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Old 06-17-2011, 07:27 AM   #57
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Have them on mine, don't recall seeing anyone without them. And, even if
your state does not require them, they probably require a break away stopping
system ! Which means you gotta have them.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:28 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by azloafer View Post
Back in the day...I was in law enforcement and the only thing we ever checked for were two safety chains. That was for 25 years. None of the posts, at least the ones that I have read, ever mention safety chains...why?
I don't have brakes on my toad; but I wouldn't pull out of my driveway without hooking up my safety chains.

I've been up and down the Rockie Mts many times; never saw a motorhome in a runaway ramp.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #59
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If your state does not specifically outline the rules for a TOWED VEHICLE then there is no applicable statute
Really? It's my opinion that a towed vehicle directly connected to the towing vehicle with all of the towed vehicles tires on the road is a trailer, unless the state specifies rules specific to a towed vehicle. As such, all trailer requirements apply to the towed vehicle (lights, tags, brakes, safety chains, break-away braking system, etc...) unless the state specifically defines these for a towed vehicle.

Regardless, I use safety chains, auxcillary brakes, and a break away braking system.

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Old 06-17-2011, 01:55 PM   #60
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For ImagineIf

With respect to your statement and quote -did you miss the previous paragraph which states:

"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. "

Did you also miss the write up on the state of Virginia which is a good example of this since they use wording for "Brakes on trailers" that actually apply to anything being towed, viz:

Chapter 10 46.2-1070. Brakes on trailers.
Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in 46.2-1067and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:09 PM   #61
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For ImagineIf

With respect to your statement and quote -did you miss the previous paragraph which states:

"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. "

Did you also miss the write up on the state of Virginia which is a good example of this since they use wording for "Brakes on trailers" that actually apply to anything being towed, viz:

Chapter 10 46.2-1070. Brakes on trailers.
Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in 46.2-1067and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.
Nope, I didn't miss a thing. Where a state spells out a towed vehicle, its a towed vehicle. Where a towed vehicle is not specifically spelled we can agree to disagree; I say the towed vehicle is then applicable to trailer rules. You say the towed vehicle has NO rules. South of the border that might be hard to convince a judge.
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:45 PM   #62
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no brakes
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:24 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isa View Post
For ImagineIf

With respect to your statement and quote -did you miss the previous paragraph which states:

"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. "

Did you also miss the write up on the state of Virginia which is a good example of this since they use wording for "Brakes on trailers" that actually apply to anything being towed, viz:

Chapter 10 46.2-1070. Brakes on trailers.
Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in 46.2-1067and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

you have to use some common sense and most laws are never based on common sense. Laws are written by lawyers, not engineers and lawyers do not understand any of the laws of physics.

Call it a trailer, towed vehicle and or what ever, your motorhome has no idea if it has a 3000# utility trailer or a 3000# dinghy pushing when it is trying to stop. It has no software installed that sense which type load is attached to the hitch. The facts pure and simple are that there is 3000# or more pushing that has to be stopped.

To try and justify not spending the few dollars for a dinghy brake system base on stating that the law specifically states trailer is foolish in my opinion. Anything you try to do should be done properly with safety in mind.

Ken
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:38 AM   #64
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I've read this thread with some interest and I guess I'm not surprised at some of the statements here regarding physics. One gentleman stated that the towed vehicle would exert 2.7 times it's weight on the back of the coach. I don't know what version of Sir Isaac Newton you've been reading, but in order to exert 2.7x of whatever force is back there you need to brake with 2.7g. I drive ground effect race cars, and short of an F1 or IRL car at full chat it's damn hard to get 2.7g even when all the aero is working for you. There isn't an RV on the planet that will stop with more than 1g, period. The brakes stop the wheels - the TIRES stop the coach, and they will have nothing to do with more than 1g unless Michelin is making R-compound tires in 22.5. Don't believe me? there's an app for that. Download the free BMW M-power g-meter, throw the phone in your cup holder, and have at it on some nice deserted stretch or parking lot. Try it with brakes, without, with toad, or without. The numbers won't lie.

Mass is mass. For the most part it doesn't matter how it's connected or whether or not it's rolling. In straight, dry conditions, your coach doesn't know if that is a 3000lb toad or 3000lb of fuel, water, and cargo. Where it matters is how the rolling load reacts at the couple between the vehicles, which is pretty unpredictable in the real world. That's where the brakes help - they stabilize the toad as much as slow it. Think of it like the tail on a kite.

There are good reasons of stability, safety, liability, and legality for using toad brakes, but if your coach + load + toad is under the coach GVWR the brakes ought to handle it or there's something wrong.

Think of it this way - I have a 2002 Altima, curb weight 3200lb, GVWR 4200lb. If I leave on a trip with a full tank of gas (320lb) and 3 normal sized americans (600lb) I don't need to upgrade the brakes for the trip. It will stop, perhaps a bit longer than when my 125 lb daughter is driving it, and maybe not 5 times in quick succession from 80 mph, but it will stop safely, and that's with a load that's 30% of the unladen weight.

