Monthly Archives: February 2013

Disc brakes give confidence when towing lightweight off-road caravans

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Disc brakes give confidence when towing lightweight off-road caravansWhen you are towing large tandem axle off-road caravans you want to know they will stop when you want them to. Disc brakes will give you great confidence because they have twice the stopping power, perform well in the wet and can even allow an effortless 'one-touch' parking brake. Read on to see more about how disc brakes give confidence when towing lightweight off-road caravans.

Most people travel at a speed and style that matches the braking performance of their combined vehicle and caravan.

The better the performance of the caravan braking, the more relaxing it is for the driver. You will feel that the “rig” is lighter and more flexible to drive with better braking. Particularly if you have Disc Brakes with nearly twice the stopping performance!

There are 2 types of brakes used in off road Caravans.

  1. Drum Brakes that use electrical power to a magnet in each drum

  2. Disc brakes that hydraulic pressure (in the same way as a vehicle)

(Both types are activated by a brake controller in the vehicle so this is the same for either.)

Drum brakes
You can’t see inside the drum bake for maintenance. With the disc brake you can easily inspect the disc and the pad for wear and tear. Drum bakes are satisfactory for on road travel and good value for travel distances from home to the caravan park on the coast.

Disc Brakes
These can offer twice the stopping performance to Drum Brakes and on larger off road caravans make a noticeable difference in stopping in an emergency. They also don’t require a huge tow vehicle.

A common setup with dual axle caravans is:

  • 4x Drum Brakes

  • Electric control of magnets to Activate

  • Hand mechanical cable for parking brake

The problems with these brakes are:

  • Drum Brakes fade when hot

  • Drum brakes reduce performance with wet

  • Drum Brakes with magnets are heavy

The alternative setup which is standard on some, and an option on other off road caravans are Disc Brakes. They are:

  • Half the weight

  • Easier to maintain

  • Should have thick rotors, which fade less when hot

  • Have twice the stopping power

  • Electric control of hydraulic activation

  • Can have 'one-touch' hydraulic parking brake

Disc brakes are more expensive to supply but maintenance costs are a fraction of drum brakes. The Disc Braking System used by Kimberley has the written approval of the WA Department of Transport.

Using Disc brakes will improve the stopping performance of the caravan, making it more relaxing for the driver off road. You will feel that the “rig” is lighter and more flexible to drive with better braking.

 For more helpful information about offroad caravans download our FREE guide below:

Essential Guide for Off Road Design of a Caravan to Experience all of AustraliaDownload this complimentary eBook

Cameron Johnston | Kimberley Group  

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