Brake Controllers for an RV Trailer
Many Americans own pickup trucks or SUVs with strong engines, and it is common to use those vehicles to tow trailers of all kinds. Sometimes, such vehicles are used to tow items for work, such as roofing contractor materials or even livestock, while other people are towing personal items, such as a drum kit or an ATV for some off-road adventures. In any case, towing a trailer means driving responsibly, since there are now two set of wheels to keep track of while on the road. Fortunately, towing a trailer is not terribly complicated, and there are commercial products available to make this process even easier and safer. The best brake controllers can be bought and installed in the towing truck and trailer, and electronic brake controllers like these allow the truck and trailer to safely brake in a coordinated fashion. Buying the best brake controllers may require some discretion, as there are multiple models available. And what about trailer sway? Can something be done about that, too?
Preventing Trailer Sway
While towing a trailer or an RV, there is a risk of that trailer swaying from side to side, and that can spell trouble, especially at higher speeds. Once a trailer starts swaying, too much pressure is put on the trailer hitch, and the trailer might even break free. Or, if it doesn’t, the unusual force could cause the towing vehicle to slide out of control or even flip over, and cause a traffic accident. Why might trailer sway happen? It may occur if the towing vehicle is driving too fast, and if the trailer’s contents are not distributed correctly according to weight, swaying may soon begin.
So, if trailer sway starts during a trip, the driver is discouraged from simply hitting the brakes. Instead, that driver is urged to gradually slow down, such as via coasting, and get below the speed where the trailer sway started happening. This should fix the problem. If the sway persists, the driver may coast to a total stop and then inspect the trailer hitch for any issues. In addition, the driver ought to redistribute the weight of the trailer’s contents, so most of the weight is close to the truck. If too much weight is at the far end of the trailer, that may cause some swaying. Also, no items in the trailer should be sticking out over the sides.
The Best Brake Controllers for the Job
Now it is time to consider electronic brake controllers for the job. Very light and small trailers might not need their own brake systems, but above a certain threshold of size and weight, electronic brake controls are a must. After all, no one will be inside the trailer or RV to operate brakes inside. Instead, the towing vehicle’s driver can look for the best brake controllers on the market and install them, and choose the model that suits their needs.
Put simply, the best brake controllers will smoothly transmit data from the towing vehicle to the trailer’s own brake systems, and allow both sets of brakes to operate in tandem. A control box will sit on the truck’s dashboard, and wires will feed data to the trailer’s own brake system. Applying the truck’s brakes allow the trailer’s to operate as well. If such a system were missing, then when the truck braked, the heavy trailer or RV would keep moving forward and slam right into the truck. This problem would be even worse going downhill, and in the case of braking uphill, the trailer would try to roll back and bring the truck with it.
Timing brakes are best for smaller trailers with limited weight and travel speed. These electronic brakes sense the truck’s own braking and use pre-set timing parameters to apply the trailer’s brakes, and the owner can program any setting they need into this system. Such brake systems are quite easy to operate and set up. And for larger trailers, and/or trailers going at higher speeds, inertia-based electronic brakes are a must, which will sense the truck’s own momentum and send data to the trailer for its own braking operation. This allows for some tightly controlled and well-coordinated braking in any situation, even uphill or downhill as well as on flat terrain.