How do RV supplemental brake systems work?


RV supplemental braking systems monitor the brake pressure applied to your motorhome and automatically brake your towed vehicle. It is possible to classify supplemental braking systems into four categories:

  • Pre-set
  • Proportional
  • Direct
  • Vacuum-assist

Pre-set systems

The majority of the time, RV supplemental braking systems are pre-configured. Your RV is linked to portable electric systems, which turn on when the RV’s brake lights are applied. The car’s system detects a braking signal and, in response, depresses the brake pedal with an extended arm. These systems can’t compete with other kinds of systems in terms of precision or control, despite their mobility and simplicity of installation.

Proportional systems

Proportional supplementary braking systems are the most common kind. As soon as these sensors are turned on, your RV slows down. As a result, the technology applies brakes appropriately to what you do in your RV when your towed car stops. Proportional controls are more exact in terms of control and are more accurate than pre-set controls. This brake system is capable of providing emergency braking.

Direct systems

Direct systems connected to your RV’s brake lines immediately sense the timing and pressure of your towed vehicle’s brakes. Direct systems need more work to install, but they are an excellent option because of their precision and quickness. Direct braking systems have the advantage of never requiring human adjustments. Installing a direct system is ideal if you have mechanical skills or professional help.

Vacuum assistance devices

Many automobiles, especially hybrids, have issues with power-assist braking. By using a standard braking system, these cars are susceptible to damage. In this case, vacuum-assist systems may be useful. When a vehicle has a power-assist braking system, a vacuum-assist system uses a vacuum source to safely and efficiently provide brake force. Vacuum-assisted supplementary braking systems need to be installed, unlike emergency brakes. However, this braking system may only be present in a vehicle with power-assist brakes. Your toad may be pulled by a trailer or another means.

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