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Thread: Electric trailer brakes

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    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    Default Electric trailer brakes

    Hi all. We're considering buying a small camper. They all have electric brakes. How would one go about wiring the car to make them work? It would be towed by my 406 (legally). So what would I need to do to the 406? I usually tow hydraulically braked trailers.

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    Fellow Frogger! TassieExec's Avatar
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    Hi Chris
    You would need to buy an electric brake control unit and wire it in according to the instructions, pretty straight forward, you will also need to run a heavy duty, I think from memory a 30 amp power supply cable and an earth wire to a socket at the back of the car, the control unit should give you all details, I assume the trailer will come with a plug so you would just have to match the socket to it
    Regards
    Neil

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    If you are buying new the dealer you are buying it from would have a suitable controller one would think.

    If its second hand have a look in the sellers car and see what they are using and get something similar.
    Regards Col

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    Also a little bit of reading for you Chris

    https://www.camplify.com.au/index.cf...eMode=dosearch
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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    Have a look at this guy https://www.redarc.com.au/trailer-brakes/tow-pro
    I've got one in my wagon for the car trailer. Electric brakes are great, they stop the clunking of the hydraulic hitch moving back and forwards, as well as the safety advantages of adjustable braking.

    If your brake switch on the 406 is similar to the 206, wiring it up will be easy.
    206 GTi 180 - Cat Cams, Remapped Group N ECU, AST Camber Tops & Coilovers, -2deg fixed camber hubs by Frogstomp Racing, 24mm Torsion Bars, AP Racing brakes, Yokohama A050, PeugeotSport Baffled Sump, Powerflex Engine Mounts & Bushings, Setrab Oil cooler, Quaife diff, Velo seats.

    Sandown - 1:31.5
    Winton - 1:45.6
    Phillip Island - 1:58.4
    Nürburgring - 10:23.ish (Fiesta ST)

    Previously, 2x 504 Wagon, 505 Wagon, 505 STi, 405.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TassieExec View Post
    Hi Chris
    You would need to buy an electric brake control unit and wire it in according to the instructions, pretty straight forward, you will also need to run a heavy duty, I think from memory a 30 amp power supply cable and an earth wire to a socket at the back of the car, the control unit should give you all details, I assume the trailer will come with a plug so you would just have to match the socket to it
    Regards
    Neil
    Thanks for that neil. I thought id need something like that.
    The car already has an amp in the boot so has some pretty monster cables there! Is that to power the camper?

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    If you are buying new the dealer you are buying it from would have a suitable controller one would think.

    If its second hand have a look in the sellers car and see what they are using and get something similar.
    Thanks col. The camper we're looking at is second hand at a dealer so have no idea how it's been running. But I'm sure they could tell us something! Thanks for the link. Although we went to tassie a couple of years ago. And would love to do it again but this time with a camper and the dogs!

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    Hi Chris, the 30 amp power supply I told you about is just for the electric brakes, hope you find a suitable camper and are able to get it all sorted easily, hope you trip to Tassie comes off, I'm biased of course but it's a great place, we live just out of Devon[port so you never know, we might see when your down this way.
    Regards
    Neil

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    Quote Originally Posted by speaksgeek View Post
    Have a look at this guy https://www.redarc.com.au/trailer-brakes/tow-pro
    I've got one in my wagon for the car trailer. Electric brakes are great, they stop the clunking of the hydraulic hitch moving back and forwards, as well as the safety advantages of adjustable braking.

    If your brake switch on the 406 is similar to the 206, wiring it up will be easy.
    Woops i missed your post! Yeah I think 406 and 206 are actually very similar! Looks like it's not going to be hard at allntl wore it up. Except getting to the switch. Could I get the power from the brake light

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    206 GTi 180 - Cat Cams, Remapped Group N ECU, AST Camber Tops & Coilovers, -2deg fixed camber hubs by Frogstomp Racing, 24mm Torsion Bars, AP Racing brakes, Yokohama A050, PeugeotSport Baffled Sump, Powerflex Engine Mounts & Bushings, Setrab Oil cooler, Quaife diff, Velo seats.

