Originally Posted by eldermike
Nothing will if its your fault.
Nothing can stop a civil lawsuit... even if it ISN'T your fault. It costs very little to sue someone else. There are erroneous lawsuits filed every day in most jurisdictions.
The person suing you would have to PROVE that you were overweight AND that being overweight was the direct cause of the damage AND that you intentionally were unsafe.
By the way, where are all these lawyers that respond to the scene of a wreck with scales and weigh all the debris? By the time a civil attorney is hired and has gotten a subpoena to weigh your rig its been days, weeks or even months since the wreck. Weights that long after the fact are hard to prove. People may have gained or lost weight, gear that was in the truck or trailer could be gone. A roof leak could have allowed water to saturate the building materials of the trailer and increased the weight beyond what it was at the time.
On the other hand, you can be sued even if all your numbers are below spec and you were below the speed limit.
In other words, its all internet hyperbole. Your friend is making a poor decision trying to tow without the correct equipment though. Its pretty unlikely he is involved in a collision and gets sued. It is far more likely that he has a terrible time towing and doesn't enjoy camping as a result. Personally, its not worth it. Camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If my drive is terrible and I am scared to death driving, I will be too stressed to enjoy my stay.