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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on pulling a boat that is 18' long and has a dry weight of 1800 lbs. Many boat trailers of this size don't have trailer brakes. I'm concerned about going down mountain roads with it. Last summer i pulled my 8' truck bed trailer with gear and 4 people including me in the cab. I smoked my brakes even though I was keeping the transmission in low gear it just didn't slow us down enough without using the brakes. I finally had to pull over to let them cool. It was kind if scary because the brakes really faded and i felt we were barely going to stop at a turn out. It took 20mins plus to stop smoking. Ive never had a vehicle do this before. I just had all new brakes put on the year before. I had them checked later a few weeks after i got home. They passed inspection. I thought surely they'd be glazed over and need being replaced but the shop said no they were fine. This utility trailer of mine doesn't have electric brakes. So now I'm concerned about towing the boat other than on flat land. What do you think? What have you all experienced with boat towing. Im told i shouldn't need trailer brakes for that light a load. It's an aluminum hull boat rather than fiberglass so its way lighter than the latter.
 

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I can't imagine your truck brakes should have overheated pulling a small utility trailer, but if you mean you have a trailer made by cutting off the bed and frame of an old pickup, ny guess is that trailer weighs a whole lot more than you think. You should weigh it to be sure.

I've towed a 3500-4000lb single axle enclosed Scout Troop trailer without trailer brakes through the Smokies from Alabama to North Carolina, with zero issues. You should be able to control and brake a trailer with your Titan. Something isn't right.

As for your boat trailer, 1800 isn't heavy and your truck should be fine without brakes. But you should also confirm that 1800 is the trailered weight, not just the weight of the boat, as a trailer can add between 800-1500lbs depending on style, construction, and length.
 

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I've also towed 3000+ without trailer brakes up and down mountains through East TN with no problems. Is your truck an 04-07 with the smaller brakes? Are they old and worn, or new? I've towed my dad's bass boat, which is what I'm assuming you're towing based on length and weight, and I barely even knew it was back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've also towed 3000+ without trailer brakes up and down mountains through East TN with no problems. Is your truck an 04-07 with the smaller brakes? Are they old and worn, or new? I've towed my dad's bass boat, which is what I'm assuming you're towing based on length and weight, and I barely even knew it was back there.
Its a 2006. Had new brakes put on a year and a half ago. The trailer is the bed of an old chevy truck but the frame is just square tube not an original truck frame. The road is a single lane nearly unpaved road the rises from 1000ft to over 9000 ft then drops back down to about 7500 ft in about 18 miles. The trailer was loaded with fire wood and 21 gallons of water, fully loaded artic ice chest, camping tents, camp kitchen, plus the whole bed of the truck was loaded.
 

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The quality (and condition) of brakes can make a huge difference. Just check your brakes and make sure all is well with rotors and pads. Something is anomalous with your set-up.
 

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My suspicion is your truck bed trailer loaded the way you described, along with a bed full of gear, was closer to double the weight of your boat, and likely more than double. You may find you have to roll off the top in 1st and use your brakes as needed, but reality is, unless it's ridiculously curvy, you shouldn't get up so much speed in 1st as to even need your brakes much.
 

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My ATV trailer came without brakes. When a friend bent the tongue and the axle (at the same time) I upgraded to a heavier axle and added brakes. The local trailer shop did it and the cost wasn't outrageous. I do pull in the mountains and see 11,000' passes. The brakes are an extra peace of mind.

My ATV is a Polaris Ranger 900XP that weighs in around 1,500 lbs plus the gear in the ATV, maybe an extra 100 lbs.

The '04 to '08 brakes were undersized. I think it was '08.5 that got the larger brakes.
 

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My 08 has big brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My suspicion is your truck bed trailer loaded the way you described, along with a bed full of gear, was closer to double the weight of your boat, and likely more than double. You may find you have to roll off the top in 1st and use your brakes as needed, but reality is, unless it's ridiculously curvy, you shouldn't get up so much speed in 1st as to even need your brakes much.
I think you're right. I had never had that much load before in and behind the truck. As far as low gear i kept it in first most of the way going down but the condition of the "road" and i use that term lightly, and the percent grade was too much for just using the engine/transmission as the break. I could feel the weight behind me pushing us too fast had to keep applying the brakes. On the way back after camping having used the firewood and water O didnt have a problem. As i ssid in my earlier post i has the brakes checked at my local shop snd explained what happened. They said they were fine.
 

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Yeah I think your truck might have been overloaded with the weight in truck and the trailer. You unfortunately have brakes designed for a 4000 pound vehicle on a 6000 pound truck. As far as the boat is concerned, you shouldn't have any issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah I think your truck might have been overloaded with the weight in truck and the trailer. You unfortunately have brakes designed for a 4000 pound vehicle on a 6000 pound truck. As far as the boat is concerned, you shouldn't have any issues.
Ok thanks I'll be more observant from now on how much load I'm carrying.
 
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