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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Selecting The Correct Brake Controller Is Essential To Trailer Towing Safety

Towing a travel trailer, 5th wheel or other type of camper to your favorite campground can be a great experience. There's nothing like going on a road trip and taking your own accommodations with you along the way. One of the most important things you need when your towing is a brake controller that you can depend on and keep you and your family safe.

What They Do?

If your new to towing a trailer you will find that trailers over 2,000 pounds are equipped with their own electric brake system. To effectively use the system installed on the trailer, a brake controller must be installed in the tow vehicle. Once installed, depressing the brake pedal will enact the electric brakes on the trailer, making for smoother stopping and safer travels.

Time Delay Brake Controller
Blackbird Brake Controller
Blackbird Brake Controller

As you choose the brake controller to use with your braking system, you will have two choices. The time delay brake controller is the less expensive option of the two. It is also more common because it is easy to install in most vehicles and doesn't take up a lot of extra space. With this option, when the brake is applied, a time delay circuit applies voltage to the trailer's brakes to allow it to stop more smoothly with the vehicle.

Inertia Brake Controller

The other option is the inertia brake controller, or pendulum controller. When this system is installed in the tow vehicle, it applies a proportionate amount of voltage to the trailer brakes to ensure it slows down at the same rate as the tow vehicle. This can create even safer driving. Some systems use a pendulum style device to activate and apply power to the brakes.  With this system the controller must be level to work properly and steep descents could activate the controller.  A newer type of inertia brake controller is one that uses an accelerometer to apply power.  Controllers with this setup do not have to be exactly level and are not affected by road angles.  Because inertia brake controllers tend to be more costly, they are usually sold to RV'ers who have extensive towing experience and realize the benefits of proportional braking.

If you love camping but prefer to do so in an RV, towing a trailer can be a great option. You can save money on your accommodations and see more of the world as you drive from place to place. When you make this purchase, though, you need to understand trailer braking systems and the necessity of a brake controller.

If you need a brake controller for your tow vehicle to make towing your trailer safer, contact us. We can help you choose the right option for your needs.

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  1. What type of controller is the Hensley?
    It doesn't use Inertia or time delay

  2. The Hensley controller is a true controller and it has an accelerometer , it is not a time delay controller. You can contact the company they do sell direct since we do not sell this product. 800-410-6580. I am also including the web page for the company as well. www.http://hensleymfg.com