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Old 08-19-2019, 08:12 PM   #85
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Auxiliary Brakes for Towed Vehicles--Don't Leave Home Without One

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Originally Posted by jtdiscovery View Post
How important is it to have an auxillary braking system on my towed vehicle? I am pulling a 2017 ford explorer behind a 40Ft. discovery diesel pusher.
An auxiliary brake system on a towed vehicle is not important—it’s absolutely VITAL. It is also almost universally illegal to tow a vehicle without an aux. brake. Most states require that any towed vehicles (car, trailer, or other) over 3,000 pounds must have a brake system of its own capable of stopping the vehicle if it were to become detached from the tow vehicle. A concise discussion of this can be found at https://m-gengineering.com/resources/state-brake-laws/

Auxiliary brake systems come in various configurations such as “brake-in-a-box” systems that sit on the driver’s side floor of the car and press the brake pedal to slow or stop the vehicle. Some of these systems have an accelerometer to sense the change in speed of the RV as it slows or stops and applies the brakes in the towed vehicle. Other such systems may be activated by the stop lights of the RV. The price of these systems is about $1,000.

In the case of diesel motor coaches with air brakes, the auxiliary brake system can be connected to the RV air brake system so that the towed’s brake pedal is operated by a pneumatic cylinder attached permanently to the pedal. These systems, produced by SMI (Demco), Roadmaster and others, deliver true proportional braking of the towed. If the RV brake is applied gently the towed pedal receives a similar light force. On the other hand, in an emergency stop, the towed brake is applied forcefully to stop the car and enhance the RV’s braking effect. The prices for these systems run somewhat higher, about $1,500 before installation. Expect an installed system to cost upwards of $2,000.

Every towed vehicle must also have a breakaway switch that will apply the towed vehicle’s brakes and bring it to a stop quickly in the event of vehicle separation. Imagine the havoc that a driverless car could wreak if it came loose at highway speed.

In addition to the various state laws, insurance companies can refuse to pay claims on the basis of gross negligence on the part of the RV driver. All said, it only makes sense to have and auxiliary brake and breakaway system in any towed vehicle. Anyone who can afford to buy an RV capable of towing a car should be able to pay for this important, no, VITAL safety device.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:18 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Glensouth View Post
It’s the law in most states. If you don’t have one and you have a wreck, your insurance may not pay.
Quit spreading horse manure lies. Your insurance has to pay if you are at fault regardless of how stupid you may have been operating your vehicle. That's the purpose of insurance.
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:21 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Pipebndr View Post
Trailer Brakes Required - Federal DOT law
This comes up from time to time, most recently in a thread about a homemade chain binder. Rather that continuing to hijack that thread I thought it more appropriate to post here and perhaps dispel some of the myths about the requirements for brakes on trailers:

USDOT FMCSA
Rules and Regulations current to Aug 30, 2012
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regul...spx?reg=393.42

Subpart C - Brakes

§ 393.42 Brakes required on all wheels.

(a) Every commercial motor vehicle shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels. This requirement also applies to certain motor vehicles being towed in a driveaway-towaway operation, as follows:

(1) Any motor vehicle towed by means of a tow-bar when another motor vehicle is full-mounted on the towed vehicle; and

(2) Any saddlemount configuration with a fullmount.
(b) Exception. (1) Trucks or truck tractors having three or more axles and manufactured before July 25, 1980, are not required to have brakes on the front wheels. However, these vehicles must meet the requirements of § 393.52.

