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Old 04-21-2021, 08:16 AM   #1
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Braked / Unbraked Towing Capacity....??

At the risk of contributing to the never ending discussions on tow vehicle capacities, I thought I'd pass on something interesting.

Had a conversation with a retired co-owner of a car dealership awhile back. The topic of RVing and tow vehicles came up. He told me that there is such a specification called "Braked Towing Capacity" as well as "Unbraked Towing Capacity" for every vehicle rated to tow something. It is a subset of the GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating).

"Braked Towing Capacity" is the towing capacity of the tow vehicle if it is towing a trailer that has fully functioning brakes. (Not 100% sure how they define "fully functioning".)

"Unbraked Towing Capacity" is the towing capacity of the tow vehicle if it towing a trailer that does not have brakes or the brakes on it have failed.

Has anyone else ever heard of these ratings? The retired dealer owner said that these braked/unbraked ratings are not usually made public knowledge. If a fellow had an accident while towing, would the authorities or insurance companies use these ratings?

Or..........Was the fellow blowing smoke up my @#$?
Kevin & Yolanda Maksymyk

2009 Volvo 730 Custom RV Hauler & 2013 SmartCar
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:06 AM   #2
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M.O.C. #20477

Have heard of it but not seen charts. Seems like common sense. If I remember right the heaviest trailer in the non brake category is in the 2000 lb range. It doesn't come anywhere near a consideration for our rigs.
Zack and Donna plus Millie and Ranger
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:06 PM   #3
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never heard of it.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:25 PM   #4
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I had never heard of it. But it is a real thing. Google it.

One example;
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:23 PM   #5
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I've heard of weight limits for trailers that do not have brakes. It is a law moreso than a rating for the tow vehicle.
2016 3160, Legacy, Sailuns, Splendide 2100 xc vented, 1 1/2" axle lift blocks, 2014 Ram 3500 SRW SWB 4X4 6.7 Aisin Mega Cab, EBC slotted disks and brakes, Titan fuel tank.
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