    Sandown - 1:31.5
    Winton - 1:45.6
    Phillip Island - 1:58.4
    Nürburgring - 10:23.ish (Fiesta ST)

    Previously, 2x 504 Wagon, 505 Wagon, 505 STi, 405.

  11. #11
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    Just to expand on my last post (I was on mobile).

    There's a couple of ways to wire up the tow pro unit. I've got mine in the boot area, which is also where my battery and one of the body computers is (Audi wagon). It connects to the fuse box for it's power, and I found a brake switch signal in one of the connectors to the computer. You can splice into a brake light output, but only if your car doesn't have active bulb monitoring, as that will interfere.

    I then have run a standard ethernet cable up to the front where the control knob is mounted to the dash.
    Pin 5 of the trailer plug is used for brakes. Wiring Diagrams - Products - Narva

    The main unit can go anywhere and in any orientation, but this way the heavy gauge wire for braking and power have as short a run as possible. The control knob is ok with up to a 5m cable I think.

    When I was researching electric brakes, this unit stood out, in that it uses fully solid state accelerometers like your phone to measure X/Y/Z movement in the vehicle, and brake proportionally based on that. It's can also be used in a totally independent mode if needed.

    Many of the cheap ones use a pendulum, which doesn't work in reverse, and is very sensitive to where and how you mount it in the car. I didn't want a unit next to my knee, which seems to be the standard procedure. The Tekonsha P3 was the main other one people recommend, but here's an interesting comparison. Electronic Brake Controller Comparison - Tekonsha vs Redarc - RVeeThereYet

    I've found my electric brakes to be very sensitive. I have the controller set to about 2.5/10 for my 1.4 ton trailer and car combo.

    Finally, be sure to get the tow pro elite, not the classic. The classic doesn't have proportional braking. The RRP is way too much. Several ebay sellers are closer to $225 for the elite.
    206 GTi 180 - Cat Cams, Remapped Group N ECU, AST Camber Tops & Coilovers, -2deg fixed camber hubs by Frogstomp Racing, 24mm Torsion Bars, AP Racing brakes, Yokohama A050, PeugeotSport Baffled Sump, Powerflex Engine Mounts & Bushings, Setrab Oil cooler, Quaife diff, Velo seats.

    Sandown - 1:31.5
    Winton - 1:45.6
    Phillip Island - 1:58.4
    Nürburgring - 10:23.ish (Fiesta ST)

    Previously, 2x 504 Wagon, 505 Wagon, 505 STi, 405.

  12. #12
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    red-arc is way to expensive. You was a proportional controller. I just have a primus IQ .... they are proportional and work really well. You can buy them very reasonably priced with the wiring kit you need:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/IQ-ELECT...0AAMXQbjxRCMG3

    mount it somewhere within easy reach, so if your trailer or caravan ever takes off ... you can manually apply the trailer brakes. Wiring them in is quite simple.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
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    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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  13. #13
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speaksgeek View Post
    Just to expand on my last post (I was on mobile).

    There's a couple of ways to wire up the tow pro unit. I've got mine in the boot area, which is also where my battery and one of the body computers is (Audi wagon). It connects to the fuse box for it's power, and I found a brake switch signal in one of the connectors to the computer. You can splice into a brake light output, but only if your car doesn't have active bulb monitoring, as that will interfere.

    I then have run a standard ethernet cable up to the front where the control knob is mounted to the dash.
    Pin 5 of the trailer plug is used for brakes. Wiring Diagrams - Products - Narva

    The main unit can go anywhere and in any orientation, but this way the heavy gauge wire for braking and power have as short a run as possible. The control knob is ok with up to a 5m cable I think.

    When I was researching electric brakes, this unit stood out, in that it uses fully solid state accelerometers like your phone to measure X/Y/Z movement in the vehicle, and brake proportionally based on that. It's can also be used in a totally independent mode if needed.

