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Old 06-07-2023, 08:11 PM   #1
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Just got my car for flat towing

Have a Class C Thor WS31 2023 and made one trip with two wheel dolly but at my age the dolly is just too much, so I have found and purchase a 2019 Fiat 500 with standard shift with only 60K miles. I am very happy with this vehicle, weighs in at about 2400 pounds. Getting base plate and hitch installed in a week, then off on out yearly trip out west stopping at Custer SD for Bike week for two weeks. Installer says that I can forgo the brake system due to the light weight of the Fiat, opinions??

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Old 06-07-2023, 08:20 PM   #2
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I will never flat tow without any supplemental brake, emergency brake and towing lights. Just imagine if your towed vehicle accidentally get disconnected while on the road. That will be a very big projectile that can hit another vehicle and cause bodily injury or even death. Im sure a lot of people will chime in shortly.
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Old 06-07-2023, 08:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Efotnamvet View Post
Have a Class C Thor WS31 2023 and made one trip with two wheel dolly but at my age the dolly is just too much, so I have found and purchase a 2019 Fiat 500 with standard shift with only 60K miles. I am very happy with this vehicle, weighs in at about 2400 pounds. Getting base plate and hitch installed in a week, then off on out yearly trip out west stopping at Custer SD for Bike week for two weeks. Installer says that I can forgo the brake system due to the light weight of the Fiat, opinions??
Whatís your state law say. Thatís what matters.

BTW, IMHO your dealer suffers from the ID ten T error.
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:05 PM   #4
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Whatís your state law say. Thatís what matters.

BTW, IMHO your dealer suffers from the ID ten T error.
LOL - My IT guys used that all the time when I ask them what the issue was... Just and ID10T Tom...

or they say "was due to a bad connection between the user and the keyboard"
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Old 06-07-2023, 09:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Efotnamvet View Post
Have a Class C Thor WS31 2023 and made one trip with two wheel dolly but at my age the dolly is just too much, so I have found and purchase a 2019 Fiat 500 with standard shift with only 60K miles. I am very happy with this vehicle, weighs in at about 2400 pounds. Getting base plate and hitch installed in a week, then off on out yearly trip out west stopping at Custer SD for Bike week for two weeks. Installer says that I can forgo the brake system due to the light weight of the Fiat, opinions??
I have heard that trailers under 1,500lbs total weight are not required to have brakes but never heard of a vehicle being excused from brakes.

As EA37TS says, towed vehicles are regulated by State law. You might be ok in some states but then again as ador says - If that Fiat disconnects and passes you, you're liable... Better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 06-07-2023, 10:29 PM   #6
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I think he ( your RV guy) is correct, but I believe Florida requires a breakaway brake system even if you are under the weight limit for an auxiliary brake.
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Old 06-07-2023, 11:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
Whatís your state law say. Thatís what matters.

BTW, IMHO your dealer suffers from the ID ten T error.
Doesn't matter what his state says: what matters is the law of the state he is towing through.

Here's a fresh anecdotal story:

Today I was driving my 18K F53 chassis MH at 65 mph on I-85 north of Raleigh, NC in a slight drizzle, towing a 3000# toad in the RH lane of a two lane roadway. Suddenly the people in front of me went into panic stop mode for no apparent reason. No room to the left but the shoulder was open as I hit the brakes hard enough to engage the chassis ABS. Luckily, and due to my TOAD brakes, I was able to stop in time in my lane.
The cause of this incident? Some idiot in a sedan doing 15 mph in the RH lane. No idea why he was doing this nor why he wasn't traveling the shoulder.
When I was able I went around him in the LH lane. Maybe he made it to the next exit without being rear-ended.

So you never know when you need that extra braking power in the TOAD.
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Geterdun View Post
Doesn't matter what his state says: what matters is the law of the state he is towing through.

Here's a fresh anecdotal story:

Today I was driving my 18K F53 chassis MH at 65 mph on I-85 north of Raleigh, NC in a slight drizzle, towing a 3000# toad in the RH lane of a two lane roadway. Suddenly the people in front of me went into panic stop mode for no apparent reason. No room to the left but the shoulder was open as I hit the brakes hard enough to engage the chassis ABS. Luckily, and due to my TOAD brakes, I was able to stop in time in my lane.
The cause of this incident? Some idiot in a sedan doing 15 mph in the RH lane. No idea why he was doing this nor why he wasn't traveling the shoulder.
When I was able I went around him in the LH lane. Maybe he made it to the next exit without being rear-ended.

So you never know when you need that extra braking power in the TOAD.
Wrong. Itís asked in the state of registration and their trailer braking laws. Same with license requirements for drivers of heavy RVs
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:31 AM   #9
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Wrong. It’s asked in the state of registration and their trailer braking laws. Same with license requirements for drivers of heavy RVs
Nope, Geterdun is correct. There is reciprocity in license requirements, there is no reciprocity in equipment requirements.

No clue what you mean by "it is asked".
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:45 AM   #10
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It's Not Only Where You Live, It's Also Where You are Going.

Trailer Brake Laws

https://www.brakebuddy.com/towing-laws.html
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:59 AM   #11
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It's Not Only Where You Live, It's Also Where You are Going.

Trailer Brake Laws

https://www.brakebuddy.com/towing-laws.html
Yep... just like firearm laws/restrictions. That's why we have states... and communities. EACH decides what's best for the residents therein.

I can drive my car without an entire exhaust system in Ohio, but cross the river into WV... likely ticket city.

