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.
The following is information from the American Automobile Association Digest of Motor Laws, 2008 Edition regarding US state and Canadian Provincial bsupplemental braking laws.
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. (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.
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.
Supplemental braking kits and electric brake actuators (controllers) are available to fit most, pickups, vans, commercial trucks and motorhome chassis.
Electric and hydraulic trailer brakes are also available to retrofit most trailer without OEM installed brakes.
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