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Old 07-01-2021, 08:51 AM   #1
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Engine brake, do I need supplemental brake too?

We have a 40’ 1998 Newmar Mountainaire DP. It came with a blue ox tow system with a Honda. We want to tow our 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara JL. Will our engine brake be enough for towing? Or do we need a supplemental system?

It seems the previous owner just used the engine brake with the Honda.
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Old 07-01-2021, 08:56 AM   #2
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State law in many states requires a towed load to have it's own brakes and a break away system. Some states are as low as 1500# for the towed load. You have to comply with the state laws for each state you operate the rig.

It sounds as though the previous owner did not know the proper set up for towing his dinghy.

Ken
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:01 AM   #3
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Most states require brakes on all towed vehicles over about 2500 lbs. I recommend the NSA ready brake system. It's cable operated, fully proportional, and requires no external power.

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Old 07-01-2021, 09:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAnR View Post
We have a 40’ 1998 Newmar Mountainaire DP. It came with a blue ox tow system with a Honda. We want to tow our 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara JL. Will our engine brake be enough for towing? Or do we need a supplemental system?

It seems the previous owner just used the engine brake with the Honda.
The old owner was either cheap, lazy or ill informed, not wanting a brake for the toad.

But, he is not alone, I'll bet a large % of folks towing don't use brakes on the toad.
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:11 AM   #5
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Keep in mind you're adding mass to the setup which will increase the distance need to bring the rig to a stop. Adding a braking system to the toad you could eliminate that increase. That would be a good thing, right?

Also, there are also a few places that may also require some type of break away stopping feature if the toad decides to go it alone when on the road.
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:12 AM   #6
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As stated, not just for safety sake, but so that you are LEGAL, you need supplemental brakes for your toad.


Your coach brakes were designed to stop the coach, not coach PLUS.
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAnR View Post
We have a 40’ 1998 Newmar Mountainaire DP. It came with a blue ox tow system with a Honda. We want to tow our 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara JL. Will our engine brake be enough for towing? Or do we need a supplemental system?

It seems the previous owner just used the engine brake with the Honda.
I also pull a Wrangler (JKU) and I do not use a braking system.
Years ago, no one had braking systems on their toads. Now it's the norm.
If you understand your setup and how it stops then you will probably be just fine. Some states require them but chances are that you would never be questioned about it.
That being said... I would actually recommend investing in a toad braking system. There have been a few times going down hill around a corner at speed in the rain that I thought, "hmmm, maybe I should look into that".
It gives peace of mind and honestly, it is a safer setup. Dang, I think I just talked myself into a toad braking system.
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:36 AM   #8
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Everything will be fine right up until something goes wrong. As soon as you need to do some serious evasive/defensive driving and really need those brakes on the toad and don't have them, your gonna be hating life.

I have seen folks towing GIANT 5th wheel trailers with 1/2 ton pickups, they will tell you what a great job they do also right up until they drop the inside tires off the asphalt one day and the trailer starts wagging the dog.
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:36 AM   #9
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Thanks all!
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Old 07-01-2021, 09:57 AM   #10
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Yes you need and a brake away system most important . It's not so much about the few extra feet to stop but who knows when you might need that as well.There was one or more in classified at great price, you need to PC not in phone app . Also check out Ready Brake ...and NSA Ready Brute tow brake system.
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:09 PM   #11
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A few years ago we were on I-75 SB through KY. Saw activity off the side of the NB lane. As we got closer, saw a car against a tree. A couple hundred yards later, the MH less toad was setting along the SB lane. Toad had come loose, left the SB lanes, crossed the median and both NB lanes. Fortunately it apparently missed hitting anyone head-on. Could have killed an entire family.
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:29 PM   #12
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A few years ago we were on I-75 SB through KY. Saw activity off the side of the NB lane. As we got closer, saw a car against a tree. A couple hundred yards later, the MH less toad was setting along the SB lane. Toad had come loose, left the SB lanes, crossed the median and both NB lanes. Fortunately it apparently missed hitting anyone head-on. Could have killed an entire family.

I have read about situations like this many times now over the years. I will add that insurance will generally cover accidents like these however if there is a law in the state where this type of accident occurred, and if your toad breaks away and kills someone in part due to you not having a legally required break-away brake system or any towing brakes at all for the toad, then you open yourself up to a criminal charge possibility of negligent homicide (which your insurance likely will not cover you for), and even without a criminal charge certainly a civil lawsuit against you is likely. Not too mention how you may (should) feel if you ended up killing someone where it wouldn't have happened otherwise had you had a brake system.

My advice, have a brake system for your toad, even if it is not a heavy toad, most toad's aren't all that heavy anyway but even if it is lightweight, hitting a toad head on that broke away from the motor home is not going to end well.

~CA
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:58 PM   #13
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Read this thread about a real life situation where the OP feels the toad brake saved a crash.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f85/new-...em-543868.html
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:27 PM   #14
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I'm with Lt Dan.

Most of the time "NO". But once every few years there is shear panic when you are wondering if you will stop in time. I have had my toad brake fail and know my braking distance greatly increases.
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