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Old 08-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #85
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Conjecture about liability is often just that conjecture. The path from accident to judgement is convoluted, tedious and tortured making it in my mind moot when discussing braking and toads. It is why we buy insurance fault or no fault we are potentially vulnerable in an accident of any kind if we are involved.

The law matters, three I can think of;

The law of physics apply with toad brakes you stop in a shorter distance.

State laws apply, in about 16 as I recall towed vehicles are mentioned specifically in the towing laws. A preponderance of states say trailer (ill defined) and all seem to categorize weight as a directive for requiring brakes or not.

Murphys law, if it can happen it will.

I chuckled at the comment earlier about the unlikely event of a panic stop. Well I have had mine and from experience: it will not be your fault, it will happen so fast you can only react instinctively and the faster you can stop the better. That's why it is called panic. In my case about a foot left, my toad locked up and was the "anchor" making my story end well for everyone.

We do not offer the right to violate the law only the freedom to do so.

Stuff happens and the more prepared we are to negate this "stuff" through proper planning and equipment the more respect we show for our families our friends and others on the road with us.

If you choose another course and violate the law often enough and get caught enough then we can suspend your priviledges and tell you not to participate any longer, take away your rights, make you pay, particularly if someone gets hurt or worse as a result of your violations.

Fair enough I guess.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #86
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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?
Same thing happened to us back in 2007 when we were crossing from Alaska into Canada. I posted a note on this forum to that effect and got all kinds of negative responses. Most were adamant that the Border Guards didn't have the authority to inspect for let alone require a braking system.
Funny how someone sitting in their easy chair expounds on what the border guards can and can't do. Somehow I think if those with the negative attitudes were it that situation they wouldn't be giving the guard a face to face lecture to that effect. That is of course unless the person doing it had a lot of time on their hands. I suspect the border crossing process could go from a few minutes to hours or even days.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #87
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Our toad was checked when crossing back to US thru Windsor. Seemed they were looking for something checked inside the toad, and Mh.(he peaked thru drivers window) They did confisicate 3 limes and 2 apples!( No stickers on them) I have the brake buddy and it is always setup when towing. Been a few times needed to stop quick and was nice not to have an extra 3000+ # trying to push.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:16 PM   #88
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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.

joe
Same here.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #89
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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?
Hi mine is. Never locked cant key has to be on 06 crv honda with brake buddy see ya.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:50 PM   #90
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Spare key with alarm fob is what we use.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:23 PM   #91
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The locking of the tow'd was not what I thought would be of primary interest but, yes, I do lock the jeep when towing but I unlock it at all border crossings using my fob. Our Diesel GC allows us to tow without the keys in the ignition so it is always locked unless I choose otherwise. I also roll down all my windows in my car when crossing; the more polite and accomodating the more they will be ... I hope. And, I also agree with those who say they would not argue with the BG if he or she tried to enforce vehicle laws. At the end of the day these folks are Law Enforcement Officers; if you want to argue otherwise with them you go ahead and do just that ... take a video of it will ya?
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:35 PM   #92
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I do not know whether there is a law in michigan about having towed braking systems. If so the border guard might be making sure you are in compliance with michigan law. If not I am not aware of any national law that says you have to have them and that would be all that they would be enforcing. I am in agreement that if you try to argue with them you might win the arguement but that would pretty much be a case of winning the battle but losing the way. The borderguard can decide you are suspicious and call out a group of officers to dismantle your seats empty the car etc. When they dont find anything they say ok you can put it back together and go. They dont put it back together for you. I am in agreement with being very polite to them.

I just pulled my enclave over the mountains going from arkansas to Los Angeles. I was rather suprised that my braking system never activated other than my testing it by doing a minor panic system stop to see if it would come on. It did for that but never came on the rest of the time. I did not really notice a big difference in braking with the motor home pulling a big SUV at least not in the brakes. I think the main difference to me is the break away function. If a one in a million chance of events happen and the car breaks away from the motor home I like having a brakeing system that will lock the brakes up and bring it to a stop. That is probably the only thing safety wise that I think is important.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:04 PM   #93
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I do not know whether there is a law in michigan about having towed braking systems. If so the border guard might be making sure you are in compliance with michigan law. If not I am not aware of any national law that says you have to have them and that would be all that they would be enforcing. I am in agreement that if you try to argue with them you might win the arguement but that would pretty much be a case of winning the battle but losing the way. The borderguard can decide you are suspicious and call out a group of officers to dismantle your seats empty the car etc. When they dont find anything they say ok you can put it back together and go. They dont put it back together for you. I am in agreement with being very polite to them.

