Re: Trailer Brakes
As mentioned above, I used surge brakes, same trailer, for over 20 years including salt water. Although there was some wear on the shoes I never had to replace them. I would test the linkage from time to time by putting blocks behind the wheels and have my wife put the car in reverse. It didn't take much effort to have the linkage go through its travel.
It was hard to tell how much they were working but it seemed like I never had to get on the car brakes any harder than normal. They also help to keep the trailer behind the car in slippery or icy conditions.