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Old 07-13-2019, 05:52 PM   #127
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All,

Here is a series of responses below about this subject, copied and pasted from another web site long ago. Don't know any of the people, and can only tell you that I do use a toad brake system, even though it's not required. Just like I wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle, even though Utah law doesn't require one.

By the way, I also had a long conversation with the Utah HP when I bought my motorhome 6 years ago. They agreed that a car being towed is never a trailer, in spite of all other claims made in so many places. That is why tow trucks nationwide, tow cars all the time without aux brakes on the car being towed. It's just as legal for me, as it is for them. Just like the guy in the first quote below, I have never had anyone show me a legal exemption just for tow trucks.

Reply 31 below has the response from the California HP.

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CA has no toad brake requirements!
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2008, 02:54:08 AM »

Sam.net...
First let me thank you for taking the time and trouble for your research and contacting CHP.* I look forward to their reply.* However, I still must disagree.

*In reading the definition of a 'trailer' (630 CVC) reads, "A trailer is a vehicle (so far so good) designed for carrying passenegers (still good) or property (still good[/i]) on its own structure (still good - maybe) and (Not so good) for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight rest upon any other vehicle."* *For the definition to apply - all the wording has to fit.* The problem in this case is the use of the word 'and' and reading the whole definition in context.* The 'and' infers that the vehicle/trailer is 'designed' to be drawn (towed) by a motor vehicle.* Clearly an automobile does not fully complete the definition of trailer because it is not designed as such.*

There is a reasonable argument that once an automobile is hooked up behind a MH, complete with all the bells and whistles, it is then 'designed', but I don't think that was the intent of the legislature...and here's why...

Every motor vehicle being towed by a tow truck (with the use of typical towing gear), would then require a supplemental braking system installed on the toad.* Unless all tow trucks were made exempt.* That would hardly be fair, being that there are significantly more cars being towed by tow trucks than by MH's.* I think the tow truck company lobbyists saw to it that supplemental brakes were not mandatory - imagine the impact if they were.

VC* 29000 - 29009 refers to vehicles being towed and even makes specific mention of Recreational Vehicles.* This would be an ideal location to include supplemental braking requirements, as it also describes the actual towing mechanisms, but no such mention is made.

VC 550 (Semi-trailer) comes close to describing a vehicle being towed by another (as being a trailer and therefore requiring supplemental brakes) but requires that some part of the trailer's weight* and that of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle.* It's that latter part of the definition which doesn't fit.

Again, I look forward to CHP's response and thank you for your time.

BT



Re: CA toad brake requirements
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2008, 11:17:08 PM »

BT,
* * *I received a response the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento, CA. It was from a Captain, who is the Commander of their Commercial Vehicle Section.* I quote from his response: "California law does not require brakes on towed motor vehicles to be operated from the motor home provided the combination of vehicles meet the stopping requirements of Section 26454 of the Vehicle Code (VC). Section 26454 VC states in part, the service brakes of every motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such vehicle or combination of vehicles under all conditions of loading on any grade on which it is operated. Provided your motorhome is assigned a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more, your combination would be required to come to a complete stop within 50 feet from an initial speed of 20 miles per hour. Additionally, an emergency device is not required. "
* * *"Section 21715 VC restricts a passenger vehicle (Motor Home) from towing more that one vehicle in cobination, except a tow dolly (car dolly) may be used with the towed vehicle (the tow dolly and the motor home would be considered one vehicle). Additionalyy, the maximum length for a combination of vehicles consisting of a motor home and towed vehicle is 65 feet (Section 35401 VC)."
* * * *These are the punitive sections and I was unaware of it NOT BEING a requirement to have a breakaway device. In civil court proceedings, I would imagine a lawsuit could probably persuade a driver to have that breakaway device and supplemental brakes on the "toad". I hope this info helps you in some way.* * Sam

Re: CA toad brake requirements
« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2008, 02:12:55 AM »

Sam,

Grateful thanks for taking the time to contact CHP and for posting the response.* The information does help.* Though I use a Brake Buddy, should it become defective in some way, while in use,* then the obvious answer is to remove it for repair.* It may not be practical to 'hole-up' while the repairs are effected and would likely continue on carefully, until the repaired unit can be re-installed safely.* It is under those circumstances, and true to Murphy's Law, that my MH might be subjected to examination by law enforcement.* Extremely unlikely, I know, but...It will be helpful to have your post in writing and on hand, should a dispute arise.* I am more concerned about local police than CHP, who often do not have the broad range of traffic law and knowledge that a CHP officer generally has.* * I certainly would not want to have to go to the trouble of defending a citation in an out of the way jurisdiction, if it can be resolved at the side of the road, so to speak, and before any such citation is issued.

Furthermore, I am also interested in pursuing the seemingly inaccurate and false statements by suppplemental braking system manufacturers,* who often claim that supplemental brakes on toads are mandatory in California and possibly other States.* Certainly civil liability potentially exists in using a toad without a supplemental braking system (should an accident occur), however, that liability is greatly dimished if its installation is not mandatory nor legally required (in CA).

The CHP Captain confirmed my own beliefs regarding this issue and I thank you again for posting the response.

As a side issue, but* related.* I have a tow/haul feature installed on my Ford E450 and I recently come up and over the I-5 Grapvine, with my toad.* I barely used my brakes at all, and the tow/haul feature of the transmission kept my downhill speed to 55 mph or less, from Gorman to Castaic - another reason (for me) in keeping the weight of the toad to a respectable minimum (2300lbs).

