need advice about buying a trailer

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
302
NV
Are there any other types of brakes put on
trailers besides surge brakes on boat trailer?
Yeah surge, electric, electric over hydraulic, hydraulic etc etc some vehicles don’t have an independent brake controller, you can usually install one or most 1/2 ton and higher come with one. As mentioned it’s the way to go.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
667
Northwest Lower Michigan
Yeah surge, electric, electric over hydraulic, hydraulic etc etc some vehicles don’t have an independent brake controller, you can usually install one or most 1/2 ton and higher come with one. As mentioned it’s the way to go.
There are really cheap brake controllers out there that are time based which is pretty useless. Proportional brake controller is the way to go. I think some built in controllers are similar to the tekonsha prodigy which is good.

I put electric over hydraulic on mine because I built them myself 20 years ago and got a cheap deal on the parts. But nothing wrong with plain electric brakes, especially on a trailer that you’re not backing into salt water.
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
302
NV
There are really cheap brake controllers out there that are time based which is pretty useless. Proportional brake controller is the way to go. I think some built in controllers are similar to the tekonsha prodigy which is good.

I put electric over hydraulic on mine because I built them myself 20 years ago and got a cheap deal on the parts. But nothing wrong with plain electric brakes, especially on a trailer that you’re not backing into salt water.
Agreed; mine are electric and I installed the tekonsha in my Tacoma. Works well for my set up.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
614
Southern WI
Just curious, have any of you had personal experience with single vs. dual axles for maneuverability, especially for tight spaces?
Its not the number of axles that affects maneuverability but the length. Longer is harder to maneuver in tight spaces.
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
358
California redwood coast
Agreed; mine are electric and I installed the tekonsha in my Tacoma. Works well for my set up.
I'm just getting into the trailering world, and in our research Tekonsha seems to have a lot of fans on the forums. Limited experience with our controller (P3) but seems like it should work well.
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
302
NV
I'm just getting into the trailering world, and in our research Tekonsha seems to have a lot of fans on the forums. Limited experience with our controller (P3) but seems like it should work well.
Yeah same they were favored in the forums that I found (for Tacoma’s and others as well); independent control, ability to store a couple trailer set ups, and for most vehicles it’s plug and play which is convenient
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
I didn't realize that there were so many different ways for trailer brakes to work. This is the trailer brake control that is in my truck:

1613844056136.png
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
302
NV
I didn't realize that there were so many different ways for trailer brakes to work. This is the trailer brake control that is in my truck:

View attachment 274996
Yup so you have an integrated trailer brake control, so it’s built into your vehicle. As long as your trailer has brakes (electric or the such not surge) you can adjust your gain with the +\- (how hard the trailer brakes apply) and you can independently activate the trailer brakes without touching your brake pedal in the vehicle (by squeezing the 2 tabs together).
 
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hedge wood

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2009
178
Eastern NE
Brake controllers have come a long ways from the old days when you put a T at the master cylinder and ran a steel brake line into the cab and to the brake controller and it sensed the brake fluid pressure when the brakes were applied on the tow vehicle. I have had two built in controllers on ford super duties and they both worked great.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
Yup so you have an integrated trailer brake control, so it’s built into your vehicle. As long as your trailer has brakes (electric or the such not surge) you can adjust your gain with the +\- (how hard the trailer brakes apply) and you can independently activate the trailer brakes without touching your brake pedal in the vehicle (by squeezing the 2 tabs together).
thank you so much for this! i was planning on reading my truck manual (and still do), but i appreciate your explanation. like i said, trailering is a pretty new thing to me.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
what would be the best material to have the trailer made of? galvanized? i've heard some guys talk about getting rust early on, and wishing they'd bought a better trailer having better materials.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,392
Downeast Maine
Thanks for posting this thread. I am hoping to get a trailer this year, albeit larger than what you are looking for. I've only used tandem trailer with surge brakes from rental places.
 