You come slogging through town tailgating (like in the anecdotal story) and you just might wind up with two citations... most obvious is assured clear distance, followed by illegal equipment... or lack thereof... with no auxiliary brakes on the toad. Yikes!
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Old 06-08-2023, 04:42 AM   #12
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Even if towing a 2400 lb car without an aux brake system is legal why would you want to? That's over a ton of weight pushing your E450 chassis down a mountain road. That's a surefire recipe for overheated brakes.
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Old 06-08-2023, 05:48 AM   #13
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U-Haul rents trailers over 2,400-pounds without brakes. Not sure of legal implications.

Iíve towed fully loaded single-axle U-Haul close to 2,700 pounds with vehicles weighing as little as 3,500 pounds. No doubt it extends braking distance, but would do it again if I needed.
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Old 06-08-2023, 11:03 AM   #14
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Most folks never need safety devices like smoke detectors, supplemental braking systems, gun safes, etc. Sure you can save money by not using them but how are you going to feel if you forgo them and have a fire, are involved in a vehicle crash, or a minor gains access to a firearm, and the result is the loss of a love one. Sure you were legal, but will that make you feel better.
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Old 06-08-2023, 11:36 AM   #15
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U-Haul rents trailers over 2,400-pounds without brakes. Not sure of legal implications.

Iíve towed fully loaded single-axle U-Haul close to 2,700 pounds with vehicles weighing as little as 3,500 pounds. No doubt it extends braking distance, but would do it again if I needed.
UHaulís 6x trailers, car transporters and tow follies all have surge brakes. Their small utility trailers have no braking. This is per UHaulís site.
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:38 PM   #16
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Interesting observation regarding towing on I70

Car buyers from Mexico purchasing two or three vehicles weekly tow them as doubles

One vehicle with 2 in tow

Across I70 to 83 and on South to Mexico

They do have magnetic tow lights

Going on for many years
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Old 06-08-2023, 02:29 PM   #17
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Most folks never need safety devices like smoke detectors, supplemental braking systems, gun safes, etc. Sure you can save money by not using them but how are you going to feel if you forgo them and have a fire, are involved in a vehicle crash, or a minor gains access to a firearm, and the result is the loss of a love one. Sure you were legal, but will that make you feel better.
Excellent points and at heart of the issue.

I donít view safety as black and white, but rather shades of grey that force us to rely on our personal judgment on where to draw the line on what is ďsafe enoughĒ, and what is not.

There is no absolute safety, so no matter what we do, we could have done more if viewed after something goes wrong. But does that justify spending all our time, money, and resources creating a safety shield where almost nothing bad can happen? I suppose some people are naturally wired to take more risks, and others live in greater fear of things that may go wrong. Iím not criticizing or taking sides at either extreme, just feel there has to be a middle ground.

For example, the things you mentioned above are absolutely correct, but I would bet that my chances of dying in a house fire without a smoke alarm is much less than getting killed while riding my bike with cars passing by at 70 MPH. Maybe not? I do have smoke detectors, and a gun safe, but also ride my bike in traffic, climb on roof, hike where there are bears, occasionally eat eggs, bacon, and sausage, etc. Have never smoked, thatís definitely too dangerous.

Sometimes itís tough to decide what is safe enough, but hope that even when things go wrong, that I will accept it as part of living and not be consumed with regret.
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Old 06-08-2023, 08:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
U-Haul rents trailers over 2,400-pounds without brakes. Not sure of legal implications.

Iíve towed fully loaded single-axle U-Haul close to 2,700 pounds with vehicles weighing as little as 3,500 pounds. No doubt it extends braking distance, but would do it again if I needed.
But not over 3000 lbs GVWR without brakes. They use the common 3000 lb dividing line and your tow vehicle must be heavier than the trailer.

I don't know, but for those states with lower than 3000 lb limits they may not rent the smaller, no-brake trailers; or they may not care as they aren't the ones getting the ticket.

But then, who has ever got a ticket for a trailer with no brakes, especially in theboat trailer world.
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Old 06-09-2023, 04:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Efotnamvet View Post
Have a Class C Thor WS31 2023 and made one trip with two wheel dolly but at my age the dolly is just too much, so I have found and purchase a 2019 Fiat 500 with standard shift with only 60K miles. I am very happy with this vehicle, weighs in at about 2400 pounds. Getting base plate and hitch installed in a week, then off on out yearly trip out west stopping at Custer SD for Bike week for two weeks. Installer says that I can forgo the brake system due to the light weight of the Fiat, opinions??
No one wants their towed or toad to become a missile. With proper safety checks and safety chains/cables, I have towed boats and tent trailers under 3k, all with no brakes, for 30+ years with no issue. We have a 2300 lb Geo Tracker toad, pulled from 1k elevation to 8k elevation and down regularly in AZ. The MH travel weight plus toad weight roughly equal our E450 weight class of 14,500 lbs. Knowing this I feel the MH braking system is appropriate for the load and has not been an issue in our city and mountain travels. Your WS31 maybe closer to the 14,500 lbs than our 24F. Hope you enjoy your Fiat as much as we have fun with our toad.
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Old 06-09-2023, 12:36 PM   #20
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You can tow with or without brakes, but why would you go without a supplemental braking system? I flat tow our car and have a supplemental braking system to assist in stopping. I would not trust the installer about this issue since he is not the one doing the towing. If you should get involved in an accident, don't you think your auto insurance carrier might have a say so as to if you are covered or not based on having or not having a supplemental braking systems installed and working at the time of the accident?

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