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WORDS AND IMAGES SIMON MADDOCK

THIS BRAKE CONTROLLER PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS

I recently picked up my new bog-stock Prado. With a camping trip planned, Hayman Reese fitted up a heavy-duty tow bar to the rear end to take care of towing duties for me. The next logical step was to use one of their brake controllers for ease of fitment. And boy was I surprised how easy it was to install!

The Hayman Reese Compact IQ ensures you not only safely get to where you’re heading, but that you can also stop when you get there

REVIEW Hayman Reese Compact IQ

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WHAT YOU GET

Everything is supplied in the two boxes, and I mean everything – a complete loom from battery to rear of vehicle, even with an auto-reset circuit breaker, and of course, the brake controller itself with mounting bracket. One of the benefits of the Compact IQ brake controller is its remote controls, meaning this small unit can be tucked up under the dash and out of sight, with only a dial and status LED visible from the cabin.

The loom is of high quality, with good plugs and crimps on all ends. The battery end is terminated with ring terminals, all set to connect to the main battery. The short ‘power’ loom is fed through a grommet in the firewall, where two pre-terminated wires are pushed into a two-pin plug. This plug then connects to the remainder of the loom which is run behind the dash to connect to the control unit, and to the rear of the vehicle to pick up the brake input signal, and supply the brake output. 

If you don’t have a SmartClick plug, this plug is used in its place, with the red wire to your brake light circuit and the blue wire to the service brakes pin on your trailer socket

Hayman Reese towbar looms incorporate a blue ‘SmartClick’ plug. This simply needs to be unplugged and the wiring loom for the brake controller added in-between

Having designed and built their vans and trailers to go just about anywhere, they naturally just assume they can and will.

Back in December, I had the opportunity of testing out two new Zone RV Expedition Series trailers along the ultra-remote beaches and rugged limestone cliffs of the Great Australian Bight, including two punishing days along the old telegraph track; so, I knew first-hand what these trailers were capable of. But towing an 18’6” offroad caravan along some of the toughest tracks in the High Country? That would be taking it to the next level!

Adventure has a unique way of redefining our limits and resetting our concept of normal. When we push ourselves beyond our known boundaries and explore beyond the limits of our imagination, we always discover something new about ourselves, our companions and the world around us.

According to Four Wheel Drive Victoria’s track classification a single black diamond D = Difficult and a double black diamond D = Very Difficult. The classification makes no mention of trailers, let alone caravans because let’s face it, no one in their right mind would contemplate taking a caravan down a black diamond trail. That is unless you’re Matt & Dave from Zone RV!

As Sydney to Hobart yacht race crew, building Australia’s most hi-tech caravans or just living life to the full, Matt & Dave naturally like to push the limits. 

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INSTALLATION

This is where Hayman Reese has designed a simple solution; if you have a Hayman Reese towbar and associated loom fitted to your vehicle with SmartClick connectors, you simply locate the connection at the rear of the vehicle, unclip it and add the brake controller loom in series – simple as that! 

This connection picks up the brake signal from the towbar loom, and also supplies the brake output to the towbar plug so no joining and soldering is required.

Even if you don’t have a Hayman Reese loom already fitted to your towbar, the brake controller loom comes supplied with a plug and two fly-leads, one of which you tap into the brake light signal, the other running to the towbar plug for the brake output.

Up the front of the vehicle, behind the dash, it’s easy to find a mounting location for the compact control unit using either the supplied metal bracket or double-sided foam tape. Whichever way you choose to mount it, ensure it is done very firmly as any movement in the control unit can cause issues with the braking force applied to the trailer. Luckily the Prado had a bracket with a captive nut which provided the perfect location!

In most installations, spare switch blanks can be used for mounting the remote control and LED

The Compact IQ control unit is indeed very compact, making under-dash installation a breeze

“One of the benefits of the Compact IQ brake controller is its remote controls, meaning this small unit can be tucked up under the dash and out of sight”

VERDICT

Having had the trailer behind the Prado for several hundred kilometres, I can say that I’m extremely impressed by how easy the unit is to set up, and how well it applies the brakes. It does so extremely smoothly at all speeds, with no jolting when driving slow (I’ve had previous vehicles with other brake controllers exhibiting this behaviour).

If you are in need of a brake controller for your camper-trailer or caravan, I can’t recommend the Hayman Reese Compact IQ highly enough! And for a speedy install, grab the wiring loom as well to make life easy.

COMPACT IQ BRAKE CONTROLLER 
WEIGHT: 300g
DIMENSIONS: 65mm (L) x 65mm (W) x 35mm (H)
PACKAGING SUPPLIED: Yes
PRICE: RRP $279 Compact IQ + $113 Wiring Loom (purchased separately)
FOR MORE INFO: haymanreese.com.au 

 RatingS 
 BREAKDOWN 

5
WEIGHT

5
SIZE

4.5
CONSTRUCTION

5
EASE OF USE

5
FUNCTIONALITY

5
OVERALL

When you’re heading away with a trailer in tow, a quality brake controller is a must

» Feeding wiring through firewall, but that’s just a pet hate of mine

 What we DISLiked 

» Compact size
» Remote mounting
» Easy wiring using separate loom

 What we Liked 

THIS BRAKE CONTROLLER PULLS OUT ALL THE STOPS

WORDS AND IMAGES SIMON MADDOCK

I recently picked up my new bog-stock Prado. With a camping trip planned, Hayman Reese fitted up a heavy-duty tow bar to the rear end to take care of towing duties for me. The next logical step was to use one of their brake controllers for ease of fitment. And boy was I surprised how easy it was to install!

