Hydraulic vs. Electric Trailer Brakes

Trailer brakes are essential in the safety of your travel no matter what it is you’re towing. There are two types of trailer brakes that are available: these are the hydraulic and electric trailer brakes. Although their functions are basically the same, these two types of brakes are very different. Here is a list that illustrates the differences of the two:

  1. Hydraulic or surge brakes work the same way as a car’s brakes. The hydraulic brake requires hydraulic fluid, master cylinders and brake lines. On the other hand, the electric brake controller only requires electricity from the vehicle’s system to work the brake.

  2. The electrical brakes work by taking 12 volts DC from the vehicle that is sent through a wiring system that signals the brakes to activate. In contrast, the surge brakes go live when the vehicle stops, pushing brake fluid to the wheel cylinders which then causes the brake shoes to come into contact with the drums.

  3. When it comes to maintenance, electric brakes are much easier to manage compared to the hydraulic trailer brakes because there are less parts to replace or repair.

Despite these differences, both types of trailer brakes are very effective especially when used and maintained properly. Whichever type one uses will now depend on the state’s laws regarding trailer brakes as well as his or her preferences.