A Frame CE Certificate

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by BBCOBMIKE, May 18, 2010.

  1. BBCOBMIKE

    BBCOBMIKE Read Only Funster

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    I am considering an A frame to tow a micro car behind the Chinook RV and have had a look at other posts on this forum concerning A frames which have caused me to stop and reconsider. Especially as Spain is on the agenda.

    I came across the Tow Bars 2 Tow Cars outfit and on their web site they quote the following

    We supply all our customers with a CE certificate proving that our system meets all the laws. We also supply in English, Spanish and French information on our towing system and how it complies with EU law. We have had vehicles stop for a spot check but no customer has been forced to remove their tow car or been fined. The authorities recognise a CE certificate as an official document.

    Can anyone confirm that the CE certificate they refer to does the trick with authorities?

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    however legal in your own country the law forbids vehicles being towed in Spain, unless on a trailer. Even recovery services HAVE to use a trailer. Most recently this has been enforced more and more. The rest of Europe is much more laid back.
     
  3. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Anything towed by/used as a part of/accessory to any vehicle now needs ce/eu approval. This certificate will prove, when stopped, that your device is compliant, proffessionally made and tested. It will also have a SWL rating (Safe Working Load).

    When a device is contructed, it is submitted for testing - here they bend, stretch and generally try to break it. The force used to break it is measured at the point of failure. Then figure is then halved, and that is the SWL rating.

    It basically is proof that the item is safe, and constructed with good materials by a competant person.

    IF you were to use a home-made device, or one contructed or converted from something else (ie caravan chassis/boat trailer based box trailer) you would have no 'proof' of its' strength, or safe capacity of load, nor of the adaptions made.

    Saying 'it used to carry a 2 ton boat, so the engine in it is fine' is not good enough - IT HAS to have a certificate of compliance to be deemed roadworthy. They will seize the device and you will be prosecuted under 'Construction and Use' offences. In basic terms, you would not be using the item for the purpose it was constructed for.

    So all devices now have to be tested in order to use them on the road - and this is what this certicate proves - keep it with your documents within the vehicle when using the device. It proves that it is a genuine item fit for use and in compliance with UK/EU laws!:thumb:
     
  4. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    You might be lucky to get away with it here in Spain as your on holiday, but we here with Spanish Reg can not use an A frame. If your Unlucky you could be facing a fine none of the police here know whats going on half the time so tack care if you tow here:thumb:
     
  5. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    As I recall things, the CE Directives were put in place to protect consumers at the point of sale. That is, any product that could be hazardous in some way, had to either be self-certified or tested (if the items were of a "complex" nature). It became illegal to SELL such products in the EU without the CE mark. It was not and is not illegal to buy or use products without a CE mark, as far as I know.

    The UK construction and use regulations apply specifically to road vehicles. And other countries have their own laws concerning the construction of vehicles and trailers. I do not think that the CE mark is directly related. My trailer, 19 years old, bought in England and made in France, has no CE mark because it pre-dates the CE Directives, and is legal in the UK and France.

    But, even if the A Frame has a CE mark, that does not mean that it is legal to use it in Spain. Different legislation.
     
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  6. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    Id be asking for confirmation in writing that as they are so confident of their product legality that they will be happy to cover any costs you incur through using it and are happy to compensate you should you have probelms in the future :Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  7. gazz

    gazz Formerly "gazznhelz"

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    if you want to tow a car in spain, get a trailer, and read up on the spanish laws for cars on trailers, as they may well differ from uk ones,

    you might well argue that if it's legal in the country of registration, it will be in another country, but spanish coppers dont seem to care about that, and when you have 6 of them telling you it's illegal and they want to fine you or seize it, theres not much you can do, other than to wind them up even more and find other charges added.

    i found that out with a dog trailer for a scooter, totally legal in the uk, germany, france, holland, belgium, switzerland, austria, italy,
    but in spain within 10kms of using it, i was pulled over and read the riot act, no live animals allowed in trailers towed by motorbikes in spain.

    i had a half hearted argument about it being legal in england, so should be in any other eu country,

    the response was they would seize the scooter and trailer, impound the dog, crush the scoot and trailer, and i'd be in prison whilst that was happening.

    i became very very apologetic about it, and asked to be allowed to take it back to the motorhome and store it, and we'd leave spain the next day,
    they allowed me to do this, but not after demanding my documents and checking them with HQ.
     
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  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    to get a ce there is no bending or distruction type of test its all aload of crap .its just like a car or motor cycle there is no distruction test .manufacturers may at their discresion offer their vehicles for tests to distruction they are not obliged to do so. all steel can be bought with a known quality so using the steel code is quite ample.
    as a visitor to spain you can still use an a frame . eu law protects you and if you are fined by police in spain you must take all details and report it to the eu courts of apeal.
    i do still get involved with the construction of new bikes and cars they cant destroy vehicles and there as never been a country in the world that as made it a necassary requirement.
    it just a scare mongary statement made by people that dont understand the requirements.
    cheers alan.
     
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  9. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    Alan
    Have you ever tried taking Spain to a EU Court of appeal my friend has been waiting nearly 3 years now to get there over a house he owns and the cost 3,000 euros so far.
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi ken .no i have not had the pleasure as yet. i never said it would be easy .if you want easy use a trailer. then you possibly break the train of the towed vehicle .that is definately an offence that could cause your vehicle to be impounded .
    i would still uphold that if its legal in your own country it is legal throughout eu. there as been precident set and people have had their fines returned .
    it can be difficult even here to get authority to right its wrong doings ,but if you bow down to them you lose. i personally am still involved with a case against dorset speed camera partnership and dorset police its been going on for 5 years and will be going on alot longer till they correct there mistake properly.
    i do know many funsters have been returned fines and licences cleaned .many have already acknowledged the struggle i have had. there is still a few million pound to be returned and they will return it believe me. euro court is only just around the corner on this case.
    cheers alan.
    i have sent a message to momo to see what the spanishclubs can find out about the last lot of posts on a frames in spain .may be you could help .
     
