Caravan Brakes

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 08:32
ThreadID: 55317 Views:7201 Replies:3 FollowUps:23
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Hi All
Well I require information on caravan brakes.
I have purchased a 22ft caravan duel axel.Which is the best system to install these days,Electric,Hydraulic,
At the moment there are override Hydraulic drum brakes.
In 1970 I towed a new 22ft Millard caravan for 2 years & I had a control handle under dash,which I could use as a hand brake to the caravan & would lock the caravan brakes up if required it also was a adjustment to make the caravan brakes to in gauge before the car brakes ,so as the caravan brakes would come on before the car which I always used this system so the caravan used to pull against the car first. I always serviced this brake system to make sure both sides of van were working as if only one side was not working right the caravan would sway every where,I also had double sway bars fitted, So which is the best system to install these days.( Foot note my life is worth more than the brakes will cost )
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Reply By: Dunaruna - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 08:57

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 08:57
On a caravan, override brakes present a few problems that are not easily overcome.

!. Difficult to have an effective breakaway system.

2. Most level riders hamper the operation of the surge coupling.

3. No in car control.

Electric brakes solve all of those problems easily.

If you really want to keep the hydraulic, you can opt for an electro/hydraulic system but you will need deep pockets compared to electric brakes.
AnswerID: 291551

Follow Up By: CLC50 - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 09:18

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 09:18
Sorry
I forgot to add The brake system I used in the 70s, Had a air booster fitted ( no override ) on the draw bar of the van with air line fitted to the car with a connecting to the booster which worked when you applied the brake pedal in the car with the adjustment under dash to control pressure to the caravan Drum brakes.
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 09:55

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 09:55
The type of system you are describing is now defunct.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 23:11

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 23:11
I think its correct that a caravan that weighs 2 tonnes or more overrides are illegal therefore must have electric or whatever but not overrides
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 23:12

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 23:12
Forgot to add must also have breakaway fitted as well
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 23:27

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 23:27
Brake laws aren't retrospective!
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 07:59

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 07:59
Thought he is asking about fitting a new system so laws would apply woukd they not.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2008 at 22:51

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2008 at 22:51
No they wouldn't, the legislation only applies to trailers built after a certain date, although trailer repairers would like to convince you otherwise.
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008 at 17:07

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008 at 17:07
I cannot comment on other states, their respective legislation may be different, but in victoria ANY modification from the original must comply with current legislation.

Besides, safety is the issue here, electric brakes win hands down over surge hydraulic.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:01

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 12:01
That is not correct!
On that basis, if you have to RWC a 1985 vehicle you have to fit air bags.

I am a Yacht Broker, some of the vessels that we handle are trailer sailers & often require trailer repairs, none of which have to be brought up to current standards.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 16:05

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 16:05
He isnt repairing them though.
He is asking what to replace his old ones with.
Isnt it sensible to repalce with a modern legal set of brakes rather than bodgy up the old ones.
I would think so anyway At least I would know that two tonnes of trailer isnt going to wrap itself around my ears.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 16:44

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 16:44
He isn't building a new trailer either!
By replacing brakes he is effecting repairs, which need to be carried out to the requirements of the legislation that was in place when the trailer was first built.
As far as the "trailer wrapping itself around his ears", what did we do before breakaway systems were invented?
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 18:50

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 18:50
Shaker, I respectfully suggest that you have mis-read my post. Vicroads make a definite distinction between a 'repair' and a 'modification'.

Replacing a surge hydraulic braking system with an electric system is a MODIFICATION from the original, not a repair. A modification must comply with current legislation including being compelled by law to fit a functioning breakaway system (2 tonne>).

If he was to simply replace the surge hydraulic with a new surge hydraulic, that would be a repair and not fall under the current legislation.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 19:13

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 19:13
We have had many boat trailers altered from over-ride hydaulic drum to over-ride mechanical discs with no legislative issues.

