When I first came across electric brakes, I was somewhat amazed by their apparently unecessary complication. I have since learnt that, if fitted
, they seem to have several advantages - the 'if fitted' being important since even quite large trailers (by our standards) seem to be towed without brakes.
So here, fer yer edderkayshun, is how brakes are done in Yurp - cable-operated mechanical brakes, just like on your grandad's car:
You fit a braked coupler. Nowadays they are required to be the hydraulically-damped variety. As can be seen, this provides a handbrake and nose wheel mount:
This is connected to the brakes by open wire or enclosed (Bowden) cables:
The brakes are simply mechanical drum brakes - just like the handbrake operation of a basic auto:
It seems to me that this system has only one advantage over electric brakes - it does not require the tow vehicle to be equipped for trailer brakes. However, from the number of forum postings I've seen (elsewhere) about people not fitting brake controllers and so not using brakes, this would seem to be a fairly significant advantage.....