gypsyken

Data Showing Need For Auxiliary Braking Systems?

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gypsyken   

As a scientist, I try to insist that conclusions, especially those that impose burdens on me when expressed as regulations, be supported by empirical evidence.  While auxiliary braking systems for toads are now required by many states, I have been unable to find any data showing that accidents were caused, or their severity increased, by motorhomes towing toads being unable to stop, or that such accidents could have been prevented, or their severity reduced, by use of a supplementary braking system on the toad.  Instead the requirements for supplementary braking systems seem to be based on the assumption that a coach's brakes can only stop a rolling weight not exceeding the coach's GVWR, which the weight of a toad, added to the weight of the coach, may exceed.

Does anyone know of any data showing that accidents were caused, or their severity increased, by motorhomes towing toads being unable to stop, or that such accidents could have been prevented, or their severity reduced, by the use of a supplementary braking system on the toad?

(There are, of course, data showing that the braking of a coach is improved by use of an exhaust brake, yet when I specified in 1993 that a PacBrake be installed in my diesel pusher, I was told by the salesman that such a brake was not needed and would be "overkill."

My vehicles are registered in Texas, which, for some reason I cannot imagine, has apparently resisted what I am sure are the entreaties of manufacturers of supplementary braking systems that they be required on toads.  I am told, however, that I might be in trouble if found to be lacking an auxiliary braking system in a state in which it is required.

I have traveled in my motorhome, towing a toad, in every continental U.S. state, every province and territory in Canada [except Nunavut, which has no roads], and every state in Mexico; have never experienced difficulty in stopping; and use the exhaust brake only when descending long grades, to avoid overheating the coach's air-activated brakes.)

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wolfe10   

gypsyken,

As a scientist, suspect you know that there can be NO ANSWER to your question.  How can one know how many accidents were avoided by stopping 15-20' shorter, since "no accident" is something that is not recorded.

Kind of the same thing as trying to prove that ABS brakes are or are not useful. Same for exhaust brake/no exhaust brake.  Or even driving 10 MPH faster/slower. 

All of these logically can impact the number and severity of accidents, but can't imagine finding data to support it.

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I had to hit the brakes hard several times for some reason or another.  I can feel the toad brakes kick in and assist stopping the motorhome more so than it's brakes alone.  That is enough proof to me that it is well needed to have brakes working on the toad.  

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gypsyken,

I think you need to couple your scientific background with the laws of physics.  When you bought your coach did you rely on the salesman's word that installing a Pac Brake would be overkill?  What empirical evidence did he provide you?

I try to give myself every edge possible to keep myself, family and others as safe as possible.  We all know that adding a supplement brake system to our toads will help us stop more efficiently than if we didn't have it (if set up correctly of course).

I'm not trying to be argumentative on this but if not for you and your family, but for the sake of others on the open road,  please support adding supplemental brakes on towed vehicles.

Blake

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brocki   
19 hours ago, wolfe10 said:

gypsyken,

As a scientist, suspect you know that there can be NO ANSWER to your question.  How can one know how many accidents were avoided by stopping 15-20' shorter, since "no accident" is something that is not recorded.

Kind of the same thing as trying to prove that ABS brakes are or are not useful. Same for exhaust brake/no exhaust brake.  Or even driving 10 MPH faster/slower. 

All of these logically can impact the number and severity of accidents, but can't imagine finding data to support it.

Wolfe 10.   Thank you.

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manholt   

I applaud Brett and Blake for sound logical thinking!  The only thing, that I wish to expand upon, is the more mass behind a given mass, any force goes up exponentially with weight and inertia.  Sort of like beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, followed by the beer of your choice! :rolleyes:  

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4 hours ago, manholt said:

I applaud Brett and Blake for sound logical thinking!  The only thing, that I wish to expand upon, is the more mass behind a given mass, any force goes up exponentially with weight and inertia.  Sort of like beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner, followed by the beer of your choice! :rolleyes:  

Carl, you're talking about ammunition (beans) and propellent (beer).  The beans does not have any brakes at all.  Not a pretty sight afterwards.   

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2 hours ago, huffypuff said:

Carl, you're talking about ammunition (beans) and propellent (beer).  The beans does not have any brakes at all.  Not a pretty sight afterwards. 

Ray, thanks for your scientific analysis!:wub:

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Again, no analysis has been done on break away systems but my TOAD is capable of stopping itself should something happen and it come loose from the hitch. Without a TOAD braking system there is potential there for a severe accident.  I have a supplemental air system.

