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Old 07-21-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Towing Laws

Having read many threads on this issue and not wanting to start a further useless debate on aux. braking vs no aux. braking, can anyone point me to specific wording in any state laws which mandate a brake system in the toad ? I have reviewed many states regulations and most all refer to a "towed trailer" with specific wgt. limits above which braking is required. I have never found any wording specifically on a towed vehicle.

Just curious
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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I have often wondered just what circuitiry is installed in a motorhome that can detect between 4000# on rocks on a utility trailer or a 4000# dinghy in tow?

You have to meet the requirements of all of the states that you operate the motorhome in, not just your home state.

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Old 07-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #3
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Your point is well taken, I hadn't thought of that. But I am curious if you could receive a ticket vs. the state law if you didn't have a brake assuming you were over the wgt. limit for that particular state. I use a BrakeBuddy even though my toad only weighs 2300# and would be under the limit in almost all states but I'm wondering if I would be illegal if I didn't use it in a state with a lower limit such as Ca. which I think has 1500# limit.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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I think the problem starts with the manufacturer. The way I remember it my coach has a towing limit of 1200 pounds without supplemental braking. If I were to get in an accident while towing my Toad without a supplemental braking system I would expect to be sued for negligence, maybe even gross negligence.
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:57 PM   #5
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I copied a posting of the towing laws for all states. However, I can't remember where I stored it should someone else need it. Sorry. did copy off irv2 site. i'm sure someone will be kind enough to post again.

Try looking at: http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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try this: http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:13 PM   #7
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I think there are enough states with a 1,500 or 2,000 lb. limit that I am not going to try to keep track of which is what. If I want to cross any state line, I just go and don't worry about it, because I have the braking in the tagalong.

I am landlocked; both Idaho and California have the 1,500 limit. I'm not taking a chance on nailing someone with no aux. brakes, thereby opening my wallet and that of my insurer. I think getting a ticket would be the least of my problems - except, if you did get one, that would be the nail in the coffin as to who was responsible.

Also, I know of no toad that would qualify in the "under 2,000 lb." category.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:17 PM   #8
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Laws by State

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

Not the specific actual laws, just the recap.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:12 PM   #9
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I would suggest (to the original poster) that you check the definitions section of the law for the definition of Trailer.

However, that said, I've not done so. (I think I will if I can find a copy and it should be in c:documents, well you know the reast)

Here is a quote from Section 257 of the Michigan State laws. Same being the Michigan Vehicle code (I just took my own advice)

257.73 “Trailer” defined.
Sec. 73.
“Trailer” means every vehicle with or without motive power, other than a pole-trailer, designed for carrying property or persons and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that no part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle.




End quote


With or without motive power.. Thus. a towed car, which is a vehicle designed for carrying property or persons, and which is being drawn by a motor vehicle, and which does not rest upon said towing vehicle, is a trailer under Michigan law.


As to weather it needs brakes or not, under the law, I leave that up to you to research

But to the O/P. there is your specific wording.. NOTE: every state vehicle code has a "Definition" section and that's where I found it, Chapter 1, words and phrases defined.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:45 PM   #10
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I'm not taking a chance on nailing someone with no aux. brakes, thereby opening my wallet and that of my insurer.

As a willfull violator of the law, one can probably forget about opening the wallet of the insurer.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:05 PM   #11
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As I feared, this has turned into a dissertation on whether or not you should use an aux. brake. That was not my intent - I wanted to know if you could receive a summons for not having one. I will back out of this passionate subject that seems to raise so many hackles as in most other threads I've read on the subject. Apparently I'm legal in Michigan without a brake since I'm under 3000#, not that I choose to tow without one.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:14 PM   #12
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Let's get back to the OP's original topic.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:49 PM   #13
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In reference to the OP's original question.
Alaska addresses towing vehicles. See 13AAC04.205(d)(1)(2)(3)
Alaska Braking Laws
While additional braking only comes into play if the towed vehicle weighs over 5,000 pounds, I personally have and use supplemental braking when towing our "less than 5,000 pound" Saturn VUE.


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Old 07-21-2009, 09:36 PM   #14
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just curious-- what type of toad weighs less than 1500lbs?
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