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Old 06-26-2015, 07:48 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
You have good point there.

You have to wonder how all of this breakaway stuff became law, in the first place..

Sombody must have done a study, with flawed data, to decide to require brakeaway systems on trailers, above a certain weight. Whistling.
Almost all states have a law concerning brakes on trailers and require them. These are the laws the aux braking companies site when they tell you that brakes are required. Actually, only 5 or 7 states have a law requiring aux braking on towed vehicles. Most states have a "stopping distance" requirement for motorhomes and towed vehicles. I used to have a link to the actual law for each state for toads but it became dated and the links no longer worked so I quit posting it. With that said,do I have an aux brake system on my motorhome? Of course I do. It's the smart thing to do. But, in most states, it's not the LAW.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:26 AM   #44
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Exgman... You need to look up the defination of a Trailer.

This is MICHIGAN law:
257.73 “Trailer” defined.
Sec. 73. “Trailer” means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole-trailer, designed
for carrying property or persons and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its
weight rests upon the towing vehicle.

That definition fits a car being towed like a surgical glove.. It does NOT fit other types of trailers (TT or 5ER) as well since part of the weight is on the towing vehicle. HOWEVER...... Those are covered by other paragraphs.

Nowhere in Michigan law does it call for brakes on Cars in tow.. Only on trailers.. But a car in tow **IS** A trailer per Michigan law.

Same in many other states.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:59 AM   #45
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In NY, there does not seem to be a law written about towed cars.

There is a law about towing trailers, requiring brakes over 1000 lbs, unladen and 3000 lb gross weight.

In the absence of towed vehicle law, I wonder if they could, then refer to the trailer law, in issuing a viloation.

Reading what they consider a trailer, it seems to fit a toad, attached with a solid tow bar.

They also list a tow dolly as a "trailer", that does not need to be registered, in another section.

But, U haul rents dollys, without brakes. An empty dolly will not need brakes, but once loaded, in most cases, they exceede 3000 lbs.

Clear as mud
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:11 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by exgman View Post
Almost all states have a law concerning brakes on trailers and require them. These are the laws the aux braking companies site when they tell you that brakes are required. Actually, only 5 or 7 states have a law requiring aux braking on towed vehicles. Most states have a "stopping distance" requirement for motorhomes and towed vehicles. I used to have a link to the actual law for each state for toads but it became dated and the links no longer worked so I quit posting it. With that said,do I have an aux brake system on my motorhome? Of course I do. It's the smart thing to do. But, in most states, it's not the LAW.

Dan, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oregon, in Canada, Manitoba and Newfoundland use stopping distance requirements only as of the latest check. By my count, the remaining 47 states and 10 provinces require a supplemental braking device on trailers or towed vehicle brakes at some point/vehicle weight. New York requires it at 1000 pounds, Massachusetts requires it at 10,000 pounds. Everyone else somewhere in between.

Numbers may be off by one or two due to late braking (no pun intended) laws, but even then it's more likely that the laws would get more restrictive rather than less restrictive in this day and age.

On cost, the typical brake buddy or similar system costs from $1,200 to $1,500, the tow bars about the same, the base plate probably around $300, add installation of wiring/base plate to toad, and if a shop does it, the figure of $3,000 was pretty much right on the money. Of course, if you can do the install yourself, a good functional used set can probably be had for under $1,500.00.

Once again it comes down to personal choice, wear a life preserver in a small boat, or don't. The law requires it most places, people drown without them, then again people drown WITH them . . . . but I bet more people drown WITHOUT them then WITH them, another can of worms, but at least you can fish with the worms!
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:57 PM   #47
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FYI, California has two different laws on trailer GVWR and braking. I've always thought it was 1,500 pounds across the board but I've since found that there is a 3,000 pound rating at well.

What's the difference? If you have a "travel trailer" that's over 1,500 GVWR you need trailer brakes but all other trailers the GVWR has to be over 3,000 pounds before you need them.

Can someone explain to me what "LOGICAL" reason that there should be ANY difference? I know it's California so logic does not exist. It can't be because someone may be in the trailer since you're not allow to have someone in a travel trailer when towing.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:22 PM   #48
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Someone ask if anyone had gotten a ticket for no aux brakes... Unlike TV where Driver can see it... I have not heard of any (In that case it was one of "my" troopers that wrote the ticket.. I like learning without having to pay "Tutition" ).

But that does not mean they are not issued... One of the things I do know is this; Very few officers are going to be fully conversant with this/these laws.. Many officers actually do not know the laws they enforce.

The following is a true story... I will not name the city but it was a city police officer.. I think I was 20 or 21 at the time; Even then I enjoyed doing research and learning things.. The library had a copy of the Vehicle code.. I had looked up some bicycle laws.

Well I mentioned these laws to the officer while we waited for a tow truck for my Girl's car which would not start.. So he grabbed his book and looked 'em up... In passing (one of the things I like about books is "in Passing") he came accross the law regarding U-Turns (Permitted in most cases) He stated to me "Gee I thought I was getting away with it because I was the only cop around".
Yes one of the most corrupt departments in the state.. But still. Goes to show how well many officers are trained.
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Here is another true story:
I had a police officer look into the sidecar attached to my Harley, (in which my wife was sitting while we were legally parked in downtown Wausau Wisconsin), and say to me: "Where are the foot pegs in that thing?... foot pegs are required for the passenger".
When I said that was ridicules he whipped out his trusty a "code book" but after searching for 15-20 minutes he could find NO rule/law requiring foot pegs in a sidecar.
He left in a huff after he asked to see my drivers license and I said: "Does it look like I'm driving"?
That was 30 years ago...(today he would probably tase me and handcuff both of us).
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:17 PM   #49
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Regardless of any law any motorhome with a toad will stop in a shorter distance with a supplemental braking system than without.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:24 PM   #50
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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.
Every chart like that that I've researched over the years gets it wrong and those two are no exception. In some states (CA, OR and WA for instance) when you hook a motorized vehicle onto another motorized vehicle then you are a "combination vehicle" and the laws on braking change to a "performance" specification. IE: stop from XX mph in XX feet and no add'l braking is required.
But then you run into the no reciprocity on braking so you have to be legal in EVERY state you go into, not just your home state.
I'm perfectly legal in WA, OR and CA without add'l braking since thjey use the performance spec. In fact when hooked up and fully loaded I'm just at my GVWR and some 10,000#'s under the GCVWR. HOWEVER, the laws of physics say that, just as it takes more power to move a certain weight it also takes more braking power to stop it.
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