Back in 2017, a plethora of caravanning and motoring journalists and industry big wigs gathered in Anglsea to witness the first public demonstration of Bosch’s Trailer Safety Control system, essentially an electronic box that controlled all aspects of a caravan’s wheels, most notable, with an ABS function, preventing them from locking up under hard braking. Everyone thought it was awesome, and none of us could wait to see it rolled out in real life.
Since then, there’s been nothing, though. Multiple follow up calls and emails with Bosch have come back with no new information, and apart from me mentioning it a few times in safety related articles, it was seemingly forgotten. Until now.
AL-KO has just announced work has continued on the product, in partnership with Bosch and Dexter, and in mid-2020, Aussie caravans will finally be fitted with Dexter Tow Assist, which AL-KO says “provides trailer anti-lock braking, utilising the most performance out of each trailer brake while reducing the risk of tyre skid or lockup and improving manoeuvrability to avoid obstacles.”
Not just ABS, the system can also keep track of milage, mitigate sway and keep the trailer controlled if you’re forced to swerve to miss an obstacle. AL-KO says, “Dexter Tow Assist provides valuable mileage tracking with the built-in odometer function. Perform critical maintenance at precise intervals all while keeping track of your trailer or even an entire fleet. Continually monitoring your trailer, Dexter Tow Assist’s sway mitigation keeps the trailer in-line without any driver input. The system intuitively knows when to apply braking, maintaining trailer stability, without significantly reducing speed or skidding the tyres.”
Initial sales efforts will focus on OEM implementation, with aftermarket upgrade kits to follow. The system incorporates a Tow Assist control module, power-axle wiring harnesses, indicator light, Nev-R-Adjust brake fitted with wheel speed sensor and brake drum with ABS tone ring cast-in.
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