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Old 06-25-2012, 07:45 PM   #71
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I don't think as a matter of fact, I know that most states do not require brakes on towed vehicles. It is a stretch that they will hold you liable if some fool cuts in front of you and he gets killed. Where will you find an expert that can prove to a jury's satisfaction that the accident could have been avoided with brakes on your toad. I think everybody is entitled to their opinion and needs to stop scaring rvers into buying stuff they don't want.
This would appear to be a case where a legal requirement and common sense approach to ensuring your safety are divergent. The law is one thing, and safety another. Of course that's just my opinion.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:37 AM   #72
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There is another chunk of code you folks need to look up.

Considering US Gear says that having brakes on the towed can greatly improve your stopping distance (They use the phrase "up to 30 percent" in their ads)

I would say failure to have an aux braking system is RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT.

Which is why I said, you rear end me , w/o brakes on the towed, I get rich. Forget the fine, Watch out for the civil liability.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:07 PM   #73
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I'm leaving tomorrow for five days so happened to be looking at Rand Atlas. One of the first pages deals with "legals" ... breakaway prevention is required just about everywhere on anything over average of 3000 pounds? How can you tow unprotected? why that would be like having unprotected errrrrrrrrrrrrr .... the consequence would be your own in either situation?
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:32 PM   #74
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I am not a lawyer but I do represent a goup of individuals in arbitrations so I am a bit familiar with contract issues. I do not know the varioius law on Reckless endangerment but I believe that for your to be reckless you have to have knowledge that you are doing something reckless. If the law in my state (which it doesnt) does not require brakes in tow vehicles then I think you are going to have a hard time proving I knowingly did something reckless by not having brakes in my vehicle. Then you get to the whole laundry list of what type of vehicle am I towing. For instance My chevrolet tracker is so light that I can tow it with my pickup and not have any trouble stopping. If i am towing it with a motorhome which advertises that it has a breaking system that cannot only stop the motor home but up to 10,000 pounds of towed weight. I believe you are going to have a big up hill climb proving that I knowingly endangered your life. Now if I hit you and you are just injured you are not likely to get rich. I have an umbrella policy which means that my insurance company is going to pay any claims up to 1,000,000 dollars. They are going to hire some premium attorneys before they fork out any big bucks. I do not think that the liability for not having a breaking system is near what you seem to think it is. Bottom Line. When I bought my motor home the literature does not say I have to have brakes on anything I am towing.

This is right out of the blue ox tow bar instruction manual :

WARNING: Insure that your towing vehicle is of adequate size to properly control
your towed vehicle. The weight and braking capacity should be large enough to
handle both vehicles in an emergency situation.

With the state law not requiring tow vehicle brakes, With the Motor home literature saying it can handle a 10,000 pound towed load. With the above right out of my towbar instruction manual I am going to be very suprised if you can get a jury or a judge to agree that not using a tow braking system was reckless. When you add the fact that I have an umbrella policy so the insurance company is going to have to pay any settlement up to 1,000,000 dollars they are going to hire very premium defense attorneys. I am going to use a tow vehicle breaking system because I think that is the proper thing to do but I would not worry about a reckless endangerment lawsuit if I did not do that.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:06 AM   #75
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You can't legislate against stupidity!
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:30 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
I am not a lawyer but I do represent a goup of individuals in arbitrations so I am a bit familiar with contract issues. I do not know the varioius law on Reckless endangerment but I believe that for your to be reckless you have to have knowledge that you are doing something reckless. If the law in my state (which it doesnt) does not require brakes in tow vehicles then I think you are going to have a hard time proving I knowingly did something reckless by not having brakes in my vehicle. Then you get to the whole laundry list of what type of vehicle am I towing. For instance My chevrolet tracker is so light that I can tow it with my pickup and not have any trouble stopping. If i am towing it with a motorhome which advertises that it has a breaking system that cannot only stop the motor home but up to 10,000 pounds of towed weight. I believe you are going to have a big up hill climb proving that I knowingly endangered your life. Now if I hit you and you are just injured you are not likely to get rich. I have an umbrella policy which means that my insurance company is going to pay any claims up to 1,000,000 dollars. They are going to hire some premium attorneys before they fork out any big bucks. I do not think that the liability for not having a breaking system is near what you seem to think it is. Bottom Line. When I bought my motor home the literature does not say I have to have brakes on anything I am towing.

This is right out of the blue ox tow bar instruction manual :

WARNING: Insure that your towing vehicle is of adequate size to properly control
your towed vehicle. The weight and braking capacity should be large enough to
handle both vehicles in an emergency situation.

With the state law not requiring tow vehicle brakes, With the Motor home literature saying it can handle a 10,000 pound towed load. With the above right out of my towbar instruction manual I am going to be very suprised if you can get a jury or a judge to agree that not using a tow braking system was reckless. When you add the fact that I have an umbrella policy so the insurance company is going to have to pay any settlement up to 1,000,000 dollars they are going to hire very premium defense attorneys. I am going to use a tow vehicle breaking system because I think that is the proper thing to do but I would not worry about a reckless endangerment lawsuit if I did not do that.
In the specific case you site you may be correct. However almost all the gas powered motorhomes on the road are powered by either a Ford or Workhorse/Chevrolet chassis. Both manufacturers state that anything being towed (they don't get into the semantics of whether a car is a trailer) that weighs over 1,500 lbs should have supplimental brakes.

