Key Considerations & FAQ

To make life easier for you, we have compiled responses to Frequently Asked Questions on this F.A.Q page.

Do you have a question not listed on this page?

If you have a questions about the AL-KO ESC that is not included on this F.A.Q page, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a response.
Note: This page details responses specific to AL-KO ESC to Existing Caravans. A FAQ page with specific responses related to AL-KO ESC’s fitment to New Caravans (AL-KO ESC installed during the manufacturing process) is avalable here.

Q. How much will AL-KO ESC cost for retrofit to my existing caravan?
The average cost of fitting AL-KO ESC on to your existing caravan is approximately $1,200 – $1,500 plus GST, plus any costs associated with the wiring required for your tow vehicle.
Simply submit a free quote request to your local Certified AL-KO ESC Installer who will be able to confirm the actual cost to install AL-KO ESC to your van and tow vehicle configuration.

Q. Can I have AL-KO ESC retrofitted to my existing caravan?
Availability for retrofit to caravans with AL-KO brakes, axles and approved suspensions by specialist certified installers has commenced.

Q. Can I install AL-KO ESC myself DIY?
No. AL-KO ESC must be installed by an certified AL-KO ESC installer.

Q. Can AL-KO ESC be fitted by my local mechanic?
No. AL-KO ESC must be installed by an certified AL-KO ESC installer.

Q. Who are my local AL-KO ESC dealers/installers?
Retrofit of AL-KO ESC is available only by certified AL-KO ESC installers. A list of the current members of the AL-KO ESC Certified Installer network is available here. To request an obligation free quote for the installation of AL-KO ESC to your caravan, please submit a free quote request.

Q. What certification will my local ESC dealer/installer have?
A certified dealer /installer has been factory trained by AL-KO. All certified installers/dealers have specific training on the installation of AL-KO ESC, brake and tow vehicle requirements.

Q. How long does it take to install AL-KO ESC?
Fitting of AL-KO ESC to an existing caravan should take between 1 and 2 hours. AL-KO ESC must be fitted with AL-KO brakes, axles and an approved suspension configuration.

Q. What are the requirements for my tow vehicle wiring to allow installation of AL-KO ESC?
The tow vehicle which will be used to tow your caravan or trailer fitted with the AL-KO ESC, must be fitted with an approved electric brake contoller as well as a power supply for the ESC unit.

The power supply for the ESC must be wired directly to the tow vehicle’s main battery and a 30Amp fuse or circuit breaker fitted.

The AL-KO ESC should be connected to the tow vehicle using a standard 12 pin plug or 2 pin Anderson plug connector. For off road use it is recommended that the ESC is connected to the tow vehicle using a 2 pin plug such as a 50AMP connector in order to allow the simple disconnection of the ESC unit for periods of extreme off road driving.
A 2 pin connector can be supplied by AL-KO if required (Part number: 350350).
The layout for a 12 pin plug varies between manufacturers so we suggest you contact the manufacturer of your caravan to confirm how your caravan is wired.

For more information regarding the wiring requirements for AL-KO ESC, please consult the AL-KO ESC user manual.

Please Note: All electrical work must be performed by an Auto Electrician.

Q. Is my brake controller compatible with AL-KO ESC ?
The tow vehicle should be fitted with an electric brake controller from the “Approved” list below.

The electric brake controllers listed in both the “Approved” and “Not Approved” lists below have been tested by AL-KO Engineers for their compatibility with AL-KO ESC. Brake controllers not featured on the list are deemed to be not compatible by default.

