Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Dinghy Towing: Brakes or no brakes?
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 > Brakes or no brakes?

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Jayco-noslide

Galesburg,Il., USA

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Posted: 12/07/17 02:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have now towed a Chevy Sonic(2700 lbs.) behind our 30 ft. Class C for 4 1/2 years with no braking on the Chevy dinghy. So far no problem at all. I know I could have to make a panic stop someday but the chance is reduced by good defensive driving and taking it slow. Next spring we will trade for a Ford Focus hatch(around 3000 lbs.) or a Honda Fit (2500 lbs.). If the Ford, I will definitely go with braking but am considering continuing with no braking if the much lighter Honda. Frankly, I want to save the $2000 or more expense of brakes and the hook-up. Not sure what I'm asking. I know the easy and obvious response is to have brakes regardless of dinghy. I don't think it's this black and white. I feel the the MH/Sonic stops as well as our previous truck/5th wheel and catastrophe can happen with brakes or from something not related to stopping. If I find clear state laws always requiring brake that would make a difference but frankly I can't find very good info.


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bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 12/07/17 02:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would stick to whatever your home state laws require. At one time here it was 3000 lbs.

campinginthewoods

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Posted: 12/07/17 02:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dinghy towing, 4 wheels down and flat towing are different ways to say that you are towing an automobile behind a motor home or RV.  Some people call the towed vehicle a toad.  No matter how you say it, in order to tow a vehicle behind a motorhome or RV legally in any State or Province you must have a base plate bracket installed on the "toad" to connect a tow bar to, you need a tow bar and safety cables, a supplemental braking system, a break away system and a light kit to display stop, turn and running lights on the toad


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enblethen

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Posted: 12/07/17 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most states do not have towing laws that pertain to a towed motor vehicle. They have laws for trailers.
I would be getting a braking system for any toad.
I have had one for many years. I have the SMI Stay-N-Play. There is newer systems.
Cost for brackets and braking system combined would be around the $200 mark.


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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 12/07/17 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The laws of physics say you WILL be able to stop quicker with an auxiliary brake system than without. Whether your life or anyone else's life is worth the cost of that extra stopping power is your decision to make. I already made mine...


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bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 12/07/17 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Missouri has no requirement for supplemental brakes on the towed. Most states have a weight such as 3000 or 5000 lbs before supplemental brakes are required. As an example Massachusetts requires brakes at 10000 lbs or more. Finally a few states require the toad to be stopped within so many feet at "x" mph. As in 40 feet at 20 mph. Those who state that it is required in all states or there are no laws are misinformed.

Steeljag

Florida

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Posted: 12/07/17 03:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

YES !


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 12/07/17 04:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

towing a toad without a braking system and break away system is foolish IMHO
don't be a gambler. if you hit somebody and don't have brakes that has a decent lawyer, he will crucify you.
bumpy

* This post was edited 12/07/17 04:34pm by Bumpyroad *





LadyRVer

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Posted: 12/07/17 04:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My motorhome manual (3 different motorhomes) all stated supplemental braking required for towing over... 1 was 1,000 lbs and the other 2 were 1,500 lbs.

I found different states had different laws.. example 2,000 lbs in GA, 3,000 in FL.

Yes, there is the saying it is for trailers only, but I also read that the rules pertain to anything being towed.

I erred on the side of caution and always used a supplemental braking system.

rockhillmanor

On the Road

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Posted: 12/07/17 05:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bumpyroad wrote:

towing a toad without a braking system and break away system is foolish IMHO
don't be a gambler. if you hit somebody and don't have brakes that has a decent lawyer, he will crucify you.
bumpy


X10
You should also look into what YOUR 'insurance company' policies are regarding brake system requirements for towing the car. Mine states no brakes no coverage. And the police will include in the accident report whether there was a braking system in place in the car.

If you have to make a panic stop with the MH do you really want 3,000 lbs pushing you while you are trying to stop?

FMCA years back did a video of testing stopping with toad brakes and without toad brakes there WAS a marked difference in stopping distance with toad brakes in place. Made me a believer.


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