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 6/28/2010 11:19 AM
 

Do motorhomes with a small utility trailer , non-commercial, ( 1300 # unladen ) need to stop at weigh stations? The trip would be through Utah, Idaho, Washington, Montana,Wyoming, British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska. Also, I see I cannot take this combination through Nevada because the trailer will weigh about 2200# loaded and does not have brakes. The trailer is three years old.

Some comments and experiences, please.

Thanks

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 6/28/2010 7:20 PM
 

My first comment: Unless I am seriously in error, weigh stations are for commercial units.

Second: BC requires brakes on toads. I don't know how a trailer fits into their regs.

Your comment on Nevada has me baffled; never heard that issue discussed.


Frank FitzGerald Middleton MA RexAir 37' with Saturn L300 Toad Oh Yes I almost forgot, Pat-my copilot
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 6/28/2010 8:28 PM
 

Regardless of the LAW, you need to have brakes on that trailer my friend. And NO, you are not considered a commercial vehicle in any state driving a motor home regardless of what you are towing to my knowledge anyway.


Every Day is Saturday funner travelin, Ebs,Donna & Beezer the Beast & Buffy the Bitch
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 6/29/2010 12:10 AM
 
 Modified By RVA  on 6/28/2010 11:12:45 PM

To elaborate on Bob's comments....just about every motorhome manufacturer states in the Users Manual that the brakes are sufficient to stop the motorhome, BUT not additional vehicles (trailers, cars, etc.). So, if you get into an accident because you can't stop, the first question any attorney will ask is "why were you driving an unsafe rig?", and that will be a tough question to answer. Of course the chances of you getting into an accident are very small, but is it worth the risk? Good luck. - Dave

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 6/29/2010 8:13 PM
 

Thanks for the comments.

ffitz,..... in Nevada, the gross weight limit for trailers being towed is 1500# unless it has brakes....therefor, I could not go there with my trailer weighing 2200# gross weight because it doesn't have brakes. Nevada and a couple other states have this 1500# limit. The state where I live has a weight limit of 3000# with no independent brakes.

BobEbs,.... I agree that it would be easier to stop with independent brakes on this small utility trailer but it seems that most states allow a towed trailer of , on average, 3000#... while Alaska has a limit of 5000# without independent brakes.

For 30 years I towed utility trailers with construction supplies ...both with independent brakes and without ....over the passes of the Rockies with no problems. Of course , always heeding the GCVW while driving a 3/4 ton pickup. And never exceding 3000# in the smaller trailers without brakes. Gear selection is the key to a safe trip over the mountains.

So why are you implying that this is so unsafe....towing a small trailer without brakes. What am I missing? Is there something way different about towing with a MH as long as I don't exceed the GCVW? The total weight that the brakes would "see" would not be over the GVW as I would not be carrying water or waste water and would be carrying a half tank of gas.

Dave, I can't find it anywhere in my manual for the MH that the brakes were not designed to stop the vehicle if it has a toad. It is designed to carry a total of 2973# with a full tank of gas and oil and propane. So towing 2200# and a driver, wouldn't the brakes be adequate? If I'm within the law, how could it be said I was driving an unsafe vehicle?....

I posted the query about weigh stations because it seems that somewhere I've seen a sign at a weigh station that says "all towed vehicles must enter", however , I could have been dreaming.

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 6/30/2010 12:53 AM
 

chromepony - Most manufacturers state that the brakes are sufficient to handle the coach's GVWR. In practice, most coaches when loaded aren't 2200 lbs. below that weight, but maybe yours is. You might want to weigh your rig, and you might be surprised at how much available weight capacity you actually have. The net weight shown in many specs doesn't include the accessories (awnings, etc., etc.) so you may not have the 2973 lbs. you think you do. Good luck. - Dave

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 6/30/2010 7:44 AM
 

The problem with towing without brakes on the trailer comes when you have to make a "panic stop", I've also towed trailers without brakes. Horse trailers. There is a good chance of that trailer coming around and slapping you in the face in a panic stop. Sure, the odds are very slim that that will happen. But, why take the chance?


Every Day is Saturday funner travelin, Ebs,Donna & Beezer the Beast & Buffy the Bitch
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 7/1/2010 1:06 AM
 

My toad weighs in at 5800 lbs. and the coach seems to handle it well when braking, even without a supplemental system. However, if ever I had an accident I wouldn't want to be asked the question of "why was I driving without supplemental brakes?" When it come to saving lives, what's the point of NOT having the best stopping capability? These toys of ours can be very dangerous, as we all know.


Bob J. from TX 2014 Newmar Essex 4544 2007 Lexus LX 470 Toad
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