Recommendations for adding brakes....

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charrison327

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I have a 20 year old Roll Axle trailer that is in great shape, but does not have brakes and never has. I've owned it for six years and really want brakes for peace of mind. I'm always cautious and leave plenty of room and also realize it's a legal thing as well. I'm contemplating on a new trailer or outfit what I have. Again, this trailer is in really good shape and they are extremely well made. With all that being said, I'm not necessarily a mechanic and this will certainly not be something I tackle on my own. I'm in Eastern NC and wondering if anyone can recommend somewhere for me to go. My major issue is there isn't a flange to mount the calipers and that is something that will have to be welded. So I guess that's truly what I'm asking, where I could have the flanges welded for the brakes to be added. Open to advise and suggestions.
 

Puck-n-Fish

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A little bit of advice, be aware of what your welding to...it would be wise to identify what alloy your welding to and what filler metal you would then weld with. A good weld shop should do this.
 

charrison327

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A little bit of advice, be aware of what your welding to...it would be wise to identify what alloy your welding to and what filler metal you would then weld with. A good weld shop should do this.
Absolutely, I would certainly not attempt this myself. Would leave it to the pros, just wanted to see if anyone around Eastern NC could recommend someone. Local dealer recommended a welding/machine shop that I am going to pull my boat to for them to look, but want to get a few opinions/quoted before I decide 100% on the route I want to take. Rolls Axle quoted me 8k for a new trailer with brakes and Magic tilt was 5k, waiting to hear on Road King as well. Loadmaster was about the same as Rolls...... and like I say, my Rolls Axle is in great condition, so I'm thinking I may try to retro what I have and save.....
 

Andy

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Absolutely, I would certainly not attempt this myself. Would leave it to the pros, just wanted to see if anyone around Eastern NC could recommend someone. Local dealer recommended a welding/machine shop that I am going to pull my boat to for them to look, but want to get a few opinions/quoted before I decide 100% on the route I want to take. Rolls Axle quoted me 8k for a new trailer with brakes and Magic tilt was 5k, waiting to hear on Road King as well. Loadmaster was about the same as Rolls...... and like I say, my Rolls Axle is in great condition, so I'm thinking I may try to retro what I have and save.....
What part of eastern NC are you in? There are 4-5 welding shops/companies in the Pantego/Belhaven area. They do most types of welding, but mostly heavy-equipment and farm equipment. I believe the flange you mentioned would be a relatively simple job for them....
Mackel & Son Machine/Welding in Pantego (Tom Mackel)...
Stotesbury Welding, hwy 99 Smithton/Belhaven.
 
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Puck-n-Fish

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Would leave it to the pros,
Some companies may have what's called a PMI(Positive Material Identification) gun, and they are great for a lot of metals. Problem is, most guns wont identify carbon steels, only alloys. If possible, get a material specification from the manufacturer, this would be ideal. Sometimes even the best welding shops assume wrong and a failure would not be fun. Most likely you will find that it is a weldable grade and the welding shop will be able to supply an appropriate filler metal. They'll feel better about knowing also.
 

charrison327

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Some companies may have what's called a PMI(Positive Material Identification) gun, and they are great for a lot of metals. Problem is, most guns wont identify carbon steels, only alloys. If possible, get a material specification from the manufacturer, this would be ideal. Sometimes even the best welding shops assume wrong and a failure would not be fun. Most likely you will find that it is a weldable grade and the welding shop will be able to supply an appropriate filler metal. They'll feel better about knowing also.
Thanks for the tips!
 

charrison327

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What part of eastern NC are you in? There are 4-5 welding shops/companies in the Pantego/Belhaven area. They do most types of welding, but mostly heavy-equipment and farm equipment. I believe the flange you mentioned would be a relatively simple job for them....
Mackel & Son Machine/Welding in Pantego (Tom Mackel)...
Stotesbury Welding, hwy 99 Smithton/Belhaven.
I'm in Greenville. I checked with a place in Chocowinity that I was referred to and I actually called Radcliffe Marine a bit ago to see if he had any recommendations. I'll give both of your suggestions a call as well. Thanks for the reply!!
 

knotflying

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For my money I would sell the trailer and get what you want. By the time you get the work done and buy all the brakes, hoses, change the hitch to surge or get electric over hydraulic, you may be paying more than getting a good used one that was manufactured properly.
 

gibby-up

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Agree wtih the above. I recently had my trailer overhauled with new brakes, hubs, hardware, etc. By the time it was all said and done it was not too far from replacing it with a new one. And sometimes less is more if you have been operating safely without the hassle of trailer brakes to date.
 

