Breakaway braking system

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 02:22
ThreadID: 126209 Views:4616 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hi all
While investigating my caravan I came upon this bit of news.
All vehicles registered in NSW towing a van with breakaway brakes must have a warning light in the vehicle to advise the driver if the van brake battery is failing. Remote monitors are available but how many caravanners would have this monitor. Most new vans are already registered when you pick them up and the caravan yard gets the van registered without using a vehicle with the warning monitor because they are not going to be the normal towing vehicle.
For a monitor to be fitted you would need a van plug with an extra pin to pass the information to the driver, so all vans with breakaway brakes should have a twelve pin plug or an Anderson plug to allow one of the seven pins on a normal plug to be used.
When a caravan is over two tonne it must be inspected the first time at a heavy vehicle inspection station where this rule applies but after that it can be check at a normal vehicle rego checking station which uses another set of rules.

Does this rule apply to Qld? How can I check to see if my Tekonsha breakaway unit is powered after a breakaway?

Cheers Jack
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Reply By: Pam and Les - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 05:28

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 05:28
G’day Jack

I was actually doing a brake check myself today. With the van not connected to the car, I pulled the breakaway plug out and heard no hum of magnets at all at the wheels. So I jacked up one wheel and spun it. Immediately it locked and all the other wheels started to hum. Did this with all four wheels with same outcome. I would have thought that the contacts within the wheel where touching all the time to create a circuit, but obviously not. So do the same test on yours to check that the Tekonsha breakaway unit is powered after a breakaway. As to the NSW regulation it would seem they are doing this on their own. The ADR does not seem to require it. Further how does the car monitor know that the battery will hold the brakes for at least 15 minutes as required?

Cheers

Les

AnswerID: 579367

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 07:12

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 07:12
Les,

I replaced my Break away switch a few months ago after it failed. All it does is apply power from the caravan batteries to the brakes.

Could I suggest that you hitch the car lighting cable up to the van and get your partner to activate the brake controller by SLIDING THE MANUAL LEVER ACROSS as by just having the foot brake applied while stationary there is very little current to apply the brakes.

I bought my replacement one from the local Auto parts store and all you have to do is join the wires in the loom.

Brian
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 11:47

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 11:47
I would like to add a switch so that the draw on the batteries can be switched off when the van has been stabilised - or when the pin has been removed and damaged.

Having the caravan batteries monitored from the car does not sound practical, and should not be necessary as it is not like having a tiny battery which may not be regularly checked just for the brake-away - but those that make the regulations may not be at all practical!

Motherhen
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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 13:44

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 13:44
I have a small digital voltmeter on the dash which is connected directly to the van battery bank by a separate wire. This would comply with the law I think as it is "monitoring the batteries". For me its' most useful function is to advise me what is the charge status rather than complying with the regulation.
AFAIK NSW is alone with this.
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Reply By: Bushpig - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 20:46

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 20:46
Thanks all
I will investigate and test as recommended.
Cheers
Jack
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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 00:44

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 00:44
Bushpig,

Do you have a link to what you read?

I doubt that many caravanners have this, or would have even heard of it?
AnswerID: 579370

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 04:59

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 04:59
I read a similar post on one of the forums a few months ago, but can't find it now.

Mh
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Reply By: Bushpig - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:40

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:40
try thisBreakaway discusion
Cheers Jack
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Follow Up By: Bushpig - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:42

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:42
NSW regs]NSW RegsThe NSW situation

Although general braking requirements are the same throughout Australia, NSW takes a different approach when a Break-Away system is fitted. In addition to a 12volt supply in the trailer and a break-away switch on the drawbar, the tow vehicle needs to be equipped with an electrical circuit that will automatically maintain the trailer battery in a fully charged condition and can also warn the driver, by means of an onboard monitor, if the condition of the battery is such that it may not be able to maintain the brakes in an applied position for the required 15 minutes.
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Follow Up By: Bushpig - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:44

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:44
Humpf... try thisNSW regs
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Follow Up By: Bushpig - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:46

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 21:46
Cut and paste this.....http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/registration/downloads/vsi/vsi22.pdf
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