I don't know how the inertia systems would work in that situations,

Regarding exhaust brakes, I leave mine on all the time except sometimes in light city driving of 30 mph or less I will shut it off to prevent shellacking.  Even those areas that have signs stating "No exhaust" brakes or other supplemental braking. I know for a fact that I will stop faster with the exhaust brake on. It is the one time I will break a city ordnance.

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gypsyken   

I understand your response, Wolfe 10, but I think it would be possible to determine if a collision occurred, or its severity was increased, by the inability of a vehicle to stop soon enough (I think that skid marks are routinely measured to determine stopping time), and it was data on that that I was hoping to find. 

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garyreed   

Brett is right on this,

You may be able to find what you want to know at the Federal Highway Safety Administration.

There are lot's of studies out there documenting all manor of scenarios involving weights, axels, tires, brakes, road conditions and speed. I have not seen any specifying motorhomes separately, but really they are just trucks, light, medium, and heavy duty.

The real question is, the toad. Does a #35,000 load stop the same as a #30,000 load towing a #5000 toad (no brakes)? Common sense tells us that although the toad will not brake as well, without all of the power systems in place as it would under normal driving conditions, those two extra axels braking will shorten the stopping range.

It is also important to know that most states have requirements that any tire that touches the ground must have brakes. There may be some minimums on weight  and some units may be grandfathered in and not have to comply. For me the liability alone is worth it's weight in gold and not to wonder what states require.

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1 hour ago, gypsyken said:

I understand your response, Wolfe 10, but I think it would be possible to determine if a collision occurred, or its severity was increased, by the inability of a vehicle to stop soon enough (I think that skid marks are routinely measured to determine stopping time), and it was data on that that I was hoping to find. 

Measure skid marks from a coach that has ABS.  No marks to measure.   

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manholt   

The states that have the brake law is mostly 2,500 or more.  Canada is any toad, be it 4 down car, car dolly or car on trailer...Don't know about Mexico or other countries...if I go, I'll find out before I leave.  That's called common sense !

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manholt   

Yup, 4,500 in Texas.  I could legally tow my Jeep with no brakes...I would be a fool to do it.

bm.  "common sense", may not be very common where you live or are from.  Here in Texas, there is more of that, than speculation.  Let's say that your involved in an accident, in your coach with no brakes on your toad.  Your fault or not, the odds are favorable that neither insurance company is going to cover your cost.  All this discussion is about, is $1,000 against a $100,000 to 2 million dollar investment. 

Most of us on this Forum, could write a book on all the things that can and have happened to a coach, gas or diesel, in a Panic Stop by a toad with no brakes! 

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jleamont   

My main reason is breakaway safety. Should something break 

tow bar

one of many hardware 

hitch

hitch riser

i don't want my car striking some innocent person, can you imagine if at 65 it crossed the highway and into on coming traffic? 

This coach I feel it back there upon braking before the M@G system, ever so slightly. The last coach was significant, yes it would push us until the Patriot box would engage, felt like we were rear ended.

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manholt   

I saw the aftermath of a panic stop and the GMC was half buried in the engine compartment of a 45' DP!  No brake on toad.  I know him, FMCA member and it cost him $93,000+ and the cost of a new toad.  But he did save $1,100 by not getting a AF1 or M&G installed ! :blink::wacko:  The coach was a AC Eagle 2014.  No it was not FIVE. 

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jleamont   
4 hours ago, wayne77590 said:

Or, what's life compared to $1,100 or $1,100 compared to life.

My point exactly! I couldn't imagine having to live with that, knowing my negligence caused that. I even ran the breakaway with the BO Patriot we had. 

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TXiceman   

we have run across all to many folks that stretch themselves  to the limits financially to get into an RV to find out they really should have another several hundred or thousands of dollars to be properly equipped.  Another $1500 to properly tow the dinghy....ouch.  But you need to value your life as well as others. 

How much shorter will the rig stop with the brake system on the dinghy?  If it manages to stop 6 inches shorter, that may be the difference between stopping and having a wreck.

My 2 cents worth.

Ken 

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manholt   

Ken.

You have been there, done that and now you have a 5'er....So, why don't you just use the truck brakes and forget about a auxiliary break for the trailer?

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TXiceman   

Manholt, I am at a loss at your post.  I had brakes on my dinghy when we had a motorhome.  It also had a break away switch.

My 5er has three axles and 6 brakes that are energized by the truck brake controller.

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