Ford goes so far as to say the brakes on the chassis are rated for the GVWR not the GCWR. In our case the brakes are rated for 20,500 lbs. Should we load it to that weight we would need auxillary brakes on anything being towed. If we loaded it to 19,000 lbs or less we could tow something weighing 1,500 lbs without auxillary brakes. There are very few (if any) cars on the road that weigh less than 1,500 lbs.

If you knowingly tow more than the manufacturer has rated the vehicle for and ignore their recommendations you might have a tougher time in court you shoud be unlucky enough to hit someone.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:44 AM   #77
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You can't legislate against stupidity!
Yep, it amazes me how folks will spend a ton on the fun part then ignore physics to save a few $$ or whatever reason floats their boat. All I can say is they may not be legally responsible if the toad detaches and kills someone or the extra 20' of stopping distance pushes them through a young mother in the only econobox she can afford, and they may not have enough soul to even be bothered by it, unfortunately I do so I have brakes on the toad.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:20 AM   #78
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This can go on and on..it's the same with tires...How old is to old...you know there are people running with 10 year old tires...It all boils down to your sense of responsibilty to yourself and fellow man...
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:32 AM   #79
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This can go on and on..it's the same with tires...How old is to old...you know there are people running with 10 year old tires...It all boils down to your sense of responsibilty to yourself and fellow man...
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Discussions of who will sue who and what a jury of peers might award in any given situation is speculation. I think it is smart to have a brake system on a toad...period. I can't make anyone follow my ideals of common sense nor can they make me follow theirs. In the end, it doesn't matter whether it is toad brakes, driving/walking distracted, pianos falling out of windows or "what ever", we all know there are irresponsible people around us. We just have to do the best for what we think is right and keep an eye out for those that cut corners.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:22 PM   #80
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I am not trying to advocate not having a braking system in your towed vehicle. I think that is something that everyone needs to research and decide for themselves. As the one poster noted his workhorse chassis motor home makes it clear you need to have a breaking system in your towed vehicle. My MH manufacturer advertises that the brakes on my unit are designed to stop the unit and up to 10,000 pounds of towed weight in an emergency stop. That pretty much leaves the decision up to me. For The record I am going to be buying a towed system for my car before I tow it. What I was doing in my earlier post is giving my opinion in regards to the earlier post about reckless endangerment. I do not believe in the conditions I outlined that someone is going to be successful in that arguement. I am aware that juries and judges are going to decide whatever they decide but I think that for the most part a reckless endangerment charge is going to be hard to prove.

I am confused when I see a lot of posts talking about your towed vehicle becoming a missile. The topic is about breaking systems I dont see the two being necessarily entwined. I realize that a lot of breaking systems have a breakaway device to apply the brakes if the vehicle becomes unatached from your MH. I think the main advantage to those systems is that they would keep your towed vehicle from smashing into the back of your MH. My baseplate is attached in two places to my frame. It also has two cables that are wrapped around the frame and attched to the baseplate. The Tow Bar is attached in two places to the MH. I also have two safety cables that attach to the MH and to the Towed vehicle in two seperate places. In order for my towed vehicle to become a missile it would have to break several things at the same time in order to become totally free of my MH. On the other hand if the tow bar was to come loose for any reason on the MH end then when I hit my brakes on the MH the towed vehicle would be smacking into my rear bumper. I have had trailers jump off the ball on my pickup ( That has happened 2 and was the result of being in a hurry and not locking the hitch down) When it happened the trailer chains kept the trailer pulling behind the pickup but when I hit the brakes to stop the trailer tongue put a dent in my bumper.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:24 AM   #81
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I thought those who are following this post might find this of interest. I crossed into Michigan via Port Huron / Sarnia a few weeks back. At the crossing I had a nice BG who asked the normal, typical questions and got the appropriate answers. He then left his booth and walked back to my Jeep tow'd. He very DELIBERATELY made a show of opening the Driver's door and looking directly down at the floor area. He then turned and looked at me (in my rearview mirror I could see him) and nodded his head. Was he verifying that I had a brake system? He came back, didn't say a word other than "enjoy your tiime in the U.S." - I didn't ask any questions. Interesting?
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:04 AM   #82
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I thought those who are following this post might find this of interest. I crossed into Michigan via Port Huron / Sarnia a few weeks back. At the crossing I had a nice BG who asked the normal, typical questions and got the appropriate answers. He then left his booth and walked back to my Jeep tow'd. He very DELIBERATELY made a show of opening the Driver's door and looking directly down at the floor area. He then turned and looked at me (in my rearview mirror I could see him) and nodded his head. Was he verifying that I had a brake system? He came back, didn't say a word other than "enjoy your tiime in the U.S." - I didn't ask any questions. Interesting?
Your toad is unlocked while you're driving?

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Old 08-24-2012, 11:15 AM   #83
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I don't know about Coached but my tow car is not locked while towing. Never thought of a reason to lock the doors but I guess it may be a good idea in some areas.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:25 AM   #84
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Ours is always locked. Would you leave your car unlocked at a highway rest stop? We sure wouldn't, and we can't watch the toad from inside the RV when we stop.

We also use locking tow bar pins.

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