Allan Whiting is a veteran journalist of the Australian Outback Travel. His website Outback Travel Australia has an unrivalled background of articles, photos and videos of 4WDs, the outback and remote destinations.
Allan recently upgraded to REDARC's latest-generation V3 electric trailer brake controller, the Tow-Pro Elite. Here he documents how the installation went and how it has performed for him across some truly rugged and unpredictable terrain.
The Tow-Pro Elite V3
The REDARC Tow Pro Elite V3, is the third generation of the award-winning trailer brake controller. Allan suggests the new model has an improved illumination providing greater clarity of the braking force selected.
“REDARC’s main advantage is its small knob control, compared with the larger dashboard units than most competitors and standard fitments have. Also, the illuminated bezel that shows operating mode is a great idea.”
Software upgrades have also been implemented to provide much smoother braking. The Tow-Pro Elite V3 maintains the simple operation and benchmark the Tow-Pro is renowned for, and central to this is the two selectable modes of braking – proportional and user-controlled.
The ultimate tow test
Whiting fitted the V3 to his Toyota Landcruiser HJZ 75. A second V3 unit was fitted to new hybrid-electric Range Rover Sport P400e. The installation in the old LandCruiser was easy, Allan asked LandRover to do the Range Rover installation, given its extremely complex electronic systems.
Whiting explained, “Both installations were seamlessly fitted, with the small brake control knob emerging from the dashboard, giving it an incognito look”.
The Landcruiser towed a part loaded Track Trailer Mate and a part loaded BRS Sherpa cross over camper behind the Rover.
Taking things into his own hands
The Tow-Pro Elite, as described in the fitting instructions, are self-calibrating. This is confirmed by a soft blue LED illumination on the knob bezel. Allan admired the ease of operation for the driver to adjust brake pressure accordingly whilst driving, without the need to look at the dial.
As a point of reference, both vehicles correct brake “feel” was around the middle setting. The Tow-Pro Elite can be set via its user-controlled mode. Whilst in this mode, the trailer brakes will apply at the level set by the control knob.
Whiting made mention “This feature could be used at low speed in off-road conditions, preventing the trailer from 'pushing' the tow vehicle”.
“Once I had the brake balance between the tow vehicle and trailer set, I didn’t change modes or adjust the settings. The algorithm seemed to work out proportional braking very well. Most of the towing test was done on-road in Proportional Mode, with some off-road to check out the User Controlled Mode”
Whiting also noted that the user-controlled mode should potentially only be used by experienced towers. The optimum on-road program being the proportional mode as proposed by Whiting “we found it very easy to select the correct balance for different load conditions”.
The pair towed each vehicle for around 150km, through undulating terrain, on a mixture of gravel and bitumen roads. Both vehicles had similar trailer brake response, despite the great braking and electronic equipment differences between them