The Adria braking system operates independently of, but in tandem with, the tow vehicle's brakes via a specialised AL-KO coupling. As brakes are applied by the driver of the tow vehicle, the force of deceleration is passed through the caravan's coupling, activating a mechanical linkage, or piston, located just forward of the caravan's handbrake. The movement of the piston in turn applies braking pressure through cables along the chassis to exert equal braking force on each wheel.
"Adria's braking system is an important safety feature," says Andrew Scott of Adria Australia. "Its independence of the electrics of the tow vehicle means the caravan will still brake if there is a power supply issue with the tow-vehicle, whereas an electrically operated caravan's brakes would be expected to fail. "Adria's Adiva and Adora caravans take the burden of braking upon themselves and lighten the load on the tow vehicle. This is especially evident during extended downhill runs, where building momentum causes increased downward gravitational forces on the tow vehicle. In this situation Adria's own brakes kick in, relieving pressure on both tow vehicle and driver," he said.
Adria's AL-KO coupling system also features a sway control device, specifically designed to improve caravan stability while in motion. "The coupling is the vital link between tow vehicle and caravan and makes a significant difference to the driving and towing experience," Mr Scott said. "This coupling incorporates a handle that clamps to the sides of the tow ball, gripping it firmly at four points. "The clamped tow ball helps the caravan resist both vertical and horizontal movements while being towed. "As it is pulled along directly behind the tow vehicle, the caravan generates less drag, making for a smoother and more fuel efficient trip. "This system is particularly beneficial when the towed caravan is buffeted by side winds or turbulence caused by heavy trucks passing, and ensures these Adria caravans are very well behaved on the road," Mr Scott said.
The clamp also distributes weight along the coupling, minimising stress points and eliminating the need for additional stabilising bars. "The clamping operation ensures the caravan is securely attached to the tow vehicle, so male and female coupling sections cannot accidentally disengage," Mr Scott said. The AL-KO coupling is designed for use on trailers and caravans up to 2500 kilograms, with a maximum tow ball weight of 250 kilograms. Adria's chassis and suspension combination is also provided by AL-KO and is tailor made to suit the height and weight of each caravan, adding to their stability on the road.