brake controller regs

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by PaulJaq, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. PaulJaq

    PaulJaq Read Only Funster

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    Me again for the last time I think!!!

    Looking at some very useful info. people have posted inc. the sept 2011 info sheet from Dept for Transport ref. American Trailer brakes up to 3500KG laden weight, there was a bit in there about brake controllers.

    The bit that worries me is 'American caravans / trailers with electric brakes can have an electrical device mounted in the towing vehicle which senses deceleration in the towing vehicle and transmits a signal to the caravan / trailer braking system to operate the brakes. European requirements demand that this type of device must be mounted on the caravan / trailer'

    What does this mean?

    Does the brake controller black box have to be mounted in the 5th wheel, with the signal cable running into and back from the tow truck? Which seems a bit pointless??

    Also this 'supply of electricity for electrical braking systems' - 'the electrical energy required for the electrical braking system must be supplied to the trailer by the towing vehicle. If there is a battery on the trailer which is fed by the power supply unit of the twoing vehicle, the power from the battery must be disconnected during the application of the service braking system'.

    What does this mean?????

    Does it mean the power for the trailer brakes must come from the tow trucks battery and whilst the brakes are applied the trialer battery must be isolated. This could be done by a high amp relay system, or just connect the power source for the trailer brakes to the tow truck, and leave the chraging whilst towing connection to the battery - possibly to be cut via relay when the brake is applied to keep to the letter of the law.

    Again what is the point and do all the current 5th wheel combinations in the UK comply with this / are wired this way??

    Cheers Paul
     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    no some use air brakes . fifth whel company ones do . well the ones i have seen. lynton ,vipex , plus several others use various systems . all make 5th wheel campers on request.
    vipex in fact build off road artic trailers .pulled by landrovers etc . mean trailers i must say.
     
  3. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Mine has the electric brake system and the control box is mounted in the cab, there would be no point in it being anywhere else as it tells me the system is working by the digital display when activating the brakes plus it has an over ride on it so i could apply the trailer brakes manually without the truck brakes if needed. e.g. on a long possibly steep downhill where i felt the trailer weight was pushing the truck
    I believe though according to the regs i have read in the past that towing units over 3500kg are supposed to have air brakes in this country
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    not quite right my vw and the mitzy are on hydraulic braking systems .
    i do have electric compressor to work the trailer . but that is controlled by an hydraulic to air actuator .or i can apply the hand brake of the tow unit and this puts the trailer brakes on as a secondary braking application .
    best is the exhaust brake on the mitzy means i dont actually brake very oftern saves wearing the trailer brakes out .
    in fact i have driven miles with out flicking the electric compressor on . to be honest i didnt even realise . even the vw lt handled the trailer and never felt it pushing . and i have done some mountain descents
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
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  5. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    I have never had to use my over ride Alan but thats what its there for so no point in it being placed somewhere it cant be used should the need arise
     
  6. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i understand . just i dont make the rules .
    i have as i said come down the atlas mountains then realised i never had the trailer brakes on . didnt even know . have since deliberately not had them on sometimes . reckon i could easily not need them .
    i dont mean to knock the american system . my foot brake works the trailer brakes . the handbrake works the trailer brakes . i have a handbrake on the trailer .
    the foot brake works via the dual circuit system is piped in to both hydraulic systems . meets uk /eu specs easily . so i like it .
    i also like the solenoid system seems to work well .have worked on them.
    so does the american systems .
    i bent my axles being pulled out of a river backwards . when i replaced them i was surprised how cheap they were .
    the dearest part is the gast compressor and the hydraulic to air actuators .
    but its good for blowing up tyres etc . every thing must be dual purpose . ha ha .
    gast is a american compressor so i supose i have an american system really .
     
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  7. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Not criticising your set up in anyway but in such a failsafe system how is it possible not to have the trailer brakes on, do you have to switch the compressor on? If so I would think that very dangerous. No trailer brakes, heavy emergency braking ......jacknife!!! Or have I misunderstood ...not an uncommon occurence these days :BigGrin:
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi .you are correct .
    i do have to turn the compressor on . its self catered forwith pressure switches once switched on .i have lights in the cab letting me know what its doing . could have a gauge .just never extended the pipes .
    yes jack nifing could happen . i ,m not saying you should drive it witrh no brakes .
    my truck is a 6.3 ton gvw .it can have an unbraked trailer of 750kg .lets call that 7ton combined . very often my trainweight only just comes to 7 ton . in theory the truck brakers should be well in to braking that weight . as it is they are . i can in fact drive just about anywhere and only use the exhaust brake . i have played that game . santander to gibralter only pressing the foot brake by accident . think all vehicles should have them . makes mountain roads a delight .no over heating on the brakes .
    i used to originally forget to turn the compressor on . in fact i used to forget to turn the airlines on . . sad really i drive full size artics but they have had automatic connectors for years .
    i think i could in a real emergency drive anywhere with out the trailer brakes . but dont recommend it to anyone .
    some do have it so the compressor comes on with the ign. that ok if you want airhorns . i dont always drive with a trailer on so dont want the compressor blowing off etc .
    the trailer brakes use air to put them on .not to take them off ,as in a rigid type vehicle .
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  9. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Agree with you(twice in one day !!!! :Rofl1:) about the exhaust brake, can come down windy hill(M62) fully loaded 44t in lower gear using exhaust brake and very occasional braking 45-50 mph nice & safe.Others fly past overrunning speedlimiter not a hope in hell of stopping in an emergency, younger drivers don't remember brake fade.Mostly retired now so only have to worry about the 5er brakes :Doh: Not even that so much as it is parked up in Portugal with a view to permanent siting and have bought a caravan for touring.
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    well you know the secret of exhausters . it was definately a bonus when its standard on the mitzy. .i found when driving tankers it gave a much smoother ride . specially the milk tankers as they dont have baffles in the tanks .
    telman brakes are nice as well.
    glad we can agree , i know sometimes we dont .:Wink:but thats life .
    wish i was younger there is a gap waiting to be filled with the mini artic route . certainly i speak with the major companies about the way forward . they have oportunities that they want filling . i,m like you too old to get involved i really only play at it now .
    have a goodone catch you on the road somewhere might be in portugalthis winter or after xmas dont know yet . be good to crack a few beers . cheers alan.
     

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