Testing Electric Brakes & Breakaway Brakes

Preforming Brake Tests Before Each Tow

Checking over your brakes is part of a routine inspection that we recommend in our service maintenance schedule before each tow.  To find this maintenance schedule check out this section of the Owner Guide: Exterior Inspection Schedules & Checklists.

The information in this section will walk you through detailed information on testing your wheelhouse brakes.


Test Electric Brakes (If your wheelhouse has electric brakes)

If your wheelhouse has electric brakes, your tow vehicle will have an electric brake controller that sends power to the wheelhouse brakes. Before towing on the road, you must operate the brake controller while trying to pull the wheelhouse in order to confirm that the electric brakes operate.

While towing less than 5 mph, manually operate the electric brake controller in the tow vehicle. You should feel the operation of the wheelhouse brakes. If the wheelhouse’s brakes are not functioning, the brake system MUST be evaluated to determine the cause of the problem and corrective action MUST be taken before the wheelhouse is used. Take the unit to your Yetti dealer or a qualified brake specialist.


Test Electric Breakaway Brakes (If your wheelhouse has electric brakes)

If equipped with brakes, your wheelhouse will be equipped with a breakaway brake system that can apply the brakes on your wheelhouse if it comes loose from the hitch.  The breakaway brake system, including the battery, must be in good condition and properly rigged to be effective.  You should test the function of the breakaway brake system before towing the wheelhouse.

The breakaway brake system includes a battery, a switch with a pull pin and lanyard, and a breakaway brake controller. Read and follow the instructions here as well as the instructions that have been prepared by the breakaway brake manufacturer. If you do not have these instructions, contact your dealer for assistance. Hydraulic wheelhouses may use the hoist battery to provide power to the breakaway brakes.  If your wheelhouse is not set up this way, there will be a small breakaway battery mounted near the breakaway switch. Most wheelhouses are set up to charge the battery from the tow vehicle. If the electric system on our tow vehicle does not provide power to the battery, you must periodically charge the battery with a commercial battery charger to keep the battery charged

The battery must be fully charged before towing. To test the breakaway brake battery, remove the pull pin from the switch and attempt to pull the wheelhouse forward. You should feel the wheelhouse resisting being towed, but the wheels will not necessarily be locked. If the brakes do not function, do not tow the wheelhouse until brakes, or battery, are repaired. Immediately replace the pull pin. The breakaway brake battery discharges rapidly when the pull pin is removed.

  • Do not tow the wheelhouse if the battery requires recharging. A discharged brake battery will not activate the brakes if the wheelhouse uncouples from the tow vehicle.
  • Do not tow the wheelhouse with the breakaway brake system ON because the brakes will overheat which can result in permanent brake failure.
  • Do not tow the wheelhouse if the breakaway brake system is not working; have it serviced or repaired.
  • If you do not use your wheelhouse for three or more months: store the battery indoors and charge the battery every three months.
  • Replace the breakaway brake battery according to the intervals specified by the battery manufacturer.



  • Extreme cold weather can degrade battery performance in-car brakes not to operate properly.
  • An ineffective breakaway brake system can result in a runaway wheelhouse, leading to death or serious injury if the coupler fails.


Failure to properly maintain and service your Voyager equipment may result in personal injury and may void any manufacturer warranties. Please contact your local dealer with any service, maintenance, or warranty questions.

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