The boating world is rife with stories of how old brake systems fail just when ample stopping power was needed, which often warrants an upgrade. Pat Piper of Boat U.S. Magazine explains:
“To a lot of people, the idea of using anything with the word “electric” in the water is a non-starter. But electric over hydraulic brakes on boat trailers are now an option on models built by EZ Loader, Magic Tilt, Pacific Trailers, and Loadmaster, to name just a few.
Like a purely hydraulic system, an electric over hydraulic (EOH) braking system is activated whenever the tow vehicle brakes are applied and the trailer surges forward. Unlike the older system, however, the EOH actuator is electric, so the trailer’s brakes are applied instantly, with almost no lag time.”
The demands of contemporary boating enthusiasts point to better safety precautions and greater hauling awareness, especially when you are transporting a massive 20-foot cruiser down the highway. The principle is the same as semi-trucks. When you want to add more stopping power to your trailer and the current braking setup isn’t up to the task, a trailer parts seller like Champion Trailers will have what you need.
EOH systems have an electric actuator linked to the tow vehicle that manages the hydraulic pressure for the brakes. The part is attached to the forward end of the trailer, but in installing a full EOH system, Piper stresses that the actuator cannot be anywhere near the water line when you go back down the slipway. Fortunately, it will not be affected by light rinses when you wash the entire trailer.
When you are upgrading your trailer’s braking system, you cannot forget swapping the current controller for a new one specifically geared for EOH mechanisms. The device, which manages the braking pressure on the tow vehicle and the trailer, will be attached to the tow vehicle and the wires fixed as well. However, Piper recommends consulting your EOH controller vendor to determine if their products are compatible with your tow vehicle.
An EOH set up allows you to install electric trailer brakes that can handle more powerful surges of brake fluid. Drum brakes are able to withstand up to 1,000 pounds per square inch (psi) while disc brakes handle up to 1,500 psi. Take note that your brakes seller will recommend interlinking the brakes to EOH systems if the boat to be towed is over 3,500 pounds.
It will be to your benefit (and safety) if your tow-vehicle and its trailer can stop whenever you need it to. Companies like Champion Trailers will help you make it happen.
(Source: Electric Over Hydraulic Brakes, Boat U.S. Magazine)