Almost all US states require brakes on certain trailers and other towed vehicles. Without brakes you run the risk of a ticket or even worse, liability if an accident occurs because you were unable to stop. Here is some very valuable information to help you determine if you are legal, concerning braking, in your travels.
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TowShop has been supplying discount priced RV, tow vehicle, utility and camping trailer parts since 1982. From electric powered trailer jacks, brake controls and receiver hitches to truck camper jacks and tie downs our prices are hard to beat. If you want to do some maintenance on your motorcycle, cargo, horse or boat trailer we can help. B&W Turnover Ball gooseneck and Companion 5th wheel hitches, Atwood, Fulton and Bulldog tongue jacks, Draw-Tite and Torklift SuperHitch receivers, Tekonsha and Hayes Lemmerz electric brake controls are just a few of the great products available. Want to add a towing related accessory to your tow rig such as a Firestone Ride-Rite air helper spring or onboard air compressor kit? Our sales change regularly so check back often.

Weight Limits for Towing without Supplemental Brakes  (Source: American Automobile Association Digest of Motor Laws, 2008 Edition)           

image of trailer brake requirement chart             image of trailer brake requirement map          

Oregon law requires that any vehicle or combination of vehicles weighing less than 8,000 pounds must be able to stop within a travel lane in 25 feet from 20 miles per hour.

If the vehicle or combination of vehicles weighs over 8,000 pounds, the vehicle must be able to stop within a travel lane in 35 feet from 20 miles per hour. 

Check your owner’s manual of the tow vehicle to see what the manufacturer recommends.

Most manufacturers recommend trailer brakes if the trailer and load weighs 1,000 pounds or more. (ORS 815.125)


Kansas, Utah and Wyoming law requires any vehicle or combination to be able to stop from 20 MPH within 40' or less.

                                          Weight Limit By Pounds Or Other Restriction (See "Key")

                                     United States                                                                      Canada

 3,000  North Dakota  3,000  Alberta  2,000
 3,000  Ohio  2,000  British Columbia  3,080
 3,000  Oklahoma  3,000  Manitoba  'A'
 3,000  Oregon  ‘A’  New Brunswick  3,000
 10,000  Pennsylvania  3,000  Newfoundland  ‘A’
 3,000  Rhode Island  4,000  Northwest Territories  'C'
 3,000  South Carolina  3,000  Nova Scotia  4,000
 2,000  South Dakota  3,000  Ontario  3,000
 ‘B’  Tennessee  3,000  Prince Edward Island  3,300
 3,000  Texas  4,500  Quebec  2,860
 3,000  Utah  2,000  Saskatchewan  3,000
 1,500  Vermont  3,000  Yukon Territory   2,000
 New Hampshire
 3,000  Virginia  3,000    
 New Jersey
 3,000  Washington  3,000    
 Indiana  3,000  New Mexico  3,000  West Virginia  3,000    
 New York
 1,000  Wisconsin  3,000    
 North Carolina
 4,000  Wyoming  'A'    


                                                                                          'A' — Must stop within a specified distance
                                                                                          'B' — Not stated or no requirement
                                                                                          'C' — Supplemental brakes always required

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TowShop LLC
PO Box 313
Eagle Creek, Oregon  97022

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An electric trailer brake controller will be needed to activate the brakes
on most utility trailers. There is a large variety of styles and models
available on the market. If your trailer already has the brake assemblies
installed click the picture below to check out our selection of controls.
                                image of tekonsha p3 trailer brake electric controller

We also offer a selection of repair parts and complete replacement backing
plate assemblies to help you upgrade an existing system.
                        imag of electric trailer brake assembly

Do you tow a "dinghy" car behind your motorhome? If so you probably
need an actuator for the towed vehicle brakes. As with trailer brakes, there
are several supplemental brake activator systems of different types available.
                        image of patriot brake by blue ox for towed car braking