So if you load your coach to GVWR, are you too scared to drive it? I doubt it.
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Old 06-18-2011, 12:46 AM   #65
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When I had a towed, it had brakes.. I majored in Science when I was in college. and I hve great respect for the laws of nature (Physics in this case) and those laws say two things.

1: You may be one of the lucky ones who never needs to stop quickly
Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post


2: If you do have to "Stand on the brakes" , having brakes on the towed MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.

My 30 years as a transportation engineer with the equiv. of a Masters in Civil Engineering (and an AA in Computer Information) say you need add'l braking for add'l weight.
Well, not really, the Computer Information classes completely skipped physics for some reason!
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:47 AM   #66
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Well, when I bought the motorhome I did not want to spend another $2000 for a braking system, but I read all the posts in any forum I could find. Threads like this one convinced me to get a braking system... I did. Then when we bought the Grand Cherokee for a towed vehicle I began thinking of how disheartening it would be to lose the Cherokee if it came loose from the hitch, so I feel better about having the break-away system. I then heard the horror stories of tow-bar/hitch failures and how the towed vehicle ended up in the trees along the road, or was launched across the median and ended up in the on-coming traffic, and thought how could anyone not have a break-away system.

I have the Roadmaster EvenBrake, with break-away and feel a little better about towing a vehicle because of it. I also feel better about descending a grade because I have it and know that my service brakes are getting help from towed vehicle and the auxiliary braking system. As of yet, I have not encountered a situation where the braking system saved from disaster, but wouldn't leave home without it.

Speaking of Safety Chains: I just found out what safety chains are for (or what they do). I had an early tee time, and as usual I was running a bit late. I was hooking up the golf cart trailer and my neighbor called to me. He said something about going to play golf... I answered him, and jumped in the car a took off. I was rolling down a two lane road at about 30mph when all of a sudden I heard a loud klunk type sound from the trailer. I glanced into the rearview mirror and saw the tongue end of the trailer bouncing left and right. I instinctively hit the brakes and heard another sickening sound from the trailer as the trailer tongue slammed into the back of the Tahoe. I instantly became aware the the hitch had come loose and the trailer was bouncing around on the safety chains. I accelerated a bit to put some tension on the chains and slowly began to reduce my speed until I found a wide spot to pull off the road. By now I am feeling very embarrassed about having this happen, and feel like an idiot. I dread getting out to look at the damage to the rear of the Tahoe and the trailer tongue... but I get out and go back, hoping that no one from the houses lining the road saw anything. Fortunately no one was around to see what I did. Anyway, I get to the back of the Tahoe, look around and see nothing in the way of damage. The trailer tongue did drop enough to drag on the pavement, but not enough to do any damage, and I couldn't find so much as a scrape on the rear of the Tahoe. The golf cart stayed in place, but one of the two tie-down straps had snapped (thought it would be good to have two rather than just one). Dropped the trailer back on the hitch ball and continued on to the golf course to shoot a lousy game of golf.

What had happened was, that when I was about ready to snap down the hitch ball latch, my neighbor called to me and engaged me in conversation, and I forgot to latch the hitch. Thank goodness for the safety chains. Had it not been for the chains I would have, most likely, lost the golf cart and there was a pretty good chance the the golf cart and trailer would have veered into one of the yards along the road and taken out mail boxes and picket fences. Fortunately, I have never forgotten my safety chains....
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:02 AM   #67
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About 2 years ago here in MD there was a horrible accident on the Bay Bridge - a trailer of some sort came disconnected from its towing vehicle and veered into opposing traffic (a system used during rush hour). The result was a very serious accident with 2 dead, other vehicles damaged, and other injuries. I don't remember the cause of the disconnection, but the whole event was a major factor in our decision to purchase and install a braking system and a breakaway system. By the way, it is very foolish to say that if a law does not specifically require such a system, you don't need it. If you have a breakaway, and someone does get killed or seriously injured, the first thing any good plaintiff's lawyer would ask is whether you had done everything a reasonable person would do to prevent anyone being harmed by an easily foreseeable and fairly common event. There would be a very strong likelihood that you would lose the argument if you relied on splitting legal hairs, as doctors, hospitals, victims, victims' relatives, and insurance companies would still have to be reimbursed because of something you failed to do, which reasonable people normally would do to prevent such events, regardless of legalities. You might be able to claim it was the state's fault for not making the law requiring it, but that would simply be admitting your own failure and the state is not about to easily be put in a situation where it will have to pay for your mistakes.
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Old 06-18-2011, 11:03 AM   #68
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With some replies, I think I could have saved a lot of money and just bought 10 ft of 3/4" rope.....
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:43 PM   #69
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Would never leave home without one. The cost of a a human life is a lot more than the cost of a braking system. I want to sleep at night.
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:56 PM   #70
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Quote:
have yet to meet someone that has brakes in his toad.
...guess that depends on who you hang out with AND the fact that we tend to see what we are looking for. We are fulltimers, we have toad brakes, and I see toad brakes on rigs pretty much everywhere we go!!
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