Self-proclaimed 'full time rat race escapees' My Rig Adventures have clocked up over 12 months of full time travel, and to celebrate, they've upgraded their brake controller to the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite. Here's what they have to say about it...
The state-of-the-art REDARC Electric Brake Controller… what’s all the fuss about and how does it work?
We’ve recently just changed out our old electric brake controller with the REDARC Tow Pro Elite. As we live full-time on the road, with our 23-foot caravan in tow, we’ve had a pretty good chance to put it to the test. After the initial set-up of the brake controller, you can really just sit back and relax, knowing that this fantastic little invention will take care of the braking needs of your trailer.
Allan was able to easily fit the unit himself because we already had an existing braking system in the vehicle. It was as simple as taking out the old controller and connecting up the new one. If you don’t have a pre-existing electric brake system in your vehicle or you’re not confident with wiring, we highly recommend getting a licensed auto electrician to fit it for you as there can be a bit involved initially.
How to Calibrate the Tow-Pro Elite
Once your new electric brake controller has been fitted, the first thing you need to do is allow the system to calibrate. This occurs as soon as you start driving, with or without a trailer connected.
As you’re driving, the monitor records your direction of travel each time you touch the brakes. You may notice that the BLUE flash gets longer throughout the process – this is simply the unit determining its direction of travel.
Once the LED unit displays a solid BLUE light while driving and a RED light when braking, you know that the calibration is complete.
BRAKING METHOD 1: ‘Proportional’ – BLUE
The default brake mode is the ‘Proportional’ method, which is indicated by the BLUE LED light. This is the Tow-Pro mode where the trailer brakes are applied proportional to the vehicle. Simply meaning, the harder you apply the brake pedal, the harder the trailer brakes are applied.
The ‘Proportional’ mode is best suited to highway driving and everyday use where you really aren’t required to have to think too much about the individual braking situations on hand.
BRAKING METHOD 2: ‘User Controlled’ – GREEN
The second brake mode is the ‘User Controlled’ method, which is indicated with a GREEN LED light. This method is that of a manual mode where you get to choose the level of braking that will be applied. This is easily done with a turn knob numbered 0 to 10 (0 being no trailer brakes and 10 being full trailer brakes).
When the GREEN ‘User Controlled’ mode is selected, the Tow-Pro Elite applies the trailer brakes according to the number level set by you on the knob regardless of the braking effort of the towing vehicle.
The ‘User Controlled’ mode is often selected when towing off-road or in other situations where your specific braking may require regular attention.
The Tow-Pro Elite also contains a ‘Manual Override,’ which is effective immediately simply by pressing the control knob while driving. In this situation, the trailer brakes are activated without the vehicle brakes being applied.
The ‘Manual Override’ is best selected when the trailer brakes need to be applied without the vehicle brakes, particularly in situations where trailer ‘sway’ needs to be quickly corrected while driving. This can sometimes be the case when travelling on the highway and a gust of wind hits the trailer or a larger vehicle has gone past, creating wind turbulence, or even when experiencing a pothole or divot in the road.
- In ‘Proportional’ Mode – ‘Manual Override’ applies trailer brakes to the equivalent of ‘light’ vehicle braking;
- In ‘User Controlled’ Mode – ‘Manual Override’ applies trailer brakes to the level set on the control knob.
- In both modes, brakes can be adjusted by turning the control knob (higher or lower), even while applying the manual override brakes.
Toggling Between Modes
Toggling between the different modes is easy when a trailer is connected. Make sure the vehicle has come to a complete stop, then follow these steps:
- Set the knob to 0;
- Apply the vehicle brakes;
- Press the knob twice, quickly;
- Release the brakes.
Your brake controller will remember the last mode used every time you start your vehicle, so there’s no need to re-set or re-calibrate.
The REDARC Tow-Pro Elite is really a great bit of gear to have installed, whether you enjoy going away with your camper or caravan every other weekend or you prefer to hit the road for long periods of time like us. We have found the braking in our vehicle is super smooth now, rather than the jerkiness that we were experiencing with our previous brake controller. Now that we’re using the REDARC, it’d be hard to go back to a traditional brake controller, as this technology really is the way of the future!
Want to learn a bit more about the REDARC Tow-Pro Elite or see it in action? Jase Andrews from All 4 Adventure shows you how to keep your trailer in control on the road.