Approved for use with AL-KO ESC:

  • “Tekonsha” Prodigy P2
  • “Tekonsha” Primus IQ
  • “Hayes” Energiser III
  • “Tekonsha” P3
  • “Tekonsha” Prodigy
  • “Tekonsha” Voyager
  • “Hayman Reese” 06000 CompactIQ
  • “Hayman Reese” Guardian IQ
  • “Hayman Reese” Vintour
  • “Red Arc” Tow Pro Classic EBRHV2
  • “Red Arc” Tow Pro Elite EBRH-ACCV2
  • “Red Arc” Tow Pro EBRH-ACC – Approved with manufacture date after AUGUST 2014 – More Information
  • “Red Arc” EB
  • “Red Arc” EBTM
  • “Hayes” Lemmerz Synchroniser
  • “Predator” DX2
  • “GSL Electronics” RBC-12 Remote – with sticker R12R1 or RBCR12R1 – More Information
  • “GSL Electronics” EBC-12
  • “GSL Electronics” XLE-12T
  • “AME Products” Part No 04-989031 – 12 Volt Trailer Mount Electronic Brake Control
  • “Baxters” BRHBC – 12V Remote Brake Controller – with sticker BRHBC12R1 – More Information
  • “Low Voltage” LV1400 – 12V Electronic Brake Controller
  • “Low Voltage” LV1403 – 12 Volt Trailer Mount Electronic Brake Controller
  • “Low Voltage” LV1405 – 12V Remote Brake Controller – with sticker RBCR12R1 or R12R1 – More Information
  • “IRONMAN 4×4” – 12V Electric Brake Controller – RBCR121

Not approved for use with AL-KO ESC:

  • “CM Trailer Equipment” – Mag Brake II – Not Approved
  • “CM Trailer Equipment” – Mag Brake 3 – Not Approved
  • “Compact” remote mount brake control – Not Approved
  • Hayman Reese “Sentinel” electric trailer brake control – Not Approved
  • “GSL Electronics” RBC-12 Remote without sticker R12R1 or RBCR12R1 – Not Approved – More Information
  • “Baxters” BRHBC – 12V Remote Brake Controller – without sticker BRHBC12R1 – More Information
  • “Low Voltage” LV1405 – 12V Remote Brake Controller – without sticker RBCR12R1 or R12R1 – More Information
  • “Red Arc” Tow Pro EBRH-ACC – Not Approved with manufacture date prior to AUGUST 2014 – More Information

A printable list of electric brake controllers with approval status can be downloaded here in PDF format.

Q. How will AL-KO ESC work in conjunction with the manual override on my existing electric brake controller?
The function of the brake controller will be unaffected by the ESC. In most critical situations the sway will be detected by the ESC before the driver has the opportunity to manually apply the caravan’s electric brakes.

Q. How does AL-KO ESC interact with/ affect the tow vehicle’s existing trailer sway control/ stability control system?
The AL-KO ESC operates independently of the tow vehicle’s stability and trailer sway control systems. AL-KO ESC will not have any detrimental effect on the operation of these systems.

Q. Has AL-KO ESC been tested with independent suspension caravans
Yes. AL-KO ESC has been tested and approved for use with all AL-KO suspension systems. The caravan must be fitted with AL-KO brakes, in addition to one of the following approved suspensions:

  • AL-KO Independent Rubber Suspension (IRS)
  • AL-KO beam axle & leaf springs
  • Simplicity
  • Cruisemaster
  • Control Rider (Heavy Duty)
  • Control Rider (Light Duty)
  • Austrak
  • Coromal Knee Suspension
  • Roadrunner Coil Suspension
  • Vista RV – MS Series Independent Suspension
  • Withers Sugar Glider Suspension

Q. Which suspensions are compatible with AL-KO ESC ?
Your new caravan must be fitted with AL-KO or Dexter 10″/12″ electric brakes, in addition to one of the following approved suspensions:

  • AL-KO Independent Rubber Suspension (IRS)
  • AL-KO beam axle & leaf springs
  • Jayco J-TECH Suspension
  • Simplicity
  • Cruisemaster
  • Control Rider (Heavy Duty)
  • Control Rider (Light Duty)
  • Austrak
  • Coromal Knee Suspension
  • Roadrunner Coil Suspension
  • Vista RV – MS Series Independent Suspension
  • Withers Sugar Glider Suspension

Q. My new caravan has Dexter 10″ or 12″ electric brakes. Is AL-KO ESC still compatible?
To date AL-KO has tested and approved AL-KO ESC for use with 10″ and 12″ Dexter electric brakes.

