Breakaway brakes and monitoring from driving position

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 14:39
ThreadID: 119065 Views:4401 Replies:6 FollowUps:20
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Pick up a 2nd hand van tomorrow over 2 tonne.
I have been reading up on the new law regarding breakaway brakes. As my van is a 2001 model Jayco I guess it will not have the ability to show state of charge from the driversseat anyway my car doesn't have means of showing it either.
What is involved in rectifying this a voltmeter on the dash and wire from it run back to the breakaway battery?
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 16:32

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 16:32
I have a 2007 model Jayco and its breakaway brakes aren’t monitored from the vehicle.
On this van there seems no way to monitor the system other than to push a test button on the battery unit (under the caravan seat) before you hit the road.
I suppose you could attach a couple of wires to the breakaway battery and run it to a voltmeter on the dash.
You would want the battery specification and would need monitor its SOC before you turned its charging system on.
I'm from WA and not knowing the NSW law - I don't know whether this satisfies its requirements.
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 16:49

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 16:49
Law states that you must have in cab monitor. B
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 17:13

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 17:13
Thanks Dennis
You are lucky to live in WA. Apparently now in NSW in cabin monitoring of the breakaway battery is required. But a friends van has just passed inspection without the monitor and a caravan dealer tells me he hasn't been able to clarify the rule with the RTA. I don't know whether the rule only applies to vans made after 2007 or if it is retrospective.
Anyway the van I am picking up is as it was manufactured and is registered so I could assume that it is legal and without need of any monitor.
I previously had a van like yours and I simply pressed the test button to confirm everything was ok as well.
But lawmakers delight in confusing things and adding unecessary cost and confusion to the end user.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:08

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:08
Yep you also don't need to monitor it in Queensland.

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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:15

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:15
Its not part of the van Its part of the car and in NSW it is needed for all vans with Breakaway brakes.

It must be able to be viewed by the driver in his/her normal sitting position.

I have heard of visual things in the front window of the van visible in rear view mirror being used.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:48

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:48
Here is the document you want

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/roads/safety-rules/standards/vsi-22-electric-brakes.pdf

It says " must be capable of warning the driver..........."

which to me is monitoring the circuit to read voltage
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:50

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 18:50
Note the date on the document This has been law for at least 17 years.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:04

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:04
Another article which describes what you need to do to comply

http://www.australiancaravanclub.com.au/index.php/members-mainmenu-72/tag/884-breakaway-brake-monitor-nsw

and here

http://www.goseeaustralia.com.au/article/970/

Must remember to do all this searching before posting LOL

From an older thread on Caravanners forum

On discussing with them regarding those who like us use solar powered on-board batteries the reply was (with my bolding):

Thank you for your email in regards to the NSW registration requirements for caravans with electric braking systems that powered by on-board batteries charged by solar panels.

Trailers with electric brakes require on-board batteries to provide the energy necessary to operate the brakes and meet the relevant ADR performance requirements.

The method of charging the batteries is not really relevant, provided the batteries are maintained in a state of charge that allows the brakes to operate safely and the driver is able to monitor that state of charge.

NSW requires a vehicle towing a trailer equipped with electric brakes to be provided with a means of advising the driver of the state of charge of any battery used to the store energy necessary to operate a trailer’s brakes.

The batteries used to power other trailer devices or systems must preferentially power the systems necessary to operate the trailer’s brakes.

The fact that the trailer battery or batteries are charged by solar cells rather than by the towing vehicle’s alternator, does not change those requirements.

These are long standing requirements, consistent with the relevant ADRs, that electric brakes are preferentially charged and that motor vehicles feature one or more warning devices to provide driver’s with information on the capability of their vehicle or vehicle combination to satisfy mandatory brake performance requirements.

Thank you for reminding the RTA of the increasing popularity of caravans equipped with solar charged batteries – this will be taken into account when our related publications are next revised.

Regards

Safer Vehicles
NSW Centre for Road Safety

This seems to have been superseded here


VIB6, FOR ANYONE THAT HAS NOT READ IT.

