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Post Info TOPIC: electronic stability control (ESC)


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electronic stability control (ESC)


someone tells me that if you have ESC or sway control installed on your tow vehicle you do not need ESC on your caravan. is this true? if so, can someone knowledgeable explain to me how it works? I think logically there are two vehicles (car and van) that need to work together to avoid the very real dangers of sway - sway in the vehicle and sway in the van - so they need to be synchronised through the ESC installed in the van. I also think to have ESC/sway control in the car only would even be more dangerous, as correcting the sway of the tow vehicle and not the van would potentially toss over the van. what are your thoughts oh wise grey nomads?

stay safe and keep others safe as well on the roads.

shane



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shane


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Seen many photos of late model vehicles on their side or roof with the remnants of the van scattered around them. ESC and inbuilt trailer sway try to keep the tow vehicle heading straight by braking various wheels when it detects wheels slipping. But this on a tow vehicle can only do so much. There is a point of no return when it can all go pear shaped, particularly with two or three tonnes of wildly swaying van on the rear end pushing it around. The sway control on a van is an extra safety step that endeavours to get the whole rig straight again. So it's an added safety measure that I wouldn't be without,

Of course the first priority is to get the weights and balance of the whole thing correct so it's unlikely to happen in the first place.



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Guru

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Both Dexter and Alko offer sway control systems my preference would be Dexter because of previous bad experiences with a Faulty Alko system. If you get your weights right and are utilising a weight distribution hitch the ESC becomes almost superfluous.

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Possum; AKA:- Ali El-Aziz Mohamed Gundawiathan

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Question is if you have both is it better to turn off the tow vehicle ESC and go with trailer ESC. Use the tow ESC for trailers with no ESC.

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Think of the van system as doing it's best to remove energy from the unstable van..... the car system doing it's best to stabilise the car..... the WDH... well... not really relevant to the question.

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Jayco Silverline Toyota 200



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So is better to have both systems working?

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Corndoggy, neither the ALKO or Dexter manuals mention the vehicle trailer stability system , and at installation, it was not mentioned to switch it off. To my mind, having a system correcting the car and a system correcting the van makes sense. Apparently it happens a lot quicker than a human can react, but fortunately I've never experienced it happen. I went for the Dexter system because it brakes wheels individually depending the direction of the yaw, rather than the ALKO system which brakes both wheels on the axle. In addition, you don't have to switch off the Dexter system in the rough stuff. Also with the Dexter, it's entirely contained in the van so you don't need a dedicated unit in the tow vehicle, so changing tugs is not an issue.

An Australian comparison can be found here -

https://www.caravancampingsales.com.au/editorial/details/battle-of-the-black-boxes-49945/

https://www.rvservicecentre.com.au/dsc-vs-esc/



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My caravan is very basic and I don't have ESC on it. However, thinking about it, possibly you should turn off the ESC on the tug vehicle. Maybe not - read on...

Reason - assume you are travelling in a straight line and something eg a B Double comes the opposite way. The windage from the truck unsettles your rig and the van starts to sway. Say it initially sways to the left side of the road. This tries to pull the rear of the car to the left as well. If, at the exact time the car ESC senses this, it is likely to then apply the right side brakes of the car to try to stabilise the car's apparent skid. Applying ANY brakes at this time is wrong because it is only going to make the caravan slide worse.

Now, and this is where I undo my comments above, the ESC on the car will react far quicker and more consistently than a human . Further, the initial deflection of the car due to the caravan slide is likely to be minimal and probably won't be enough to activate the car ESC. After the second or third caravan sway, the situation will be totally unrecoverable anyway, so having the ESC turned on or off will make little difference. From the Insurance company point of view, they would probably reject your claim if you turned the ESC off. So, overall, I think it is best to leave the car ESC active at all times.

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thanks guys,

when I researched for our van over two years ago I spent two years before doing the research and never came across this issue. but I did discover that Dexter is better for off-road bush and Alko for general travel. I have now started further research on this particular issue of the tow vehicle and caravan ESC systems. I found that ESC was originally developed for motor vehicles, but since 2013 'ESC has been found to work so well for caravans that the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIA VIC) has endorsed it as revolutionary technology. Whats more, leading caravan and RV insurer CIL Insurance offer discounted premiums if you have an ESC system fitted to your caravan' (www.withoutahitch.com.au/caravan/explaining-al-ko-electronic-stability-control/). I cannot see why new caravans are now regularly offered with ESC if that is useless given that new cars now come with ESC standard. also, I have discovered that ESC operates through a sensor device fitted in the centre under the van and/or under the car - that is one for each if you have both, which suggests that each is separately required to correct sway etc in each, and so the one in the car won't work for both car and van - they are, after all, separate vehicles.



-- Edited by shanem on Thursday 2nd of January 2020 11:30:56 AM

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shane


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Interesting discussion. Here's what my vehicle's handbook (LandRover Discovery Sport) has to say about the subject. From this I would conclude that having the DSC on while towing is a good thing. Indeed, I've never experienced trailer sway so one conclusion could be that's because it's doing it's job so well! However, the way my system operates may be specific to my vehicle, as from the description it seems my car has a "trailer stability assist" function which only operates when a trailer is attached, and while the existing DSC system is part of this, it may be operating differently to the way it operates in DSC equipped cars that don't have trailer stability assist. There is also no mention of how trailer stability assist would interact with a trailer that has it's own DSC system, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that they would work well together, the vehicle one constantly and imperceptibly correcting small sways, and the trailer one kicking in if and when a major sway still develops that is beyond the capability of the car to correct.

When the trailer electrical socket is connected, the trailer stability assist function operates automatically to enhance the
existing DSC and Terrain Response Auto2 functions of the vehicle when towing. The system detects sway movements
caused by trailer oscillations at speeds in excess of 31 mph (50 km/h) and acts to eliminate them. It does this through
braking and engine management. Braking the vehicle asymmetrically counterbalances the sway movement, thereby slowing
the vehicle and eliminating the oscillations. Engine management adapts engine torque output to support the braking
management in stabilizing the vehicle and trailer.
Typical conditions when sway can occur include:
Changing highway lanes
Traversing a lengthy bend
Acceleration
Braking
Incorrectly laden trailers.
The capability of trailer stability assist to respond early to the beginning of trailer sway makes the system almost
unnoticeable under normal driving conditions and keeps the vehicle and trailer under safe control. Trailer stability assist
requires no input from the driver and operates up to the maximum vehicle speed.
Trailer stability assist will not operate while DSC is switched off.



-- Edited by Mamil on Thursday 2nd of January 2020 07:24:00 PM

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Senior Member

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Despite the car having ESC and trailer stability control, my Ranger has both, it is a very large advantage to have it on the van also. If in the unfortunate event that things start to turn pear shaped, you need all the help you can get.

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Greg O'Brien



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hi folks,

I have re-discovered a file I have on the AL-KO ESC, which states:
"Q. How does AL-KO ESC interact with/ affect the tow vehicles existing trailer sway control/ stability control system?
The AL-KO ESC operates independently of the tow vehicles stability and trailer sway control systems. AL-KO ESC will not have any detrimental effect on the operation of these systems".
The full document can be found at:
alkoesc.com.au/what-is-al-ko-esc/how-does-alko-esc-work/
This gives a lot of info that altogether says that ESC is a highly desirable if not very necessary safety device for modern caravanning.


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shane


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the address is this: alkoesc.com.au/for-new-caravans/key-considerations-faq/

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shane
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