It’s usually easy to stop your car from swerving left and right in most weather conditions. However, when you are handling extra weight with your tow vehicle, your trailer requires its own braking system. That’s where caravan electric brake controllers come in.
Today, we will discuss the fundamentals of these brake controllers. We will discuss how they work, their types, and more.
How Electric Brake Controllers Work
A caravan can have either mechanical or electric brakes. Mechanical or surge trailer brakes are dependent on inertia for slowing down, whereas electric trailer brakes rely on an electric connection through your tow vehicle. This connection leads to the electric brake control system installed in your towing vehicle. The
caravan electric brake controllers send electrical signals to the trailer brakes to trigger the electromagnetic brake drums and create friction. This effectively slows down the caravan.
The caravan electric brake controllers are electronic devices that reside in the tow vehicle. Usually, the device consists of a central part and a user interface. The interface is within your reach, while the central part is generally stowed away securely inside your vehicle.
Two Types of Caravan Electric Brake Controllers
The caravan electric brake controllers are further divided into two main categories: manual and proportional. The Manual Control signifies that the driver must decide how much braking force is necessary for safely stopping the trailer. Commonly, a low-budget caravan electric brake controller deploys manual braking methods.
On the other hand, proportional electric brake controllers automatically adjust the force of brakes by employing accelerometers. An accelerometer is a type of sensor that uses advanced electronics to measure the acceleration of objects accurately. The proportional mechanism allows you to apply the optimum braking pressure on your caravan. Generally, advanced controllers employ both Proportional and Basic manual methods.
Is an Electric Brake Controller Necessary?
You might be wondering if an electric brake controller is mandatory. Can’t you simply take your trailer for a ride with its conventional braking system? No, you can’t. An electric brake controller does not only reduce the chance of caravan accidents, and ultimately caravan repairs, it is now an essential requirement by the State Ministers of Transport Australia.
The regulations state that if your trailer has a Gross Trailer Mass (GTM) higher than 750kg, you must install an electric brake control system. If your trailer’s GTM is more than 2,000 kg, you’ll require a breakaway system on each wheel. This system should have a constant battery supply, either standalone or auxiliary.
The good news is, if you own a small caravan with a GTM of less than 750kg, you don’t need an electric brake controller. However, there are a lot of benefits of installing caravan electric brake controllers, even on a small caravan.
What Are the Benefits?
It is difficult to stop a caravan at high speed. It may pose a threat to your tow vehicle, the caravan itself, and the people and cars around you. Here’s how caravanelectric brake controllers help reduce such risks:
● The controller activates the trailer brakes instantly, as soon as the driver hits the tow vehicle brakes.
● The brake controller can necessarily detect the amount of braking power needed to stop your trailer safely.
● The system reduces the strain on your tow vehicle brakes.
● You have more control over the brakes of your trailer.
● Reduce accidents and damages to your tow vehicle or trailer, which means you will have to spend less on caravan repairs.