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Old 12-05-2019, 12:48 PM   #29
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My owner's manual specifically states:
Any vehicles to be towed by the motorhome should have adequate active braking.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale & Mark Bruss View Post
A car in tow is a trailer.

The only exception I have seen in investigating state codes is that a disabled car being towed by a tow truck does not need an auxiliary brake system.

You RV does not qualify as a tow truck is some many ways.

The ultimate requirement is the the break-away braking.

Some states start as low as 1500 lbs.
Some states specifically state that a motorized vehicle being towed by another motorized vehicle is not a trailer and change the braking requirements WA and OR are two that I know of. CA used to be but may have changed. Stop from XX mph in XX feet and you're good. But then there must be a breakaway system that can hold the towed in place for 15 min on any normal highway grade.
Don't go by the charts that are out there , they haven't actually read the rules and blindly quote trailer towing laws.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:24 PM   #31
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It's the LAW in all 50 states

P H Y S I C S

No matter what the various states require for toad braking, the laws of Physics suggest that your combined vehicle (coach + toad) energy is greater than your coach whenever you're in motion.

A properly designed, installed and functioning auxiliary braking system that applies your toad's braking system during a panic stop WILL decrease your stopping distance.

Rather than fret over what's legal/not legal in the states you travel through, perhaps it's just a good idea to invest in a valuable piece of safety equipment.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:38 PM   #32
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I used to pull a 3800 lb Jeep behind our rigs. Never a problem then but after thinking about it over the years, would not choose to do it without a braking system now.

Having said that, I would not be concerned at all that my motorhome couldn't or wouldn't stop fine with a 1650 lb toad behind it. My concern is what would happen if the toad got away? I'd sure think about adding something like this.

https://www.readybrake.com/store/p5/..._Away_Kit.html

That was the first website I came to. I'm sure there are other brands out there that people on here are familiar with.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:45 PM   #33
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Notice how everyone is on the same page here?? I'm thinking you will have to make up your own mind about whether you need brakes or not, and what kind.

At the risk of severe criticism, I've towed a Samurai and later up to now, a Tracker without any brakes at all for the last 20+ years. We normally do an OR to WV to SC to AL and back to OR every year, including side trips to see things we're interested in.

Our toads are legal in OR without brakes, as near as I can determine. I'm thinking of getting a breakaway system to protect others just in case something like that should happen, but I haven't had any problems at all so far. I do use a solid tow bar for the Tracker which we also use for long trips, but have a Metro we use sometimes with a folding bar (Stowmaster). I think the solid bar is much stronger, but a bit of a pain to store.

I always go over the attaching points at home to make certain they are secure before a trip, and check them every time we stop. In addition, I watch the toad closely through the back up camera while on the road. I cannot understand how anyone could loose a toad and not realize it if they are paying attention at all.

I always try to allow enough distance between myself and the vehicle in front to be able to stop safely and take it easy going down hills. We've been making these trips since the late '70s, sometimes towing trailers with and without brakes depending on size, until we started towing the Sami 20 some years ago. No accidents/incidents so far, and hope to keep it that way.

Best of luck with whatever you do.

Steve
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:56 PM   #34
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All this handwringing over toad brakes or not. And yet not a single documented death or even an injury due to not having toad brakes.
Obey the law, whatever that means given the broad variation of what that law even is. Cops don't even know it.
I have no brakes on my 2800# toad and won't ever. My dp and me don't even know it's back there. But I drive responsibly, don't tailgate and don't have a 300# wife and four fat kids to haul around ( only kidding about the last part).
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:06 PM   #35
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Your attorney, trying to put up your best defense, will have to ask "What is legal, and what is reasonable and prudent?" I believe toad brakes are reasonable and prudent.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:12 PM   #36
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I would not chance not being able to stop in time in an emergency braking situation. I had a slow car merge on the freeway in front of me several years ago and could not change lanes due to heavy traffic. I had to slam the brakes really hard and my portable supplemental brake locked the toad brakes. Avoided a collision but Brake system did not unlock the car brakes when the RV brakes released. The next thing I knew I saw smoke in both side mirrors as my front brakes on my Honda were locked and ended up flat spotting the two front tires and had to replace them.

That happened on my previous rig which was a 32 gasser on a P Chassis that I practically had to stand up on the brake pedal to stop quickly. I now own a DP with the SMI Airforce One Supplemental Brake system. Now when I brake it feels like both coach and toad are acting in harmony when the brakes are applied. No more clunking of the Supplemental Brake releasing seconds after letting off the brakes on the Coach.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:44 PM   #37
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readystop

Thanks for the link Mudfrog. I like this idea. At least if the need ever arises my ''roller skate'' will be able to come to a stop.


Ken...........
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:28 PM   #38
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Your attorney, trying to put up your best defense, will have to ask "What is legal, and what is reasonable and prudent?" I believe toad brakes are reasonable and prudent.
Are you talking about that mythical accident that hasn't happened? Or the mythical attorney that I don't have, talking to me about that mythical accident?
But as you say, you are entitled to believe anything you want. Just like everyone else.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:13 PM   #39
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For me the answer was simple. I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. This is so simple, no laws to check, no math to do, and no worries after its done.
You are legal and safe. Personally, I don't worry much about the laws, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the physics of weight, inertia and stopping distance. I do know that if I caused injury to a family because I was negligent, cheap or just lazy, I couldn't live with myself.
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:30 AM   #40
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1650 lbs???? skip the aux brake thing... 3000 lbs is the limit in most states then you need aux brakes. What are you driving? a roller skate????
Ha, that was for the convertible which is apparently a little heavier, the hatchback is listed at 1620. The Samurai is about 2100 and has 4wd, while the Tracker is at 2300 also with 4wd, but with a few more "creature comforts". I've towed all three and all are great little toads.

We ran our Metro from OR to WV one year at 70-80 mph (hills at 60 :-)) averaging 40 mpg with AC on most of the time. Not bad for a "roller skate", and all this with '90s technology.

Steve
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Old 12-06-2019, 12:13 PM   #41
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Regardless of what the law may be in a panic stop would you rather have 1600lbs pushing you or helping to stop you.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:17 PM   #42
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Regardless of what the law may be in a panic stop would you rather have 1600lbs pushing you or helping to stop you.
That certainly is true. However there are many ways to just plain travel lighter and accomplish the same goal of lighter total weight.
Fresh and drain water can easily be 100 gallons. That is 750# or so right there. Lighten up on what you carry in your storage bays and inside the RV.
Do you really need those 4-6000# toads? Even if the brakes work exactly as they should (which I doubt, as there is no real way to test that when the brake is applied, it puts no forward thrust to the RV via the towbar under every circumstance). And regardless of brakes, heavier toads "wag the dog" more easily. Which is never good.
I don't tailgate, pay attention at intersections and freeway on ramps and hold my top end speed to 62mph at the most.
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