What to Do If You Cannot Reverse Your Boat Trailer

Automotive Blog

If you're relatively new to the sport of boating, you may realise that you have a lot to learn. You've been doing your research so that you understand all the terminology, feel fairly confident that you can "captain" your boat on the open water and may have purchased a car trailer for transportation purposes. Yet you may not be used to towing a significant weight behind your vehicle and may run into some significant problems when you try some difficult manoeuvres. If you've been trying to back up your trailer with little success, what could be going wrong?

Where to Look

People in this situation normally come across two challenges. Firstly, they need to get used to turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction to the way they want the trailer to move. This can be very counterintuitive and certainly take some time to master. However, they could also encounter a mechanical issue associated with the brakes, which operate very differently to the host vehicle.

Hybrid System

Trailers are normally fitted with an electric/hybrid braking system designed specifically for boating situations. This system will work perfectly well, even when you immerse the equipment in water as you're unloading the boat. However, it does require a special control unit and you need to make sure that this is in serviceable condition.

Locking Brakes

More importantly, the brakes on your trailer may well lock when you try and reverse it, and when this happens, you will encounter considerable resistance or not be able to move at all. In some situations, the harness may not be connected properly, or it may be missing the required adapter to switch between electric and hydraulic operation. However, the braking system may well be equipped with a key mechanism that has to be activated to prevent this type of lockout. Otherwise, the brakes will come on by themselves whenever you try to reverse the rig.

The Key to Success

As you've just bought this trailer, the outgoing owner may have forgotten to include this all-important key. If you don't have it, you will have to get a new one made or retrieve the original and should look in your owner's manual to see how to activate it.

Still Having Issues?

If you've got the key and are still running into issues, then there may be something wrong with your connections. In this case, you will need to chat with a trailer repair mechanic for their advice.


20 August 2018

Automotive Fun and Advice

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