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Old 06-05-2010, 08:41 PM   #15
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Thanks RKennedy.. I've been meaning to look up that product and you almost provided the link.. Here is the proper link Readybrake RV Tow Bars and RV Surge Braking Systems for Car Towing - Night Shift Auto

What did i find? I can likely get one and install it no problem when I replace my towed.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #16
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I know that by law, all states require a brake system. It just depends on the weight your towing. I currently have the D-Brake Professional Tow Brake for my Jeep and its working out great.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:08 PM   #17
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Dragonremover wrote "I know that by law, all states require a brake system. It just depends on the weight your towing".

This is 100% false. Read the following:

Towing Regulations

With respect to Auxiliary Braking requirements for TOWED VEHICLES none of the references listed so far are correct.

The fact is that there are very few states and or provinces that require auxiliary brakes on a TOWED VEHICLE provided that the combination of vehicles can pass a stated perfomance test with respect to speed and braking distance and/or a given weight limit. The speed stated is usually 20mph. and the distance varies from 25 ft. to 50 ft. The weight limits stated run from 1500 lb.(NV) to 5000 lb. (AK). Only AK, FL, NC, NV & WI show a weight limit. HI, ND & DC statutes are not available on line.

Check the DMV statutes where you live. Do not get caught up with the argument that a TOWED VEHICLE is a TRAILER, it is not a TRAILER but you have to look at the wording used in the STATUTES with respect to what is being TOWED.

If your state does not specifically outline the rules for a TOWED VEHICLE then there is no applicable statute.

The best reference that I have found with respect to the 50 states is:

http://home.roadrunner.com/~morodat/toad-b...s-by-state.html

and for Canada
http://www.rvda.ca/ProvBrakeReqts.asp

I live in the Province of British Columbia, Canada where the rules for auxiliary braking requirements when towing are quite simple and very easy to understand:

MOTOR VEHICLE ACT REGULATIONS Continued
B.C. Reg. 26/58
Division 5 Brakes

Section 5.02. (7) Brakes and coordinated brake control are not required on a towed motor vehicle that has a laden gross vehicle weight less than 2000 kg and that is less than 40% of the gross vehicle weight rating of a motor home towing it via a tow bar.

[am. B.C. Regs. 69/59, s. (j); 46/67, s. 10; 226/67, s. 4; 205/72, s. 6; 343/77; 459/77, s. 2; 256/84, s. 6; 257/96, s. 1; 109/97,

FYI: 2000 kg. is 4409.2 lb.
The 40% rule will apply to vehicles that weigh less than 5000 kg. or 11023.1 lb.

P.S.1 As far as I know, none of the auxiliary braking systems available today meet any kind of FEDERAL / STATE or PROVINCIAL standard.

P.S.2 In British Columbia, the same people that make the DMV rules i.e. the Government of B.C., are also the same people who insure us - ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

Additional information:
http://www.airsafehitches.com/Towing_Laws.pdf
http://www.readybrake.com/state_laws.html

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.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:17 PM   #18
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This is a two part answer.. First

Do you need an aux brake system on your towed? YES!!! You do.

I do not care how big and heavy your motor home is, I don't care how small and light your towed is YOU NEED BRAKES... Or,, You need a good front bumper man for your motor home.. Take your pick. (And a good lawyer too)

Now, Brake Buddy.. Not my first choice in brake systems.. In fact not just Brake Buddy but all it's competitors.. Here is why

EVERY TIME YOU TOW you have to install it.. Then unistall it to drive, this is a lot of work

The US-Gear Unified brake Decelerator or the M&G Air over hydraulic system you install once.. Then just plug it in 2 seconds and you are done.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #19
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I have the US Gear Unified Brake system. Once installed, there is nothing to put in or remove before or after tow. All components are perm installed but can be transfered to another vehicle if required. This is the top-of-the-line tow brake system.

Many motorhomes are already pre-wired for the control box. US gear brake system charges the vehicle's battery so not to drain while traveling.

Unified Tow Brake

Towing a 2006 Honda 4WD CR-V. No problems but be sure you follow the pre-tow shift exactly before towing.

