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Old 05-22-2013, 10:54 PM   #29
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Are you 100% positive on this? I'm pretty sure I can drive my non-Calf emission compliant vehicle in Calf without getting a ticket. But I'm not sure either because back when radar detectors were popular lots of states allowed them but if you crossed into other states that banned them you could be ticketed. So its weird how people are supposed to know the laws in every state.
I'm pretty sure the law in CA is that it must have CA compliant emissions to be sold there, not driven there. Or maybe it's sold or registered. Something like that. Registered out of state doesn't require it.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:20 PM   #30
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Ricko, I agree!

It's sad that some seem to have the attitude, "If it's not the law, I'll ignore safety and put everyone at risk." I'm surprised we haven't had someone chip in with, "I've driven XX,000 miles with no brakes and never had a problem." Nobody does, until they NEED to make a panic stop or have the tow bar break away.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:07 AM   #31
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There is a guy in Tucson that sells braking systems on Craigslist for very reasonable prices. Maybe something that could help you with the cost.

I just changed toads from a VW Bug to a Jeep Cherokee. I ended up using a ReadyBrake because it is so easy to set up. There are plenty of posts about braking systems, enough to make your head spin.

During the ReadyBrake adjustment period with the Jeep I could really feel the difference in stopping power when the braking system wasn't quite right. 2-3000 pounds of vehicle pushing from the rear when you're trying to stop is very noticeable and really effects your stopping distance.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:56 AM   #32
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Brakes on the towed vehicle makes you stop in a shorter distance, regardless of the state you're traveling through. You don't need to buy a new unit, Look on Ebay, they have a number of 'Brake Buddy' type removable units for much less than new:
Brakebuddy Classic RV Towing Braking System Brake Buddy Original | eBay

Brake Buddy Classic RV Tow Brake System | eBay

Also check Craig's List.
Thanks, I'm now high bidder on the one offering the complete system. It won't arrive for this trip but for the trip in July, we're set.
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Thanks everyone. I went from totally clueless to comfortably informed in a single day.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:04 PM   #33
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Great to hear that you'll be getting supplemental braking for you toad, Raining Star!

One other factor that hasn't been mentioned is the insurance liability factor --or lack thereof-- should one choose to ignore the towing laws of any given state. From what I've been told, your liability insurance may not cover you if your trailer (or toad in this instance) is proven to have contributed to an accident you might have where somebody is injured or killed because you chose to ignore or may have been ignorant of the laws pertaining to towing. (off topic: ...or licensing for that matter as I've heard the same thing for those who choose to ignore obtaining a proper drivers' license in those states that require their residents to have at least a non-commercial Class B to operate a vehicle over 26,000 lbs. GVWR. We know several new Nevada residents that refuse to obtain their Class B license because the dealership in which they bought their diesel pushers told them it wasn't necessary. Several are former California residents. Even when I sent them the link to the Nevada DMV website that plainly explains the law, they choose to ignore it. They probably will never get cited for being improperly licensed but what happens if they have an at-fault accident where somebody is injured? ...their insurance company may not cover the liability when it is found out they were not properly licensed in their state of residence.)

Having that insurance issue hanging over my head, whether it be true or not, is enough to make me research ahead of time the towing laws of each state before I go through that state. However, I never hesitated on putting supplemental braking on any toad we've had regardless of weight and never will in the future.

-harry
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:20 PM   #34
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Many think that a state that doesn't specifically define supplemental or break-away requirements for a towed car assume that means they don't need either. Others cite the wrecker waiver that allows a wrecker to tow a disabled care without supplemental brakes or break-away brakes. These are likely wrong.

Almost all states require a break-away braking system for anything being towed that weighs more than 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, depending on the state. The only way you can have a break-away braking system for a TOAD is to have a supplemental braking system, so logic says you need a supplemental braking system.

