The NHTSA says that there are more than 50,000 accidents every year on North American roads related to towing. As an RV enthusiast, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re safe when towing on the road. One of the most effective ways to enhance your towing safety is by installing electronic brake controllers.
Let’s look at how electronic brake controllers enhance your towing safety.
Electric Brake Controllers Provide Smooth Braking
Braking is a major concern when towing a trailer, particularly on the highway or rough terrain. When you apply your truck’s brakes, you want the towing truck and the trailer to stop in tandem. Without electronic brake controllers, this may not be possible. You may not achieve a smooth stop, as every time you apply the brakes, your truck will not stop without jerking forward. However, this stops when you install proportional brake controllers.
When you install proportional controllers, the brakes will send the same amount of braking force to the towing vehicle and the trailer every time you apply the brakes. This means that your truck and trailer will brake smoothly without jerking. Smooth braking is important because it helps you avoid crashing into the car ahead by reducing the stopping distance. Proportional brake controllers have in-built accelerometers that monitor your truck’s speed and braking force.
As a result, your trailer and vehicle brakes will have less wear and tear because they’ll receive proportional braking force. Also, when you’re stuck in traffic, the accelerometers will cut out power to the trailer brakes, so they don’t get too hot. When trailer brakes are idle and remain too hot, there is a higher rate of wear and tear.
Electronic Brake Controllers Help in Controlling Trailer Sway
Trailer sway can be triggered by speeding, poor braking, overloading your tow vehicle, or exceeding the maximum gross weight of your trailer. However, being a careful RVer, you’ll be cautious to avoid some of these violations, like overloading your trailer and speeding on the highway. But even after taking all these precautions, you may still experience trailer sway when braking. Correcting trailer sway caused by poor braking is made easier by installing electronic brake controllers.
The best trailer brake controllers sync the vehicle’s and the trailer’s brakes, so they are activated simultaneously. This leads to proportional braking and prevents trailer sway. Excessive trailer sway during braking can have severe consequences on the highway. For instance, if you’re traveling at a speed of more than 55 miles per hour and experience trailer sway when making an emergency stop, your trailer may jackknife and cause a terrible accident.
Besides installing electronic brake controllers, there are other ways of enhancing your towing safety. They include:
Not Speeding on the Highway
When towing a large RV, you don’t want to over speed even if you have installed the best brake controllers. The rate of brake failure is higher when speeding. When towing a trailer, it’s advisable not to exceed 55 miles per hour.
Hitching Your Trailer Properly
You should ensure that you correctly hitch your trailer to the tow vehicle. As a rule of thumb, you should ensure that about 12% to 15% of the trailer’s weight rests on the tow vehicle’s hitch. This keeps the trailer firmly hitched to the tow vehicle even when towing on rough terrain.
Don’t Overload Your Trailer
The maximum gross weight of your trailer is indicated on the VIN label. You can find the VIN label on the left side of the front half of your trailer. From the label, you’ll read your trailer’s GWAR and GVWR. This will guide you when calculating the cargo weight to load in your trailer.
Installing electronic brake controllers is a good place to start if you want to enhance your towing safety. You should trust a reputable dealer to sell and install the best electronic brake controllers for your RV.