Safety and performance are the two most important requirements for any utility trailer accessories you buy. When it comes to choosing the type of brakes for your custom made trailer, performance is your top priority. The better your brakes perform, the safer they are. There are several types of braking systems available, but the most preferred is the electric braking system. The electric system decreases stopping distance and helps you stop in a straight line to eliminate the chance of jack knifing during sudden movements. Electric brakes are popular utility trailer accessories, not only for their safe performance, but also because of easy installment.
Electric brake systems are made up of shoes and a stop, an actuating arm and magnet, backing plate and flange, a hub and brake drum, and wiring with an end plug connector. These items are mounted on the trailer and connect to the wiring of the controller that is installed inside the vehicle that will be towing it. Connector plugs come in different wiring patterns so be sure the trailer plug and tow vehicle plug are wired the same. The controller, mounted inside the tow vehicle, can be a proportional or delay type. A proportional controller will cause the trailer brakes to be applied at the same time and the same rate as the tow vehicle brakes are applied. A delay controller has features that allow the driver to make adjustments according to the weight of the load being towed. It is up to the driver to determine how much stopping assistance is needed from the trailer brakes.
Another feature which is required is an emergency breakaway kit. It consists of a battery in a box, mounted on the trailer, a trickle charger to keep the battery charged, and a breakaway switch. The switch, mounted on the trailer frame, has a cable that is attached to the vehicle. If the trailer comes loose from the vehicle while it is being towed, the cable opens the switch and the trailer brakes are activated. This is an important safety feature which most states require.
You can see why electric brake systems are the most popular for common utility trailers. The parts and wiring diagrams for electric brake systems can be found on websites and in stores where utility trailer accessories are sold.