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Old 10-10-2021, 09:37 PM   #1
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Trailer weight vs allowed without supplemental brake

Somebody asked me about a question I don't have an answer, thought you guys might know...

On rvibrake website, a chart shows each state the allowable trailer without a supplemental brake. One particular, MA allows up to 10,000 lbs.

https://rvibrake.com/pages/flat-towing-law

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:40 PM   #2
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I think most states put the limit at 3,000 pounds, and a few as low as 1,500 pounds, with 1 state putting it at 10,000 pounds
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:52 PM   #3
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Just because something is legal does not make it smart or safe. The other thing to think about is that you are subject to the laws of the state you are in regarding trailer weights and brakes if I'm not mistaken. Unless you live in, and will only travel in Massachusetts, it is really a moot point. Like many other things in life it won't be a problem until there is a problem. I wouldn't want to explain to a judge in a state that requires brakes on a 1.500 lb. trailer why I didn't have brakes on a 10,000 lb. trailer. I don't think it would go well and may well be regarded as gross or criminal negligence.
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:56 PM   #4
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Massachusetts
Every trailer having an unladed weight of more than 10,000 lbs shall be equipped with air or electric brakes.

**That would be the DRY weight UVW ---as it left factory


Michigan (even stranger)
Independent braking system required when gross weight exceeds 15,000 lbs
So trailer GVWR of 14,999# doesn't require supplemental brakes


Course Towing Laws unlike registration/DL's are not reciprocal ----meaning one must adhere to the Towing Laws of each sate one travels thru when towing
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I think most states put the limit at 3,000 pounds, and a few as low as 1,500 pounds, with 1 state putting it at 10,000 pounds
10000 lb toad without a suppl brake is kinda risky on the road especially when a sudden stop is required...

In the chart it says CAL allows 3000 lbs. But on CAL DMV website, it says 1500 lbs. (See Trailer Brake section of https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbo...railer-safely/).
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:04 PM   #6
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California is a bit crazy, it seems that travel trailers are required to have brakes if they weigh over 1,500 pounds, but utility trailers don't require them until they weigh 3,000 pounds.
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Massachusetts
Every trailer having an unladed weight of more than 10,000 lbs shall be equipped with air or electric brakes.

**That would be the DRY weight UVW ---as it left factory


Michigan (even stranger)
Independent braking system required when gross weight exceeds 15,000 lbs
So trailer GVWR of 14,999# doesn't require supplemental brakes


Course Towing Laws unlike registration/DL's are not reciprocal ----meaning one must adhere to the Towing Laws of each sate one travels thru when towing
Wow, MI is stranger!
Somehow on the chart rvibrake put it at 3000 lbs.
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Michigan (even stranger)
Independent braking system required when gross weight exceeds 15,000 lbs
So trailer GVWR of 14,999# doesn't require supplemental brakes

The actual text of the law from Michigan is:
(c) A trailer or semitrailer of a gross weight of 15,001 pounds or more when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes operating on all wheels and designed to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab.
(d) A new motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer sold in this state and operated upon the highways shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels, except a motorcycle or moped, and except that a semitrailer, pole trailer, or trailer of less than 3,000 pounds gross weight need not be equipped with brakes if the gross weight of a trailer or pole trailer, no part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle, and if the gross weight of the towing vehicle and the gross weight of a semitrailer or pole trailer, part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the semitrailer or pole trailer. This subdivision does not apply to a trailer or semitrailer owned by a farmer and used exclusively in connection with the farming operations of the farmer and not used for hire.


http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(oad...me=mcl-257-705


It looks like the state legislature was trying to grandfather in some older trailers because any new trailer sold must have brakes is it's over 3,000 lbs. gross weight and more than 40% of the weight of the towing vehicle.
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Old 10-11-2021, 11:06 AM   #9
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Sir, you are charged with manslaughter in the death of a family of 4 due to your toad coming loose

But your Honor, the law said it was only required for trailers over 3,000 lbs

Sir, you toad was not a trailer

But your Honor my toad was 2,900 lbs

Sir, the family of 4 is still dead.........time for jail
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Old 10-11-2021, 01:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Winger2 View Post
Sir, you are charged with manslaughter in the death of a family of 4 due to your toad coming loose

But your Honor, the law said it was only required for trailers over 3,000 lbs

Sir, you toad was not a trailer

But your Honor my toad was 2,900 lbs

Sir, the family of 4 is still dead.........time for jail
Good one
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcaguy View Post
Just because something is legal does not make it smart or safe. The other thing to think about is that you are subject to the laws of the state you are in regarding trailer weights and brakes if I'm not mistaken. Unless you live in, and will only travel in Massachusetts, it is really a moot point. Like many other things in life it won't be a problem until there is a problem. I wouldn't want to explain to a judge in a state that requires brakes on a 1.500 lb. trailer why I didn't have brakes on a 10,000 lb. trailer. I don't think it would go well and may well be regarded as gross or criminal negligence.
Yep what he said. Be smart get a brake system.
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winger2 View Post
Sir, you are charged with manslaughter in the death of a family of 4 due to your toad coming loose

But your Honor, the law said it was only required for trailers over 3,000 lbs

Sir, you toad was not a trailer

But your Honor my toad was 2,900 lbs

Sir, the family of 4 is still dead.........time for jail
I realize this is satire but it's also probably how those urban legends get started over on the weight threads. "I read it somewhere on the internet".
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:52 PM   #13
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Yep what he said. Be smart get a brake system.
I told him so, just curious why those states made such laws that risk people's lives.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:22 PM   #14
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I live in Louisiana, one of those states with a 3,000 pound limit for no brakes on trailers, growing up on a farm, I can tell you that probably 75% of those utility trailers out there over 3,000 pounds with electric brakes in this area don't have functional break away systems, either the brake away battery is dead (or missing) or the break away switch has rusted away into nothing.
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