Originally Posted by Trailer Guy
That's the problem Sir. Over here, the law states the trailer brakes have to be auto-reverse. i.e. you're not allowed to have ones that necessitate you having to get out and flick a lever, to stop them coming on when you're reversing.
The majority of braked trailers over here (likely 99%) have mechanical brakes. Very few run on hydraulic and even less on air..
I still have a UK made trailer with an old Bradley double lock hitch, that necessitates me having to get out and flip a locking lever over the drawtube to stop it brakling during reverse!
I recall reading somewhere that electro-hydraulic trailer brakes, widely used in the states, are illegal in the UK.
This is one of the main reasons why US made trailers dont exactly sell well over here, as well as their dimensions often being illegally too large.
Those that do manage to make the trip over to this side of the pond almost always have to modified in some fashion to make them road legal here.
That usually means replacing the US axle and hitch with UK/Euro legal versions, and occasionally reducing their dimensions so they meet UK trailer size regs.
I've some really good ideas for overcoming the obstacles, but to be able to be retro-fitted they need to be mechanical and utilise the existing trailer coupling..
The easiest solution would be to lock the drawtube in position when reversing rather than trying to fabricate some complicated mechanism to allow the discs to unlock while reversing.
This can easily be achieved by using a hitch mounted solonoid powered by the reverse light circuit to automatically shoot a bolt out into a hole drilled in the drawtube to stop it sliding back during reversing, or to activate some simple lever mechansim that would do the same job.
The solonoid would only work when reverse is selected and it would automatically unlock when taken out of reverse.
Of course the exact implementation will need some carefull thought but I cant think of any reason why this would not meet existing UK trailer regs. If you can, let me know.
The Solonoid from an old starter motor would be a good choice and it should be very cheap and easy to obtain, then its just working out the best method to lock, and unlock the drawtube automatically as reliably as possible.
I would love to have access to the trailer equipment that's available in the states. We're a bit of a way behind in some respects.
I dont. Apart from their braking mechanisms I think you will find that the yanks are actually years behind us, trailer design wise. Most of them still use bunks for petes sake!