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Old 01-01-2012, 06:30 PM   #15
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By the way: There are assorted web sites that claim to answer the question leagally.. Well, "Free" legal advice is generally worth what you pay for it (NOTHING).

Many of those sites say Michigan does not require aux brakes on a towed car.. This is because there is no place in the Michigan Vehicle code that specifically requires them on CARS being towed... Only trailers.

So, what is a trailer... Well, among other things a car in tow (I know I checked it out) So long as the weight of the vehicle does NOT rest on the towing vehicle (As it would on a tow truck)

In fact, the description fits a car towed 4 down better than it does a real trailer.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rdownward View Post
Being SAFE and not SORRY is always a good consideration. However, so long as you don't exceed the manufacturer's fully loaded Gross Vehicle Weight - including the weight of your toad figured into the total weight, you should be able to safely tow your toad without auxiliary braking.
Spartan says no aux brakes required if the RV and toad weigh less than the GVWR, not the GCVWR. Ford and Workhores say anything weighing 1500#'s or more requires supplemental braking.
However, just as more power is required to move the combined weight then more stopping power is required.
I wouldn't tow much if anything without aux braking.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
By the way: There are assorted web sites that claim to answer the question leagally.. Well, "Free" legal advice is generally worth what you pay for it (NOTHING).

Many of those sites say Michigan does not require aux brakes on a towed car.. This is because there is no place in the Michigan Vehicle code that specifically requires them on CARS being towed... Only trailers.

So, what is a trailer... Well, among other things a car in tow (I know I checked it out) So long as the weight of the vehicle does NOT rest on the towing vehicle (As it would on a tow truck)

In fact, the description fits a car towed 4 down better than it does a real trailer.
And conversely, WA specifically says that a trailer is unpowered and made to be towed. A motorized vehicle is neither unpowered nor is it made to be towed.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:41 PM   #18
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I was trying to "cut to the chase" so to speak, and I really appreciate everyone's input, it helped me make my decision to put the aux brakes on.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #19
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Here's a chart on what various states require for auxiliary braking.
And I know that chart is wrong for WA and looks to be the same for CA. For some reason they got OR correct.
In WA, OR and CA when you tow a motorized vehicle it changes the requirement to a "performance spec" (stop from XX mph in XX feet and no add'l braking is required).

RCW 46.04.620
Trailer.
"Trailer" includes every vehicle without motive power designed for being drawn by or used in conjunction with a motor vehicle constructed so that no appreciable part of its weight rests upon or is carried by such motor vehicle, but does not include a municipal transit vehicle, or any portion thereof.

ORS: 801.560.
“Trailer” means every vehicle without motive power designed to be drawn by another vehicle. Trailer includes, but is not limited to, the following types of trailers:

BUT you must be legal in EVERY state you travel through. There is no reciprocity on braking requirements. So in effect you are required to have brakes no matter what.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D
And I know that chart is wrong for WA and looks to be the same for CA. For some reason they got OR correct.
In WA, OR and CA when you tow a motorized vehicle it changes the requirement to a "performance spec" (stop from XX mph in XX feet and no add'l braking is required).

RCW 46.04.620
Trailer.
"Trailer" includes every vehicle without motive power designed for being drawn by or used in conjunction with a motor vehicle constructed so that no appreciable part of its weight rests upon or is carried by such motor vehicle, but does not include a municipal transit vehicle, or any portion thereof.

ORS: 801.560.
“Trailer” means every vehicle without motive power designed to be drawn by another vehicle. Trailer includes, but is not limited to, the following types of trailers:

BUT you must be legal in EVERY state you travel through. There is no reciprocity on braking requirements. So in effect you are required to have brakes no matter what.
I know Mr D will disagree, but. A car towed four down and ADAPTED to be towed, is likely a trailer in states that don't specifically spell out 4 down cars being pulled. A pulled car effectively does not have motive power. Let me just say, I don't want to be the test case for he family that files suit for the loss of a loved one killed by a run away TOAD that has broke free of the tow vehicle without brakes on the TOAD.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:31 PM   #21
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I would like to inject, my humble opinion on this subject, as I had an experience that made a believer out of me.

I have an '03 Silverado pick-up, that I put a tow-bar on so I wouldn't have to use my trailer. Every thing went well, until I came up to a stop light that turned to amber, and the 2 cars infront of me decided to stop. Luckly, the speed limit was only 35 and I had already let off the gas pedal, but I'm tellin' you, I put on the brakes, with both feet, and waited for the crash! It didn't happen, but when it stopped, I could only see the hood of the car in front of me! It was then that I told myself, before I pulled that pick-up again, it would have a braking system in it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #22
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #23
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I have a Holiday Rambler 40 ft diesel pusher. I am going to be towing a 2012 ford focus. It only weighs 2920 lbs, and I will probably get a very substantial tow bar for it. I've read many posts on this site supporting the virtues of aux braking systems, but with such a light vehicle being towed by something so big, is this necessary? If so, what will happen if I don't?
You will see where the law requires that you have an auxilliary braking system on any towed load over 1,000 pounds in quite a few states. Save yourself the agony of defeat and go with an auxiliary brake.

