The Best Brakes for Boat Trailer for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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Boat trailers are useful for getting your boat from point A to B but the cost of replacement parts and tires can really eat into your wallet if you don’t invest in quality equipment, like brakes.

Boat trailer brakes are used to control the speed and direction of your boat and its trailer. The brakes help to keep your boat from jack-knifing or fishtailing if you need to make an emergency stop.

Most times trailers have propane tanks on them so it’s critical to have quality brakes that you can depend on if you need them to work in an emergency.

When you’re attempting to choose the best brakes for your boat trailer, you should consider things like trailer weight and braking distance. However, choosing the right brake for your boat and trailer needs can be an overwhelming and confusing task.

NameCategoryProduct
Southwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Hydraulic Brake Kit 5-4.5" Bolt CircleBest OverallSouthwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Hydraulic Brake Kit 5-4.5" Bolt Circle
10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Electric Brake AssemblyBudget Pick10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Electric Brake Assembly
KODIAK 10" Trailer Disc Brake AssyUpgrade PickKODIAK 10" Trailer Disc Brake Assy

1. Southwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Hydraulic Brake Kit 5-4.5" Bolt Circle

Our rating: 9 / 10

Southwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Hydraulic Brake Kit 5-4.5" Bolt Circle

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Free shipping and fast delivery
  • Affordable price
  • Equipped with an oil drain

The good thing about this kit is that you won’t have to worry about your boat trailer shifting because the brake system prevents that from happening. You can attach it to your wheel easily for security.

Another nice feature is the pre-filled brake fluid, which you don’t have to worry about refilling. The oil also doesn’t emit any odor, which is great.

The system is also super easy to install! It takes you a matter of minutes, and there are also diagrams in the instructions to help you out.

2. KODIAK 10" Trailer Disc Brake Assy

Our rating: 9 / 10

KODIAK 10" Trailer Disc Brake Assy

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A set of brakes is a must-have on any trailer. But they’re not all that simple. That’s because brakes come in different configurations based on the type of trailer you have.

Whether you have a boat, a motorcycle, or a utility trailer, you’ll want the right kind of brakes for your vehicle.

The Kodiak trailer brake assembly is an excellent choice for any boat trailer. It includes a heavy-duty brake cable with a durable spring and high quality 10” disc brake calipers.

3. Ei Trailer Brake Assembly Electric Trailer Brakes 12" x 2"

Our rating: 8 / 10

Ei Trailer Brake Assembly Electric Trailer Brakes 12" x 2"

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Pros:

  • Great for safety
  • Easy setup
  • Easy to adjust

If you’re looking for the best trailer brakes for your boat, then this Ei trailer brake assembly from TOWMAX may be perfect for your needs.

Unlike your typical drum brakes where you have to repeatedly hit them to make sure they don’t disengage, this electric trailer brake controls your trailer’s brakes without any work on your part.

This means that if you’re towing heavy loads, you won’t have to guess if your brakes are still engaged or not.

4. Southwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Electric Brake Kit 5-4.5 Bolt Circle

Our rating: 8 / 10

Southwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Electric Brake Kit 5-4.5 Bolt Circle

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to operate
  • Safer for emergency braking
  • Good price

The Southwest Wheel electric brakes make your trailer safer when going down steep hills. They can also reduce or prevent the annoying trailer sway drivers experience.

The flexible mount pads of these electric brakes allow you to install on a variety of trailer rims. The 6ft cable allows you to access the internal brake and a switch to stop, or park the trailer.

It can be hard to install and operates on your trailer. Also, the instructions provided are a bit confusing and hard to follow. The price is a bit high for the quality of product it is.

5. 10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Electric Brake Assembly

Our rating: 8 / 10

10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Electric Brake Assembly

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Works with electric brakes

The 10 inch x 2-1/4 electric trailer brake has a plate that is made of zinc-plated steel and will work with virtually any standard electric brake controller. Assembling it is easy and won’t take you more than a couple of minutes. The package includes one right-hand plate and one left-hand plate.

When installing a brake for your boat trailer, always go with a 10-inch plate. This is the standard size, and it’s the one brake that works for almost any kind of trailer, no matter the size.

The brake assembly is made of steel and zinc-plated to ensure its durability. It also includes an adjustment bolt that will help you set proper adjustments so that the brake stays in place until the last moment and offers the highest level of security.

6. Tie Down Engineering 82113 10" Integral Style Vented Rotor Disc Brake Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tie Down Engineering 82113 10" Integral Style Vented Rotor Disc Brake Kit

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Pros:

  • Perfect for all types of trailers
  • Quick adjust brake shoe provides constant and devastating braking power
  • Optional pad wear indicator
  • Perfect for easier assembly
  • Perfect braking power and adjustment provided
  • Easy and fast installation

Cons:

  • May need brake fluid
  • Brake shoes can be hard to remove.

The Tie Down engineering 82113 vented rotor disc brake is absolutely perfect for the boat trailer, which means it can be well utilized for all types of trailers.

The braking force that it delivers is absolutely formidable. And by being constant, you will be able to adjust once and forget about the brakes.

The brake shoes are also easily adjusted as well. They are a perfect fit and thus worth recommending to serve in the capacity they were intended.

7. TowZone 86854 Complete Disc Brake Kit

Our rating: 7 / 10

TowZone 86854 Complete Disc Brake Kit

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Pros:

  • Considered a premium kit
  • Includes everything you need for your trailer
  • Less expensive than many kits

When it comes to brakes, do you ever wonder if you’re getting the most for your money? This complete disc brake kit has everything you need to fully upgrade your trailer to disc brakes, including the pads, hoses, calipers and rotors.

