An electric brake controller is a vital piece of safety equipment in a caravan or trailer's braking system. Apart from safety, it a legal requirement to fit a caravan with an electric brake controller. For instance, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) requires that brakes be equipped to each caravan weighing 750-2,000 kilograms. Besides, caravans weighing 2-4.5 tonnes must have brakes on all wheels. Here are some critical facts about caravan electric brake controllers.
Benefits of an Electric Brake Controller
An electric brake controller is a safety component in most caravans. If you own a caravan that is equipped with electric brakes, then it probably has an electric brake controller. The feature allows a caravan's braking system to estimate the braking power required to make it stop or slow down. Therefore, electric brakes enable a caravan to slow down or stop without relying on the braking power of the towing vehicle. Without such a braking system, the inertia of a caravan load can increase the stopping distance, which can damage your vehicle. In addition, you are likely to experience jackknifing and shifting of loads.
Types of Electric Brake Controllers
There are two common types of electric brake controllers, namely timed delay and proportional. When you depress the brake pedal in a timed delay braking system, the controller applies the brakes based on a preset time and intensity. Therefore, a caravan acts as the primary braking mechanism to prevent inertia from pushing the tow vehicle, especially on steep slopes. The timed-delay controller system requires the correct settings to achieve the best braking power. The wrong configuration can lead to excessive play (jerking) between a tow vehicle and a caravan, causing the brakes to wear out faster. Besides, the caravan wheels are likely to lock unpredictably. Conversely, proportional brake controllers synchronise the braking power of a towing vehicle and a caravan by the use of an accelerometer. Consequently, proportional controllers are easy to use; however, the controllers are pricier compared to their timed-delay counterparts.
If you do not have knowledge or experience of the inner workings of an electric braking system, you should let a licenced technical install the accessory for you. Furthermore, proper installation using expert services ensures compliance with state regulations while guaranteeing the safety of your caravan. When installing electric brake controllers, make sure that the electrical and safety components of your vehicle, such as airbags, are not compromised. Moreover, establish whether installing an electric brake controller will affect your car's warranty.
To learn more, reach out to a caravan electric brake installation service in your area.