In regard to a substantial tow bar, not required. An aluminum one will do just fine. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:39 AM   #24
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I know Mr D will disagree, but. A car towed four down and ADAPTED to be towed, is likely a trailer in states that don't specifically spell out 4 down cars being pulled. A pulled car effectively does not have motive power. Let me just say, I don't want to be the test case for he family that files suit for the loss of a loved one killed by a run away TOAD that has broke free of the tow vehicle without brakes on the TOAD.
I don't know which Mr. D you are referring to but my last name is Davis... And I just got done saying that in Michigan... The law is EXACTLY as you describe.
In fact under Michigan vehicle code, which does require brakes on trailers over so many pounds... A car towed 4 down meets the definition of trailer better than a TT or 5er does.. (Though elsewhere they are defined as trailers)

So long as the weight of the towed vehicle does not rest on the towing vehicle,,, it's a trailer. and 4 down.. that is the case.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #25
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seems to me that it's a bomb waiting to explode if you ever wind up in court. What would anybody be able to say their reason for not installing a brake system was if you were facing a lawsuit after a collision.

I'm sure it 's safer with than without, but I also enjoy the security and peace of mind knowing I've got all my liability "p's and q's" covered.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #26
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Even if you don't consider the towing laws in each state, using auxiliary braking makes sense. It lessen wear and tear on your vehicles and equipment and increases the margin of safety even if the combined vehicle weight is within specs.
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #27
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I don't know which Mr. D you are referring to but my last name is Davis... And I just got done saying that in Michigan... The law is EXACTLY as you describe.
I think he was referring to the poster whose name is "Mr_D". Just look up a few posts.

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Old 01-10-2012, 03:49 PM   #28
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Here we go again folks, people inventing rules that do not exist (require aux. breaking when weight over 1000lbs.) Which state? DMV code reference please.

Why don't people go to their DMV statutes and find out the truth.

Michigan was mentioned in this series of posts but no-one actually published the actual rules for the state of Michigan.

If you go to the Michigan DMV statutes section

257.705 Brake equipment. section 1. (h) 2. you will find that you must be able to stop in a given distance from 20 mph.

The following source is the best and the most accurate one I have seen with respect to the requirement for auxilliary braking equipment.

home.roadrunner.com/~morodat/toad-brakes-by-state.html




Do not believe or trust any manufacturer's claims about auxilliary braking requirements - they are usually talking about trailers and not towed vehicles.


However you must carefully check each states DMV statutes about what is being towed. The state California is very specific in defining what a trailer is versus a towed vehicle.



The state of Virginia talks about towing trailers but in fact when you read the statute, it refers to anything being towed.



Very few states have a weight limitation, most have a perfomance limitation that is comparable with the Federal DOT requirement for brake performance, viz:


Title 49--Transportation

CHAPTER III--FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
PART 393--PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION

393.52 Brake performance.

(a) Upon application of its service brakes, a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles must under any condition of loading in which it is found on a public highway, be capable of

(1) Developing a braking force at least equal to the percentage of its gross weight specified in the table in paragraph (d) of this section;

(2) Decelerating to a stop from 20 miles per hour at not less than the rate specified in the table in paragraph (d) of this section; and

(3) Stopping from 20 miles per hour in a distance, measured from the point at which movement of the service brake pedal or control begins, that is not greater than the distance specified in the table in paragraph (d) of this section; or, for motor vehicles or motor vehicle combinations that have a GVWR or GVW greater than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds),

(4) Developing only the braking force specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and the stopping distance specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, if braking force is measured by a performance- based brake tester which meets the requirements of functional specifications for performance-based brake testers for commercial motor vehicles, where braking force is the sum of the braking force at each wheel of the vehicle or vehicle combination as a percentage of gross vehicle or combination weight.

(b) Upon application of its emergency brake system and with no other brake system applied, a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles must, under any condition of loading in which it is found on a public highway, be capable of stopping from 20 miles per hour in a distance, measured from the point at which movement of the emergency brake control begins, that is not greater than the distance specified in the table in paragraph (d) of this section.

(c) Conformity to the stopping-distance requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall be determined under the following conditions:

(1) Any test must be made with the vehicle on a hard surface that is substantially level, dry, smooth, and free of loose material.

(2) The vehicle must be in the center of a 12-foot-wide lane when the test begins and must not deviate from that lane during the test.

(d) Vehicle brake performance table:

I have taken the following information from that tables Section A. (3) viz.:

For motorhomes over 10,000 lb or 4536 kg. the required stopping distances from 20 mph., are,

35 ft. when applying the vehicles normal braking system, and

85 ft. when applying the vehicles emergency braking system.

Finally, no matter what you see or read there is No repeat NO Federal, State or Provincial standard that applies to any auxilliary braking device.


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