REVIEW Hayman Reese Compact IQ

The Hayman Reese Compact IQ ensures you not only safely get to where you’re heading, but that you can also stop when you get there

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

WHAT YOU GET

Everything is supplied in the two boxes, and I mean everything – a complete loom from battery to rear of vehicle, even with an auto-reset circuit breaker, and of course, the brake controller itself with mounting bracket. One of the benefits of the Compact IQ brake controller is its remote controls, meaning this small unit can be tucked up under the dash and out of sight, with only a dial and status LED visible from the cabin.

The loom is of high quality, with good plugs and crimps on all ends. The battery end is terminated with ring terminals, all set to connect to the main battery. The short ‘power’ loom is fed through a grommet in the firewall, where two pre-terminated wires are pushed into a two-pin plug. This plug then connects to the remainder of the loom which is run behind the dash to connect to the control unit, and to the rear of the vehicle to pick up the brake input signal, and supply the brake output. 

Hayman Reese towbar looms incorporate a blue ‘SmartClick’ plug. This simply needs to be unplugged and the wiring loom for the brake controller added in-between

If you don’t have a SmartClick plug, this plug is used in its place, with the red wire to your brake light circuit and the blue wire to the service brakes pin on your trailer socket

ADVERTISEMENT

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Adventure has a unique way of redefining our limits and resetting our concept of normal. When we push ourselves beyond our known boundaries and explore beyond the limits of our imagination, we always discover something new about ourselves, our companions and the world around us.

According to Four Wheel Drive Victoria’s track classification a single black diamond D = Difficult and a double black diamond D = Very Difficult. The classification makes no mention of trailers, let alone caravans because let’s face it, no one in their right mind would contemplate taking a caravan down a black diamond trail. That is unless you’re Matt & Dave from Zone RV!


As Sydney to Hobart yacht race crew, building Australia’s most hi-tech caravans or just living life to the full, Matt & Dave naturally like to push the limits. 

Having designed and built their vans and trailers to go just about anywhere, they naturally just assume they can and will.

Back in December, I had the opportunity of testing out two new Zone RV Expedition Series trailers along the ultra-remote beaches and rugged limestone cliffs of the Great Australian Bight, including two punishing days along the old telegraph track; so, I knew first-hand what these trailers were capable of. But towing an 18’6” offroad caravan along some of the toughest tracks in the High Country? That would be taking it to the next level!

INSTALLATION

This is where Hayman Reese has designed a simple solution; if you have a Hayman Reese towbar and associated loom fitted to your vehicle with SmartClick connectors, you simply locate the connection at the rear of the vehicle, unclip it and add the brake controller loom in series – simple as that! 

This connection picks up the brake signal from the towbar loom, and also supplies the brake output to the towbar plug so no joining and soldering is required.

Even if you don’t have a Hayman Reese loom already fitted to your towbar, the brake controller loom comes supplied with a plug and two fly-leads, one of which you tap into the brake light signal, the other running to the towbar plug for the brake output.

Up the front of the vehicle, behind the dash, it’s easy to find a mounting location for the compact control unit using either the supplied metal bracket or double-sided foam tape. Whichever way you choose to mount it, ensure it is done very firmly as any movement in the control unit can cause issues with the braking force applied to the trailer. Luckily the Prado had a bracket with a captive nut which provided the perfect location!

The Compact IQ control unit is indeed very compact, making under-dash installation a breeze

In most installations, spare switch blanks can be used for mounting the remote control and LED

“One of the benefits of the Compact IQ brake controller is its remote controls, meaning this small unit can be tucked up under the dash and out of sight”

ADVERTISEMENT

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

VERDICT

Having had the trailer behind the Prado for several hundred kilometres, I can say that I’m extremely impressed by how easy the unit is to set up, and how well it applies the brakes. It does so extremely smoothly at all speeds, with no jolting when driving slow (I’ve had previous vehicles with other brake controllers exhibiting this behaviour).

If you are in need of a brake controller for your camper-trailer or caravan, I can’t recommend the Hayman Reese Compact IQ highly enough! And for a speedy install, grab the wiring loom as well to make life easy.

When you’re heading away with a trailer in tow, a quality brake controller is a must

COMPACT IQ BRAKE CONTROLLER 
WEIGHT: 300g
DIMENSIONS: 65mm (L) x 65mm (W) x 35mm (H)
PACKAGING SUPPLIED: Yes
PRICE: RRP $279 Compact IQ + $113 Wiring Loom (purchased separately)
FOR MORE INFO: haymanreese.com.au 

 RatingS BREAKDOWN  

5
WEIGHT

5
SIZE

4.5
CONSTRUCTION

5
EASE OF USE

5
FUNCTIONALITY

5
OVERALL

» Compact size
» Remote mounting
» Easy wiring using separate loom

 What we Liked 

» Feeding wiring through firewall, but that’s just a pet hate of mine

 What we DISLiked