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Brakes?


aly
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Hi,

We've just bought a fairly old caravan & we are in the process of having everything checked & fixed. My question is this- when towing & braking, the caravan seems to rely on butting up against the tow ball to stop- is that right and normal? I know caravans over 750kg are supposed to be 'braked', but does that just mean the breakaway cable & handbrake, or is there some separate set of brakes, and if so how do they work? Do they run from the car electrics, or do they sense deceleration somehow?

 

Sorry if this sounds really daft, my manual is next to useless. :rolleyes:

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Hi,

We've just bought a fairly old caravan & we are in the process of having everything checked & fixed. My question is this- when towing & braking, the caravan seems to rely on butting up against the tow ball to stop- is that right and normal? I know caravans over 750kg are supposed to be 'braked', but does that just mean the breakaway cable & handbrake, or is there some separate set of brakes, and if so how do they work? Do they run from the car electrics, or do they sense deceleration somehow?

 

Sorry if this sounds really daft, my manual is next to useless. :rolleyes:

 

Hi Aly,

 

The handbrake should operate the same brakes as the coupling head. You should be able to tell if the handbrake is working quite simply. Assuming that is working you can then move onto the operation of the bake when towing. While towing the coupling head moves forwards and backwards (in and out) in relation to the rest of the draw bar, you may be able to see a rubber concertina where this occurs. When it’s in or backwards the brakes should apply.

Swift Challenger 490

Sorento + Fabia to help the Sorento up hills!

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Caravan brakes are operated by a rod and cable system.

The brake hubs are connected by bowden cables to a central point under the van where they join on to a brake rod which runs the length of the van to just short of the hitch.

The hitch connected to the car is connected to a sliding tube and a damper which then goes to the handbrake mechanism.

 

There is a small gap between the brake rod and the hitch.

 

When the car slows down, the van stillpushes forward compressing the hitch and pushing back the sliding tube which puts pressure on the brake rod, which applies the brakes.

As the car moves forwards again, the pressure is removed as the hitch is pulled forward, releasing the brakes.

 

If there is a knocking or jolting as the van "hits" the back of the car (as it feels) then the hitch damper is probably not working and needs replacing.

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If there is a knocking or jolting as the van "hits" the back of the car (as it feels) then the hitch damper is probably not working and needs replacing.

 

Hi,

That happened on our old Swift, every time I braked the caravan jolted the back of the car. It's easy to test this by seeing how easy it is to compress the hitch, if it's easy then the damper is likely to be past it,

Regards,

Ian.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo and a 2017 Ford S Max and a Mercedes SLK AMG Sport 9 speed, my mid life crisis solver.

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that was a good PDF file from Alko -- I have printed it off for reference -- thanks. .

 

Maurice

Volvo S60 D5 (now sold 😥) new Vauxall soon
Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again
48 Year Member of The Caravan Club

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I've no idea- it is a 1987 Lunar Clubman, 2 berth. Any ideas?

iirc its on a knott axle sitting on a TW chassis (TW were Lunars own in house chassis manufacturers, they also made GRP panels under the same TW name)

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that was a good PDF file from Alko -- I have printed it off for reference -- thanks. .

 

Maurice

 

Why waste paper Maurice? I just add all useful PDF's to a folder called "E Books". But, you do need a large hard drive.

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