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Old 06-20-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
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Auxiliary brake systems and the law

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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Old 06-20-2015, 03:29 PM   #2
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You are absolutely OK without and aux braking system...... untill of course you need that extra stopping power. Then your screwed and your wind up hurting your self or some one else.
Getting a ticket is not the issue; safety is the issue.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:42 PM   #3
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NO WAY... you do need brakes on any toad that you are pulling and the "brake away feature"
I just hope that when you do need it, you'll be the only one issuing with your life and that no other person will be involved in your unsafe matters.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:48 PM   #4
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Just saying, each state has a different over a require weight amount, but they all require it by law. Not to mention the safety issue.


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Old 06-20-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
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brakes

I live in Michigan and as i read our law any thing towed 4 down must have supplemental brake system on a dolly nothing is required not even brakes on the dolly axel Mike
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:08 PM   #6
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Never thought I needed aux brakes for years and years, just geared down when going down a steep grade. Then one day I crested a small hill at about 65 only to find traffic at a complete stop just in front of me. Did not hit anyone but had to take the side of the road and ended up well past the car in front of me. I now drive a motorhome with compression braking but I also have an Air Force One braking system. I will never be without an aux braking system again.
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:40 PM   #7
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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 06-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiggs68 View Post
Just saying, each state has a different over a require weight amount, but they all require it by law. Not to mention the safety issue.
Not true! Some states (WA, OR, and CA) have a performance spec in place when towing a motorized vehicle. Stop from XX mph in XX feet and no add'l braking is required.
Almost EVERY chart published on the internet gets it wrong because they're made for unmotorized (trailers) being towed.
That said, you must comply with each and every state's laws when you're in them. What your home state requires doesn't matter.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:53 PM   #9
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Some states require them so don't, but the question you have to ask yourself is - in the off chance your toad breaks loose and kills or injures someone because it didn't have one to stop it, how will you feel? I have one, use it, also have the breakaway connected, I hope I never need it, but it is there just in case, I can't put a price tag on someones life.
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:45 AM   #10
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Some states require them so don't, but the question you have to ask yourself is - in the off chance your toad breaks loose and kills or injures someone because it didn't have one to stop it, how will you feel? I have one, use it, also have the breakaway connected, I hope I never need it, but it is there just in case, I can't put a price tag on someones life.

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Old 06-21-2015, 07:41 AM   #11
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I will say this.. At least one state (Michigan is the only state I have a copy of the vehicle code on the hard drive) calls a car in tow a TRAILER.. For many years the web sites that show which states have brake rules showed Michigan did not.. Because the rule is for a TRAILER, which a car in tow is.(It did not specifically say car in tow).

But CIVIL law.. I know that Aux Brakes can make a big difference in stopping distance.. I can call experts to testify to that.. So if you rear end me and do not have aux brakes..YOU will be paying for my new engine, and the next one, and the next one and.. Well you get the idea..My new JEEP too.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:02 AM   #12
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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.
Can't tell what State you are from, but I'm guessin' you are illegal with the Liberty and probably were illegal with the Cobalt if there is/was no Aux brake. And if you're not illegal in your home state, I'd bet SOME state you travel through will have a requirement!

And PLEASE don't listen to folks on the forum that come up with "been pullin' a 8000 lb toad for 150,000 miles, for over 85 years and never had a problem or got stopped for a ticket" Those folks ain't gonna pay for your ticket, or God forbid, your lawyers fees and lawsuit findings.

Aux brake system . . . "GIT 'ER DONE!"
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:18 AM   #13
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Billdawg, I truly hope you take everyone advice.

Nobody breaks the law of physics and gets away with it.

Remember a lose TOAD in motion stays in motion until another force acts on it

Regards,
Dan
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:22 AM   #14
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Some reading: State and Province Towing Laws - NSA RV Products
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