6
Supersedes Vehicle inspectors bulletin / No. 6 / Published April 1998
Vehicle inspectors bulletin
1 (3 pages)
• AUVIS Proprietors & Examiners
For:
• HVAIS Proprietors & Examiners
• RTA Inspectors Vehicle Regulation
• RTA Registry Service Managers
• Engineering Signatories • AIS Proprietors & Examiners
Revision
0.1
/ Published 1 November 2007
This bulletin is issued to clarify the minimum requirements and to outline the testing procedures for electric braking
systems fitted to large trailers.
The Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2007 requires that all trailers with a Gross Trailer Mass (GTM)
exceeding 2 tonnes be provided with a braking system which will operate automatically and promptly upon breakaway
of the trailer from its towing vehicle, and that such application should be maintained for at least fifteen minutes.

Such trailers, if fitted with electrically actuated braking systems, must be equipped with a device which applies the
brakes in the event of a breakaway from the towing vehicle and maintains application for at least fifteen minutes. It is
essential therefore, that an energy source, such as a battery, be carried on the trailer and that means be provided to
ensure that the battery is maintained in a fully energised condition.
In this regard, it will be satisfactory if any trailer-
mounted battery is constantly charged by the towing vehicle and a warning device is fitted to warn the driver (from
the normal driving position) if the trailer battery charge falls to such a level as to render the trailer brakes incapable of
meeting the requirements.

Trailers required to be fitted with breakaway systems are not registerable if there is no means for maintaining the
breakaway energy source in a fully-energised condition
(for example, if a charging and warning circuit is not fitted). An
acceptable warning circuit must incorporate either a visual or an audible warning device.

The earthing system between the electric brake units and the trailer chassis must be by an earth wire and not via
suspension components or wheel bearings.
In order to vary the trailer braking effect in unison with the towing vehicle, some trailer brake controllers use a
pressure sensing device fitted to the towing vehicle’s brake system. The controller and its connections should be
examined for any hydraulic leaks. If the vehicle is subject to ADR31/--,
Hydraulic Braking Systems in Passenger Cars
or ADR35/--,
Commercial Vehicle Brake Systems
, installation of the control unit must not change the design of the
towing vehicles’ braking system. In particular, all the functions of the dual circuit system must be retained.

Whenever a trailer is presented for inspection, the towing vehicle must be equipped with a compatible charging
system which is connected to the trailer and is fully operable. Any vehicle not so equipped must be rejected.

Any trailer equipped with electric brakes, must have a label affixed which states that ... any towing vehicle must be
equipped with an acceptable charging/warning circuit.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:22

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:22
Thanks Tom for posting that link.
I read with interest where it said the system must warn the driver of the battery hasn't enough power. Umm if that warning was on the breakaway inside the van and was checked everyday before driving then that may be sufficient
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 23:54

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 23:54
Thanks Tom for all the information. For others I will add the source of your caravanners forum quote (for copyright reasons I believe it is essential to give links) Quote from Caravanners Forum.

Cruiser, in New South Wales where they require in vehicle monitoring, the fact we have a power house bank of batteries powered by solar panels being monitored and the charge maintained does not over-ride the legislation, and Tom has posted some of my correspondence with the RMS (RTA at the time of my correspondence) about this.

"The fact that the trailer battery or batteries are charged by solar cells rather than by the towing vehicle’s alternator, does not change those requirements."

The bottom line is if your caravan is registered in New South Wales, in-car state of charge of battery monitoring is essential, and although not everyone has been checked for this at inspection, they are doing so more and more.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 18:49

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 18:49
good evening all,
sorry to come in on the conversation late but could some one explain over run brake system to me I am not all that mechanically minded, and to be quite honest I just don't know what they are. thank you,
Broodie H3
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 19:34

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 19:34
Broodie, this is easiest way to show you.

Over run brakes

They work but once you start towing big loads they aren't a good option as the trailer and all it's weight has already given the towing vehicle a shunt fin the rear end.
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 19:37

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 19:37
Hi Broodie
Over run or over ride brakes have a sliding shaft in the coupling together with a spring. When the coupling is on the ball the coupling is in its extended position. When the brakes on the tow vehicle are applied the caravan pushes forward against the spring, this action is why it is called over run. When this happens and the van pushed forward a lever that is in contact with the slide section tightens a cable that operates the brakes.
Hope my attempt at describing this explains it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Thursday, Jun 04, 2015 at 09:49

