ATC anti-snaking system
Ruts on the motorway, an overtaking truck, a sudden crosswind on a bridge or even going a few mph over the limit – and that's it: The caravan or commercial trailer starts to sway, and, in the worst case, the vehicle combination runs completely out of control within a few seconds. We have probably all seen pictures of such accidents, and there is usually not much left of the trailer.
Increased safety for caravans and commercial trailers with the ATC
The electromechanical anti-snaking system from AL-KO
There are ways and means of braking (sic) this cycle. Besides anticipatory driving, correct loading and a mechanical stabiliser coupling, the installation of an electromechanical anti-snaking system (ATC) is recommended. The ATC detects even the slightest swaying movements and gets the trailer back on track.
Make the reaction time work for you
- Constantly controls the caravan’s or trailer's lateral movements
- Intervenes gently to restore stable driving condition
- Acts earlier and more effectively than stabilisation systems in the towing vehicle
- Optimum impact with the proven AL-KO brake system
Sensitive sensors help in dangerous situations
Sophisticated electronics prevent trailers from swaying
The ATC’s functionality is based on sophisticated electronics: so-called lateral acceleration sensors constantly monitor for swaying movements on the trailer axle. If these exceed the tolerance range stored in the system, the ATC takes action.
In concrete terms, this means that as soon as the caravan or trailer begins to sway slightly, for example due to slightly excessive speed or a gust of wind, the sensors detect these lateral swerving movements – and the ATC gently triggers the brakes on the trailer via the Bowden cables. This short but effective intervention stretches and stabilises the whole vehicle combination.
For you as a driver, it feels as if the vehicle combination floats” for a few seconds, like a ship bobbing leisurely along. Then there is a brief moment in which a slight braking is noticeable, after which everything goes back to normal.
By the way, the ATC records each intervention. If you are interested in whether the installation was worth your while, you can ask a specialist workshop for a readout of how often the system reacted on your trips.
For which caravans or commercial trailers is the ATC suitable?
For AL-KO chassis from 1998 onwards and commercial trailers – each up to a permissible gross weight of 3.5 t
The ATC is suitable for all caravans with AL-KO chassis from 1998 onwards as well as for commercial trailers up to a permissible gross weight of 3.5 t. It can be easily retrofitted in the vast majority of cases if the manufacturer does not offer installation ex works or if you already own an older trailer.
It does not matter whether it is a single or tandem axle as AL-KO offers corresponding systems for both variants. All you have to do is make sure you choose the right weight class for your caravan or commercial trailer.
What is the difference between the ATC for caravans and the ATC for commercial trailers?
Weight fluctuations due to payloads are crucial
While the ATC version for caravans assumes a relatively constant weight due to the usually very low payload, the version for commercial trailers is one step smarter, and automatically adapts to occasional high weight fluctuations.
This way it ensures optimum driving safety, regardless of whether, for example, a horse box is travelling empty or with one or even several animals inside. The same applies to the transport of boats, materials, or heavy tools.
ATC or trailer ESP?
Two different systems that complement each other
We are often asked whether a trailer’s Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) on the towing vehicle provides the same function as an anti-snaking system in a caravan or commercial trailer. The answer here is clear: No.
The trailer ESP is an extremely useful feature and certainly helpful as a supplement to the ATC. However, the way it works is fundamentally different: the trailer ESP reacts with a delay – namely, only once the trailer’s swerving movements have already been transmitted to the towing vehicle. On the other hand, the ATC intervenes as soon as the tolerance is even slightly exceeded on the trailer axle. A combination of both systems is ideal.
In this video we demonstrate and compare the different operating principles.
How much does an ATC cost?
Prices for caravans and commercial trailers at a glance
The prices for the ATC are:
- for caravans: €1,150 (RRP)
- for commercial trailers: €850 (RRP)
- plus assembly in each case – here costs may vary depending on your retailer.
In our company's own specialist workshops, we currently charge around €1,400 for the ATC including installation and brake maintenance
Podcast on ATC
Product Manager Lukas Schwehr knows his stuff when it comes to ATC. That's exactly why he was a guest on our partner CamperStyle’s podcast.
The ATC for commercial trailers – as used by the Günzburg fire brigade
Arrive safely at the scene thanks to the anti-snaking system
The ATC is not only important additional safety equipment for caravan fans, tradesmen, and horse or boat owners. The Günzburg fire brigade also relies on the electronic anti-snaking system for its sometimes high-risk journeys to incidents. The rescuers are on the road at speeds of up to 110 km/h, because, as we all know, in an emergency every second counts – but so does the safety of the emergency services and other road users.
You can find out more about the ATC as used by the Günzburg fire brigade here: