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Supplemental Braking

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Curious ... Not looking to start a debate but I have a question

If the actual weight of a coach + toad is less than the GVW of the coach why would brakes on the toad or trailer be needed? 

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Keon,

Three answers:  If below GVWR (not just GCWR) you have a point.

The more critical answer is that each state has its own laws  as to how much a trailer/toad can weigh before it requires supplemental brakes. I would suggest looking into the requirements of the most restrictive state you plan to  enter to verify that you are legal.

Were you ever involved in an accident, and did not have the proper safety gear per that state's requirements, the other guy's attorney would have a very easy time.

Lastly, I know of no coach, particularly a gas powered coach that will stop in as short a distance without toad brakes as with. Supplemental brakes could just keep you out of an accident, rather than running over someone.

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Wolfe10 ... In simple terms CYA 

The reason why I wanted clerification:

1. If a tow truck comes and picks up a car very rarely do they attach any type of breake to the towing car so I tried to equate that to a motorhome in the sense that my coach I'm sure outweighs a tow truck and I would assume if I'm under my GVWR the breaks on the coach would stop the load (in theory) 

2. There's also a pivot point involvement towing a toad and I wasn't exactly sure that had anything to do with it

3. The state of Maryland will allow you to tow a trailer under 3000 pounds without brakes as I happen to have a 12 foot cargo trailer without surge brakes or electric brakes for that matter. Someone telling something as small as a Honda Civic that may have occurred weight of 2500 pounds would definitely keep my entire rig under gross vehicle weight and technically according to the state of Maryland I'm under the three thousand pounds unless they have different rules regarding towing cars.

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Yes mostly it will help you stop sooner. It is much better to stop a yard short than a yard long. :P

You are talking Civic. Make sure you can tow it 4 down even if it is a standard. Look at the towing guide. I have a 2012 Civic auto I towed with a dolly and when looking found there were no Civics towable 4 down. The same for 2014. I am towing the last CR-V towable 4 down.  

Bill  

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Here is a towing guide from brakebuddy. As Brett pointed out if within your state you are legal but every state has its own rules and if you go into that state that you will not be legal in, you are bound by its rules. Most of us agree that the peace of mind knowing that we can stop sooner is much better than later.

http://www.brakebuddy.com/towing-laws

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The 2016 Honda Civic manual transmission IS towable 4 wheels down and since the mechanicals are unchanged the 2017 may be. This is not just a question of machinery, but also of liability.

So are the Fit and HR-V with manual transmission for 2016.

All this is listed in the FMCA Towing Guide for 2016. 

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9 hours ago, wolfe10 said:

The 2016 Honda Civic manual transmission IS towable 4 wheels down and since the mechanicals are unchanged the 2017 may be. This is not just a question of machinery, but also of liability.

So are the Fit and HR-V with manual transmission for 2016.

All this is listed in the FMCA Towing Guide for 2016. 

I believe that is why I said to check each model year. You would think they are the same but untill Honda comes out  and says they are....

Just looked at a 2017 Civic owner's manual on page 119 sayes " Improper towing, such as towing behind a motorhome or other motor vehicle, can damage the transmission." This covered the manual transmission. There was no section "recreational towing". So we shall see.   

Bill 

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In my opinion under normal everyday conditions I don't think you need supplemental braking. That being said. with the way people love to jump in front of me then dive of exit. Or the one second I look out the side window to look at this beautiful country and everbody in front of me jumps on there brakes. I think of many times I said thank god I had all the braking I could get. I am sure we all have had emergency stopping situations.  There's a couple I am sure would have ended in accidents without toad having braking. 

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Carmar,

 Not to be condescending but at least all of the lower 48 states will disagree with you. The average is any towed trailer or vehicle is approximately 1,200 pounds.

Ask your insurance provider what they think.

Good that you have one.

Herman 

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Keon, when we first started to tow I went with the smallest car I felt comfortable in and bought a dolly that didn't have brakes. We quickly figured out how much help brakes would be on the dolly and the car was too small. With the size of your family (don't forget the little ones grow up fast) and before you know it you are out shopping for a larger toad. Lessons learned...... just purchase the toad that suites everyone if they were grown teens, then you will need the brake system anyway :lol:.

Just remember nothing is an investment in the normal automobile world, if you need to trade up in a year you will wish you had just purchased the larger vehicle from the get go. 

