A Frame braked tow system

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Goose, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    Autoroller has made a brilliant contribution with the thread on A-Frame and braking and I didn't want to hijack it.

    Roughly what price does a car-a-tow braked system (or similar) system cost in the UK? Before leaving Canada, should I purchase a Brake Buddy Classic ($1150) or Vantage ($1500) with a Blue-ox a-frame tow bar ($750) ie total around $1900 - 2250 (£1150-1350) or would I be better off with a fitted car-a-tow or similar system purchased in the UK?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    hi goose,

    the Blue Ox A frames seem popular with the RV drivers over here but the majority of european van A framers use the uk versions....caratow etc.

    all the uk versions use the over-run cable brake systems which, by design, present problems....ie: reversing.

    if you were going to bring a brake-buddy anyway then it would be a better option to an over-run system.

    i think the uk ones come in two towing weights...1000kg and around 1600kg depending on the weight of the toad you intend pulling.
    this is only the hitch limit....the frame itself should take a lot more weight.
     
  3. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Hi Goose

    just had fitted this week Car A Tow A frame to Peugeot 107 toad , cost of A frame for DIY fitting £784 incl delivery. I had a local garage do the fit which cost me £323.
    If you have it supplied and fitted by one of car a tow agents its about £ 50 less .
    Check out their website www.caratow.com

    Larry
     
  4. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    I have a braked Car-a-Tow system and it is HEAVY - something to bear in mind if shipping from Canada. You may also have to pay duty on it if importing from Canada. ( we got caught out with customs duty when importing a lappy screen from USA)

    Ours cost just under 1000 UK Pounds in December last and this included fitting to our new Matiz.
    If you buy one in Canada you still have to fit it to your your Toad here unless of course you are bringing the car plus frame from Canada.
    There is still some doubt here as to whether the Brake Buddy system is legal - Dont shoot the messenger. UK regulations were framed before Brake Buddy systems were available here so the regulations ignore their existence.
    Let us all know of your plans as time draws near for your trip.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    forgot to mention.....the cost of a caratow is around £750 plus fitting.

    heres a link to CARATOW

    enter a car and model and it'll give you the price.
     
  6. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the replies Gents. Import duties are not a problem (...or is unlikely to be a problem) since we're bring a 40 ft container with ALL our household belongings across...so it would be in amongst all that and declared as having been owned for 6 months ie import duty-free.

    Because some things are simply so much cheaper in "the land of the free" we're trying to figure out what would be best buying here, before moving, and what would be best buying in the UK.

    It seems from the responses that, cost-wise, a car-a-tow system will cost less (overall) fitted, but the brake-buddy combined with a blue-ox towing a-frame might have some benefit over the car-a-tow's "over-run" functionality. I'll have to research whether this would be the case. Many thanks.:thumb:

    Subsequent edit: I've just done some research and stumbled across this article which very nicely articulates the issues surrounding towing:

    http://www.a-tconsulting.co.uk/caravan_tech/towing_a_car.html

    I've no doubt that a number of you old-timers and experienced motorhomers/rvers will be rolling their eyes at yet more discussion on the a-frame topic, but I'm sure there are others out there who , just like me, simply don't get it (unfortunately, try as I might, there are so many things I just don't get...d'oh).

    Perhaps the above article should be read together with Autorollers excellent contribution in this thread:

    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/motorhome-chat/19432-frame-legalities-update.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
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  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    the over-run system does work quite well if its set up correctly.

    a little too much slack in the cable and the brakes dont fully apply....a little tight and they are binding all the time.

    trial and error setting it up whereas the 'buddy' is just there.....works all the time, every time.
     
  8. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    One deciding factor may be your choice of Toad
    Blue Ox is a far superior unit to any made in the UK.and mounting kits are available of the shelf
    Unfortunately blue ox have a limited range of kits available and seem only to make mounting kits for the American/Canadian vehicles, with the odd Jap model here and there.
    The Blue OX A frame connecting method compared to the UK "Frankenstein" method is also much nicer

    If its A European Toad you have in mind the lack of a kit may be a problem

    The UK A frames are far heavier Bigger and can not be left attached to the RV like the Blue Ox, so take up either RV locker or luggage space in the Toad.
    Mounting kits for Euro cars are made to order so any Euro car you choose an almost custom kit will be made
    The Brake buddy Classic I use is great as it will swap vehicle to vehicle without having to re install The benefit of the Vantage as I understand it is the brake effort for the toad can be adjusted from the RV
    Geo
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  9. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    I use a Blue Ox to tow my Volvo V70 estate behind my diesel pusher - in conjunction with the Brake Buddy Vantage - and I absolutely swear by it.

    I have a control box for the Buddy on the dashboard which tells me what is happening 'Brake' wise and which I can adjust on the move.

    The only difference that I have made is that I feed a live 12 volt supply to the Buddy from the RV rather than from the cigar lighter in the car. I want to know that if I have to stop and remove the car in a hurry, that it has enough battery to start immediately!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  10. Autoroller

    Autoroller Read Only Funster

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    Getting an unbiased view from the NTTA is like getting turkeys to vote for christmas, after all they represent sellers of trailers!

    The fitting of auto-reverse brakes are NOT called for in the EEC directive, they are simply the means by how "reversing without manual intervention" is achieved in caravans and other trailers.

    A-framers do need to take more of a responsibility and "technical" input into thier adjustment, fittment, and setup of thier particular combination each and every time they take to the road, over and above standard towers but that does not make them illegal or unfit to tackle most situations, including reversing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
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