Welcome to RV Daily

Are you hungry for the latest in RV news, reviews and travel?

At RV Daily, we’ll give you up-to-date news, reviews and videos on the latest caravans, campers and motorhomes.

RULES AND REGULATIONS
If the trailer or van weighs between 750kg and 2000kg, it must be fitted with an independent braking system on at least one axle, and options include mechanical set-ups, such as override brakes.

For vans or trailers that have a GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) over 2000kg and up to 4500kg, brakes are required on all wheels, with electric being far the most commonly used. Further to that, a break-away system must be fitted, meaning the brakes can still be applied if the van accidentally detaches from the tow vehicle. Until recently, NSW law stated the breakaway system also had to have a low battery alarm, with visual and audio alerts in the vehicle cabin; however, that law has been repealed.

Another important rule is that brakes for the trailer must be able to be manually operated easily from the driver’s seating position, and independently of the vehicle’s brakes in an emergency. It’s a good idea to fit the brake controller’s dial within reach of the front-seat passenger so that they can assist the driver if needs be – and it’s a routine you should practice on a quiet road somewhere.

Brake Controllers
Part 2

GUIDE Electric brake controllers: Part 2 & 3

“It’s a good idea to fit the brake controller’s dial within reach of the front-seat passenger so that they can assist the driver if needs be – and it’s a routine you should practice on a quiet road somewhere.”

HOW DO THEY WORK?
Typically, brake controllers for most tow vehicles are required to be fitted to the battery in the vehicle. While 24V controllers are available, the bulk of controllers used in caravan and touring applications are 12V.

Certain brake controllers are labelled as suitable for up to four axles or have a maximum axle rating. The wording ‘up to’ is important. A multi-axle controller will work for fewer axles though, so ensure you ask the right questions before buying anything. If you have a single-axle trailer and you might decide to move up to a tandem axle, consider if you will be able to use your existing device or budget for more money on another controller.

Historically, brake controllers might have struggled with a vehicle’s ESC (Electronic Stability Control) or ABS (Antilock Braking System), with the car reacting one way and the van braking another but these days that technology discourse has been ironed out.

Now we also have Autonomous Braking Systems (for errant pedestrians and wildlife) whereas Adaptive Cruise Control will apply the vehicle’s brakes if a driver gets too close to a vehicle in front and enters a predetermined buffer zone.

There are essentially two types of brake controller on the market, Proportional and Non-proportional. Proportional controllers are motion-sensing units that monitor the deceleration of the tow vehicle and apply the brakes on the van accordingly. Generally, this type of controller must be mounted in the right orientation to work correctly.

Non-proportional or Time Activated controllers apply a set amount of power to the braking system over a pre-set time; these can be mounted pretty much anywhere and can be adjusted by the driver as required.

Brake Controllers
Part 3

GUIDE Electric brake controllers: Part 2 & 3

Brake Controllers
Part 2

RULES AND REGULATIONS
If the trailer or van weighs between 750kg and 2000kg, it must be fitted with an independent braking system on at least one axle, and options include mechanical set-ups, such as override brakes.

For vans or trailers that have a GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) over 2000kg and up to 4500kg, brakes are required on all wheels, with electric being far the most commonly used. Further to that, a break-away system must be fitted, meaning the brakes can still be applied if the van accidentally detaches from the tow vehicle. Until recently, NSW law stated the breakaway system also had to have a low battery alarm, with visual and audio alerts in the vehicle cabin; however, that law has been repealed.

Another important rule is that brakes for the trailer must be able to be manually operated easily from the driver’s seating position, and independently of the vehicle’s brakes in an emergency. It’s a good idea to fit the brake controller’s dial within reach of the front-seat passenger so that they can assist the driver if needs be – and it’s a routine you should practice on a quiet road somewhere.

“It’s a good idea to fit the brake controller’s dial within reach of the front-seat passenger so that they can assist the driver if needs be – and it’s a routine you should practice on a quiet road somewhere.”

Brake Controllers
Part 3

HOW DO THEY WORK?
Typically, brake controllers for most tow vehicles are required to be fitted to the battery in the vehicle. While 24V controllers are available, the bulk of controllers used in caravan and touring applications are 12V.

Certain brake controllers are labelled as suitable for up to four axles or have a maximum axle rating. The wording ‘up to’ is important. A multi-axle controller will work for fewer axles though, so ensure you ask the right questions before buying anything. If you have a single-axle trailer and you might decide to move up to a tandem axle, consider if you will be able to use your existing device or budget for more money on another controller.

Historically, brake controllers might have struggled with a vehicle’s ESC (Electronic Stability Control) or ABS (Antilock Braking System), with the car reacting one way and the van braking another but these days that technology discourse has been ironed out.

Now we also have Autonomous Braking Systems (for errant pedestrians and wildlife) whereas Adaptive Cruise Control will apply the vehicle’s brakes if a driver gets too close to a vehicle in front and enters a predetermined buffer zone.

There are essentially two types of brake controller on the market, Proportional and Non-proportional. Proportional controllers are motion-sensing units that monitor the deceleration of the tow vehicle and apply the brakes on the van accordingly. Generally, this type of controller must be mounted in the right orientation to work correctly.

Non-proportional or Time Activated controllers apply a set amount of power to the braking system over a pre-set time; these can be mounted pretty much anywhere and can be adjusted by the driver as required.