I just pulled my enclave over the mountains going from arkansas to Los Angeles.
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I was rather suprised that my braking system never activated other than my testing it by doing a minor panic system stop to see if it would come on. It
did for that but never came on the rest of the time. I did not really notice a big difference in braking with the motor home pulling a big SUV at least not in the brakes. I think the main difference to me is the break away function. If a one in a million chance of events happen and the car breaks away from the motor home I like having a brakeing system that will lock the brakes up and bring it to a stop. That is probably the only thing safety wise that I think is important.
I don't know what brake system you are using but I do know, because I own them, that both Brake Buddy and Blue Ox have a 'sensitivity' adjustment. Brake Buddy has a knob that you turn and Blue Ox is digital .. the higher the number you select the greater / quicker the braking force. My Cherokee weighs about 4800 pounds and I used to set the Brake Buddy to "8" and now I set the Blue Ox to "8". If I set it much lower than that then, yes, I have to really hit the brakes to activate the system. On my Blue Ox I can set it high enough that the engine brake, set on "high" on a steep grade will activate the supplemental braking system!
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #94
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Hi mine is. Never locked cant key has to be on 06 crv honda with brake buddy see ya.
On our '05 Ody I just use my key to lock the drivers door. I do have to make sure all the other doors are locked before I leave the key in the ignition and turned on.
Now that we tow only on a dolly I just lock it up.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #95
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One of the "problems" with the brakes vs no brakes stands is that IF ANY STATE YOU'RE GOING THROUGH REQUIRES THEM THEN YOU MUST HAVE THEM!
Unlike drivers licenses and insurance you must comply with EVERY states laws that you go through. There is no reciprocity on equipment laws like there is on drivers licenses and insurance.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:29 AM   #96
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Most states actually don't require brakes on a toad even if they require them on trailers. If your coach combined gross vehicle weight is within range with the weight of the toad, you will be OK in most states, that said however, the real issue comes if you have an accident and the lawyers become involved with accident fault and liability. Personally, I think toad brakes are cheap insurance. Just my thoughts, YMMV.

Dennis

I see this myth all the time. IN some states there are specific requirements for brakes on a car in tow. In other states there are not, thus many of the "State law chart" web sites say "No requirement" in those states.... But look deeper.

In Michigan there is no specific law requiring a CAR in tow have aux brakes.

There is, however, a defination of a trailer.. and that defination is such that a car in tow *IS* a Trailer, and thus the law is the same as for a trailer, since it is a trailer.

A trailer is any vehicle WITH or without motive power, towed so the weight of the vehicle does NOT rest on the vehicle towing.

4-down fits perfectly

Car on a tow truck... Most (or all if it's a flat bed) is on the truck.
(Special language for car on TT hook as well)

The question boils down to math

The math to computer skid distance with ALL WHEELS LOCKED by brakes is the same for all vehicles on any given stretch of road, boils down to speed squared times a constant, As I recall it' somehting like Square of speed in MPH times .0055 but do not quote me on that constant (This is for the reference road, actuall road that constant may be different). Don't matter if it is a mini-cooper or a steel hauler, that's he all wheels brakign formula.

Now if you have a free wheelilng trailer. the math gets much harder

And the stoppign distance, as much as 30 percent LONGER.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:20 PM   #97
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Brakes and a breakaway system makes me feel safer and legal in all states. End of story. A border guard might not have a federal law to support their checking for it, but it goes to the driver's compliance with other laws. They might decide to do a more careful check for other ignored regulations, like an firearm hidden in the closet, fresh fruit, medications without proper proof of prescription, etc. You really want to have your RV 'strip searched' to find out? Also, the BG can call a state trooper and report the fact that the brakeless towed was just observed coming across the border and you'll be caught.
I also love the blustering brag that, "I've towed ----miles and never had a problem." I've driven for 46 years and never had to be restrained by my seatbelt, but I still buckle up every time I get in a vehicle. Just good safety sense.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #98
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Regardless of whether it's legal or not Aux braking can't hurt. At 60 mph you're traveling almost 90 feet per second. The older we get the slower to react we get. A couple of seconds can mean plowing into something.
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