The first time someone cuts in front of you and stomps on the brakes you will wish you had those extra brakes. I leave large spaces between us and them and it almost never works, you will always be in their way. There is no cardio workout like slamming on the coach brakes and feel the toad push you.

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Whats shaken everyone

Jleamont ... Your right again. This is why we didn't get a 30ft coach cause we would have outgrown it in 3 weeks. 

Actually our Toad isn't a Civic, I used that for a example. We will be towing the XL-7. The issue with towing is finding a car that would haul 6 people (Well 5 and the pooch) comfortable with the least amount of weight. At a curb weight just over 3800lbs this was the lightest that would do it. The trailblazer we have weighs not much more - 4456 but 700lbs when pulling a mountain or hills makes all the difference in the world. 

On 11/28/2016 at 9:49 AM, hermanmullins said:

Carmar,

 Not to be condescending but at least all of the lower 48 states will disagree with you. The average is any towed trailer or vehicle is approximately 1,200 pounds.

Ask your insurance provider what they think.

Good that you have one.

Herman 

Herman ... I called my insurance company and you'll be surprised at what the Hartford said:
They don't require supplemental breaks AS LONG AS

1. I can stop in a safe distance (This is relative) 
2. As long as the combination of trailer and Toad isnt over the Gross Combination Weight Rating (in my case 24,500) they will fight it
3. As long as the TOW vehicle is under the GVWR

It took me a few days to get this answer but this is what they said. So there is a lot of ambiguity in their explanation because it leaves the decision to use the breaks up to the individual not knowing if they know how much they weigh. 

I think everyone agrees that Supplemental brakes are GOOD but there is the question of legality when it comes to the state your travailing through. To my knowledge the DOT will not stop you if you are not commercial; and make you pull on the scales just because. There has to be something they see that is WAY OUT OF LINE like your front end lifting out of the air as you drive down the street. Granted they could just be a alpha hotel (Hams and Military folks will get that)  and randomly pull for the heck of it but over all it would be a waste of time. 

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I am not sure there is a lot of ambiguity out there.  Here is a chart showing what each State and Canadian providence requires.

http://www.brakebuddy.com/towing-laws

If you follow the guide lines for supplemental braking required by your State (where you are licensed) this "should" CYA.  The scary part about the information you have from your insurance company is when they say " I can stop in a safe distance ".  If you rear end someone and you don't have supplemental braking my guess would be that they would claim you were not able to stop in a safe distance.

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If you don't tow with brakes on the toad I strongly recommend not driving in the rain or snow. 3800 lbs in a panic has a good chance of spinning a gas coach out, there is just not enough weight back there. 

I bought my Blue Ox patriot on EBay for $140.00, stuff is out there use and not real expensive. If you need a tow bar PM me I have one to get rid of. 

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2 hours ago, BillAdams said:

I am not sure there is a lot of ambiguity out there.  Here is a chart showing what each State and Canadian providence requires.

http://www.brakebuddy.com/towing-laws

If you follow the guide lines for supplemental braking required by your State (where you are licensed) this "should" CYA.  The scary part about the information you have from your insurance company is when they say " I can stop in a safe distance ".  If you rear end someone and you don't have supplemental braking my guess would be that they would claim you were not able to stop in a safe distance.

You need to adhere to the supplemental braking laws for any state that you may drive through.  Home state reciprocity is only for driver's license, vehicle registration and insurance.

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On 11/28/2016 at 9:40 AM, Carmar122 said:

In my opinion under normal everyday conditions I don't think you need supplemental braking.

Quote

That being said. with the way people love to jump in front of me then dive of exit. Or the one second I look out the side window to look at this beautiful country and everbody in front of me jumps on there brakes.

I think of many times I said thank god I had all the braking I could get. I am sure we all have had emergency stopping situations.  There's a couple I am sure would have ended in accidents without toad having braking. 

I think you answered your question about needing supplemental braking - I quoted your "that being said" term, that is normal every day driving conditions.

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When I had a gasser in the past, a HR with tag axle, (one more set of brakes than you have) I found out that the limited ability of hydraulic brake systems makes hauling anything over 1500 pounds risky. In order to tow safely I bought a tow dolly with brakes which helped greatly. 

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I stand corrected on the different state requirements. But I will stand by the saying "It is much better to be SAFE than Sorry."

 

rl, on our trip today the wind was to our face, the clouds blocked the sun and produced lots of rain leaving the greasy side up. Glad to be home safe and sound.:blink:

 

Herman

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