STAFF CORNER: TIM UPGRADES TO MODERN TECHNOLOGY
My camper trailer is currently back at Cub Campers headquarters in Sydney, getting a bit of a ‘freshen up’ before we head out to the Big Red Bash in July.
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They’re upgrading a stack of things on the camper including the installation of electric brakes. So, in order to ensure I can get the most out of the new braking system, I thought I’d better install a brake controller into the Prado.
I ended up deciding on the new Redarc Tow-Pro Elite, which is the latest active brake controller module from Redarc. The Tow-Pro Elite has been designed with selectable auto or user-controlled braking modes to allow you to choose the braking mode which best suits your driving terrain. A brand new feature called active (auto) calibration has also been included, and this is effectively an ‘inertia sensing’ mechanism that constantly monitors the direction of travel, removing the need to initially calibrate the controller itself. Basically, it’s designed to be a set-and-forget brake controller.
Installing the brake controller took me around four hours. Depending on where you want the controller installed the task can be a bit fiddly – but all up, it is relatively simple.
While I love the fact that Redarc designs and engineers its products right here in Australia, I wanted to test the auto-calibrating feature, the auto-braking feature and the user-controlled braking feature. So, it was out on the road to calibrate the unit… which is done through driving and applying the brakes up to 20 times.
After hooking a braked trailer up it was a similar process to calibrate the auto-braking feature (indicated by the control knob LED lighting up in a solid blue colour). It was then a matter of adjusting the knob up or down for varying brake levels – and to be honest it actually worked beautifully.
Setting the controller to manual or user-select mode was easy enough (by double tapping the control knob). I thought I’d give it the berries initially by setting the manual control to full braking, or level 10. Sure enough, locked brakes on the trailer. Adjusting the setting back to level 5, then down to around level 3, seemed to be a nice compromise; before I double tapped the unit back into auto mode. All up, not a bad little installation and test.