Elecbrakes FAQ & User Manuals

Electric Brake Controller User Manuals

How it works

Elecbrakes is a trailer mounted electric brake controller, wired directly into the trailers electrical circuit via an easy to use “Plug & Play” adaptor. Elecbrakes draws power from the tail light circuit as well as the brake light circuit ensuring sufficient power is available for up to two braked axles.

Do I need to drive with my lights on?

Yes. Unless you have auxiliary power wired up in your tow vehicle, you will need to keep your headlights on at all times to power the brake controller. Brake controllers require a constant power source to operate the trailer braking systems. With Elecbrakes being trailer mounted the common option on all vehicles is the tail light circuit when the headlights are activated on full beam. If the preference is to drive without the headlights on then a constant power source must be provided from the tow vehicle. This should be 12/24v and a minimum of 10 amps. Typically this can be Pin 2 in 7 pin plugs or pin 9 on a 12 pin plug. This constant power feed comes directly from the tow vehicles battery though a protected circuit. House batteries on trailers are not recommended.

What trailers can Elecbrakes be used with?

The brake controller will work on all trailers up to 4500kg ATM that have electric or electric over hydraulic braking systems. This includes but is not limited to caravans, camper trailers, toy haulers, tradie trailers, equipment hire trailers, agricultural trailers, car trailers, boat trailers and horse floats. Using the standard wiring setup Elecbrakes supports braking on two axles, with all wheels braked.

What else do I need to use Elecbrakes with my boat trailer?

Brake controllers do NOT supply the operating power to the actuator, only the braking response. Please see the instructions supplied by your actuator manufacturer for their recommended power supply method.

Boat trailers using the electric over hydraulic actuator system to operate the hydraulic braking system on the trailer require an electric brake controller to operate.

The most common actuators also require that the brake controller is capable of proportional voltage output. In addition the actuator will require its own power source to operate. This could be in the existing trailer plug via an auxiliary circuit from the tow vehicles battery, or an Anderson plug. Please refer to the wiring guide for the required amperage supply required by the actuator to operate.

If the vehicle is a 24 volt system then the brake controller will regulate this input to manage 12 volt variable output as required at the actuator (as long as it has multivolt capability). Elecbrakes has this multivolt capability and is compatible with both 12 and 24 volt tow vehicles.

Just to reiterate, brake controllers do NOT supply the operating power to the actuator, only the braking response. If you are unsure whether you have a power supply for your actuator please confirm with your actuator supplier before purchasing an Elecbrakes unit.

How does Elecbrakes power the rakes on the trailer?

We use the available amperage from both the tail light and brake light circuits. These circuits are 10 amps each. A magnet has a maximum draw of 4 amps as rated by the manufacturers. We limit the amp draw to 8 amps on each circuit. This allows us to support braking on a dual axle trailer all wheels braked in the standard wiring mode.

What does proportional brake control mean?

Elecbrakes is a proportional brake controller. We use an accelerometer and microprocessors to measure the braking force applied when the vehicle is braking and then apply the same braking force to the trailer’s brakes. What this means in layman’s terms is that the braking of the trailer/caravan/horse float should be smooth and seamless with no jolting.

What does Multiple Brake Programs mean?

Elecbrakes has 5 braking programs for the user. Each of these can be used to save a settings profile with adjustments made by the user that affect the braking response. These adjustments can be made to match certain driving conditions or where the load varies on the trailer. Once setup these settings are stored in the Elecbrakes unit. This function limits the need to adjust the brakes when driving. First time setup is all you need. From there it is as simple as picking the brake program required and activating it on the in car controller.

Is Elecbrakes legal in all Australian states?

A Brake Controller is required to adhere to the relevant ADR standards in order to be legal. Elecbrakes allows a trailer towing up to 4500Kg ATM to comply. The laws around trailer braking can be found in the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) The ADR pertaining to service brake requirements is 38/05.

Elecbrakes meets the requirements of ADR 38/05, where by means of the control signal we can progressively increase and decrease the brake settings from the driver’s seat. This is done via the in car remote control.

What happens if the Bluetooth drops out?

Elecbrakes searches at 2/100th of a second. The unit will reconnect, however the loss of Bluetooth connectivity does not impact the ability of the trailer to brake. Elecbrakes always brakes the trailer and will continue to work at the last settings set. The only functionality that would be hampered in this case would be the program change and manual override button from the remote. If the connection was to drop out the driver could pull over and reconnect. But it is very rare that this would happen.

Why is Elecbrakes more expensive?

Elecbrakes has been created with the intention to make towing easier by removing the need to install a new brake controller when you purchase a new car, allowing you to install your brake controller without the assistance of an auto electrician and superior brake efficiency to make the most of every trip. This means you save money every time you buy a new car and no longer require the installation cost of a new controller. We use the highest quality parts and workmanship to create a product that will last you a lifetime.

