The brakes on your Caravan will not work unless you have a 12volt brake control
module installed into your vehicle. This device is known as an Electric Brake
Controller, by law it has to located within in easy reach of the driver, the brake
controller is connected to the car’s battery, it is activated by the stop light circuit of
the towing vehicle and is connects to the caravan through the seven or twelve point
trailer socket.

Australian Design rules state that trailers over 750 kg GTM must have an effective
brake system fitted (irrespective of the vehicles towing capacity or unladen mass).

An electric brake in the tow vehicle will enable the electric trailer brakes to function.  
Its placement should be readily accessible by the driver, most brake controllers are
mounted under the dashboard.  A correctly set up electric brakes will stop the effect
of the (weight of the) van pushing the tow vehicle along.

Caravans and trailers over 2000 kg usually have tandem axles and must have brakes
operating on all wheels whereas caravans and trailers under 2000 kg must have
efficient brakes operating to at least two wheels of one axle.
The electric connection between the tow vehicle and the caravan is done with a seven or twelve pin
round or flat plug (compulsory in Australia) and socket.  This connection operates the lights, stop lights,
indicator lights, supplies the power for the brakes, also the 12volt power supply for the fridge or general
12volt on the caravan or camper trailer.

The most efficient type of brake controller has a motion sensing device.  Some have features such as a
self adjusting sensing device to compensate for various terrain, self-levelling device and digital
displays plus the ability to report electrical fault conditions such as power loss and short circuits.  Once
the brake controller is set up and adjusted correctly the driver will be able to slow the vehicle and
caravan or trailer combination with smooth proportional braking.

DIGITAL OR PENDULUM inertia-activated brake controller applies power to the trailer brakes in
proportion to the tow vehicle’s deceleration.  The Tekonsha Prodigy has a self adjusting sensing device,
a digital display showing voltage level delivered to the trailer brakes plus a ‘boost’ feature that gives the
user the ability to apply more initial braking power when towing heavier trailers.  The Prodigy can brake
up to four trailer axles but it is not designed for use with electric-hydraulic trailer brake systems

TIMER OR SYNC CONTROL brake controllers are a compact, slim-line controller and can be easily
installed with a conventional 4 wire hook up.
The Redarc EBRH model comes with the LED and controls to allow remote mounting up to 500mm away
from the main unit.

The controls are small enough to be mounted in the dash through a standard push-out switch panel.  
The main unit can be mounted out of sight, and the controls will have minimal visual impact on the
vehicle.  The braking gain adjustment knob and the manual override pushbutton are the same control,
which allows the operator to adjust the braking level whilst operating the manual override function.

Most brake controller manufacturers have installation instructions with the packaging of the device
although most of this information is available on their websites.

For caravans and trailers over 2000 kg GTM (2 ton) a breakaway cable/device is mandatory. This is
required in the awful event that the RV parts company with the tow vehicle.  When the cable is
detached the trailer brakes are operated automatically.  These heavy type caravans or trailers will also
have two safety chains which must meet Australian Standards.

For caravan and trailers in excess of 2,000 kg GTM there will be Break Safe brake control unit in the
front boot of the caravan with its own 12V battery.  The Break Safe breakaway kit is designed to activate
the caravan or trailer electric brakes as well as the brake lights if the caravan or trailer becomes
separated from the tow vehicle. This battery should be checked from time to time by pressing on a
‘test’ button on the front of the unit, just remember that most of these breakaway devices only receive
their charge when the caravan is connected to the tow vehicle's 12volt power supply.

The trailer plug wiring to the tow vehicle should be disconnected before you do the test. A green light
should glow if all is well, a red light if battery is low or no light if battery is flat, although this unit will be
connected to your vehicle for around 30minutes to be charged enough to make the green light work.

PLEASE NOTE: These units use a 12volt 7A/hr lead acid battery, if this battery is left uncharged for any
extended period of time it will become open cell, meaning it will not hold a charge at all.
We recommend that battery be load tested every 12-18month and replaced if necessary, its no good
having a Break Away System when the battery to run it is not able to hold a charge long enough to
operate the system in an emergency.
unit 1/16 Abrams Street, Balcatta. WA.      08 9240 4552

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(08) 9240 4552
unit 1/16 Abrams Street
Balcatta, WA. 6021

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Closed Saturdays
7.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday
Closed Saturdays