A frame info, don't dismis out of hand please.

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by knokinonabit, May 1, 2013.

  1. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I know that A frames have been done to death, and I don't even have one, but potentially may have in the future, so please be patient with me.

    It is probably old news for most of you, but could I draw your attention to this www.caratow.com/legal.php as I think it is worth reading all the way through. If I knew how to reproduce it here, so you didn't have to find it, I would.

    Although I realise that as a company they are trying to preserve their business, so it is in their interest to get as much help as possible, but it seems to highlight the way rules and regs are interpretted by individual countries. If we are supposed to all abide by Euro laws then surely they must all be acted upon in the same way, regardless of country ? If we have common policy to travel Europe freely then everyone must toe (pun intended) the Euro line.

    The reason that I came across this is that a friend asked about A frames to tow a vintage car to rallies, instead of using a trailer. He was going to use a system like those found at www.easy-tow.co.uk which provide neither brakes or lights. I hope I have put him off.

    Comments please :hardhat:
     
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  2. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    There are a few options;

    Unbraked dollies CAN be used in the UK - BUT you cannot go on a motorway, and cannot exceed 40mph. It is usually only acceptable to tow a disabled vehicle home, and not for transport.

    Braked ones are similar to above, though not with the speed restriction. Again, you can only tow on a motorway to the nearest exit for a disabled vehicle. You can transport off motorway.

    Dollies such as Phoenix (similar to american towmaster) can be used, though again not on motorways loaded. You do tend to get away with much more as they are far heavier duty.

    RDT (Rapid Deploy Trailers) can be used on the motorway under a loophole as they are permanently attached to the tow vehicle. This of course means having a van or 4X4 with a dolly permanently stowed in the back/on the back - or at least one that can be bolted on seasonally.

    Another option, and probably most suitable for vintage hobbyists has the best of both worlds - the folding car transporter. It is in effect a car transporter railer than folds in half and can be stowed in most peoples garden etc when not in use - the downside is weight capacity, as they can only carry something like 1.5t (1500kg) which is a good tonne under the solid counterpart - but does allow ease of storage. Price is comparative to a full trailer. I think these can be found on ebay.

    Obviously, there are separate issues abroad - but for your friends, I don't imagine there will be too much foreign travel with it attached if he is just going to shows/meets.
     
  3. Snitrats

    Snitrats Funster

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    Yes put your mate off easytow they can only be used for breakdowns despite what the blurb says.
    I read car a tow a few weeks ago as you say ,very interesting as you say,every supplier says their system is legal?
    I have just had an electric system fitted to my car, after much reading and deliberation. I think that all systems fitted to cars will remain legal ! Although Vehicles fitted with a-frames after November 14 will not be allowed the inertia system. Well that's my view anyway:Smile::reel:
     
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  4. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Exactly :Smile: as I have said before they are not road legal even in the UK except to recover a vehicle. As quoted by my nephew a policeman in Strathclyde. The only reason you get away with it is that they have better things to do ! BUT one day they could become the flavor of the moment for the police if they have a target to reach !! Not legal in France either . I tow our Isetta to shows for our local retro club ( but not far as she is tiny and fragile ) but the other club members have told me is not legal but the gendarmes have turned a blind eye as she us cute and obviously only going to a local show.
     
  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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  6. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I have a copy of that as it is another source of info that I had already discovered. But thank you anyway.
     
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Just out of curiosity when do folks use an a frame in preference to a trailer ? Given that in countries such as Spain you could be asked to part company with the a frame ? We use a trailer as when we take a second vehicle it is a motorbike !! Not exactly easy to a frame :Rofl1:

    I am not being rude just curious :Smile:
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    for motor bikes you could spec it across the back of camper . cheaper on ferry etc .
    some use a front wheel single spec and drag the rear wheel.
    i have both here ,. the single one i used with a trike years ago.
    never thought about the brake suposed to work .
    bit like a frame . i used an intertrade no brake version .
    or a harvey frost towboy still have all of it .
     
