Benefits of Electronic Brake Controllers

There are a lot of recreational vehicles out there, both driving on their own and being towed along the highways and byways. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association estimates that around thirty million RVs are on the road today. Neary twelve percent of men aged 35-54 use or own an RV.

Towing an RV, whether it’s along city and town roads or at higher speeds on the highway, requires a great deal of skill, some preparation, and plenty of caution. According to tests performed by Knott Laboratory, even a thirty-five mile-per-hour gust of wind is enough to destabilize a large trailer. Skill, caution, and preparation are not always enough: it’s important to be using proper, high quality equipment when towing an RV.

Electronic Brake Controllers

Most states require electronic brake controllers to be installed and in good working order on all trailers weighing three thousand pounds or greater. But it’s important to use an electronic brake controller on smaller trailers and RVs as well. An electronic brake controller is an instrument that adjusts braking speed and force on your trailer’s brake system when you activate the brakes in your tow vehicle. Installed in the passenger compartment of your tow vehicle, an electronic brake controller determines the speed of your tow vehicle’s braking and adjusts the braking rate of the trailer or RV.

User-Controlled Electronic Brake Controllers

Different types of electronic brake controllers apply your trailer’s brakes differently. With user-controlled electronic brake controllers, also called time-delay electronic brake controllers, the driver determines the settings for how the trailer brakes will adjust when the towing vehicle’s brakes are applied. User-controlled electronic brake controllers are most useful when towing off-road, when on-the-fly adjustments are necessary and the electronic brake controller’s settings can be overridden.

Proportional Electronic Brake Controllers

A proportional electronic brake controller senses the braking speed of the tow vehicle and matches automatically. In general they are preferred. They use high-quality sensors to adjust braking force and delay with the greatest accuracy. As these sensors are triggered by and measure the tow vehicle’s speed and braking force, they automatically adjust to conditions that impact a tow vehicle’s speed in ways that time-delay electronic brake controllers can’t adjust: road conditions, angles, relative speed, and braking force.

Dual Mode Electronic Brake Controllers

Some electronic brake controllers are built with both modes available. A default proportional mode can be overridden when certain conditions require greater control and finesse. Proportional mode is best for cruising, for consistent roads and highways. But when you take the tow vehicle and the trailer or RV off-road, along dirt roads, along a beach, or anywhere the roads and angles will be inconsistent, use the user-controlled mode. An override function on many electronic brake controllers can be used to adjust for trailer sway (although it may be worth it to also invest in and install an electronic trailer sway control system).

A tow vehicle and a trailer or recreational vehicle traveling together are a great deal of weight moving at relatively high speeds. Winds, unpredictable traffic, trailer sway, and sudden braking are all considerable hazards for a driver towing an RV. Installing the very highest quality electronic brake controller is the best way to insure that you and your property remain safe no matter what kind of road you’re towing on.

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A Simple Introduction to Trailer Brake Controllers

Most truck owners almost always end up towing something, whether it is a trailer, boat, or any other kind of load. If you are one who is familiar with towing, then you know how dangerous slowing down on the road can be when you are pulling a heavy load. Also, you must be aware of one of the towing safety facts that between 12% and 15% of the trailer’s weight should be resting on the hitch of the tow vehicle.

Truck owners in most states are required to install their trailers with not only brakes but brake controllers as well to prevent accidents. A brake controller is a device that connects the brake system of your truck and the trailer brake system so they are able to communicate either through motion sensor technology or manually. The best trailer brake controller ensures there is towing safety for both the truck driver and the general public.

There are two main types of brake controllers. The first is time-delayed brake controllers and second, proportional brake controllers. Time delayed brake controllers are those that exert a pre-determined level of power on the trailer brakes when the truck towing it has stopped. They are called time-delayed brake controllers because once you apply the brakes on the tow truck, a delay occurs allowing the brakes on the trailer to be pushed. Time delayed brake controllers come with a sync switch that allows the tow truck driver to lengthen the delay time.

Proportional brake controllers are those that come with a motion sensor device. This kind of brake controllers works a lot like a pendulum that is why they are also known as pendulum brake controllers. These devices use the physics of a pendulum to sense motion.

When the tow vehicle is immobile, the device is at the center. When the tow car starts moving the device is seen facing the back of the car, and when the driver breaks, the device moves forward with a degree of force that has been applied on the breaks.

The device then sends the same amount of force to the trailer brakes causing it to stop. While most of this process is automatic, there is one thing that the driver should do. The tow truck driver must always calibrate the device before starting the journey. A proportional brake controller is considered to be the best trailer brake controller between the two types. This is because the chance of your trailer brakes wearing out are very slim compared to when you use time-delayed brake controllers.

So how do you know how much power you are applying on your trailer brakes while driving? The best trailer brake controller will come with a monitoring system. Most brake controllers have an inbuilt monitoring system which is convenient for the driver. Make sure you place the device where you can see the digital screen.

The monitoring screen also helps you to know if your trailer brakes are working, if there is an electrical problem, and most importantly the amount of power you are putting on the trailer brakes. Today, thanks to technology, new electronic brake controllers have come into the market. One of the advantages of electronic brake controllers is that you can continuously monitor the brakes system of your vehicle. The quality of the screen is better, and you can choose different languages.

The best trailer brake controller comes with a four-wire configuration system. The connections are:

  • Battery power
  • Ground
  • Brake switch
  • Trailer feed

The battery power connection provides the brake controller with power. The ground connection is where a negative grounded source is connected to the brake controller. The brake switch connection allows the transfer of power to the trailer brakes as the brake pedal in the truck is pressed. The trailer feed supplies the trailer connector with brake power.

The installation of brake controllers is relatively easy, depending on the type you choose. Time delayed brake controllers are said to be easier to install than proportional brake controllers. Most drivers install their devices under the dashboard on the right side for better viewing.

One important thing to always keep in mind is the weight of your load. With this in mind, you will be able to choose the best brake controller for your needs.

Hayes Towing Electronics Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A. and In-Stock!