BT

Re: CA toad brake requirements
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2008, 06:19:04 PM »

LET'S BE REAL.* IF YOU TOW A SENSIBLE SIZE VEHICLE, YOU SHOULD NOT NEED BRAKES.* IF YOU TOW A LARGE VEHICLE, LIKE A FULL SIZE TRUCK, SUBURBAN OR THE LIKE, YOU ARE ASKING FOR TROUBLE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BRAKES.* MOST PEOPLE DO IT TO KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES.* I HAVE TOWED A FORD RANGER, JEEP CHEROKEE, DODGE DAKOTA QUAD, AND AM NOW FIXINT TO TOW A GRAND CHEROKEE AND I HAVE HAD NO TROUBLE.* AS A RETIRED STATE POLICE OFFICER, I HAVE SEEN NO STATE THAT LEGALLY REQUIRES TOAD BRAKES.* THE MANUFACTURERS SPREAD THE MYTH THAT MOST STATES REQUIRE BRAKES ON TOADS.* THAT IS JUST ADVERTISING.* DRIVE SENSIBLY, TAKE YOUR TIME AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS.

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Old 07-13-2019, 07:31 PM   #128
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No tow vehicle safety cables

The above is just an opinion and doesn’t mean anything just because he is or was a trooper. I liked the comment about control is control. Matt had a great narrative.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:57 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by tmw188 View Post
The above is just an opinion and doesn’t mean anything just because he is or was a trooper. I liked the comment about control is control. Matt had a great narrative.
The quote in #31 is a direct response from the California HP.

Quote: "I received a response the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento, CA. It was from a Captain, who is the Commander of their Commercial Vehicle Section.* I quote from his response: "California law does not require brakes on towed motor vehicles to be operated from the motor home provided the combination of vehicles meet the stopping requirements of Section 26454 of the Vehicle Code (VC)"

Good enough for me, maybe not for you or others. I understand that and am ok with that.

It just seems to me that there are way too many people preaching and screeching whenever someone has a different take on things. I don't see why so many people get so upset when others don't reach the same conclusions that they have.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:53 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
What difference does it make if it's under 3000#?

If a unoccupied 2700# vehicle is about to hit you head on, are you going to think, "Looks like it's less than 3000#, this isn't going to hurt much"
With or without a toad brake system, it is just as likely in a catastrophic failure of the towbar to hit an incoming car. Both vehicles will act randomly upon disconnect.
Now I know you don't want to believe that, but it is true. However, I still challenge anyone to point out one fatality of a sub 3000# toad disconnect without a brake system. Truth is it don't exist. And we all know that.
I stay legal and don't waste money on a brake system that is more likely to cause a problem than solve one. Now, if I had a toad greater than 3000#, I would have brakes. I don't and I doubt I ever will for a variety of reasons.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:27 PM   #131
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With or without a toad brake system, it is just as likely in a catastrophic failure of the towbar to hit an incoming car. Both vehicles will act randomly upon disconnect.
Now I know you don't want to believe that, but it is true. However, I still challenge anyone to point out one fatality of a sub 3000# toad disconnect without a brake system. Truth is it don't exist. And we all know that.
I stay legal and don't waste money on a brake system that is more likely to cause a problem than solve one. Now, if I had a toad greater than 3000#, I would have brakes. I don't and I doubt I ever will for a variety of reasons.
*oncoming
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:34 AM   #132
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No tow vehicle safety cables

I should have been more specific I was referring to the following.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #133
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There are a few pages in the owners manual for my vehicle that describe how it is designed to be towed behind another vehicle.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:03 AM   #134
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Toad brake systems are only required where mandated by law. I don't use one. Not required by law. And these brake systems are unreliable and cause many problems on their own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by awol50 View Post
I don't have a brake system on my 2800# toad and won't ever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by awol50 View Post
I stay legal and don't waste money on a brake system that is more likely to cause a problem than solve one.
Brian, based on the statements quoted above I presume you’ve never owned a towed vehicle braking system. So how is it that you know “these brake systems are unreliable and cause many problems on their own” and are “more likely to cause a problem than solve one”? I presume the answer is that you’ve read commentary from and/or talked with other RV owners who’ve made statements that lead you to that opinion.

So if you’re willing to believe those owners, why are you unwilling to believe owners who’ve had towed vehicle braking systems installed for years, have experienced zero issues with them, and can testify to their benefits in real-world situations like panic stops? (See my previous post on page 6 of this thread and the one from Matt D on page 9, among others.)

What you do is totally up to you. If you don’t feel a braking system is necessary or valuable in your particular case that is your decision. But to reject all such systems based on a belief that they’re unreliable, cause many problems on their own, and are more likely to cause a problem than solve one is simply not accurate in my experience and that of many other motorhome owners.

Not trying to start or prolong an argument. Just offering some food for thought if you wish to consider it.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:22 AM   #135
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This tread is starting to look like my Facebook page. People on the left and people on the right trying to convince each other that their view is the correct one! And in the end, no opinions are changed and the divide grows larger, it’s exhausting! Time to move on! JMHO
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:37 AM   #136
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This tread is starting to look like my Facebook page. People on the left and people on the right trying to convince each other that their view is the correct one! And in the end, no opinions are changed and the divide grows larger, it’s exhausting! Time to move on! JMHO
That’s life. You’d have to completely disconnect and not speak to another human in order to avoid such inconveniences.

Some smart guy once said: “I’ve never learned a thing from a person that I agreed with.”
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:40 AM   #137
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This thread has run its course. Thanks to all who contributed constructively.
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