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Old 06-21-2015, 09:53 AM   #15
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Texas is 4500 pounds max to tow without aux brakes.

You seem to be sue happy. Even if he was within the law, you would take him to court?




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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Different states have different laws and some folks have issues reading them so your websites which advise often contain false information.. For example Michigan law defines a trailer in such a way that it fits a car towed 4 down like a surgical glove but does not fit so well a Travel Trailer.

Thus Trailer laws apply

The heaviest state (As best I recall) is Texas at 4,000 pounds so if you have so mucn as one pound of cargo, on on more gallon of gasoline than what they used when they scaled it.. You need brakes in all states.

But even if the VEHICLE code says you are good...

You rear end me and do not have brakes I'm taking you to Civil court and asking for ...More than you can imagine.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdawg View Post
Have a Coachmen Concord 300. Was flat towing a Chev Cobalt (3000 lb). Just bought a 04 Jeep Liberty (4000 lb). I could tell each car was back there, but no real issues, including braking without aux. brakes. Am I whistling past the cemetery, or am I okay without extra brakes? Secondly, have heard rumors that some states will cite you for not having aux. brakes if you're in an accident, even if not your fault and insurance companies may throw some fault on you also.
I appreciate any input.
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I have been okay for 120+ miles.
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake21 View Post
Texas is 4500 pounds max to tow without aux brakes.

You seem to be sue happy. Even if he was within the law, you would take him to court?

As I said there are TWO (actually 3 but one only applies in one state) sets of laws.. Civil and Criminal/Traffic (Traffic may be criminal or civil depending on the state and offense, but I digress)

I will basicaly explain the civil law... IF I feel wronged,, I can sue.. And given what I know of physics,, What I know of brakes,, What I know of advertising targeted to RV owners by companies such as US-Gear.. Highway safety testing of RV's both with and without aux brakes on the towed.

I know that towing without brakes is RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT of the car in front of you..

And that.. Is actionable.

That said: I do not like courtrooms and would prefer that the RV operator heed my warning rather than sit across from me in front of a judge. So no, I am not sue happy. Just strongly wording a warning.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:50 PM   #18
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Check out the following web sites:

Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws
Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle

There are others, but these give the specific laws governing trailer brakes in the 50 states. Why guess when you can know. I won't get into whether the laws in any particular state/province is/are reasonable, just letting you know what the law says, and which states you will get a ticket in.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:41 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_the_Rhod View Post
Check out the following web sites:

Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws
Towing Laws | BrakeBuddy - Braking systems for motorhomes towing a vehicle
There are others, but these give the specific laws governing trailer brakes in the 50 states. Why guess when you can know. I won't get into whether the laws in any particular state/province is/are reasonable, just letting you know what the law says, and which states you will get a ticket in.
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Ticket??

Do you know of anybody who got a ticket... or a citation... or a fine...(or even a warning, from a law enforcement officer), anywhere because they did not have an auxiliary braking system their a 4 down toad?
Does anyone?

Wondering
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:09 AM   #20
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You didn't mention what type of chassis your motorhome is built on. If it's built on a gas chassis (either Ford or Workhorse) the chassis manufacturers highly recommend auxiliary brakes on anything being towed that weighs over 1,500 lbs. Neither manufacturer gets into the semantics as to whether a towed vehicle is a trailer. They just say anything being towed that weighs over 1,500 lbs. should have brakes. Ford goes so far as to say the brakes on the motorhome chassis are rated for the GVWR (GVWR= Gross Vehicle weight Rating which is the actual weight that can be carried on the chassis itself) of the chassis not the GCWR (GCWR= Gross Combined Weight Rating which is the total weight of the motorhome, it's contents, and anything being towed).

As a example the GVRW of our motorhome is 22,000 lbs. The chassis brakes are rated to stop this amount of weight. The GCWR is 26,000 lbs. The Jeep we tow weighs 3750 lbs. So according to Ford we should have auxiliary brakes on the Jeep since it exceeds 1,500 lbs.

Like many others we wouldn't tow without auxilary brakes. There have been too many incidences when clueless drivers pass when they shouldn't, stand on the brakes because they almost missed their turn, or traffic comes to a sudden grinding halt.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:31 AM   #21
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Mitigation - Put process, procedures, and/or equipment into place to mitigate the potential problem.

I do not have brakes on my TOAD - I understand it takes longer to stop because of the additional energy my MH brake system must absorb to bring all this to a safe stop. I mitigate by adjusting my speed, distance, and time when I'm traveling with this additional weight.

Break away - I mitigate this by inspecting my safety chains, hitch, tow bar, pins, etc after hookup, and anytime we are stopped. These inspections are routine and habit. I have added dual inspection process. It is my job to do this and I do it.