    Many of the cheap ones use a pendulum, which doesn't work in reverse, and is very sensitive to where and how you mount it in the car. I didn't want a unit next to my knee, which seems to be the standard procedure. The Tekonsha P3 was the main other one people recommend, but here's an interesting comparison. Electronic Brake Controller Comparison - Tekonsha vs Redarc - RVeeThereYet

    I've found my electric brakes to be very sensitive. I have the controller set to about 2.5/10 for my 1.4 ton trailer and car combo.

    Finally, be sure to get the tow pro elite, not the classic. The classic doesn't have proportional braking. The RRP is way too much. Several ebay sellers are closer to $225 for the elite.
    I'm pretty sure none of the major brand names have used pendulums for many years. They are all electronically proportional. There is no level to set for the pendulum on any controller I've seen in years. The hayman reece proportional controllers look to be rebadged Tekonsha controllers. I'd only buy the expensive controller if I had a nice car that i didn't want to modify the dashboard to fit it ( the red-arc tow pros are what a lot of new car dealers fit as they unit gets hidden under the dash somewhere, and you can just use a swtich blank to mount the knob somewhere, so you don't have to cut holes).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    I'd only buy the expensive controller if I had a nice car that i didn't want to modify the dashboard to fit it ( the red-arc tow pros are what a lot of new car dealers fit as they unit gets hidden under the dash somewhere, and you can just use a swtich blank to mount the knob somewhere, so you don't have to cut holes).
    This is exactly why I prefer it. There really isn't that much space in the knee area (not to mention newer cars have airbags there) that I want a brake controller to sit there. There aren't too many choices to get it within easy reach in case of needing to activate it.

    I happily paid the extra $120 to achieve the tidy install.
    206 GTi 180 - Cat Cams, Remapped Group N ECU, AST Camber Tops & Coilovers, -2deg fixed camber hubs by Frogstomp Racing, 24mm Torsion Bars, AP Racing brakes, Yokohama A050, PeugeotSport Baffled Sump, Powerflex Engine Mounts & Bushings, Setrab Oil cooler, Quaife diff, Velo seats.

    Sandown - 1:31.5
    Winton - 1:45.6
    Phillip Island - 1:58.4
    Nürburgring - 10:23.ish (Fiesta ST)

    Previously, 2x 504 Wagon, 505 Wagon, 505 STi, 405.

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Airbag would make it almost impossible

    Luckily my cars are all shitboxes ... so it's really easy

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Electric trailer brakes-shitbox.jpg  
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

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    I like the price better of your primus one shane. Does the module need to be mounted on the dash or does it have an adjustment job that can be mounted. Or is that what the advantage to speeksgeeks one? Which part of the dash is the module?

    After finding the time to look into it more thoroughly I like the red arc better. I have very limited dash space! Can the module be mounted upside down. Basically I'd want to mount it on the bottom of the rear parcel shelf.

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    Last edited by cav91; 13th June 2018 at 09:32 PM.
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  17. #17
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    That whole unit needs to be in arms reach so you can activate brakes if needed.
    That is exactly the advantage of the one I recommend.
    206 GTi 180 - Cat Cams, Remapped Group N ECU, AST Camber Tops & Coilovers, -2deg fixed camber hubs by Frogstomp Racing, 24mm Torsion Bars, AP Racing brakes, Yokohama A050, PeugeotSport Baffled Sump, Powerflex Engine Mounts & Bushings, Setrab Oil cooler, Quaife diff, Velo seats.

    Sandown - 1:31.5
    Winton - 1:45.6
    Phillip Island - 1:58.4
    Nürburgring - 10:23.ish (Fiesta ST)

    Previously, 2x 504 Wagon, 505 Wagon, 505 STi, 405.

  18. #18
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cav91 View Post
    I like the price better of your primus one shane. Does the module need to be mounted on the dash or does it have an adjustment job that can be mounted. Or is that what the advantage to speeksgeeks one? Which part of the dash is the module?