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hedge wood

Burning Hunk
Mar 1, 2009
178
Eastern NE
what would be the best material to have the trailer made of? galvanized? i've heard some guys talk about getting rust early on, and wishing they'd bought a better trailer having better materials.
Galvanized or a aluminum trailer would be better but that may not be in your budget. If you can keep a painted steel trailer out of the winter salt it will last a lot longer. Salt is a killer of painted steel trailers even if you wash them.
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
667
Northwest Lower Michigan
Galvanized or a aluminum trailer would be better but that may not be in your budget. If you can keep a painted steel trailer out of the winter salt it will last a lot longer. Salt is a killer of painted steel trailers even if you wash them.
I bought mine built from the factory the way I wanted it. Brought it home Christmas Eve 2000 and it was starting to rust by the time I got it home. Cheaper to just recoat it with rust oleum every now and then.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
I bought mine built from the factory the way I wanted it. Brought it home Christmas Eve 2000 and it was starting to rust by the time I got it home. Cheaper to just recoat it with rust oleum every now and then.
was it painted steel?
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
358
California redwood coast
I first started off shopping for an aluminum trailer. I eventually , however, chose steel over aluminum largely because I could only find one brand of aluminum utility trailer available within a few hundred miles and I liked the features a steel model better, especially considering the price differences. Another influence was this article on trailer design which covered steel vs. aluminum. When I'm out painting the trailer with rust-oleum, I may eventually kick myself for this decision.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
what do you fellas think of this trailer? single axle, but decent payload for what I'll be doing with it.

 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
667
Northwest Lower Michigan
was it painted steel?
It was black painted steel. Just the standard cheap spray job. I probably could have gotten it powder coated for a premium price. But saving time and money while getting what I wanted was my goal.

My previous trailer got blown to bits when I lent it to my boss and it got slammed by a gas tanker semi while they were stopped in a construction zone. It took several months but the trucker’s insurance company gave me enough to replace my trailer, along with all their music gear and clothes and whatever.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
614
Southern WI
what do you fellas think of this trailer? single axle, but decent payload for what I'll be doing with it.

Not sure of exchange rate or availability up that way, but seems a bit pricey compared to down here. Has many features of a well built trailer. Is the side loading a want of yours? If not, see if they have one with full sides. Will probably be less expensive. The full sides would add extra support/rigidity.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
Not sure of exchange rate or availability up that way, but seems a bit pricey compared to down here. Has many features of a well built trailer. Is the side loading a want of yours? If not, see if they have one with full sides. Will probably be less expensive. The full sides would add extra support/rigidity.
No the side loading doesn't matter to me. I think in general everything is more expensive up here! This one is even a bit more than I wanted to spend. I might actually start hauling half cord loads in the box of my truck for now while I continue the trailer hunt. It will be a process, as I can't even travel to Manitoba right now to pick one up due to COVID. I should be able to fit a half cord of 8ft. logs in the back of my 150 no problem eh?
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
It was black painted steel. Just the standard cheap spray job. I probably could have gotten it powder coated for a premium price. But saving time and money while getting what I wanted was my goal.

My previous trailer got blown to bits when I lent it to my boss and it got slammed by a gas tanker semi while they were stopped in a construction zone. It took several months but the trucker’s insurance company gave me enough to replace my trailer, along with all their music gear and clothes and whatever.
what does the powder coating do? sucks that your trailer got smashed to smitherines but glad to hear that insurance covered a new one for you.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,392
Downeast Maine
what does the powder coating do? sucks that your trailer got smashed to smitherines but glad to hear that insurance covered a new one for you.
Powder coating is a process where a dry powder is baked onto a surface at high temperature. This is usually a more durable coating than paint, but the process is pretty labor intensive compared to paint. If I were in your shoes I would look for a painted steel trailer and get comfortable with a flapper disc for making rust/paint repairs. An aluminum trailer would be awesome, but I don't think you want to spend that kind of money.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
718
NW Ontario
Powder coating is a process where a dry powder is baked onto a surface at high temperature. This is usually a more durable coating than paint, but the process is pretty labor intensive compared to paint. If I were in your shoes I would look for a painted steel trailer and get comfortable with a flapper disc for making rust/paint repairs. An aluminum trailer would be awesome, but I don't think you want to spend that kind of money.
thanks @SpaceBus for the breakdown and practical advice - appreciate it!
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,251
Lackawaxen PA
Don't buy more or less than you need. If it's a occasional load of wood and moving a single ATV, then a single axle trailer might be all you need. Much easier to handle, cheaper, etc.