ESC for trailers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-07-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
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ESC for trailers

Al-Ko, a foreign caravan parts supplier has an Electronic Stability Control product that helps prevent accidents.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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Oh that's what ESC stands for Jim, when I saw the thread title I thought it was either a key on my computer or your favourite trailer manufacturer
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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Ha-Ha,
ESC seeps to be common on a lot of vehicle now, on a trailer also seems like a good idea.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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Looks like a good idea.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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AL-KO – Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

The operating principle is very simple: if the trailer sways, the brakes are applied. It would be more effective to brake just one wheel at a time (depending on which way the trailer is moving at the time), but it just applies both, probably as much to minimize wiring changes on the trailer as for any significant technical reason.

Al-Ko's European equivalent is ATC. Since ATC is for European chassis which use mechanical overrun (surge) brake systems, it is required to use an electric motor to pull on the brake cables. I think it's interesting that this simpler version for electric brakes only came later, but that may be due in part to the ability of drivers to do this for themselves with electric brake controllers.

I didn't know that Al-Ko Australia had developed ESC - thanks for posting this, Jim.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #6
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It looks like it would be an easy retrofit.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
It looks like it would be an easy retrofit.
Yes, except for tuning it. The Australian Al-Ko website states very clearly that it is not available for retrofit, and the parameters of the system are preset to match the trailer weight and brake and suspension types.

Anyone want to hack an Al-Ko controller?
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Ha-Ha,
ESC seeps to be common on a lot of vehicle now, on a trailer also seems like a good idea.
More than just being common, electronic stability control has been mandated for new vehicles sold in Canada and the U.S. since the roughly the 2012 model year (exact implementation dates depending on various factors). Effectively, since ESC requires all of the hardware required for anti-lock brake systems and traction control, ABS and traction control are now also standard on all new vehicles.

Trailers are just not considered important, and thus are subject to virtually no rules.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
..........
Anyone want to hack an Al-Ko controller?
Probably just need a high wattage potentiometer as an adjustment, an open road and a few orange cones..........
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #10
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And driving on the wrong side of the road with the steering wheel on the passenger side. No wonder they need sway control.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:12 PM   #11
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Cyndi, I was watching some Aussie videos on driving and backing with trailers. Of course their suggestions for backing into a spot I had to reverse in my mind since everythings the other way, kinda confusing. Reminded me of first time driving in the UK, it takes a while but you get used to the "wrong" way, of course they all think we're wrong!

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #12
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #13
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Cheesy video but an interesting device. I'm sure it can evolve into a retrofitable device if the market demands it.

I remember when the first tuning computers came out for the mostly import tuning car market. They were pre-programmed and simply piggybacked on with the OE computer. Nobody in the industry thought there would be a day when user-tunable ECMs would ever be available. But years later the industry did just that, releasing devices like AEM's programmable engine management system which the user can tune/program with a connected laptop right in the car.

For a tralier (caravan) retrofit one would probably have to know certain parameters about the trailer, program those in, and you'd be good to go.

The trick for the device manufacturer is to try to make it somewhat idiot proof. That costs a lot of coin and won't happen unless the market is big enough and enough money can be made to justify the development and production costs of the hardware and software. But I can foresee this happening at some time in the not so distant future. I'd buy one if it came in under a grand for the whole system.
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:07 PM   #14
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Adrian:

I should probably watch the Aussie video then I might learn to back things up again cause everything sure goes the opposite way when I try to back up our 19 footer.
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