    After finding the time to look into it more thoroughly I like the red arc better. I have very limited dash space! Can the module be mounted upside down. Basically I'd want to mount it on the bottom of the rear parcel shelf.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using aussiefrogs mobile app
    You need to mount the controller where you can reach the switch to apply the brakes. This is important because if the trailer ever starts swaying, you can apply the trailer brakes independently to the cars. I'm not sure about the red-arc unit, you will need to read its manual and see how far you can mount the unit from its remote switch block. I'd prefer to mount the base unit to something screwed down properly. It is what is reading the braking force required. Is the parcel shelf fixed... or a plastic liner that lifts up ?

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  19. #19
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    You can mount the redarc anywhere you like, in any orientation. I've got mine in the boot up on its side
    206 GTi 180 - Cat Cams, Remapped Group N ECU, AST Camber Tops & Coilovers, -2deg fixed camber hubs by Frogstomp Racing, 24mm Torsion Bars, AP Racing brakes, Yokohama A050, PeugeotSport Baffled Sump, Powerflex Engine Mounts & Bushings, Setrab Oil cooler, Quaife diff, Velo seats.

    Sandown - 1:31.5
    Winton - 1:45.6
    Phillip Island - 1:58.4
    Nürburgring - 10:23.ish (Fiesta ST)

    Previously, 2x 504 Wagon, 505 Wagon, 505 STi, 405.

  20. #20
    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm thinking the redarc. Because of that mountability. I like to not have a cluttered dash board. You can apply only the trailer brakes with the redarc from what I've read. As for my parcel shelf the cars a 406 sedan. So its a fixed steel parcel shelf. Obviously if mounted securely it should be fine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post

    Luckily my cars are all shitboxes ... so it's really easy


    Yep, that’s how I imagined it to look double chevron!
    KB


  22. #22
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    Yep, that’s how I imagined it to look double chevron!
    If you think the inside looks, er, .... "Well used" .... You should see the outside It sure is safe in carparks

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    We bought our van today and dragged it home. Haven't got the brakes on the car wired up yet.

    But my next question and probably should ask in a different forum. Is there an easy way to wire up the vans battery so that car will charge it? Do I basically just put a plug on the back of the car and run a positive and negative wire direct to the vans battery, using a relay to switch off this wire when the ignition isn't on? It has solar charging to. So I don't want to disturb this. Electric trailer brakes-1529225742741.jpg

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    Last edited by cav91; 17th June 2018 at 08:14 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cav91 View Post
    We bought our van today and dragged it home. Haven't got the brakes on the car wired up yet.

    But my next question and probably should ask in a different forum. Is there an easy way to wire up the vans battery so that car will charge it? Do I basically just put a plug on the back of the car and run a positive and negative wire direct to the vans battery? It has solar charging to. So I don't want to disturb this.
    Because of the voltage drop likely to occur between alternator and trailer battery, the ideal is to fit a DC-DC battery charger. This takes the 12v (or 11 or 10v) input and boost it back up to 14v.

    https://www.australiandirect.com.au/.../DCDC-Chargers

    I don't specifically recommend any of these units - just offered as an example of what I am talking about. The ones on the above link are designed to take input from solar panel and/or car alternator. In fact have a good look at any electronic gadgets in the van - it may have already have what you need.

    As to wiring, use these Anderson plugs: https://www.australiandirect.com.au/...ctions/TVACPK7

    Again, your trailer may already have suitable wiring and plugs. On the 406, suggest run a heavy duty wire +ve directly from battery to Anderson plug at rear, and a -ve wire of same gauge from a good earth point at the back to the Anderson plug.

    Apart from electrics - how is your rear suspension set up? I know you already tow a car carrier, so I imagine your rear suspension had no trouble with the camper. When I brought our camper home behind our 406, not only did the back of the car sit very low, but the ride was pretty uncomfortable - a lot of shock from the trailer was transmitted back to the car.

    Cheers

    Alec

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Looks like it’s sitting reasonably flat.
    KB


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