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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > braking system

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diamonddogdogs

jacksonville florida

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Posted: 06/18/12 04:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking for opinions - we will be towing,4 down,a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4X4 w/quadratrac II behind a 2006 Gulf Stream.
After hearing pros and cons, is it necessary to have a braking system installed? (Have a Blue Ox tow bar)
Thanks.
Moved to Dinghy Towing forum from Towing.

* This post was edited 06/18/12 07:15pm by an administrator/moderator *

bass n bob

new york state

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Posted: 06/18/12 04:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't tow without one. Most states require one. Why take a chance and create a situation you might regret for a long time. I use a Patriot and it works just fine.

harold1946

Surprise Arizona

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Posted: 06/18/12 05:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you are asking for opinions, here's mine. It is absolutely necessary to have one and absolutely irresponsible not to.


Harold and Linda
2009 CT Coachworks siena 35V
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Polishnurse

Schodack, NY

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Posted: 06/18/12 05:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ditto on the upper two, don't leave home with one. JM2Cents

lanerd

Ridgecrest CA or Newport OR

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Posted: 06/18/12 07:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you say "necessary"... are you referring to the legality of having one or to its safety aspect?

Most states have different requirements, I'm not sure what Florida's is. Your best bet here would be to contact the DMV or research Florida's state vehicle codes.

As for the safety aspect... be aware that ANY motorhome towing a vehicle behind it will stop quicker and in a shorter distance if the towed vehicle has an auxilliary brake system. Period.

Do a serch here, you'll find hundreds of posts on this very subject.

Ron


Ron & Sandie
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 42LH Cummins ILS 400hp
Toad: 2011 GMC Terrain SLT2
Tow Bar: Sterling AT
Toad Brakes: Unified by U.S. Gear
TPMS: Pressure Pro
Member of: GS, FMCA, Allegro


RETIRED!! How sweet it is....

willald

NC

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Posted: 06/18/12 08:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

..In an attempt to clear up some 'misinformation' implied in some previous posts, and make sure you make a good, well-informed decision:

While a supplemental braking system for your 'toad' is definitely a great idea, don't be misled - it is NOT necessarily required by law. Check the laws of your state, but in many states, it most certainly is NOT required.

Many states require supplemental braking for TRAILERS more than so many pounds. The big 'catch' that supplemental brake companies don't tell you (and people propagate the 'myth' on forums like these all the time), is that an automobile being towed behind an RV in most cases does NOT classify as a trailer, so those laws about trailer brakes do not apply.

Other states, only have requirements that you must be able to stop in so many feet from a given speed. Usually those requirements are soooo easy to meet, you could have 3 toads behind you (un-braked), and still stop within those limits, haha.

Anyway, in a nutshell: Are supplemental braking systems a good idea? Absolutely! Do they make you safer on the road? Yes! Are they required by law? NO, not in all cases. Check for your own state and states you plan to travel in, they may or may not require them.

Anyway, its a personal decision that nobody can make for you, but I just like to make sure folks made a well-informed decision on these matters.


Will & Angela
2 children that love camping, Stephen & Allison
2012 FR Georgetown 351DS on F53 (V10) Chassis
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mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 06/19/12 07:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

willald wrote:

..In an attempt to clear up some 'misinformation' implied in some previous posts, and make sure you make a good, well-informed decision:

While a supplemental braking system for your 'toad' is definitely a great idea, don't be misled - it is NOT necessarily required by law. Check the laws of your state, but in many states, it most certainly is NOT required.

Many states require supplemental braking for TRAILERS more than so many pounds. The big 'catch' that supplemental brake companies don't tell you (and people propagate the 'myth' on forums like these all the time), is that an automobile being towed behind an RV in most cases does NOT classify as a trailer, so those laws about trailer brakes do not apply.

Other states, only have requirements that you must be able to stop in so many feet from a given speed. Usually those requirements are soooo easy to meet, you could have 3 toads behind you (un-braked), and still stop within those limits, haha.

Anyway, in a nutshell: Are supplemental braking systems a good idea? Absolutely! Do they make you safer on the road? Yes! Are they required by law? NO, not in all cases. Check for your own state and states you plan to travel in, they may or may not require them.

Anyway, its a personal decision that nobody can make for you, but I just like to make sure folks made a well-informed decision on these matters.


THERE is the truth of the matter, period!

