Article provided by: Standard Axle

Electric Trailer Brakes

Electric Trailer Brakes

Most motor vehicle departments state that travel trailers use electric brake systems. Electric brakes have an electrical connection from the container to the tow vehicle. Some of these brakes use a controller in the towing vehicle that senses pressure on the brake pedal. Some models use inertia in the towing vehicle while electric brake systems use magnets.

These brakes are within the assembly of the trailer and have an electric connection to the tow vehicle. The electromagnetic brake drums slow and stop the wheel. It is essential to know how the brakes work if you want to maintain a road-ready car before embarking on a trip. Here is how you test a standard electric brake.

Testing your electric trailer brake with a trailer

The process is relatively simple when you know the basics of the brakes. It is ideal to be in an open level space with adequate room for starting and stopping the vehicle.

  • Ensure the wiring harness is secure in the tow vehicle and give it time to gain the right calibration. A dashboard light will indicate the readiness of the calibration
  • Adjust the personal settings on the brake controller and drive forward at 25mph while engaging the brakes.
  • A slow stop indicates that the controller does not have enough power transfer from the electric trailer brakes. Increase the output and retest the brakes
  • An abrupt halt shows excess power that requires a normalcy adjustment
  • Continue testing the brakes until the vehicle adopts a smooth stop. This process ensures that both the trailer and tow vehicle have an even deceleration speed.

Testing your electric trailer brake without a trailer

You can check the brake system using a circuit tester. Connect the pin to the output pin and ground the other one. The circuit tester inserts an amperage draw to the brake controller. The tester will simulate a trailer connection that indicates the performance of the brake. The brake controller should function correctly

Which accessories do you need for an electric brake trailer?

Brake controller

Trailer brakes cannot function without the controller. They send the exact voltage value to the trailer brakes and ensure that the speed matches the tow vehicle. The combination results in a smooth braking experience, efficient braking, and long-lasting performance.

Breakaway system

This system responds to emergency braking by automatically engaging the electric brakes when the trailer detaches from the tow vehicle. The law requires trailer systems that exceed two tonnes to have a braking system.

Breakaway systems ensure that the trailer slows down in the right way during an emergency event on the road. It becomes active when the container is free by a pull of the cable with plugs. The switch triggers the battery and applies the brakes to slow down the trailer.

Who needs electric trailer brakes?

All vehicles weighing 750kg and more should have an efficient braking system with at least one axle. These usually include horse floats, caravans, boats, and trailers.

Cost of electric trailer brakes

The final cost depends on the parts required to complete the system and the installation price. The average service cost is more than $500. Check out our site for the price of the brake controller and actuator so you can have an accurate quote of all services.



Standard Axle
Electric Trailer Brakes
501 Third Street
London ON N5V 2C1

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Electric Trailer Brakes