  11. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    Love to help Alan I am not in any Spanish clubs here but have Spanish friends with MH I have before ask them about the A frame and showed them photos of them and they still tell me you cant use them in Spain as i said before if your on holiday here you might be lucky and get away with it but you only got to meet the wrong police thats had a bad day you know what they can be like the problem here is know one knows what the law is on the A frame it would be good for me and others if we could use them.:thumb:
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    ken ,i am sure as a spanish m,home you cant use them . but if you were visiting then it puts things in a different light. there are many things we do here but you cant and vise versa. i am waitng for a reply from pierre navarro at this very monent .as when i returned this year there was a report of a spanish ruling that i want to check. when i get a reply i will post it on here . i did see lots this year ,i never saw any stopped or met anyone that had a problem. cause that doesnt mean alot really .
    i did challenge the guardia winter before last about parking /camping and after alot of fuss gave him a copy of the letter momo posted on here .he came back the day later and said yes you can stay. that was at aguiles .we stayed again this year and had no probs. so it can work. cheers alan.
     
  13. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    Thats funny Alan I tried the letter bit this year in Gandia but did not win they came back 3 hr later and said there boss said go.:thumb:
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    spent 3 nights in gandia in december 15-18. parked in a truck park near leroy merlin and a cheap electric store and lots sport shops . had no trouble . but not by the sea. cheers alan.
    actually i went to a dentist and had a tooth out in gandia,that was painfull.
     
  15. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    Isn't it ridiculous that such a simple question cannot be answered in a definitive way?!!:Sad:

    It is not even as clear as one might think in the UK. Read this article from the Department for Transport regarding the law in the UK:
    http://www.ukmotorhomes.net/a-frames.shtml

    The technical requirements are certainly very tough. Especially the little matter of the towed car's brakes (using an overrun system) being supplied with a vacuum source for the servo, because without servo assistance disk brakes are practically useless. And, of course, if the towed vehicle engine is not running, there will be no servo-assistance.

    It all points to the benefits of using a scooter or hiring a car on arrival!
     
  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    its a well known fact that the servo does not give you better brakes .it only aids aplication . tests have been done and there is not really any advantage as far as stopping power . i believe results can be searched on this forum.
    when the aframe is connected to a tow vehicle the forward motion is by far greater than most people could apply to the brake pedal even with a servo.
    cheers alan.
     
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  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    This topic was previously covered and Geo ran tests on his own brake rollers and concluded ..

    Full Thread
     
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  18. gazz

    gazz Formerly "gazznhelz"

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    On a small car, i.e. the type to be towed on an a-frame, the servo is only there to make the pedal affort less, sort of like the girly buttons that increase power steering pressure on some cars,

    i've tested my smart, engine off, on a slight hill, pumped the vacuum away and let her roll, absolutely no problems stopping, only slightly more pressure needed to operate the brakes, and of course they have exactly the same performance as with the servo,

    of course there's no emergancy brake assist, that is nothing short of amazing, i've only triggered it deliberately on my smart, i pulls the pedal away from your foot, abs is on, and you stop very very very fast.

    on a 4 ton motorhome it's another matter, i had a problem with my vacuum pump a couple of years ago, seal had gone and it was filling up with oil, thus reducing it's capacity, would create a vacuum but took a while to do so, and once i'd used up the vacuum in the resovoir from repeated brake applications when doing a 3 point turn, the brake pedal was bloomin hard to push,

    i've now got the extra large vacuum resovoir on my van, usually fitted to the busses, it takes over 15 pedal pushes to depleat that, and of course a new vacuum pump was fitted in austria (only time i ever let a garage work on my van, they were so much cheaper than iveco uk who charge £150 an hour labour, and the pump would have been double what i got it for)


    i have noticed that the people who sell the a-frames with the vacuum pumps and electronic brake aplicators spout the rubbish about the brakes not being effective without the servo,
    just as bad as those who claim you dont need brakes because the car weighs under 750 kilos empty,
    shame it's the MAM weight that applies to decide if brakes are needed or not, and only 1 car has a mam under 750 kilos, but also there's something in the C&E regs i believe that states that if brakes are present, they must be operational, now i dont know of any cars that dont have brakes as standard,

    i know BMW's and taxi's have indicators listed as an option, but brakes, they are pretty much universal on all cars.
     
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  19. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    thats correct gazz.....regardless of weight, if brakes are fitted then they ALL must work to the minimum TRAILER brake efficiency.
    and as you say, all cars have brakes.
    this should also apply to motorcycles being towed with the front wheel in a frame and the rear on the ground...it has a rear brake therefore it must work.

    i believe the only exception to this is an official recovery vehicle using such as a 'spec frame' recovery lift.
     
  20. J&S

    J&S Funster

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    Hi I have just been told by the owner/trader TowBars 2 TowCars Near Grimsby that since the A Frames he sells are marked as CE approved I can (as a visitor, not a resident in France or Germany) tow a my car in those countries for up to 6 Months.
    He also said that since Spain had not signed up to the CE thing I could not use it in there.
    He also commented that EU law is not the controlling thing with respect to A Frames, its the CE directive that matters...

    Is he breaking British law saying this to prospective buyers of his A Frames or can I believe him ?????
     
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