Law governing tow capacity? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
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Law governing tow capacity?

Does the tow car manufacturer's rating have legal significance other than additional evidence if lawyers wanted to make a case after a worse case incident? Specifically for California where the tow vehicle is registered and where the trailer would be registered. But also in NM where it will spend time. I called AAA, my car insurer and asked about guidelines to make sure I'd be properly covered and legal. They said at first I should tow under the makers tow capacity. But I said it wasn't rated for towing at all. So they said, that's OK, but you should follow the hitch makers rating. But the hitch maker just says, "strong enough to tow more than you should with this car", and, "computer analysis shows the hitch is strong enough to hold the whole car up!" AAA said to make sure the car was still under it's max weight with the trailer on the hitch. Which shouldn't be hard, the car weighs 2450 empty, so a 100 or 150lb tongue on the hitch still leaves room for me (160lbs) and some gear. The max weight is 2950lbs or so. I don't plan on towing more than 1500lbs, and I wouldn't do it without electronic brakes and a well set up controller. I have an acquaintance who says he tows a 1000lb 4x8 enclosed trailer with no brakes on a similar car and feels quite comfortable with it.

My proposed tow vehicle has 200+ horsepower with massive upgraded brakes, top of the line upgraded shocks, much stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, stiffened frame rails, etc. It only has about a 90" wheel base however.

Any ideas about the actual legality of these situations, more than what might, in some case, after an incident, with the wrong lawyers involved, might put me in jeopardy if sued. Just curious the letter of the law says.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:21 PM   #2
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Whoever has the biggest lawyer usually wins.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
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Whoever has the biggest lawyer usually wins.
As is usually the case. No getting around that no matter what you tow and what you tow with.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:51 PM   #4
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It is unfortunate that the rules of a location you are in trumps all others.
Only know rules for Ontario they will only get you started; insurance company only cared that we made these requirements (road legal)

1 Trailer over 3000 lbs or 1360 kg or if trailer weight over 50% of tv weight then trailer brakes required (our car is 1740 kg so over 870 kg / 1918 lbs needs brakes for us to pull)
"would want for any load over 500 lbs but that is only personal pref not law"

2 Our car can only do 370 kg / 825 lbs in cargo includes trunk load and passengers
Me + my wife + the dogs + tongue + wd + hitch = 740 lbs (rounded up)
825 - 740 = 85 for cargo in car (told 825 plus hitch of 200) and told include it in the total for car of 825 that is how it sounds when reading it so playing it safe weights all rounded up and have 85 lbs to spare; wd will do more but still have car limitations for total load

3 wd unit or reg draw bar plus the tongue weight is added to the TV weight without wd system our car has a 200 lb limit on tongue including draw bar weight

4 They do not care about the weight of the tailer except as it pertains to the trailer limits on axle and tire limits (17' boler has 3500 lb axle and ST205r14 C rated tires 1760 each at 50 lbs for 3520 max

Note: Wd system transfers weight, some goes back to trailer axle the rest is transfered forward on the TV

5 Load must be reasonably level, have safety chains of required strength, breakaway switch if brakes needed and be under control.

The car without wd or brakes is rated to be 1500 lbs as that is it control limit posted by Toyota. Brakes transfer trailer stopping load to the trailer and wd also increases traction as tongue weight lifts front end like a lever without wd system. Class III makes life good and our trailer legal

Pulling power is a mix of air resistance (shape of trailer make a difference), hp, gearing, and weight as long as we can do the proper speed they do not care
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:09 PM   #5
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P.S. in Ontario Canada forgot to add if trailer has factory installed brakes they must be used and would be required
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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After doing more cypherin' than they did, before leavin' the driveway, everyone should get a shoulder patch like this....
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Borden
P.S. in Ontario Canada forgot to add if trailer has factory installed brakes they must be used and would be required
Here in Maryland, the law states that a trailer over 3,000 pounds must have brakes. And that any trailer with brakes must have a breakaway system.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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Whoever has the biggest lawyer usually wins.
But do the lawyers get to bring their Dads along and the biggest Dad wins?
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:57 AM   #9
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If the tow vehicle is not rated for towing, I would hide all my assets B 4 towing anything with it so the BIG LAWYER doesn't wind up with 30% of the judgement.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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Sounds like what lawyer's dream about, a person who is given written advice and decides not to follow it because......
If your concern is lawsuits, take some law courses and become familiar with the law, or purchase an umbrella insurance policy that would connect your auto with your home for $1,000,000 coverage, one shot deal, cheap, maybe $300/year.
Obviously you have doubts and that is why you are here, but any advice received here will not help you in court.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
If the tow vehicle is not rated for towing, I would hide all my assets B 4 towing anything with it so the BIG LAWYER doesn't wind up with 30% of the judgement.
Believe me, lawyers have ways to find assets just like the government and any law enforcement agency can. Unless you put the money in cans and bury it, it can be found. I did it for 30 some years. If you spend it or put it anywhere else. Otherwise what is the point of having it?
By the way, do not bury money, worms will eat it!!
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
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Live in Canada Eh?
I just make sure setup is legal and have liability insurance
Insurance company said or trailer insurance coverage is just for liability parked, theft or damage to trailer
While towing car insurance covers the rest

We can modify our TV bigger engine, hp chip, cargo coils in rear, hd shocks/struts, air bags if fifthwheel and more (Just need to be within the law much is grey with some changes)

Note: Car tongue weight is not improved with cargo coils on class I hitch was told as it does not fix the lever effect lifting the front wheels reducing steering but they do help ride comfort and help level car with full trunk
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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Believe me, lawyers have ways to find assets just like the government and any law enforcement agency can. Unless you put the money in cans and bury it, it can be found. I did it for 30 some years. If you spend it or put it anywhere else. Otherwise what is the point of having it?
By the way, do not bury money, worms will eat it!!


Where did you burry it?
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Believe me, lawyers have ways to find assets just like the government and any law enforcement agency can. Unless you put the money in cans and bury it, it can be found. I did it for 30 some years. If you spend it or put it anywhere else. Otherwise what is the point of having it?
By the way, do not bury money, worms will eat it!!


Where did you burry it?
Supposedly Xavier Cougat, Cuban Night Club owner on west coast who started performing in New York, playing Latin music. His 4th wife - Charo- said on tv's Johhny Carson appearance after he died, that she went out back in the yard to dig up 6 coffee cans that Xavier told her about that he had buried with cash, somehow the cans rusted and all the paper was now worm meat.
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