(3) Any semitrailer or pole trailer (laden or unladen) with a gross weight of 1,361 kg (3,000 pounds) or less which is subject to this part is not required to be equipped with brakes if the axle weight of the towed vehicle does not exceed 40 percent of the sum of the axle weights of the towing vehicle. (emphasis added)

(4) Any full trailer or four-wheel pole trailer (laden or unladen) with a gross weight of 1,361 kg (3,000 pounds) or less which is subject to this part is not required to be equipped with brakes if the sum of the axle weights of the towed vehicle does not exceed 40 percent of the sum of the axle weights of the towing vehicle. (emphasis added)

Last I checked RVs were NOT commercial vehicles.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:47 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfryman View Post
Last I checked RVs were NOT commercial vehicles.
Maybe read line 1?
All trailers manufactured after a certain year, (many years ago I don't remember exactly what year? that gross weight is weigh 3000 or 3500 lbs are required by federal law to have brakes on at least one axle. Why would someone think that a vehicle being towed would be exempted from this requirement when it clearly weighs in excess of 3000 lbs? There are posts on this thread with exact wording of FEDERAL LAW, why do you refuse to accept that FEDERAL law applies in EVERY STATE of the USA?
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Old 08-20-2019, 06:40 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by mattchew View Post
Maybe read line 1?
All trailers manufactured after a certain year, (many years ago I don't remember exactly what year? that gross weight is weigh 3000 or 3500 lbs are required by federal law to have brakes on at least one axle. Why would someone think that a vehicle being towed would be exempted from this requirement when it clearly weighs in excess of 3000 lbs? There are posts on this thread with exact wording of FEDERAL LAW, why do you refuse to accept that FEDERAL law applies in EVERY STATE of the USA?
Why is exception #2 missing from your "excerpt"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 49 CFR § 393.42
(2)Motor vehicles being towed in a driveaway-towaway operation (including the last truck of triple saddle-mount combinations (see § 393.71(a)(3)) are not required to have operative brakes provided the combination of vehicles meets the requirements of § 393.52.

And what is "§ 393.52"? BRAKE PERFORMANCE as previously discussed.

So yeah, "FEDERAL law applies in EVERY STATE of the USA" (Except marijuana laws), but you have to read all the words; not just a select few.

EDIT: Sorry, I see that was not your semi-redacted federal law post, but Pipebndr's.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:02 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Sbrownstein View Post
Look, people who don't want to use brakes with a 4500 pound TOAD or trailer will continue to do so and there is nothing that anyone seems to be able to say to convince them otherwise. Fine. When I add 4500 pounds going 65 MPH to my rig I probably could stop under most circumstances without additional brakes. However, when there is a significant angle between the coach and the TOAD and a quick stop is called for, I don't want all of the inertia from that 4500 TOAD pushing the rear end of my rig in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction that I am steering. This isn't about pure stopping ability it is steering control as well.
If your toad is perpendicular to your RV on a curve going at speed you got way more problems besides having or not having toad brakes.
I doubt any toad is off center of an RV by ever more than 10-20 degrees or so on a curve at speed. At least attempt to portray a realistic situation when complaining about other people's towing equipment.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:07 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by AKIQPilot View Post
You continue to justify why you don't have an auxiliary braking system on your toad. This is not good advice for the average RV'r and I'm pretty sure we all heard you the other 15 times you've posted this.
Only questioning other people's lawyerly skills or lack thereof. And the fallacies of not only that total toad disconnect fatalities are at zero but that somehow toads with brakes on a total disconnect are a benign event.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:36 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by awol50 View Post
If your toad is perpendicular to your RV on a curve going at speed you got way more problems besides having or not having toad brakes.
I doubt any toad is off center of an RV by ever more than 10-20 degrees or so on a curve at speed. At least attempt to portray a realistic situation when complaining about other people's towing equipment.
Hey, you are welcome to your own towing equipment, I am sure that nothing I (or anyone else) points out will have an effect on your decisions. HOWEVER, a 4500 TOAD at an angle of 20 degrees will result in 1,500 pounds of side force, pushing on a lever arm at least 13 to 15 feet behind the rear wheels. (at least if my physics is still any good.)