But, to clarify (or perhaps not), in some states TRAILER braking laws require brakes on trailers over 1500 lbs UNLADEN weight, some require brakes on trailers over 3000 lbs. GROSS weight. In some the number may be different, but you still have to be aware of UNLADEN or GROSS weight. Many states require brakes on ALL the wheels of any trailer that has a braking requirement, some don't. The LEGAL DEFINITION of a TRAILER in many states specifically excludes towed motor vehicles.
The Performance Standard in Montana specifies stop within 40 feet from a speed of 20 MPH (MCA 61-9-312) on a fairly level, clean hard surface.
In California, it is 45 feet from 20 MPH. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards have a similar requirement.
I have read that North Carolina does have a requirement for auxiliary braking on towed motor vehicles, but such braking systems must be "approved by The Administrator". Which systems have such approval? I don't know. If your system is not approved, can you legally drive in NC, or will you get a ticket? I don't know that, either.
Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people have towed motor vehicles behind motorhomes for tens if not hundreds of thousands of miles, with few if any problems.
Is it safer, with braking? Based on the trouble reports on these forums, I have to give that an unqualified "MAYBE". Keep in mind, NO testing agency has ever, to my knowledge, tested these systems for proper operation or reliability. We only have the manufacturer's statements to go by, and we all know how truthful advertising claims are!
In the reading I have done, the only system I find worth the money is the ReadyBrute integrated towbar/braking system or the ReadyBrake braking system to be used with any towbar. The braking systems are simple, mechanical, relatively easy to install, permanently mounted, truly proportional, and pretty much trouble free. The only trouble reports I have ever seen are about cable wear. I have never seen a report of the destruction of the towed vehicle brakes like some of the others have done. No, I don't sell them, nor do I have any stock in the company. I simply believe that they are the "best bang for the buck" that is available! That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it!


CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad 1: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy (and Toad 2): 2001 Dodge QC SWB, 360 Magnum, Auto, 4X4
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"

willald

NC

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Posted: 06/19/12 08:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mowermech wrote:

I have read that North Carolina does have a requirement for auxiliary braking on towed motor vehicles, but such braking systems must be "approved by The Administrator".


Mowermech, I looked up NC laws recently, and did not see this. I recall reading that NC requires trailer brakes if you're trailer is over 1500 lbs. However, like so many states, their definition of 'trailer' does not include a motor vehicle, so it doesn't apply.

Might you have a link to where you saw that law about NC? Like you, I'm really curious just WHAT systems they've approved, and just how one goes about finding out about such.

Golly gee, I'd sure hate to find out that my Readybrake system isn't approved by our wonderful politicians of NC.

Other than that...Glad to see you and I agree completely on this.

Quote:

Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people have towed motor vehicles behind motorhomes for tens if not hundreds of thousands of miles, with few if any problems.
Is it safer, with braking? Based on the trouble reports on these forums, I have to give that an unqualified "MAYBE". Keep in mind, NO testing agency has ever, to my knowledge, tested these systems for proper operation or reliability.


...Very good points, mowermech. The last few weeks I've been setting up, testing, adjusting our toad brake system. Having made several stops where the toad brakes were NOT working (strictly in testing, on an empty road, haha)...I had a hard time telling a difference in stopping distance/power between when the toad brakes are working vs when they are not. I don't doubt stopping distance is shorter with toad brakes. I'm just not convinced the difference is as significant as some advertising campaigns would have us believe.

Will

lanerd

Ridgecrest CA or Newport OR

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Posted: 06/19/12 10:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Will wrote:

...I had a hard time telling a difference in stopping distance/power between when the toad brakes are working vs when they are not. I don't doubt stopping distance is shorter with toad brakes. I'm just not convinced the difference is as significant as some advertising campaigns would have us believe.

Will


Will, when you say you had a hard time telling a difference... Did you mark off a specific distance on the road between the two tests to actually know if there was a difference? Not trying to be a smart a$$ here, just want to know how you made this determination.

thanks

Ron

mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 06/19/12 10:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at North Carolina Statutes Para. 20-124f:

"(f) Every semitrailer, or trailer, or separate vehicle, attached by a drawbar or coupling to a towing vehicle, and having a gross weight of two tons, and all house trailers of 1,000 pounds gross weight or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in subsection (e) of this section and shall be of a type approved by the Commissioner."

"Every semitrailer, or trailer, or SEPARATE VEHICLE..."
So, it would appear that any towed vehicle over 4000 lbs Gross weight must have a braking system...
"...shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle..."
It looks like surge brakes are not legal in NC!
"SHALL be of a type APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER."
Which ones have been approved?

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