Before Towing:
ALWAYS Shift:"Drive -> Neutral' Yes
NEVER Shift: "Reverse -> Neutral" No

Go through all forward grears (momentary pause in each), then neutral and idle in neutral for 3 minutes. Turn off ignition (leave key in 'On' position (but not start) so the steering wheel is free), parking brake off.

The manual says: do not exceed 65 mph or severe transmission damage will occur.
The manual says: never shift from reverse to neutral before towing or severe transmission damage will occur.

You're ready...

I noticed after a few hundred miles of towing and then starting the Honda, there would be a rubber burning odor coming from the Honda. This is normal and is road rubber debris being thrown under the car onto the exhaust. When starting the vehicle, the exhaust is burning off road debris whether, road grime, winter salts or chemicals, etc. The odor disappears within a day or two.
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isa View Post
Check the DMV statutes where you live. Do not get caught up with the argument that a TOWED VEHICLE is a TRAILER, it is not a TRAILER but you have to look at the wording used in the STATUTES with respect to what is being TOWED.
From the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 7 - Vehicles and Traffic, Subtitle C - Rules of the Road, Chapter 541 - Definitions, Subchapter C - Vehicles, Rail Transportation and Equipment, Section 541.201 - Vehicles (emphasis mine):

Quote:
20) "Trailer" means a vehicle, other than a pole trailer, with or without motive power:
(A) designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle and to transport persons or property; and
(B) constructed so that no part of the vehicle's weight and load rests on the motor vehicle.
Decide for yourself whether that definition would include a towed vehicle. To me, it's pretty obvious.

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Old 07-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #21
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It does not matter how you try to juggle the definition of trailer, towed load, towed vehicle or dinghy, I have yet to see a motorhome that has sufficient knowledge to determine if it is towing a utility trailer with 4000# of rock or a 4000# dinghy on 4 wheels. The laws of physics still state that you are trying to stop an additional 4000#.

Lawyers should stop trying to be engineers and I will never try to be a lawyer. Sure, the brakes on the dinghy may only stop you a foot shorter in an emergency, but ONE INCH can make the difference between stopping and having an accident.

What you spend on the motorhome and the RV is many times more than what you spend getting a dinghy set up for safe towing.

Ken
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:04 PM   #22
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The chassis manufacturers for most gas motorhomes state if you tow more than 1500 pounds you need auxiliary braking for the toad. A friend bought a diesel pusher, a 1999 Fleetwood Discovery on a Freightliner chassis, and the owners manual that came with it said if you tow over 1500 pounds you need auxiliary braking.

I just use the law of common sense and use a braking system with a Break-A-Way that applies the brakes if the tow bar or hitch breaks. I have towed in 49 states, all provinces in Canada and in Mexico. I have never had to worry about breaking the law by not having braking and a break-a-way.

On I-65 in southern Alabama I came upon a sad happening. A motorhome was towing a Saturn and the tow bar broke loose from the motorhome. The driver first noticed the problem when his toad started to pass his motorhome. He said the toad went about 1/4 mile down the south bound lanes, then crossed the median, then crossed the north bound traffic, then hit a tree. When I stopped the man and his wife were just staring at the Saturn wrapped around the tree with the tow bar still connected. He wished he had installed braking and a break-a-way feature. Luckily no one was killed.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:12 PM   #23
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This is for RustyJC, as Paul Harvey used to say "and now the rest of the story".

State of Texas brake requirements when towing anything!


