Brakes on camper trailers

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 05, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 815 Views:1545 Replies:2 FollowUps:0
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Dear campers,
I need to fit brakes to my camper trailer as it weighs 950 kgs when fully laden with spare fuel, water, extra spare etc. Any advice? I am not keen to put a treg coupling with override as it will prevent me opening back doors of 1990 nissan wagon and also I have just fitted a weld on treg coupling. I am interested in disc brakes with hydraulic brake system hooked up to an electric controller with pendulum. This also means I can keep my current treg coupling.
Paul
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Reply By: Mark Wilson - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2002 at 01:00
I'm not too familiar with treg hitches I've got an Orac so I'm not much help there. However I have an off road camper trailer, weighing about 800kgs all up and it has electric drum brakes fitted to it which work very well.
I have a Hella "brake controller" in the 4wd and it works via electric impulse which is regulated to suit the terrain. The controller also has a manual over ride so I can apply the brakes to the trailer separately. Handing when going down steep slopes. My 4wd is automatic so not as much engine braking as a manual. I had to fit an impulse controller instead of a pendulum type because the pendulum type were too big and wouldn't fit anywhere. I've had both the pendulum type and now the electrical impulse type and both work well.

Regards Mark Wilson
AnswerID: 2298

Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Saturday, Mar 09, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Mar 09, 2002 at 01:00
Hi Paul, if you want to fit electric brakes to your trailer you can have any type you want so long as they are drums. The hydraulic discs are actuated by the over run method which works fine on the hard black stuff but can and does create horrors in off road situations.

The problem is running down or across a steep and/or slippery slope with over ride brakes usually end in a jack-knife! because they (the trailer brakes) are waiting for resistence from the tow vehicle to operate them (thus over run). I know you shouldn't drive across slopes but some tracks or roads give you no choice.

I have used elecric brakes (drum) now for over 5 years on my caravan without a hint of trouble, BUT, you must maintain them meticulously. ie anytime water or mud enters the brakes pull the drums off and make sure they are clean inside (it also lets you adjust them correctly and to check the wheel bearings, thus preventing premature failure) as soon as practical. It sounds like a lot of trouble but in reality it becomes a part of life on the road.

I have towed trailers with disc brakes (boat trailer) and they are not a patch on electric/drum combo. By the way, disc brakes require as much maintenance as drums and are more difficult to work on as the calipers have to be disassembled to be cleaned. I have never experienced brake fade with drum brakes but the trick is make sure the brake controller and brake shoes are correctly adjusted. I use a Tekonsha Voyager (pendulum) controller and not one spot of bother. Hope this helps. Cheers
AnswerID: 2331

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