warthog5

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That square flange on the axle always rust's.......Welding one on Will rust 3 times faster.
Cold Galvanize sounds good......BUT it doesn't really work well.
 

jf192163

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Speaking as a retired heavy equipment mechanic and shop supervisor I would recommend to sell the trailer you own and after speaking with a reputable dealer or the manufacturer, buy a new one that is set up exactly the way you need it. Even though the trailer is in good shape, it is still twenty years old with twenty years worth of wear and tear. I believe you’ll be much happier.
 

charrison327

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Speaking as a retired heavy equipment mechanic and shop supervisor I would recommend to sell the trailer you own and after speaking with a reputable dealer or the manufacturer, buy a new one that is set up exactly the way you need it. Even though the trailer is in good shape, it is still twenty years old with twenty years worth of wear and tear. I believe you’ll be much happier.
Thank you for your reply and suggestion. That's the route I think I'm going with now based on all of recommendations from you guys. Was trying to save some money but as you and others have said, I know I won't be happy in the long run.
 

warthog5

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After the Butt Hurt of the price....You will have a smile and.....this is important...."Confidance" in your new trailer.

Buy a FULL length trailer....IE: The frame rails stop at or within 2-3 in of the transom......If they offer a extended tounge.....Get it. 18in longer tounge makes a differance putting boat in the water and keeping truck dry. Do Not buy a Triaxle trailer.....Up the axle rating and frame size and go dual axle.
Tri axle are EXTREMELY hard on tires.
 

capecodparker2320

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When I first bought my boat six years ago I added disc brakes on all four wheels. Last year I needed new axles for my trailer and wanted to buy new but could not find a new trailer because of Covid. Only options were custom made trailers and I opted against it. Should have bought a new trailer six years ago.
On another note I have heard that it’s not possible to weld galvanized steel because of the gases given off during welding.
 

Puck-n-Fish

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PIA but not exactly impossible. The galvanizing is mainly on the surface of the metal. And yes its not good to breathe when its hot. You can grind or burn off the galvanizing and weld normally but you won't have the same corrosion resistance in that area...even if you apply a cold galvanizing compound over it. It most likely will start to rust immediately. Its not an ideal course of action, but doable if you have no other options.
 

Legal Bill

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Or you could buy a new axle for your old trailer that is set up for brakes.
 

pelagic2530

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I'd circle back to... what size trailer is this and what size boat are you putting on it?

I specifically bought the new trailer for my 1700 WITHOUT brakes. I tow with a diesel Ram 2500 and definitely didn't need them with a boat that size, and I wanted to avoid the maintenance hassle. As far as legal issues go, you'd need to check your specific state laws, but in VA if the trailer is less than 3,000lb capacity no brakes are required.

All in all, I'd agree with the "sell it and buy a new one" crowd. Especially if it's a smaller trailer, the fact that it doesn't have brakes might be a selling point to someone else. It's a shame; Rolls Axle makes a great trailer and was my choice for the new one... but they really did not seem interested in building me one!
 

captmatt

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Rolls Axle makes a very high quality trailer. Their axles are unique to that brand. I would call them up with your trailer serial number and get some information about how to add brake flanges. They might be able to sell you the flanges and you could get them welded on locally. The flanges are aluminum and Machine Works will know what alloy.

You will certainly not be able to replace a Rolls Axle trailer with a similar quality trailer for the price of some welding and brakes.

For brake gear, go with full stainless calipers and rotors. While more expensive initially, they will give you good service for many years and cost less in the long run.

Deciding to add brakes is not about the tow vehicle. Trailer brakes reduce braking distances and also prevent jackknifing in a panic stop. Safety first!
 

charrison327

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Rolls Axle makes a very high quality trailer. Their axles are unique to that brand. I would call them up with your trailer serial number and get some information about how to add brake flanges. They might be able to sell you the flanges and you could get them welded on locally. The flanges are aluminum and Machine Works will know what alloy.

You will certainly not be able to replace a Rolls Axle trailer with a similar quality trailer for the price of some welding and brakes.

For brake gear, go with full stainless calipers and rotors. While more expensive initially, they will give you good service for many years and cost less in the long run.

Deciding to add brakes is not about the tow vehicle. Trailer brakes reduce braking distances and also prevent jackknifing in a panic stop. Safety first!
Thank you and pelagic2530 for your replies. I've been in contact with Rolls trying to see my best course of action. I think I am going to be able to get the stuff directly from them and it's going to be a lot easier than I anticipated! I will keep the thread updated!!
 

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