shipping cradle, or those that wished to re-configure the breaking options to meet their specific needs.

I watched an overlaoded domestic trailer (concrete blend of sand and gravel) come down a sort of steep hill slowly, and fail to stop at the red lights...didn't happen quickly....just wouldn't stop....and he was driving a Landcruiser...that 1.5ton just kept pushing him.
Everybody else saw him and let him go...did halt in the middle of the intersection....sheepishly rolled on thru to awaiting arms of a cop.
The trailer didn't hold a straight line either, when it pushed to the left, the Landcruisers butt went out to the right....had he been doing 15mph, it would have flipped the Landcruiser.
Another interesting observation...the hitch sunk low and the Landcruisers nose rose a bit.
The whole episode looked extremely dangerous and driver had little control.

When trailering, the easy bit is getting it rolling...the tough bit is stopping.

Cheers
Phillip

User avatar
Chip Hindes
Admiral
Posts: 2166
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:13 am
Location: West Sand Lake, NY '01X, "Nextboat" 50HP Tohatsu

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Chip Hindes » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:13 am

When I bought my boat (an '01 purchased in Sep '00) the dealer told me the no-brake option was available only on boats sold in those few states which allowed no brakes for trailers of that size. Even in '00 I believe that was very few; in most states it was a mandatory option. Like towing with a Taurus, the no-brake option was primarily a marketing gimmick which allowed Roger to claim a delivered price (in '00, as I recall) $13,995. Even if my state hadn't required it, I would have ordered them. In my experience towing no-brake boat trailers even with oversized vehicles is an exercise in foolhardiness.

User avatar
Egress
Deckhand
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:47 am

Re: Disconnect Trailer Brakes For X Trailer ??

Post by Egress » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:54 pm

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. Looks like I will rebuild w/ discs before the next tow. Thanks for the input.

Post Reply