If you’re in the marketing for purchasing a towable RV, like a fifth wheel or travel trailer, then you might want to consider purchasing a brake controller for towing safety. A brake controller is mounted to the tow vehicle’s driver’s-side dashboard area. It is designed to engage the RV’s braking system through either a time delay or in proportion to the vehicle’s braking when slowing down or stopping completely.
Any RV with electronic brakes needs a brake control system. This is because electronic brakes function through magnets which are activated by 2 conductor wires. When electricity is activated the brake magnet is magnetized. This then attracts the drum, ultimately stopping the trailer.
There are two types of brake controllers.
A time-delayed system functions based off of a pre-set capacity set by you. It’s based on the weight of the trailer, plus the additional weight of any cargo. Braking force and timing can be set to sync.
This system works when the tow vehicle brakes, by applying the pre-set braking capacity. If the sync set is low, your vehicle will do most of the braking, but if it is too high, the trailer will.
The most expensive and safest option, proportional brake controllers trigger the trailer’s braking pressure to be equal to that of the tow vehicle. This reduces wear and tear on both the tow vehicle and the trailer. It is also incredibly fast and responsive, which adds to the safety.