Most US States and Canadian provinces have their own laws on the requirement brakes on a trailer pulled. Add trailer also applies to vehicles being towed behind a motor home. These laws are usually based on the amount of weight being towed. One problem with this is that it might be legal to draw 2,000 pound trailer with no brakes in the state where you live, but as soon as you cross the State Line of border state, it is illegal to pull the same trailer without brakes. Add this insurance may not cover you in the event of an accident involving a trailer with no braking. Again, the most important reason is to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
brakes on the tow vehicle or motor home is designed by the vehicle manufacturer to check the weight of the vehicle, not tow more weight behind it. This additional weight adds significantly increase the distance to stop safely.
Travel trailers and 5th wheels come equipped with electric brakes and RV dealers educate the RV consumer demands on improving the electronic brake control to the tow vehicle. Some pop-ups are ordered with brakes and some without. Again, this is more often based on braking the laws of the state you live in. Keep in mind that when you cross the state line it could become illegal. My advice is if you are going to buy a pop-up one that has brakes.
The real culprit for disregarding brakes law motor home reduces vehicle behind it. Most people assume that because of the size of the motor home there is no need for additional brake system attachment and sometimes RV dealers not to submit a claim for additional braking.
I for one was guilty reduces vehicle without braking system for quite some time. A minimalist, driving through a major city during rush hour, suddenly educated me how important it is. Another thing that surprises people is how much the towing vehicle actually weighs. Take pulled the car to a set of scales and weighed it. Make sure it has everything in it that will be there when you have to reduce it. After you weigh it double check to make sure the receiver of the motor home is estimated to reduce the amount of weight you are not of any of the motor home weight ratings as gross combined weight rating (GCWR). The GCWR is the maximum permissible weight of the fully loaded motor home and fully charged attachments together. Most RV chassis manufacturers build their GCWR on the assumption that additional brake system is in use.
Regardless brake system that best suits your individual needs is important is that you have one. There are many reasons to have a braking system on the car slowed.
1) It’s the law
2) It could void the vehicle warranty
3) It may void your insurance
4) It will reduce wear on the RV brakes and other components
But most importantly it reduces OFF braking distance and helps to protect you, your loved ones and the safety of others.
Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101