Trailer Brakes upgrade

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Captain PartyMarty, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    hi Guys

    My new boat trailer has surge brakes but it is rated for 10000lbs which means to be legal in Canada I need to upgrade it to Electric over hydraulic.

    Anybody have a recommendation for the which system to buy? I have been looking at Hydrastar they have a nice kit.

    Also any recommendation for an in cab controller?

  2. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    prodigy is a good aftermarket controller. I've gone through 2 brakerite II units in 7 years (SD module keeps crapping out) so I just purchased the marine hydrastar 1600 psi unit from Eastern Marine trailer parts superstore. Best price I found and the shipping to Canada seemed OK since it also covered all taxes and duty's... Haven't tried it or installed it yet but have heard good things about it.

    This is the setup I got. basically comes with everything you need. (except in truck brake controller) but it has the module (CAM) for the newer factory installed brake controllers.


    If you have drum brakes you'll want to get the 1000 or 1200 psi unit.

    this is a good aftermarket brake controller. My truck has a factory built in one so it isn't needed for me, but I used a prodigy in the past and was very happy with it.

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  3. Gong Show

    Gong Show Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that Bigdogeh.

    I am troubleshooting my electric over hydraulics and fear I may be purchasing a new unit.
    At that price it is not worth spending too much trying to fix one piece at a time.
    bigdogeh likes this.
  4. Geno

    Geno Member

    I converted my 10000 lb trailer from surge to EOH . Went with the Hydrastar Marine actuator as well. No issues since installed happy with performance. I have a GMC truck and use the factory controller along with the CAM adapter.
    Gong Show likes this.
  5. big.griff

    big.griff Member

    Just put on a hydrastar this spring and it works great. I use a Tekonsha P3 controller. It’s easy to setup and has a digital display so you know exactly what the output is set to.
  6. Geno

    Geno Member

    I changed over after I launched in Port Alberni a few years ago and was told the previous day they were checking boat and trailer weights with a portable scale at the ramp. I would have been screwed..
  7. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys

    I think I will be going the hydrastar path. I will be importing this trailer on Saturday. Do you think I will pass the Canadian tire inspection with only the surge brakes?

    Bennie likes this.
  8. Geno

    Geno Member

    Mine passed the Canadian Tire inspection with surge only when I imported from the US (that was over 5 years ago).
  9. casper5280

    casper5280 Well-Known Member

    Yes they barely even look at them. Check the lights and tires and it will be fine. Just another money grab as far as I’m concerned.
    bigdogeh likes this.
  10. tains

    tains Crew Member

    Same here. Brought it to can tire with the boat on. Only about 1500lbs overweight. Since then I've switched to EOH.
  11. AlK

    AlK Well-Known Member

    Canadian Tire trailer inspection is a joke. When I had my boat trailer which I purchased in the US, inspected the only thing they were interested in was the VIN and the sticker on the trailer. The trailer only had brakes on 1 axle and they also did not check whether they worked or if the trailer lights worked- no comments were made by them. All they wanted was my Credit Card.
    bigdogeh likes this.
  12. Hookin'up

    Hookin'up Well-Known Member

    Canadian tire just does a quick walk around,
    you guys with the newer trucks instead of using the CAM, all you need is a couple electric brake magnets mounted on the trailer tongue somewhere and wired into the brake input line so your factory installed controller gets a little feedback and the system will function perfectly,
  13. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    I've heard even 1 brake magnet will work, but can't confirm... When running 2 magnets they wire them in parrallel so I would think one should work theoretically...
  14. Mike park

    Mike park Active Member

    I'm doing the same thing right now as well likely ordering tomorrow morning.
    hydra star marine 1200 PSI kit to convert from surge coupler drum brakes to EOH looking at e-trailer or eastern marine for the Kit.
    just change the actuator and reuse your drum brakes if they are still good. 1600 PSI actuator is for disc brakes. 1200 PSI for 8000 lb 1000 psi for under 8000 lb.
    Gong Show likes this.
  15. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    So it turns out I have disk brakes on the trailer so glad I didn’t jump ahead and buy the low pressure actuator. The other thing I have is electric reverse lockout so I can’t physically lock the surge cyclinder. I expect I have to replace the entire front assembly does anybody have some ideas?
  16. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    Some may frown on this but I think you should be able to drill through the section that slides and just bolt it. Usually there is a hole already drilled in most surge couplers to do that already. But some don't. If you phone Titan you will see that they recommend either welding the coupler or drilling 1/2" and installing a 1/2" grade 5 or 8 bolt. (grade 8 preferred.) Make sure you are drilling in an area that isn't into the surge coupler master cylinder or lines. Make sure the coupler is also all the way forward before drilling.
    Or convert to a solid coupler.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  17. big.griff

    big.griff Member

    I just did this on my trailer. I took the surge master cylinder and the reverse solenoid out and threw it in the trash. I then drilled through both pieces of the surge coupler and installed 4 1/2” or 5/8” bolts through the unit, effectively making it a fixed coupler.

    Also, you won’t need the reverse solenoid if you’re using an electric over hydraulic actuator.
    bigdogeh likes this.
  18. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    Hey Guy's

    I am finally getting around to installing this HydraStar system on my trailer I ordered the full kit so it should be an easy install. Hydrastar's Website states that the system is compatible with all Factory installed brake controllers. I have a 2005 F350 with an integrated brake controller anybody know for sure that the system will work with this controller?

  19. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    Can't say for sure, but I bet it will. I have the hydrastar on my duramax with integrated controller. The hydrastar should come with a module (CAM) to allow it to work with your vehicle and controller. At least it did with mine. Should all be plug and play. (The module anyways...)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  20. Buckethead905

    Buckethead905 Well-Known Member


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