As for the cost. Surely, you can find a cheaper system than $1,200.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:07 AM   #35
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Imagineif and Amanda I totally agree that the insurance companies would be more than happy to bow out of any coverage if they can, so certainly following the law is important for if no other reason than that. And thanks to lawyers we all need to protect ourselves from the many sue happy, want a free ride individuals out there.
What's frustrating is how can it be deemed safe in state A to drive without a CDL yet in state B its required? The overlapping of state laws and trying to follow everyone of them can be difficult.
I suggest knowing what's required in your state that your RV is plated in and follow that. I don't believe a state your traveling thru can enforce a law that isn't required in your home state.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:11 AM   #36
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I suggest knowing what's required in your state that your RV is plated in and follow that. I don't believe a state your traveling thru can enforce a law that isn't required in your home state.
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I don't know that I'd agree with that. Just because a vehicle is street legal in one state, in no way means you can drive it in another with different standards.
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Since all my years of being a union rep I dealt exclusively with drivers who all had a CDL, I can't site a case from my own knowledge where one state determined that your license at home to drive a specific rig doesn't allow you to drive that type of rig in their state, but I can't see why the couldn't. It is their jurisdiction and they can establish what ever statutes best suit their needs/whims.
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I think thar instead of the all the long and confusing lists of state by state requirements we now have, it would be best if someone created a list with the most restrictive requirement anywhere in North America. Then we could set our personal standard to that level and know we could cross borders without a care for local ordinances and exceptions. Also we would be traveling in arguably the safest possible configuration.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:19 AM   #37
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I plug in my lights and am ready to go. The only "extra work" is connecting the brake away cable and I wouldn't tow with out a brake away device.
X2 At minimum, a "Breakaway kit" is what you should have and they aren't that expensive. All mechanical.

Might be enough to save you the ticket if stopped as well!
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:27 AM   #38
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Some say best reason for aux braking system is safety. Once you are involved in an accident your unit will be under scrutiny. You will be under the same scrutiny, were you driving safely? Were you prudent in the operation of your vehicle? Did you have a braking sys? If you would of had one could the accident been avoided. I've towed with and without for years. With so many good options for aux braking systems I now use Brake Brute system and I am no longer concerned about any state law. Reason I didn't use aux brake system was pure lazy. pain in the butt hooking up brake buddy, move seats. Now it is there when I attach the tow bar. Be safe, not sorry ! ed
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:38 AM   #39
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What's frustrating is how can it be deemed safe in state A to drive without a CDL yet in state B its required? The overlapping of state laws and trying to follow everyone of them can be difficult.
I don't think it's 'deemed safe' in different states, the states just haven't gotten around to dealing with it yet. Think of all the unfinished business in legislatures all around the country and it's not surprising they haven't gotten around to these issues. After all, what special interest group lis lobbying for driver's licenses? Money sadly is what it takes to make legislators take notice.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:41 AM   #40
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What's frustrating is how can it be deemed safe in state A to drive without a CDL yet in state B its required? The overlapping of state laws and trying to follow everyone of them can be difficult.
No state requires a CDL for non-commercial RV driving/towing. Some states require an upgraded license (class A or B). It's not the same thing. Drivers licenses are reciprocal between states (and Canadian provinces, I believe). Required vehicle equipment (aux braking, etc) is not. Your license is good anywhere - your rig might not be.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #41
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Some say best reason for aux braking system is safety. Once you are involved in an accident your unit will be under scrutiny. You will be under the same scrutiny, were you driving safely? Were you prudent in the operation of your vehicle? Did you have a braking sys? If you would of had one could the accident been avoided. I've towed with and without for years. With so many good options for aux braking systems I now use Brake Brute system and I am no longer concerned about any state law. Reason I didn't use aux brake system was pure lazy. pain in the butt hooking up brake buddy, move seats. Now it is there when I attach the tow bar. Be safe, not sorry ! ed
I'm not finding a Brake Brute through google. I assume you mean Ready Brute. That's a very simple system, but drilling through the firewall of my son in law's beloved Samurai isn't an option in my case. Also I know the price includes a very nice tow bar but isn't helping on price in my specific case.
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I can however see the advantage of the system, its simple and reliable with no electrical and compressed air systems that might fail. I do wonder about the ease of installation of that cable through the often restricted area of most modern engine compartments.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #42
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I have been very LUCKY over the last 40 plus years of pulling a pop up, TT, Class A pulling cargo trailer or a toad.

I have never been stopped by any police for anything, that alone to have one want to check if I have brakes on a cargo trailer or a toad being towed.

Do other RVers get stopped and checked for brakes on there tow a lot?
I never have even seen a RVer stopped along the road with a Police car behind it.

You probably have a better chance of winning a lottery then being stopped for a brake check.
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