http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TN/htm/TN.547.htm

Sec. 547.401. BRAKES REQUIRED. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or combination of those vehicles shall be equipped with brakes that comply with this chapter.
(b) A trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer is not required to have brakes if:
(1) its gross weight is 4,500 pounds or less; or
(2) its gross weight is heavier than 4,500 pounds but not heavier than 15,000 pounds, and it is drawn at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 547.408. PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR BRAKES. (a) A motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be equipped with service brakes capable of:
(1) developing a braking force that is not less than:
(A) 52.8 percent of the gross weight of the vehicle for a passenger vehicle; or
(B) 43.5 percent of the gross weight of the vehicle for a vehicle other than a passenger vehicle;
(2) decelerating to a stop from 20 miles per hour or less at not less than:
(A) 17 feet per second per second for a passenger vehicle; or
(B) 14 feet per second per second for other vehicles; and
(3) stopping from a speed of 20 miles per hour in a distance, measured from the location where the service brake pedal or control is activated, of not more than:
(A) 25 feet for a passenger vehicle;
(B) 30 feet for a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or single unit vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less;
(C) 40 feet for:
(i) a single unit vehicle with a manufacturer's gross weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;
(ii) a two-axle towing vehicle and trailer combination with a weight of 3,000 pounds or less;
(iii) a bus that does not have a manufacturer's gross weight rating; and
(iv) the combination of vehicles in an operation exempted by Section 547.407(b); and
(D) 50 feet for other vehicles.
(b) A test for deceleration or stopping distance shall be performed on a dry, smooth, hard surface that:
(1) is free of loose material; and
(2) does not exceed plus or minus one percent grade.
(c) In this section, "passenger vehicle" means a vehicle that has a maximum seating capacity of 10 persons, including the operator, and that does not have a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #24
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If you tow in Florida you are required by law to have separate braking on the towed vehicle and a break-a-way feature that applies braking to the towed vehicle in case of emergency. (This law was passed in 2009.)

Florida Statue 316.261 (7) (a) & (b)
Every towing vehicle, when used to tow another vehicle equipped with air-controlled brakes and every towing vehicle used to tow other vehicles equipped with vacuum brakes, in operations other than driveaway or towaway operations, shall have, in addition to the single-control device required by subsection (8), a second-control device which can be used to operate the brakes on towed vehicles in emergencies. The second control shall be independent of brake air, hydraulic, and other pressure, and independent of other controls, unless the braking system is so arranged that failure of the pressure upon which the second control depends will cause the towed vehicle brakes to be applied automatically. The second control is not required to provide modulated braking.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:55 PM   #25
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This is for Norm4015, you are only stating part of the statute.

Here is the rest of the story folks:

The 2009 Florida Statutes Title XXIII Excerpts from Chapter 316.261 & .262
316.261 Brake equipment required.--Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer, and any combination of such vehicles, operating upon a highway within this state shall be equipped with brakes in compliance with the requirements of this chapter
(3) BRAKES ON ALL WHEELS.--Every vehicle shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels except:
(a) Trailers, semitrailers, or pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 pounds, provided that:
1. The total weight on and including the wheels of the trailer or trailers shall not exceed 40 percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer or trailers; and
2. The combination of vehicles, consisting of the towing vehicle and its total towed load, is capable of complying with the performance requirements of s. 316.262.
(b) Pole trailers with a gross weight in excess of 3,000 pounds manufactured prior to January 1, 1972, need not be equipped with brakes.
(c) Any vehicle being towed in driveaway or towaway operations, provided the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with the performance requirements of s. 316.262.

316.262 Performance ability of motor vehicle brakes.--
(1) Every motor vehicle and combination of vehicles, at all times and under all conditions of loading, upon application of the service brake, shall be capable of:
(a) Developing a braking force that is not less than the percentage of its gross weight tabulated herein for its classification;
(b) Decelerating to a stop from not more than 20 miles per hour at not less than the feet per second per second tabulated herein for its classification; and
(c) Stopping from a speed of 20 miles per hour in not more than the distance tabulated herein for its classification, such distance to be measured from the point at which movement of the service brake pedal or control begins.
(2) Tests for deceleration and stopping distance shall be made on a substantially level (not to exceed plus or minus 1 percent grade), dry, smooth, hard surface that is free from loose material.

Section C-2 from that chart is for a two axle vehicle towing a trailer under 3000 lb. or less, and, is as follows:

(a) 43.5% (b) 14 ft./sec. (c) 40 ft.
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:49 AM   #26
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How specifically are 'towaway' or 'driveaway' operations defined. Does towing a car behind a motorhome qualify?
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:32 AM   #27
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not interested in fine print.

i asked my buddy if my light lil wrangler needs a braking system. He said "it does if you're on the same road as me and my family" Nuff said. I haven't towed it 5 miles yet, but I put an SMI system on it yesterday.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:47 AM   #28
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I haven't towed it 5 miles yet, but I put an SMI system on it yesterday.
Excellent choice!

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