In reverse the brakes are very poor.. ican reverse the van with movers with handbrake engaged, the resistance to move is much lower, but when I need to turn an take it forward, it brakes basically lifting up the van, then I remember the brakes.. same with vehicle, it will reverse with less resistance, so it works.. but having a safety pin for reversing works even better
Older vans had a revers spacer or lever and hook that had to be engaged before you could reverse. The over run brakes nowadays works as explained above.
Remember to pull handbrake fully up like it is actually vertical to ensure it works in the reverse direction. Also very important that the brakes are set properly. (Maintenance)
Go to following link to see document on how the over-run breaking system works and how to adjust them correctly.
Here is another link to a file containing a more detailed description of the operation and set-up of the brakes.
According to the information given, you should be able to reverse your caravan up any incline without the brakes fully engaging - from what I have read on the forum, this is not the case with many caravan users who state that the brakes bind if the incline is too steep.
If the caravan is able to run backward freely, the hand-brake will only work if it is pulled up vertically or even past the 90 degree mark so as to compress the energy reserve spring which applies an extra force on the brakes as the caravan starts to run back.
Even after having my brakes set-up by an "expert", I am still unable to stop my caravan from running backwards by using the hand-brake. Have now fitted a caravan mover to help turn and park it in the sloping driveway.
The responses are correct, but I think they have missed the point.
When the caravan is in forward motion, ensure to brake softly so that the overrun brake does "not" engage - then you can reverse.
When these overrun brakes first came out, I saw a newcommer to caravanning get frustrated with his large automatic - pulled off at speed - jammed on the brakes - could not reverse. On calming him - pulled the caravan forward just enough to disengage - stopped slowly - reversed without a problem.
Leon's point on older caravans - most, if not all, spacers were spring loaded and jumped out when pressure was released (even while reversing) and caused the brakes to engage when reversing. Some fixed these spacers and left them without brakes when moving forward again.
Nice Explanations . Thanks Guys.