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Old 06-17-2009, 06:41 AM   #15
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I just saw a diesel pusher that was towed into the Winnebago factory. A car pulled across in front of the motorhome which was promptly run into by the motorhome. The motorhome was also towing a boat which then jackknifed into the rear of the coach. After that the coach ended up off the road in the mud and it sideswiped some trees. Not a pretty sight. The front cap was severely damaged and so was the rear cap as well as the passenger side. My belief is that if there had been brakes on the boat trailer then it would not have jackknifed and the rear cap would not have been damaged. I think the same thing could apply to a towed car. More braking power is a good thing. Keeping the toad behind you is also a good thing.

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Old 06-17-2009, 07:04 AM   #16
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In the state of Georgia, anything towed that weighs over 1500 lbs. must have aux brakes. Few people are ever cited for not having except in the event of and accident. If your in an accident you could have additional liability if you don't have them. Sometime insurance is cheap.

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Old 06-17-2009, 07:32 AM   #17
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Sixty years of accident free driveing----I don't care what you have for brakes ; if you overdrive your rig (go to fast, follow to close, in general don't watch far enought ahead) you will run into something sooner or later.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by robert h View Post
Sixty years of accident free driving----I don't care what you have for brakes ; if you overdrive your rig (go to fast, follow to close, in general don't watch far enough ahead) you will run into something sooner or later.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:52 PM   #19
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Let me answer the question with a song, this song is over 15 years old

This link is to the album, the title song is, of course, the reason you need aux brakes.

And be aware that this song is way over 10 years old

Home is where I park it!
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mrschwarz View Post
I know this has been debated to death, . . .
That is true, and almost without exception, it is only because "cons" are looking for a way, or excuse, to not spend the money. If you nail someone because you didn't, or couldn't (makes no difference) stop in time, you better believe that law enforcement is well aware of auxilliary brake systems in general, and whether or not you have one, in particular.

If you don't believe that, consider this: that big, fancy coach of yours looks to the "nailee" (victim, or damaged party) like one great big deep pocket. And even if they don't tumble, do you think for a minute that an attorney wouldn't thank the litigation gods for that golden goose?

Lastly, you know what they say about lawyer jokes: There are only three - all the rest are true stories!

I wish you luck, and hope you never need it.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:21 PM   #21
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Not to be a pain, but I have read almost everything this forum has on this subject. As I stated in my first post, the total vehicle weight, including the toad, does not exceed the GVWR on the name plate. According to the state of Texas, if a towed vehicle (trailer or otherwise) exceeds 4500 pounds, it needs breaks. My toad only weighs 3750 lbs (with stuff loaded in it).

The engineers that designed the coach say brakes aren't required. The law in Texas says I don't need brakes. I can't imagine that an insurance company would have a problem paying a claim or a judge saying that I wasn't complying with safety regulations. Once the braking requirements of a vehicle have been met, does adding more brake capacity add anything more?

Other than driving in Georgia, which I don't do, no one has given me a reason to use them. A number of you have told me that I should have brakes, well . . . because!

Have any tests shown that a vehicle whose weight, including the toad, is within the design limitations of the weight and braking requirements actually benefited from auxiliary brakes?

As I said earlier, I have aux. brakes that I use. I am challenging you to tell my why this is nothing more than a false sense of additional security.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:52 PM   #22
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You may be legal in Texas, but you have to abide by the laws in the other states as for speed, loads, towing, etc. They only recognize you drivers license and tags on the vehicle. If you are on the roads in a state that says 1500# for aux brakes...you have to have the brakes by law and can be ticketed.

Additional security ...Yes. But you should also have the break away system on the brakes in case the dinghy comes loose and they do come loose.

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Old 06-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #23
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Common sense will tell you that the more braking you have available, the shorting your stopping distance will be in an emergency. You might be legal, and you might be within the engineering design limits, but that doesn't mean you don't need all the breaking power you can get.

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Old 06-17-2009, 11:01 PM   #24
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According to the article at the top of this subject "MH towing toads and issues" . It states at a 3700 toad is going to have 9300 lbs of force when you are trying to do panic stop. So if your motorhome weighed 9300 lbs more.
Will it take longer to stop?You betcha. Wet, dry, snow its still going to take longer. If you stop three feet shorter that could mean the difference be three of folded metal and blood and no damage at all. I"ll take all the help I can get.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:29 AM   #25
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There cannot be any insurance question in this scenario - the coach brakes are rated to stop the coach GVWR and the total load is less than that.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:26 AM   #26
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Let's do the math for a general case. Rather than using the OP's values (I didn't go back and look them up), I assumed the following:

MH weight = 25,000 lbs
MH braking swept area = 603 square inches
(4 each 16" diameter x 3" wide drums)

Toad weight = 5,000 lbs
Toad braking swept area = 553 square inches
(4 each 11" diameter x 2" pad width discs - remember, a disc has 2 surfaces being swept, one on each side)

Velocity = 60 MPH

Since we're interested in braking this mass, I've expressed the kinetic energy in terms of BTU. The results are as follows:

Kinetic Energy (MH, no toad) = 3,866 BTU
Kinetic Energy (MH with toad) = 4,640 BTU

This kinetic energy must be dissipated through the braking system(s) as heat. One BTU is the heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at a pressure of one atmosphere. So, in our two cases above, the heat that must be dissipated to stop the MH alone would raise the temperature of 100 pounds of water 38.66 degrees F, while the heat that must be dissipated to stop the MH and toad would raise the temperature of 100 pounds of water 46.40 degrees F.

The heat that must be dissipated per square inch of braking swept area for a stop from 60 MPH in each case is as follows:

MH alone = 6.4 BTU/square inch
MH + toad, no auxiliary brakes = 7.7 BTU/square inch
MH + toad, auxiliary braking system = 4.0 BTU/square inch

I leave it to the reader to draw his/her own conclusions.

An interesting corollary from these calculations is that, for the MH/toad combination to produce the same kinetic energy as the MH alone, velocity would have to be reduced to ~54.8 MPH. What this means is that, once the 3,866 BTU has been dissipated, the MH + toad combination stopping from an initial velocity of 60 MPH would still be traveling 5.2 MPH. All else being equal, that's the velocity at which one would strike the object that would have just been missed were one stopping the MH alone.

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Old 06-18-2009, 08:59 AM   #27
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From my point of view I do not consider the supplemental braking system to be an aid to the MH. Mine is there to stop my car from careening across the highway when is breaks free from the MH.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:33 AM   #28
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Please consider the following a snide remark;I mean no offence to anyone.
When doing all these calculations they all fail to factor in the responce time it takes for a 40 year old; a 50 year old; a 60 year old; a 70 year old; reaction times it takes for these different age groupes are different; this affects stopping distance as much as how much break shoe a motorhome has. the time it takes to take the foot off the gas and put in on the brake peddle makes all the difference in the world. some folks are really slow.
I've found that their are some that can find the horn quicker than the brake.

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