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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  General Topics

 > To Brake assist or not to brake assist ?

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wa8yxm

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Posted: 12/30/18 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First I would NEVER recommend a Brake Buddy or any of the other "Box in the driver's position" systems.. These have to be INSTALLED every time you tow (I know they say "No Installation" but don't believe it).

I"d go with a Ready Brake (If you have not gotten a tow bar the Ready Brute has that option) or Blue Ox Auto Stop.. or if you have air brakes and it fits your towed (not a given) The M&G or Air force 1

Goign down the line I used USGEAR Unified brake decelarator (Bad install cost me a brake job rotors incuded on car) or Invisi Brake or ...

Well most any INSTALLED system that's not in your way when you drive.

As for legality. Multiple laws. Most states have a law that says something like
Aux brakes needed if towed trailer (Vehicle) is over xxxx pounds The weigh can be as low as 1500 or as high as 4000 and it is the state of registration that determines. (NOTE those weights are by memory and may be ...off.. also yoru state may be different)

SOme states only have laws that apply to "Trailers" and they will try to convince you "Oh you are towing a car not a trailer" But read the definition of Trailer (Any vehicle towed so that the weight of the towed vehicle does NOT REST on the towing vehicle.. Which fits a car towed 4 Down perfectly but does NOT fit a TT.. So there are additional definitions for the Trailers).

The other law is called "Reckless Endangerment" and if you rear end me and you don't have aux brakes on the "Trailer".. Well .. I'll be rich.


Home is where I park it.
Kenwood TS-2000 housed in a 2005 Damon Intruder 377


T18skyguy

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Posted: 12/30/18 05:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JB, I have a 2018 Kia Soul set up as a toad, with a Roadmaster base plate and a Demco dominator tow bar. If money is a concern, take your time and shop carefully. I got the Demco dominator brand new on ebay 1/2 off, and the base plate half off as well. I ran the lighting system also, not too expensive. I use an RVI 3 system, and I would highly recommend it. Generally, I don't need the RVI for every downgrade or gentle stop, but there are times when I hit the brakes hard and I feel it kick in and I'm glad it's there. Better to have it, but it's a personal decision good luck whatever you do.
P.S. Do not purchase an obsolete system. My RVI sets up completely with pushing a button three times.


Retired Anesthetist. LTP. Pilot with mechanic/inspection ratings. 2017 Jayco Greyhawk 31FS. Wife and daughter. Three cats which we must obey.

rgatijnet1

Florida

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Posted: 12/30/18 05:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:



The other law is called "Reckless Endangerment" and if you rear end me and you don't have aux brakes on the "Trailer".. Well .. I'll be rich.


In your dreams. [emoticon]
I gave actual replies from a couple of States, I have 40+ replies that all say basically the same thing when asked about towing a VEHICLE 4 down. A vehicle is not a trailer, and none of the States I contacted considered it a trailer.
Provide some facts, like names of specific people in positions of enforcement authority, to back up your OPINION and maybe, someone will believe you.
I did my homework, now do yours. Here is the name of the man in Connecticut that also agrees no supplemental braking system is legally required.

Donald Bridge, Jr., Lieutenant
CT Dept. of Motor Vehicles
Commercial Vehicle Safety Division
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161
Phone: (860) 263-5446
Fax: (860) 263-5587

timmac

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Posted: 12/30/18 05:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

et2 wrote:

For safety factors alone I can't imagine not using one, no matter the weight.



I don't have one for my 04 Jeep Wrangler and my motorhome stops just fine, the tow/haul transmission does very well at adding extra stopping power when towing, however when flat towing my total weight is well under my GCWR..

rk911

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Posted: 12/30/18 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

laws, the lack of laws, opinions from state employees...whether an arrest is made or tickets issued as a result of a crash the fact remains that anyone can be sued at anytime for anything. how far that suit progresses and its eventual outcome depend on lots of factors. we all know there are tons of laws on the books in all 50-states, even more at the federal level. does anyone really think that one of those laws could not be interpreted to hold you responsible? do you really believe that you or anyone towing without an aux brake...or towing WITH an aux brake for that matter is immune from a lawsuit? IMO its a silly argument. the concern for all of us should be safety. chances are MH mfgs engineer their MH braking systems for GVWR. that's been the case with our last two Winnebago MHs but there are a lot of MH mfgs out there and i could be wrong. the point is i believe an aux braking system is a must for anyone flat towing. but it's a choice.


'73,
rich, n9dko
Remember...if you don’t know where you’re going you're bound to end up somewhere else.
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irishtom29

San Antonio

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Posted: 12/30/18 06:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the combined weight of coach and toad did not exceed the GVWR of the coach (GVWR, not GCWR) I wouldn’t bother with supplemental brakes since the coach brakes are designed to deal with the GVWR. I exceed the coach GVWR and so use supplemental brakes.

Note that Ford advises the use of supplemental brakes when coach and toad exceed coach GVWR.

doc brown

Redondo Beach, CA,

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Posted: 12/30/18 06:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I say yes. I’m on my third jeep toad and I’ve used three different systems. My current Air Force One is the best of the three. I installed the system so I saved a pretty penny. In regards to the legal position all I’ll say is that you may not be criminally liable but you could be civilly liable. I’ve heard the opposition quite often, “ your coach weighs 35,000 pounds and your jeep is right around 5,000 pounds, your coach must stop just fine without a braking system on the jeep”. For most stops yes, but I’ve had two panic stops and have gone down many steep grades in the west. I do feel the difference. To each his own. Be safe!


Steve,Kathy and Josh
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doxiemom11

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Posted: 12/30/18 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll just add that an insurance company CANNOT deny a claim for something that is not written in the policy booklet that you are provided with when you start your policy. If they try, one complaint to the insurance commissioner of that state will have an investigation of your claim going. They cannot just make up the rules as they go and as they wish. Everything must be filed with the state and in writing.

Bill.Satellite

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Posted: 12/30/18 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jbstack28 wrote:

Ok, new to the Class A lifestyle, had a Fifth wheel in the past. Looking to setup my tow vehicle. I purchased a 2019 Kia Soul, weighs less than 3,000 lbs. So question is this. Go with no brake assist, or purchase used 'Brake Buddy'( ugly and old technology) for those what three states where I would be illegal? I would simply slap it in place so I would be legal.

Thanks so much,

charlie..


Right, wrong, legal, illegal.......put in a braking system. If you are involved in an accident without one you will spend many more dollars defending the decision NOT to add braking then the braking system costs.


What I post is my 2 cents and nothing more. Please don't read anything into my post that's not there. If you disagree, that's OK.
Can't we all just get along?

et2

MI.

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Posted: 12/30/18 08:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

timmac wrote:

et2 wrote:

For safety factors alone I can't imagine not using one, no matter the weight.



I don't have one for my 04 Jeep Wrangler and my motorhome stops just fine, the tow/haul transmission does very well at adding extra stopping power when towing, however when flat towing my total weight is well under my GCWR..


Most people get it. But, for whatever reason your toad becomes not attached for some unforeseen circumstance, what's going to stop it? So having a extra system to take the load off your MH stopping or braking is a waste of time? Using a auxillary brake won't decrease your stopping distance if needed? Sorry not buying into there's no benefit. It doesn't matter if legal or not. Common sense is what it is.

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