Does it matter if I dont install my unit parallel to the ground on my trailer?

Yes. To ensure correct operation the unit MUST have one of its sides/edges parallel with the ground and cannot be on an incline. This can be in any orientation on the trailer drawbar (ie. on the outside or inside of the drawbar (recommended), on top or bottom of the drawbar)

Do I need to use a spirit level when I install?

No, a spirit level is not needed to install your unit on the trailer. Mounting the unit reasonably parallel to the ground is sufficient for the unit to function optimally. The unit can not be mounted on any incline or angle to the ground.

Can my phone run the Elecbrakes app?

The Elecbrakes app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The current version is compatible with all iOS systems and Android phones with Android 10 and above.

How do I ensure my trailer passes Australian registration requirements?

To ensure your trailer meets the registration standards, Elecbrakes meet the requirements of ADR 38/05 regulations for trailer braking up to 4500kg ATM. To fulfil this requirement, make sure that either the in-car controller or the phone app is active and consistently connected to the Elecbrakes unit installed on the trailer.

Is it possible to use Elecbrakes with a 24V truck?

Absolutely. Elecbrakes is compatible with both 12-volt and 24-volt input systems. The system automatically adjusts its output to 12 volts, ensuring seamless operation with your trailer’s brake system even when used in conjunction with a 24-volt truck.

1/ Is Elecbrakes ADR Compliant?

Yes, Elecbrakes allows a trailer to comply with ADR38/05 and VSB1 for trailers up to 4500Kg ATM.  Elecbrakes provides a proportional control signal from the tow vehicle to the trailers brakes. And it allows the driver to operate the trailer brakes from the normal driving position. When fitted to trailers greater the 2000Kg GTM the brake system must also be fitted with a compliant emergency brake controller. To be compliant the in car controller must be connected to the device. The phone must cradled in a commercially available mounting and be connected to power. You can read the details of ADR 38/0f here

2/ What happens if Bluetooth drops out?

This is very unlikely to happen due to the advanced Bluetooth protocol used by the device and the short distance between the trailer and the tow vehicle. In the very rare hypothetical scenario where this did happen, there is nothing to worry about. Elecbrakes has been designed with safe redundancy systems and will continue to operate effectively using the last defined user settings and program. The brake controller requires no user input to operate. The only reason that the Bluetooth is used is for the tow vehicle's occupants to be able to tweak the brake response via the in-car remote or phone app. The device will brake in proportion to the tow vehicle without any additional action from the driver. The loss of communication should be investigated as it may indicate the trailer plug has been dislodged.

3/ What if the in-car controller goes flat?

To be compliant the in car controller should be plugged in and charging while in use. However if the in car controller does go flat, the brake system will continue to operate using the last defined user settings and program. The in car controller should be charged and the App should be reconnected as soon as possible.

4/ Can Elecbrakes be used with my sway control?

Yes, Elecbrakes operates in the same manner as a typical in-car controller. The main point of difference is that it is mounted to the trailer not your car.

5/ Can Elecbrakes be used with my Break Away Controller?

Yes, in fact on trailers over 2000Kg GTM, the trailer MUST be fitted with a Emergency brake controller.

6/ Can I connect Elecbrakes to Auxiliary power?

Yes, Elecbrakes has two power inputs, one is connected to the taillights so any appropriate tow vehicle can tow the trailer, the second input can be optionally connected to an auxiliary power supply such as available on a 12pin plug or Anderson Plug.  The functionality of the brake controller will be the same regardless of whether an auxiliary power source is used. The main difference is that when powered through an auxiliary connection, the tow vehicle is not required to have tail lights active.

7/ What if one of my vehicles already has a brake controller?

That’s OK, When wiring the Trailer the (blue) service brake wire should be disconnected from the trailer plug, therefore the trailers brakes are only controlled by the Elecbrakes device. The existing Brake controller in the vehicle will have no effect on braking.

8/ Can I mount the controller in a toolbox or caravan boot?

Yes, however care must be taken when choosing to mount the Elecbrakes device in a toolbox etc. The Radio reception needs to be tested to ensure the desired mounting location does not adversely affect radio range. To test, the Elecbrakes can be connected to 12v Lead acid battery (white = negative terminal, brown = positive terminal). Then Launch the App and ensure the App connects to the device from the drivers positing of the vehicle. The App should be tested for reliable communication for at least 2min.

9/ Why are my trailer brakes grabbing?

