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Old 12 August 2013, 19:10   #11
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My old 1 ton trailer has manual lockout for reversing (its been rebuilt more times than triggers broom). Bit of a pain having to jump out and lock the brakes off when reversing. Good thing about a 4x4 though is I just put my foot down in reverse and the trailer doesn't have much say in the matter.. it still goes backwards!
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Old 13 August 2013, 07:53   #12
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Originally Posted by mister p View Post
Momentum of the trailer against a braking car pushes a plunger mech between the trailer nose and the rest of the trailer. This action activates the brakes in the same way a brake pedal acts upon the master cylinder. The more the car brakes the more the trailer pushes against it, the more the trailer brakes are activated. It can be mechanical or hydraulic.
Thank you mister p for this quick and clear explanation. I now understand.
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Old 14 August 2013, 04:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister p View Post
Some have a reverse lockout that needs to be manually activated.
Which as wel las being a nuisance can also prove interesting 50 miles later down the motorway when you realise two things simultaneously as the car in front E-stops:

1) you forgot to de- activate it.
2) you should be wearing brown trousers......



Auto reversing brakes - PITA to set up, but genius when working properly!


As an aside - because the trailer brakes are essentially "overrun" brakes you will only ever get something like 80% of "full braking" on the trailer, because as soon as the brakes come on the drawbar extends again & they release, by which pioint the car has slowed down a bit more so they come on again...<repeat> That's why they have dampers in the drawbar - it reduces the surging.
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Old 16 August 2013, 10:31   #14
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The only other viable alternative in a normal road car is electric brakes though which is the de facto standard in North America. The problem is the vehicle must be fitted with the brake controller, and I do not believe electric brakes are allowed on UK trailers due to not reacting fast or proportionally enough with the vehicle braking. If you don't have a brake controller in your car then the brakes on the trailer will not work - at least with overrun brakes you can hitch it up to any car and they will work.

I think the mechanical overrun brake system is all round the best and most foolproof braking system for light (up to 3.5ton) trailers. Because as said you don't need to do anything except hitch up and make sure the breakaway is connected and it will work. Due to the nature of them the pressure is self-adjusting too depending on the rate of the vehicle braking and the load in the trailer.

The other option is certain vehicles e.g Land Rover can be fitted with close coupled (air) brakes. The Defender can legally tow 4ton when fitted with this option.
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Old 26 August 2013, 08:59   #15
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Although as has been discussed before here - electric brakes in salt water is a failure waiting to happen!
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