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Toad - braking required or not?


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To date, I have never heard of an RVer being ticket for lack of braking on any towed vehicle and most states that do have such laws aim the laws at trailers and not automobiles. If I remember right, we were asked about a brake when we entered into Canada. I always used a brake system because stopping distance for any motorhome is long enough without the added push from a tow car. On one occasion I did have an emergency stop when towing where we came to a stop no more than 12" from the car that was sitting across the lane directly in front of us. It was close enough that you could not walk between the two and it made me very aware of the value of our auxiliary brake system.

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The one law that cannot be avoided or changed, even by stupid state laws and lawyers, is the law of physics.  Put simply is it takes more force to stop more weight.  Granted a 3000# car behind a 30000# motorhome mat seem insignificant, but a braking system in the towed cat that can stop you 6 inches sooner can mean the difference between a safe stop and a wreck.

Additionally, a towed vehicle should have a break away system on the rare occasion that the tow bar should break from the towed car.  It will prevent the towed car from continuing and causing a wreck.

People try to use the argument that a towed car is not a trailer.   Most motorhome manufactures place a limit for towed loads without brakes and some are as low as 1500#.  The motorhome has no method to tell whether it is towing a 3000# of rocks on a utility trailer or a 3000# auto.

Going the cheap route is not worth the safety and lives of my family or others' lives.  If you are going to tow a car, pay the money to get a properly set up brake system and break away system.

We have a friend that had her 5th wheel hit broad side and destroyed by an old farmer that was speeding and had a large tractor on a gooseneck trailer. Among the several citations he received from the state police, one was for not having brakes on his trailer.



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