Q. My new caravan has AL-KO brakes fitted to a non- AL-KO axle and drum set. Is AL-KO ESC still compatible?
Many alternative drums are compatible with AL-KO 10″ and 12″ brakes. To date AL-KO has tested and approved Vehicle Components, Melbourne Axle Sales and Simplicity Suspension brake drums when used with genuine AL-KO brakes as being compatible with the AL-KO ESC.

Q. Can AL-KO ESC be used with hydraulic brakes?
No. AL-KO ESC can only be used with electric drum brakes.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC suitable for single axle caravans?
Yes, AL-KO ESC can be fitted to single axle caravans. It should be noted that different ESC models are required for each axle and weight configuration.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC suitable for tandem axle caravans?
Yes, AL-KO ESC can be fitted to tandem axle caravans. It should be noted that different ESC models are required for each axle and weight configuration.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC suitable for 5th wheeler caravans?
To date this has not been evaluated, so we must answer no.

Q. Are weight distribution bars still required if i have AL-KO ESC installed?
AL-KO ESC is an additional safety system and does not replace the need for the caravan to be setup correctly. The caravan must always be loaded correctly with the recommended ball weight and weight distribution bars fitted if required.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC suitable for corrugated gravel and unpaved roads?
AL-KO ESC is suitable for use and will operated as designed on corrugated gravel and unpaved roads. Unlike other systems on the market, AL-KO ESC doesn’t deactivate in these conditions and will continue to operate effectively, keeping you safe.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC suitable for extreme 4WD conditions such as ‘rock-hopping’ or driving down river beds?
Extreme 4WD off-road use (such as is shown in the image below) may at times cause the ESC to inadvertently activate the brakes because of the severe tilting of the trailer and bumps experienced during severe off-road driving.
For vehicles intended on experiencing severe off road conditions, it is recommended that the ESC is connected to the tow vehicle using a separate 2 pin connector rather than the normal 12 pin connector. This enables the user to disconnect the ESC during periods of serious 4WD off road use.

Q. Has AL-KO ESC been tested on a large tandem axle All Terrain van on a wet dirt road?
Many and various combinations of single and tandem axle caravans have been tested in wet and dry conditions on both sealed and un-sealed roads.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC designed to eliminate all minor caravan sway associated with side winds or buffeting from trucks?
AL-KO ESC is designed as a safety technology for “critical incidents” & activates in a scenario where you could possibly lose control such as in an emergency avoidance manoeuvre. This is similar to ESC in a car – you would not expect it to activate unless you are in an emergency situation. In most cases the AL-KO ESC will not activate in situations where you experience smaller levels of general sway such as side winds or buffeting from trucks going past, however when combined with other factors such as wet roads these situations may result in the caravan reaching the critical point of lateral movement required to activate the ESC.

Q. Does AL-KO ESC apply the brakes independently to each wheel?
No. AL-KO ESC applies all the brakes on the caravan simultaneously.

Q. Do the brake lights illuminate when AL-KO ESC is activated during a sway?
No, the ESC applies the brakes on the caravan to correct alignment rather than to stop the combination, so stop light illumination is not appropriate.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC the same on all caravans?
No, AL-KO ESC is pre-set to suit each caravan. The ATM (Total maximum loaded free standing rated weight of the caravan), number of axles, brake size & wheel size all affect the ESC’s factory settings.

 

Q. If AL-KO ESC is installed on my caravan, will my insurer offer me a reduction in my premium?
Some insurers may offer price reductions for caravans fitted with the AL-KO ESC. Please contact your insurer for further details.

Q. Could the AL-KO ESC unit be transferred from our Van to another, if we choose to eventually upgrade?
It depends on the details of the old and the new caravans. If both caravans have exactly the same ATM, number of axles, type of brakes and wheel size then it may be possible for you to transfer the AL-KO ESC from one van to another.

As improvements and upgrades occur to most well engineered products over time it would be better to use the existing AL-KO ESC as a selling benefit and have a new/latest version of AL-KO ESC fitted to your new caravan.

Q. Is AL-KO ESC suitable for marine use?
The ESC has successfully completed waterproof testing.

If the marine trailer is fitted with electric drum brakes then this may be possible, but it would need to be clarified at the time of proposed installation.

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