Electric brake controllers for trailers

Have you ever been behind a vehicle towing an RV, U-Haul, trailer, or other vehicle behind it and been alarmed by how much the towed vehicle was swaying back and forth? Did you feel uneasy about being behind it, worried that it would come lose and cause damage to you and your vehicle? There are things that RV or trailer owners can do to minimize the sway and keep everyone feeling safer on the road. If you’re thinking about investing in an RV or trailer, or have the capacity to tow with your vehicle, you’ll want to invest in some of these mechanisms for your towing vehicle. A sway control hitch and brake controllers can give everyone a little more peace of mind. It’s no fun to feel like your brakes can’t support your vehicle and the vehicle behind you or that something feels like it’s coming loose behind you. Read more to find out how a sway control hitch or an electric brake controller can make the experience more pleasant for everyone.
What is Trailer Sway Control?
If you’ve ever towed a trailer, RV, or other vehicle behind you with a sway control hitch, you might have already experienced trailer sway control. It can be caused by crosswinds, loading a trailer wrong, or not having enough tension in your spring bar in the weight distribution system. Having an adequate weight distribution system will help manage trailer sway control, for starters.
Getting a sway control hitch is actually suggested when you buy an average weight distribution system and is built into many already. There are generally two main kinds of trailer sway control — one is designed to prevent trailer sway altogether and one is designed to minimize sway once it’s started.
Why Is Weight Distribution So Important?
Not having good weight distribution can actually increase your chances of having bad trailer sway and may even impact the way you drive or how well you can brake. If you’re towing something using the typical rear-mounted hitch, all the weight from the tongue of the towed vehicle goes directly to the rear axle of the vehicle that’s doing the towing. This can often result in the back end of your vehicle tilting downwards and raising the front end. This will cause difficulties with steering, braking, and how much traction you get on the road. There’s also a good chance your headlights will be at the wrong angle and you may have an awkward angle of the road, due to the tilt.
Luckily, this is a fairly easy problem to fix. Weight distribution systems rely on spring bars to help alleviate any issues with hitch systems. The spring bar applies leverage to both sides of the hitch system, redistributing the weight to all axles on the towing vehicle. This allows you to have a good even ride again and lets you tow at the maximum weight for your hitch. The weight distribution hitch will usually have two weight ratings — the gross trailer weight and the tongue weight. You’ll definitely want to invest in a weight distribution system if whatever you’re towing is over 50% the weight of your vehicle.
Tell Me About Trailer Brake Controllers
Imagine going down a steep hill with a loaded up trailer or RV behind you…and worrying about the impact it’s going to have on your brakes. Luckily, trailer brake controllers exist to put that worry out of your mind! There are two main types — a proportional bake controller and a time-delayed brake controller — but both serve to help alleviate strain on your brakes. The proportional brake control figures out when the tow vehicle is stopping or slowing down, and matches the trailer’s brakes to the two vehicle. The initial braking power can be adjusted based on the trailer’s weight.
With a time-delayed brake controller, the trailer’s brakes are applied with a preset intensity and rate of application that you decide beforehand. There’s a bit of a lapse between when you hit the brakes on your tow vehicle and when the controller itself gets up to speed, though this can be adjusted in settings.

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