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Review of Caravans Plus Service
their prices are allway's the best.
Knowing your vans limits and legal requirements is not only important so you have an enjoyable holiday, but a safe one. While some laws may differ from state to state there are a few standardised nation wide. In this article we will be focusing on brake configuration. The minimum brake setup you require is determined by your GTM (Gross Trailer Mass).
The GTM is shown on a compliance plate which is usually located on the drawbar.
Override brake systems are commonly found on trailers, camper trailers, and older caravans. They use the force applied against a slowing tow vehicle through the coupling to apply the brake, the same way pulling the handbrake would.
Below: hydraulic override, mechanical override, offroad override
Most caravans these days have electric brakes fitted as they offer greater control and allow the driver to change the resistance to match the driving conditions. Electric brakes are powered by a brake controller and by law it is required to be fitted within reach of the driver of the tow vehicle.
Below: standard electric coupling, AKS electric coupling, offroad electric coupling
A breakaway system is a safety device required by law to be fitted to caravan and trailers weighing more than 2000kg and equipped with electric brakes. A unit is mounted on the trailer and connected to the tow vehicle with a metal cord and in the event of uncoupling in transit, applies the electric brakes to the trailer/caravan. It must be capable of keeping the brakes engaged for at least 15 minutes.
The breakaway control unit, which has its own battery, is fitted to the caravan/trailer. The breakaway switch is mounted to the A frame. The switch holds a pin on the end of a cable, which is then connected to the tow vehicle. If the vehicle separates from the caravan the pin is pulled from the switch and the breakaway system will be engaged, applying the electric brakes and brake lights.
NSW has been the first state to make it mandatory for all tow vehicles being used in conjunction with a breakaway kit to have a remote battery monitor installed. The monitor is installed near the driver and gives a visual and auditory warning if the battery has low charge, ensuring the system will work if the caravan or trailer separate.
Remote monitors can be purchased separately to suit most existing brake-away systems.
Currently there is not a remote monitor available for the Tekonsha breakaway system.
If you have a old breakaway system that you can not get a monitor for, you may need to get an independent battery monitor like the Hayman Reese Smartcheck wireless battery monitor or upgrade your breakaway kit to pass NSW registration.
Hayman Reese make the universal Smartcheck wireless battery monitor that can connect from one to four 12V batteries and display the status of each to the driver and provide an audible warning if the voltage drops to an unsafe level.
R.V. Electronics is South Australia Company starting in 1995. It has established itself as a benchmark in design and manufacture of electronic products for the caravan and camping industry. The monitor is purchased separately.
Coast to Coast have released the Tow-Secure breakaway kit, inspired by the new requirement of remote battery monitors in tow vehicles. This kit contains a wireless battery monitor which not only removes the need for expensive auto-electrician installation, but also means it can be easily swapped between cars removing the need for multiple monitors and installations.
Camec has also bought out its own breakaway kit. It is the most economical and fills the gap in the market. The monitor is purchased separately.
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