This is a default "Warning" function the Elecbrakes device performs to remind the driver to turn the Lights On. Turning the Lights On will remove this "Warning" function, if the brakes continue to grab it maybe due to the Brake Response Minimum setting being to high. You can adjust it lower via the Settings page with in the App

10/ Do I need to look in Bluetooth discoverable devices & pair my phone to Elecbrakes?

No - when the application is open on the phone and the Elecbrakes unit is powered, the unit will connect to the phone. This is indicated by the big button on the home screen turning red.

11/ Do I need a brake controller for electric brakes?

Yes. Without a brake controller, the electric brakes on your trailer or caravan will remain inactive.

12/ How do you set up a brake controller?

With Elecbrakes, you can simply mount the device to the drawbar of your trailer and then connect the plug and play adaptor to the trailer cable and the socket on the tow vehicle.

13/ Are trailer mounted brake controllers legal?

Yes, if they adhere to the relevant ADR standards.

14/ How does a brake controller work?

This differs based on the type and manufacturer of the controller. Elecbrakes is a proportional brake controller which supplies electricity to the trailer's electric brakes to activate them in proportion to the application of the tow vehicle's brakes.

15/ How do you use a brake controller?

With a proportional brake controller like Elecbrakes, you simply drive the tow vehicle as you normally would and the brake controller will apply the trailer's brakes in synch with your use of the brake pedal in the vehicle.

What Can I Tow With Elecbrakes?

If you’ve already heard of Elecbrakes you probably know it’s the wireless electric brake controller that’s redefining the way we tow. But did you know just how much stuff you can tow with this nifty little Australian invention? This article takes you through some of the ways that Elecbrakes can help you get on the road quicker, drive safer and tow easier.

Caravans and Campers Whether you’re swapping in that overseas holiday for an outback adventure or hiring a caravan for a weekend away, one thing you might not have considered is your choice of brake controller. Most caravans are fitted with electric brakes and that means you’re going to need an electric brake controller. But luckily, that doesn’t mean you need to hire an auto-electrician or cut a hole in your dashboard. Elecbrakes allows you to mount the controller on the caravan drawbar, simply plug into your tow vehicle socket and tweak your settings on the go with a wireless remote.

Horse Floats The last thing you want to do when transporting a horse is spook it with jarring braking motions. That’s why Elecbrakes provides precisely controlled proportional brake responses. What this means is that if you only activate the tow vehicle brakes gently, the horse float will also brake with that same degree of pressure. What’s more, you can fine tune this response with the in-car controller.

Boat Trailers Elecbrakes can also provide a brake signal for electric over hydraulic brake systems that are suitable for the marine environment. Thanks to the easily adjustable braking programs the user can also create different settings profiles for empty, full or reversing boat trailers for better navigation down boat ramps

Pushbikes, Trail Bikes and Motorbikes Not only can Elecbrakes get on the road quicker it can also help you get on your bike. Whether you’re towing a trailer to carry your pushbikes, dirt bikes or road bikes, Elecbrakes keeps your precious cargo safe. The proportional brake control and user-definable settings allow you to employ just the right amount of brake control for the smoothest towing possible.

Equipment Hire Trailers Open your business up to a whole new market with bigger, better, safer towing. If your car trailers don’t already have electric brakes then your customers are restricted to only towing light diggers and other equipment. This is because with a mechanical override system (no electric brakes) they’re legally required to keep their tow loads under 2,000kg.

Boat Trailer Requirements

Compatible with existing actuators, Elecbrakes is designed for use on electric over hydraulic brake systems. Trailer-mounted with wireless control, it gives boat owners the flexibility to use multiple tow vehicles. Simply set brake responses to suit different roads and loads, such as when towing a full versus empty boat.

Important —

Boat trailers using the electric/hydraulic actuator system to operate the hydraulic braking system on the trailer require an electric brake controller to operate.

The most common actuators also require that the brake controller is capable of proportional voltage output. In addition the actuator will require its own power source to operate. This could be in the existing trailer plug via an auxiliary circuit from the tow vehicles battery, or an Anderson plug. Please refer to the wiring guide for the required amperage supply required by the actuator to operate.

If the vehicle is a 24 volt system then the brake controller will regulate this input to manage 12 volt variable output as required at the actuator.(as long as it has multivolt capability)

Brake controllers do NOT supply the operating power to the actuator, only the braking response.

Benefits for boat trailer owners

1/ Use with electric over hydraulic actuators – Fine tune your trailer’s brake system with a wireless electric brake controller designed for boat owners.
2/ Corrosion and waterproof – Built to withstand harsh marine environments, Elecbrakes is a strong and durable towing solution for your boat trailer.
3/ 5 user-defined brake programs – Set and store your boat trailer’s proportional brake response when towing varied loads or reversing down ramps.