Whether your trailer is 30 feet or 42 feet, the Towzone disc brake kit is versatile so you can set it up for your trailer. Many reviewers commented on how they were able to stop their boat trailer better than before.

The kit also features tie down hooks so you can secure your cargo more effectively. The towzone 86854 Complete Disc Brake Kit with Actuator is air actuated and has a cast iron mounting bracket.

8. Highton New 10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Hydraulic Free Backing Marine Brake Assembly Pair Set

Our rating: 6 / 10

Highton New 10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Hydraulic Free Backing Marine Brake Assembly Pair Set

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Pros:

  • The brake pins are identified by length for easy installation
  • Everything is included: hardware, valves, banjo, and hose couplers

What if you could carry 100 pounds of weight, without sweating, straining, and feeling sore afterward? The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar is the answer you are looking for. This extra-wide pull-up bar is easily installed in your doorway. The pull-up bar bar is fully padded in order to ensure a comfortable grip. Also, you’ll have your very own personal trainer at home which will give you a fit upper body through pull-ups and push-ups.

In our quest for the best pull-Up bar, the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar has an average rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It offers some outstanding benefits and is one of the top pull-up bars you can get right now.

It fits doors that are between 24 to 32 inches wide. It supports 2 x 2 inch studs up to 33 inches apart. The bar has a weight of 10 pounds.

9. LIBRA Trailer 5 on 4.5" B.C. Hub Drum Kits

Our rating: 6 / 10

LIBRA Trailer 5 on 4.5" B.C. Hub Drum Kits

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Pros:

  • Available at 4.5 inches
  • For trailer wiring and brakes

Weights, 3-3/4.

The Libra Trailer brake is designed to replace dented and rusted drum brakes. The 10 inch wheels with twenty-inch drum provides an efficient and convenient solution for a tight turning radius.

To keep with the tradition Libra Trailer rear wheels have a hub nut, which is a 1/2 inch. It also has a hub hole of 6 inches and includes a dust cap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can brakes be added to a boat trailer?

The short answer? Yes, boat trailer brakes can be added. Anything is possible if you have enough money and/or ingenuity. That being said, adding brakes to a boat trailer is usually not worth the trouble or expense.

Brake systems are often designed for a specific application, and that includes the braking surface, wheel size, and capacity of the trailer.

Although you will see ways that you can adapt a normal car or truck brake system to your trailer, there are often significant issues with compatibility and reliability.

Putting in a custom system will almost certainly cost you more in the end than you would pay for a new trailer with a built-in braking system.

With careful driving and careful loading practices, you won’t need brakes on your boat trailer. If you do want brakes, go with a good trailer with a built-in system.

What kind of brakes do boat trailers have?

Boat trailers are equipped with disc brakes, drum brakes, or disc brakes with a hydraulic assist. Disc brakes are the easiest to install and are the most common type found on new trailers.

In addition, most trailers with disc brakes have hydraulic assist; the braking system is hydraulic-driven, reducing the amount of effort needed to apply the brakes.

Drum brakes are the most basic and are simple as it gets. They consist of a large drum-shaped wheel and a cable that applies pressure to the wheel to slow and stop the trailer.

How long do boat trailer brakes last?

All trailer brakes wear out over time. Have you ever noticed that the brakes on a trailer feel different? It could be because the mechanism inside has gotten loose. Even the best brakes will need to be adjusted from time to time and there are even some warning signs that you should pay attention to.

I am a firm believer in the saying that you get what you pay for so if you are considering off the shelf equipment then it is likely going to need replacement before long. On the other hand if you have decided to go with the more costly option of a custom built boat trailer then it is likely going to last you many years.

How do I stop my boat trailer brakes from freezing?

The winter season often brings with it snow and cold temperatures. Both of these factors can take a toll on your trailer brakes.

While the cold may not cause any trouble to the brakes themselves, it can make a difference to your skin. The cold weather has the potential to cause your skin to painful freeze when exposed to moisture and the cold.

Similarly, many other parts of your trailer will be exposed to this cold weather like the nuts and bolts that hold the brakes in place. If you leave the brakes in place, your skin will likely freeze to them when you apply the brakes.

Many of these nuts and bolts will be exposed to the elements and the cooling temperature change will shrink their size and expose them to metal on metal contact. This will, over time, cause these bolts to strip and can cause damage to the trailer.

Conclusion

When you plan to buy a new boat trailer, you trust that the braking system is one of the most important parts in the trailer. It’s the part of the trailer that keeps the safety of the passengers in mind.

A lot of people spend most of their times researching about what the best trailer brakes available. We can’t blame them why they want the best trailer brakes for their boat trailer. After all, it is a huge investment, which makes them feel more comfortable.

Buying the wrong trailer brakes for your boat trailer could be devastating. Products mentioned above should give you a good start for your research. You can do the rest after this.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Southwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Hydraulic Brake Kit 5-4.5" Bolt CircleBest OverallSouthwest Wheel 3,500 lbs. Trailer Axle Hydraulic Brake Kit 5-4.5" Bolt Circle
10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Electric Brake AssemblyBudget Pick10" x 2-1/4" Trailer Electric Brake Assembly
KODIAK 10" Trailer Disc Brake AssyUpgrade PickKODIAK 10" Trailer Disc Brake Assy