What Are Electric Brake Assemblies

Written by hitchweb Team
Thursday, February 2, 2012 — No Comments Yet

Trailer brakes and their hub assemblies are the spinning components that connect the pavement to the axle. Along with their small mounting components as well as tires and wheels, they complete the trailer and make it road-ready. Like all other components in our Trailer Parts section, there are many weight and size options when it comes to brake assemblies.

There are 2 questions that need to be answered so that you can install the correct brakes:

  1. Given the size of the trailer, do we need to use brakes?
    Throughout Canada and the U.S., there are varying laws in place regarding towing practices - depending on the State or Province. Since most RV', Campers, and trailer Tow-ers travel over several States/Provinces, it is always safest to go with the average-to-stringest laws as a guideline for any given setup.

  2. What are the brake style options available, and which is the best choice?
    There are 4 main choices when it comes to selecting a trailer brake style - meaning, choosing how you want the brakes to operate.
    What each style is good at: Benefits & Features
    How they work: Components
    What gets done to the trailer: Brake Installation Process

Trailer brakes ensure that when a tow-vehicle is travelling down the road and puts on the brakes, the vehicles brakes are not doing the stopping for both the car and the trailer. This becomes more important the heavier the trailer that is being towed. A vehicles brakes are simply not designed to stop the vehicle PLUS an additional 3,500 lbs. (or more) behind it.

Trailer Electric Brake

Electric Brake Assembly

Electric trailer brakes are the most common on the road today. Here is an Electric Brake Assembly (a.k.a "backing plate"). Almost all Electric Brakes are created equal. There is very little, if any, variance between options and features: they are basically just designed to stop the trailer wheels from turning, and they all do it the same way.

Dexter Axle

Manufacturers

There are several manufacturers making reliable backing plates, including Dexter. Brand is very important when trying to replace old backing plates or components, since there is no industry standard governing specs like the size or shape of a brake magnet. So more manufacturers have innovated their own designs. Overall, Dexter is the industry leader and the most common brand.

Finishes

In most brands, the backing plate is constructed of unfinished steel. There are however brands who specialize in marine applications. This is for boat trailers, where the brakes will be exposed to the corrosive effects of salt water. To slow the corrosion of steel components they are coated with a protective material that provides a barrier against solvents, heat and salt. They follow the same standard sizes as regular backing plates.

RELATED ARTICLES

DO I NEED AN ELECTRIC BRAKE? HOW ELECTRIC BRAKES WORK
TESTING TRAILER BRAKE MAGNETS HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR BOLT PATTERN
ELECTRIC BRAKES IN SALT WATER  
Posted in Trailer Parts

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