You Have a Caravan With Electric Brakes. What To Do Now?
The caravan brakes will not work unless you have an Electric brake controller in your car. This device can be attached under, or in the dash of your vehicle, or sometimes in the centre console. It is wired to the car’s battery, the stop light circuit and also to the seven or twelve pin socket into which the caravan plug connects. Its installation is virtually independent of the vehicle’s electrical circuit and has no conflict with car computers or ABS Braking Systems. Installation usually takes around three to four hours depending upon the vehicle.
A wide range of Caravan Electric Brake Controllers are available but they all operate on similar principles. Power is fed from the vehicles stoplights into the controller then back to the caravan through the plug and socket. This allows the caravan brakes to come on automatically when you apply the vehicle brakes. The characteristics of the power flow will vary from unit to unit. We recommend a pendulum based or proportional brake controller. Why? Because a proportional controller sends a variable amount of power to the caravan brakes, in proportion to the stopping motion of the motor vehicle. This will deliver smoother and more responsive braking in all situations. Most controllers also have a manual device which allows the user to apply the caravan brakes independent of the car brakes. This is a helpful feature that can assist with correcting caravan sway or instability.
Australian legislation requires us to have electric brakes fitted if the gross weight of the trailer or caravan is in excess of a certain weight.
This allows an independent braking system on the trailer to work at the same time as you apply the vehicles brakes.
It is a very important safety requirement for all travellers.
Following is a brief description of the most popular Caravan Electric Brake Controllers. We invite you to call us with any questions that you may have or to make a booking for installation.
Tekonsha Prodigy P2 – Caravan Brake Controller
The Prodigy is the most technologically advanced brake controller available. Even with its pendulum based output it requires no levelling and is equipped with a self-adjusting sensing device to compensate for varying terrain. Its digital display illustrates the voltage level delivered to the caravan brakes whilst driving and also reports any electrical fault conditions such as power loss, short circuits and more. It has a plug in wiring harness for easy removal and a unique pocket mounting for flexible options. This Unit has a variable power level that is further complimented by a “boost” feature for incremental power.
In summary, the Prodigy has a number of features, but particularly the boost, self-levelling and digital displays make it an outstanding electric brake controller.
Tekonsha Prodigy P3
Tekonsha Prodigy P3 – Electric Brake Controller-The P3 unit is the more recent model released and is meant to be more user friendly than the P2 unit. It is essentially a very similar unit and is a little easier to adjust than the P2 unit. Whereas the P2 unit needs to be adjusted with the manual control held across, the P3 unit has a more user friendly scroll button system. The Boost Amplifier button is easier to read when illuminated on the screen. In essence though, this unit is very similar to the P2 but sets up a little easier.
RedArc Tow Pro Elite
Tekonsha Primus – Caravan Brake Controllers
We are now also fitting the Redarc Tow Pro electric brake controller. This is the first proportional remote head brake controller on the market, and is a great choice in some vehicles where we can’t fit a Prodigy, due to knee airbags, limited space under the dash, etc. With just a rotary dial mounted through the dash, and the rest of the control unit hidden under the dash, it makes for a very neat fit, taking up very little space. Also, being proportional, it provides smooth braking.
The price is $495 fitted, to most vehicles.
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