This whole subject has been raised several times in the course of running our business & our advice has been, that as long as the repair/alteration complies to the standards as per the trailer's build date, then there is no problem.
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 19:57

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 19:57
Are you in Victoria?
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 20:09

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 20:09
Yes I am, we operate out of Western Port Marina at Hastings & our trailer work is done by Western Port Trailers.

If what you are mooting is correct, then if you raise or lower the suspension on a vehicle (modification), then you would have to fit Electronic Stability Control. ( I think it's a must now, if not it soon will be.)
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 21:14

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 21:14
The ADR rules allow some le-way for suspension (and wheel) mods, but if you stray from the allowable, they come down on you like a ton of bricks, your stability control comment may not be as silly as it sounds in the eyes of big brother. Ever tried to get an engineers cert. on a motor mod? Nightmare.

Maybe the hydraulic to mechanical on a boat trailer is considered a same/same mod, dunno. The last brake mod I did on a boat trailer over 2 tonne was a 4 wheel electric with breakaway, vicroads didn't bat an eyelid.

When you read the ADR rules for trailers it becomes obvious that many of the regs can be interpreted, they are not always black and white. I'm my business I do RWC's, I ring vicroads regularly to get clarification on various regs (car windscreens are a classic example). Often THEY don't know, it always comes down to safety, they always rule in favour of whatever they say it should mean, not what the words actually say.

A friend of mine in Queensland imports secondhand trailer/sailers, before he can hitch them up from the docks he is forced to modify the hitches to comply with ADR even though there is nothing wrong with the yankee hitches, in fact they are far superior to ours.

My point is, common sense plays no part when dealing with these authorities, they would just as soon drag you to court rather than listen to a logical argument. I would not like to test your brake modification in a court of law with the type of mentality that vicroads possess.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 21:25

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 21:25
Shaker

This bloke just wants to upgrade his brakes. As he can upgrade to modern standards for not much more than the cost of a bodgy system, why should he not go the full hog and bring it up to modern standards? What has this got to do with whether he can get away
with a lesser system?

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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 21:48

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 21:48
MY comment about being wrapped around you ears was a jocular one but what happens when the old overides jam up from lack of attention and nothing happens.
Got nearly pushed off the road by a trailer years ago when carting landscaping rocks on a hire trailer with overides and found out too late the brakes were dodgy.
Luckily had enuf room to hit the loud pedal and pull it out of it or we would have had it around or ears and probably everything else.
Breakaways wouldnt have saved us unless the thing ripped the towbar off on its way past.
I understood they were for stopping the trailer if it became disconnected from the tow vehicle and operate separate from the normal braking system apart from using the same magnets etc when operating during a disaster.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 22:54

Thursday, Mar 13, 2008 at 22:54
If you are talking about MacGregor 26 Yachts, plenty of them have got past the scrutiny at the docks.

As far as what brakes he fits, I couldn't care less ... but it annoys me to see people incorrectly advised eg. "that system is now defunct"
PBR still make vacuum brakes systems for light trailers ..... SEE HERE
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 17:42

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 17:42
Let me guess, you fit them, right?
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 17:49

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 17:49
"If you are talking about MacGregor 26 Yachts, plenty of them have got past the scrutiny at the docks."

And that makes it legal? I'm sure the insurance companies would be delighted.

"As far as what brakes he fits, I couldn't care less ."

Once again you have mis-read my word. I never mentioned brakes.

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 23:31

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 23:31
Dunaruna posted:
>>> The type of system you are describing is now defunct. <<<


See what I mean, bad advice!
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Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 00:06

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 00:06
Defunct means 'no longer in use'. It does not mean 'not available'.

Just because PBR sells it doesn't mean caravaners buy it.

I agree, lots of bad (and I'll informed) advise out there.
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Reply By: Ray - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 10:34

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 10:34
Electric brakes are the way to go. You can set up an electric brake system on your van for about $900.00. The kits are complete with drums, shoes and magnets. Wiring and controller are not included. It is not too hard to DIY if you are handy.
AnswerID: 291569

Reply By: CLC50 - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008 at 05:44

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008 at 05:44
Thanks all

For all your Help,

I shall Install Electric

Regards
AnswerID: 292243

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