Thursday, Jun 04, 2015 at 09:49
Thanks Cruiser 3,that does explain it to me, I supposed it is like the old Hydraulic braking systems where you had the coupling with the Hydraulic reservoir on it and hydraulic operated brakes, so the weight of the towed trailer operates the over run system as well. any way thank you for your answer. it is greatly appreciated
Broodie H3
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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Thursday, Jun 04, 2015 at 10:45

Thursday, Jun 04, 2015 at 10:45
Hi Broodie
Yes the old hydraulic system is another example, how things have changed.
I brought my first van in 1975 a 22ft Viscount weighing over 2 t and its hard to believe but it came with over ride brakes. I set up a vacuum tank in my Landcruiser and fitted a vacuum link to the handbrake lever of the van, all this was operated by a control on the steering column. Worked quite well it would smoke the van tyres if applied to hard though.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:19

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:19
Monitoring is only required in NSW. Read the regulations here. This is in part what the regs say:

"In this regard, it will be satisfactory if any trailer-mounted battery is constantly charged by
the towing vehicle and a warning device is fitted to warn the driver (from the normal driving position) if the trailer battery charge falls to such a level as to render the trailer brakes incapable of meeting the requirements."

If you have a R.V.Electronics model 5000 or 6000 You can use this monitor. From the fitting instructions:

"The breaksafe rm6000 remote monitor operates each time the brake pedal in the tow
Vehicle is pressed. The additional circuitry in the breaksafe 5000 & 6000 disconnects
The breaksafe battery from the charge wire and then connects it to a small
Electronic load. Should the breaksafe battery be good, a green light will
Illuminate on the front panel of the rm6000. If the battery is below the safe level,
A red light will flash and a buzzer will sound for about 10 seconds."

as you can see, this monitor applies a load to the battery and tests for the resultant voltage drop. This will check to see if the battery has the chance of carrying a load. A simple volt meter is not capable of doing that, it just measures if there some float voltage on a battery that may not have much capacity.
PeterD
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AnswerID: 554519

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:48

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 19:48
Thanks Nomadic Navara you have answered my original question about what I have to do to my car and possibly van if I find it doesn't comply when I pick it up.
It's funny that prior to posting here I was misinformed by reports from inspectors and RTA people not really being up to date with current rules
Thanks everyone
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 21:10

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 21:10
That reg is included in my long winded post above
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 21:20

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 21:20
Yes, and you posted it whilst I was composing my reply.


PeterD
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 08:31

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 08:31
Great minds think alike and at the same time ROFL
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Reply By: Steen - Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 21:16

Tuesday, Jun 02, 2015 at 21:16
Have you looked at updating to a wireless monitoring system. Have a look at http://caravansplus.com.au/catalog/index.php?cPath=256_999 for some options.




AnswerID: 554524

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 08:23

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 08:23
Thanks Steen
Certainly the wireless system seems the idea.
I will check my van when I pick it up and then I will be able to see what it has and exactly what weight it is.
At least now I have the answer as to what I have to fit.
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Reply By: Grant Tas - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 22:24

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 22:24
Hi Cruiser
I live in NSW and have a monitor positioned close to the brake controller.
It's a little monitor with one red cable through the car via my 12 pin plug into the caravan and connects to the breakaway unit.
My monitor came from R.V.Electronics .

The breaksafe rm6000 remote monitor operates each time the brake pedal in the tow car is depressed.
When you go for Rego checks at the heavy haulage inspection stations they do check the breakaway system and monitors.
Hope this helps
Grant
AnswerID: 554547

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 22:33

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 at 22:33
Thanks Grant
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Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Saturday, Jun 06, 2015 at 11:15

Saturday, Jun 06, 2015 at 11:15
Hi all, my most recent Jayco ( late last yr model) bought in Perth came with electric brakes , a breakaway system and an in- car remote monitor that plugs into cig lighter. I believe any van over 2 t needs elect brakes ( WA).
MG.
AnswerID: 554639

Reply By: guy007 - Sunday, Jun 07, 2015 at 20:27

Sunday, Jun 07, 2015 at 20:27
Hi,
I have a 2010 Lotus Trooper van fitted with a breakaway brake system powered by the van's own house battery.
I solved the problem of the monitor by fitting a ABR battery SOC meter to the Landcruiser and running a monitor wire straight to the van house battery through the 7 pin plug.
Only lights up when tug connected to the van. Has a graduated lighted scale. If battery is in the red will flash to warn you. Meets all the requirements!
Simple
regards
Guy
AnswerID: 554676

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