Not as insignificant you you want me to believe.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:33 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Sbrownstein View Post
Hey, you are welcome to your own towing equipment, I am sure that nothing I (or anyone else) points out will have an effect on your decisions. HOWEVER, a 4500 TOAD at an angle of 20 degrees will result in 1,500 pounds of side force, pushing on a lever arm at least 13 to 15 feet behind the rear wheels. (at least if my physics is still any good.)

Not as insignificant you you want me to believe.
I won't question your math as I am no expert on engineering and vector forces.
My toad is 60 % of your 4500 toad. The side force you talk of would depend on rate of deceleration which you fail to mention.
1g of is equal to acceleration or deceleration from 60mph to 0mph in 2.75 seconds. I doubt an RV can stop at 60mpg in 2.75 seconds. Let's double that time which would half the g force to .5g, assuming it is a linear function. At 90 degrees toad to rv (perpendicular), a 4000# toad would push 2000#s of side force. At toad parallel to rv, the side force is 0#. At 9 degrees, side force would be 200#, right. Now how do you account for side force changes as the overhang behind rear axle increases? Beats me. Above my pay grade
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:14 PM   #94
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Reading through the state/provincial law [summaries] leads to a little more confusion. One of the abbreviated items commonly used in the state-by-state listings goes something like: “...when the towed vehicle has a gross weight of 5,000 pounds....” Often, if the actual vehicle code is researched, one will find that the full statute will state something like: “...when the towed vehicle has a GVWR of 5,000 pounds or more....” There is a huge difference in fact, and in law, between Gross Vehicle Weight, and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

So, if a towed vehicle brake law is based on actual weight, bonnarue! But be careful, because if the statute says based on the Gross Vehicle Weight RATING, this mean that, although my toad only weighs 3,900 lbs today, but it has an actual GVW’R’, of 6,100 lbs, Bada-boom... the example statute trumps the Reader’s Digest version, and brakes are required. Just adding the word Rating changes the entire context of the statue.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:50 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Jaxon View Post
Everybody has an opinion on the use of an auxiliary braking system for a toad (I would NOT be without one, personally). Most states have laws requiring them for vehicles over a certain weight, so there's that.

But thinking this through, lets say that an average MoHo with a toad weighs in (conservatively), at 55,000lbs. What are the physical forces affecting that configuration?

Well now, here's that topic covered in mind numbing detail: https://library.ctr.utexas.edu/digit...ive/ms0867.pdf

And another, less mind numbing: Car Crash Example

And finally, the easy-reading section: https://rvlove.com/2018/04/12/our-to...g-up-jeep-tow/

The point being, the weight of a towed vehicle is added to that of the MoHo traveling at a certain speed. Why on earth would one not want additional help/equipment in slowing down/stopping in a crisis situation?

And that's not to mention accidental toad separation from the MoHo with no break away braking system... imaging your toad careening down the highway behind you at initially the same speed of the MoHo, out of control...

Anyway, food for thought.
.
.
I feel a need to re-post some simple facts on physics regarding speed and mass. Chose your own comfort level keeping in mind there are others who share the road with you...

We are all responsible for safety on the road. This should not be an argument.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:23 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by jtdiscovery View Post
How important is it to have an auxillary braking system on my towed vehicle? I am pulling a 2017 ford explorer behind a 40Ft. discovery diesel pusher.
I get amazed how uncommon common sense can be. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:07 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Ret.LEO View Post
I get amazed how uncommon common sense can be. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Actually following to closely, driving to fast for conditions and pulling your ultra heavy toads cause way more accidents than anything.
Brakes on a toad give a false sense of security. And human nature being what it is leads to more risky behavior.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:47 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by awol50 View Post
Actually following to closely, driving to fast for conditions and pulling your ultra heavy toads cause way more accidents than anything.
Brakes on a toad give a false sense of security. And human nature being what it is leads to more risky behavior.
I was with you at the beginning, but implying that TOAD brakes encourage risky behavior is a really, really big stretch. Do you happen to have any data to back that assertion up?
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