My DW knows how to inspect the hitch, chains, pins, etc, etc, immediately after hookup and at every stop. It is her job to do this, and she does it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiter21 View Post
Mitigation - Put process, procedures, and/or equipment into place to mitigate the potential problem.

I do not have brakes on my TOAD - I understand it takes longer to stop because of the additional energy my MH brake system must absorb to bring all this to a safe stop. I mitigate by adjusting my speed, distance, and time when I'm traveling with this additional weight.

Break away - I mitigate this by inspecting my safety chains, hitch, tow bar, pins, etc after hookup, and anytime we are stopped. These inspections are routine and habit. I have added dual inspection process. It is my job to do this and I do it.

My DW knows how to inspect the hitch, chains, pins, etc, etc, immediately after hookup and at every stop. It is her job to do this, and she does it.
The breakaway feature cannot be mitigated away with anything other than aux brakes. If a weld fails and you see your toad passing you, you will need the money you saved by not buying aux brake system. That's all there is too it. There are lots of us who wouldn't go anywhere without them and no telling how many don't have them. I drive like I'm the only one with them and that works for me.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:54 AM   #23
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An aux brake system is one of the factors I mention (equipment) that can be used to mitigate a break away scenario.

I mitigate the weld breaking scenario by ensuring that the systems are installed properly and inspected properly ( I found a cracked weld on my MH hitch immediately after I bought the MH). I also mitigate it by where and how my safety chains are attached, both on the TOAD and on the MH

We can play "What if" all day long, and its important that we do that. Whenever someone comes up with a "What -If" we evaluate its probability, and then evaluate the cost/of implementing a solution(s) to mitigate the "What-If"

What if your TOAD breaks away and the aux brakes system fails or does not engage?
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:08 AM   #24
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What if your TOAD breaks away and the aux brakes system fails or does not engage?
I inspected them so they couldn't possibly fail.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:10 AM   #25
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Auxiliary brake systems and the law

Okay all brave, all-knowing folks without aux brakes and break-away.....
There is a 12 year old girl out there that would have died at age 8, if not for my common sense safety equipment and practices. She is ALIVE in Indiana. She and I both sleep well at night. Could you?
You are either truly safer, or foolish. There is no in between.
Do what is right, what is better, what is safer.
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Old 06-26-2015, 07:02 AM   #26
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fines?

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Originally Posted by mel s View Post
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Ticket??

Do you know of anybody who got a ticket... or a citation... or a fine...(or even a warning, from a law enforcement officer), anywhere because they did not have an auxiliary braking system their a 4 down toad?
Does anyone?

Wondering
Mel
'96 Safari, '07 Saturn Ion toad
Mel, Honestly? No, I don't know of anyone who has gotten a ticket or fine. Or even been pulled over about it, although since having or not having brakes is probably not something that can be determined by a policeman while you are driving down the road. I suppose that you could argue that they didn't have probably cause for the pull over. You could argue that . . . in court . . . with a lawyer . . . out of state . . . in a po dunk town in the middle of nowhere . . . . . . . or pay the fine, lose time, and get a moving violation on your driving record.

But that's neither here nor there. I posted the information on the various state/province laws so people could be informed of the laws. It is up to the individual to do their own risk analysis of the consequences, whether monetary (fines) or safety (potential injuries/deaths relating to lack of braking action in the toad), etc, weigh the various ways of mitigating the risk (brake systems, lighter toad, heavier TV, or driving toad separately, etc) implement the control measures they feel necessary, and then go on about their business.

After I conducted a risk analysis, I determined (and this applies for me and mine only) that a supplemental braking system was necessary, purchased what was necessary, installed it, and use/inspect it regularly. I was/am making no judgements on what other people should do, however let me paint a small picture for everyone:

You are involved in a situation where someone pulls in front of you, you even have multiple witnesses that they pulled in front of you and slammed on the brakes for no apparent reason. You apply your brakes in your TV. For whatever reason, there isn't enough stopping distance and you impact the vehicle in front of you. The law in the state you are driving in states that supplemental brakes are required for your particular TV/toad configuration. You don't have them. The person in front is screaming "whiplash" . . . . You can use your imagination for the rest.

I prefer to have the brakes, personal choice, I'll live with the consequences.

Great discussion here, use the information here, or discard it, get brakes or don't. Get cheese on that burger, or have it naked. You're eating it, not me, unless I am in the vehicle you hit!
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:35 AM   #27
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I agree with #26. In most situations the supplemental toad braking system is unnoticeable. I want it there for that one in a thousand emergency stop where every bit of deceleration is priceless.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #28
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I agree with CampDaven. IF something unforeseen ever happens to me, I will always ask myself if I did everything I could to have avoided it. I didn't like spending the high cost of my braking system but me and Mrs. sleep better at night.
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