It’s fair to say that the caravan breakaway cable is not the biggest item found on your tourer, but it plays an important role. Especially as there is a serious number of instances where caravans have become unattached from the vehicles towing them. Detachment is a serious problem that goes hand in hand with bad and irresponsible towing practices. Because of this, it’s vital you check your vehicle’s breakaway cable has been installed properly before you set off, each and every time, without fail.
However, do you know what a breakaway cable is? Do you know what it looks like and how to fit one? In the following post, that’s exactly what we are going to discuss as well as highlighting some great breakaway cables available on the market right now.
What is a Caravan Breakaway Cable?
First things first, it’s best to learn more about this crucial component in your tourer outfit. A breakaway cable is essentially a fairly self-explanatory device that operates when there’s an emergency and engages on the caravan’s brakes in the event its detached. As the name suggests, though the breakaway actually breaks itself in those emergency situations. Which is why you will need to replace it (and why we’ve highlighted products towards the end of this page).
The Legalities Surrounding Caravan Breakaway Cables
Since as far back as 1982, its been required legally that a caravan and touring vehicle outfit is fitted with an appropriate breakaway cable. However, that shouldn’t make you fret too much, as they are not especially expensive.
Two Different Types Of Clips on Breakaway Cables
There are actually two different types of clips attached to breakaway cables, one fitted with a high quality and robust carabiner to attach directly and a standard clip that is suitable for looped attachment.
Always Inspect Your Breakaway Cables
It is your responsibility, as the driver of the caravan outfit, to ensure the breakaway cable is attached properly and that it is in good working condition and roadworthy. As outlined by the National Caravan Council, the breakaway cable should be one of the components checked when you have your annual service.
If anything does not look quite right, though, you should just replace it.
Fitting a Caravan Breakaway Cable
Do you have a tried and tested method that you use each time when hitching your tourer up to your towing vehicle? It’s the best practice to wait until the tow-hitch is attached to your tow ball properly before attaching the breakaway cable. You may find, for example, that some tow bars actually have special rings for attaching breakaway cables. Otherwise, it’s recommended that it is looped around the bar. Basically, it the attachment for the tow ball should be as close as it can be to your tow ball. If there is no proper way to connect it to the tow ball, you can even just wrap it around its neck, being careful of the head of the coupling.
You also need to ensure there is a decent amount of slack as this will stop the cable from applying the brakes accidentally, when all you’re doing is turning the corner. Furthermore, you need to make sure it won’t drag along the ground when you drive.
Best Caravan Breakaway Cable (Some Options)
Now that you hopefully understand what the breakaway cable is, how it works, how it fits and other important considerations you need to make regarding them, it’s time to look at some great breakaway cable for caravan options available online.
1. W4 Easy Fit Breakaway Cable
The first product we have is from the popular and respected caravan accessories manufacturer W4. They have been in business for just under 40 years and are renowned for their unique and ingenious designs. This easy fit breakaway cable features at one end a carbine hook and at the other end a threaded carbine hook. It provides you with a permanent and quick attachment to the handbrake without requiring complex installation or the use of a multitude of tools.
2. Maypole PVC Breakaway Cable
The next product we want to highlight is from one of our favourite manufacturers here at Caravan Helper, Maypole. They have been designing and manufacturing accessories for the leisure vehicle market for more than 40 years. They are known, much like W4, for their quality and this breakaway cable (can also be known as the secondary coupling).
It features for the fitting that attaches to your towing vehicle, a carabiner-style hook and at the tourer end, a burst ring and is made from robust and durable PVC.
3. Ring Automotive Fast-Fit Breakaway Cable
Next, we have another, slightly more expensive than the first two products, but nevertheless easy to install breakaway cable, from Ring Automotive. The company brings more than 40 years’ worth of experience of bringing the most cutting-edge to the retail and trade markets. It has at one end for fitting to the lower end of your caravan’s handbrake, a locking carabiner clip and at the other end, a non-locking carabiner clip. It has very clear and easy to follow instructions.
4. Leisure Mart Caravan Breakaway Cable with Split Ring, Fluorescent Colour
Last on our list is the Leisure Mart breakaway cable. It features a safety clip to one end and a split ring at the other. It is robust, durable and basically very easy to connect to both the caravan hitch and tow ball and your towing vehicle.
So, there you have it. You now know more than we hope you knew about caravan breakaway cables and their importance with regards to the safety of your touring outfit. It will ensure that your caravan and other people on the road along with their vehicles are safe, even when there is an emergency and your tourer become detached from your towing vehicle.
If you have any doubts about what you should do with your breakaway cable and how to fit it correctly, we would recommend you speak to a more experienced caravanner in your social circles or speak to the local dealership or caravan service centre.