Components like RV electronic stability control have come a long way in ensuring that the trailer brakes bring the trailer back into the correct line of travel to avoid trailer sway. But what about trailer braking systems, have they improved and why are they still needed?
Proportional brake controllers would have used what was known as a ‘pendulum’ to measure braking force, the idea that the mechanical pendulum would swing as force is applied to the controller body by the vehicle decelerating under braking. The pendulum would be attached to a variable resistor by having an arm that ran across a resistive plate, which adjusts a signal to the brains of the controller telling it how hard it should apply the trailer brakes. Being a mechanical moving component, it would have ‘dead spots’
Fast forward to 2019 and vehicles are more advanced than ever; ABS braking is a given, while adaptive cruise control, lane departure and Autonomous Emergency Braking systems are also quiet common.
Another difference is the sophistication of what we tow. RVs have not only increased in size but mass too. It is a common to see a 10,000 Lb. fifth wheel being towed by a full-size pick-up truck. Therefore, the importance of a high-tech brake controller that assists in safe and comfortable driving has never been so important.
By law, all trailers that are heavier than 3,000 lbs (this can vary by state) must be fitted with an electric brake controller to be able to progressively adjust the strength of the trailer braking system. Electric brake controllers detect when a driver is braking and will activate the electric brakes in your trailer or caravan independently of your vehicle’s brakes. This means that a trailer can do a large proportion of its own braking without needing to rely on your vehicle brakes.
But the problem with many modern dashboards is limited real estate. With their curved surfaces, shrinking driver space, and implementation of numerous airbags around the driver and passengers, “knee knocking” is often sited as a common issue with today’s electric brake controllers.
The Tow-Pro electric trailer brake controller range by REDARC solves this issue by having a compact box which holds the “brains” of the unit, a rotary knob and override push button integrated into a single control, and an LED indicator, all remote from the box.
This means that the “brains” of the unit can be tucked away behind the dashboard, mounted in any orientation or plane, leaving only the knob and LED visible through the neat decal fitted to the dash. The visible parts are small enough to fit into a factory pop out switch panel, away from the harm of being knocked inadvertently, or becoming a hazard in an accident, while remaining within easy reach and view of the driver.
In addition, the award-winning Tow-Pro Elite features a three-axis accelerometer, where the main unit can also be mounted in any orientation and still sense the brake level accordingly. Once installed you can adjust the control knob depending on the weight of the trailer.
So, no matter what you are towing, or using to tow it, REDARC’s Tow-Pro Elite has the power to stop you safely and comfortably each time. For ultimate safety at your fingertips, visit www.redarcelectronics.com/towpro
REDARC is an advanced Australian manufacturer that has been designing and building electric brake controllers since 1989. In 2017, REDARC was named a Global Media Award Winner for the Tow-Pro Elite electric trailer brake controller.