  9. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Yes here a short trailer is popular with bike across the way but as we already had a trailer have no inclination to buy another :Smile: and bike too heavy for back of the van.

    My actual query was what is the attraction of an a frame against a trailer given the possibility of being stopped . Is it cheaper ? Or more convenient ? There has to be a good reason .
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    less weight .less space used when unhitched .easy to store at home or away.the price is certainly a bonus. i used to take an aframe all over the place before i went artic . never knew what i would buy and need to tow home.
    unfortunately as they got more common folk got stopped .
    used mine all over europe and uk .i had one of the first intertrade type . big pads to rest on bumper. not so good these days . but earnt its cost hundreds of times over.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  11. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Thanks for your reply :Smile: easy life for us . Trailer and motorbike for fun:BigGrin: no worrying you might get stopped when you see the police in any country .
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    same for me always carry my little dax in the back of the trailer.
    cant lift the big drifter in .
    i think most using an aframe would be better off with a fifth wheeler to start with .
     
  13. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    I agree. Why have a motorhome and a car ?? Caravan or fifth wheel would suit better . We take the bike for the fun factor and is a chance to use it more than we do at home !!
     
  14. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Like you I normally would have my bike in a purpose made trailer, but there will come a time when SWMBO says "no more bike".
    The Elddis we had previously could tow 2t legally, so it wasn't an issue.
    Unfortunately our present MH is an Auto-Trail Comanche with 3 axles and an Alko chassis. This is restricted to only being able to tow a maximum of 1t, so it makes things very tight with a trailer and restricts the type of toad that you can have.
    Hence my interest in A-frames. Even then you are restricted to what you can have.
    It would be mainly for UK use anyway, because the UK is not so MH friendly when it comes to parking in towns etc.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  15. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    We bought a Peugeot 107, and had it all fitted at Peterborough Show..

    One of these = http://www.tow-bars2tow-cars.co.uk/the_system.php

    All computerised electric braking on the "Toad"... Light weight "A" Frame...

    Not the cheapest but for a thicko to connect, very simple..

    Towed it 260 miles home and seems to be a great system.. :thumb:

    Even came with a sheet explaining the CE mark and how they were legal, because there is no braking cable to be seen.. In all languages...

    Must try it in "Spain"... :Wink::BigGrin:

    PS... you can even reverse it....:thumb:

    In a straight`ish line... :Rofl1:
     
  16. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Isetta! I have never felt so vunerable in my life!

    I picked one up a beaulieu years ago as an investment. It had been hand painted and looked awful, but was complete. I took it back, rubbed it down to respray it and the side panels twanged off the door frame. Deeper examination revealed the guy couldn't weld and had glue, screwed and bodged it all!

    6 weeks later, full body rebuild - went out looking fantastic! Some mad, stupid lunatic bought it and DROVE back to birmingham (250 miles) DROVE IT! Nutter!....must have taken two weeks!

    Did look stunning though!
     
  17. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    LOL I love "A" frame threads because it polarises the forum. No one knows if it is legal of not so what you get are "opinions" written as "facts"

    If you took the engine out of a car and made it into a trailer, it would be legal lol

    I tow, never thought I would but we have since we have had dogs. We used to cycle every where but cannot do that now.

    We bought a Daihatsu Terios mainly because it states in the handbook that the car can be towed on a "A" frame (a big market in the USA) and I thought that should I ever end up in court, the fact that the manufacturers state that the car is suitable for "A" frame towing would establish that at least from an engineering point of view what I was doing wasn't dangerous.

    In my heart of hearts I suspect that one day I will be banned from towing my car.

    Trailer? not for me thank you (I said that about an "A" frame :Laughing:) I can disconnect the car in seconds, and I have a hook so the "A" frame can be lifted to an angle to allow the car to be driven should the need arise. Also we often disconnect the car on arrival at a site and drive it to the pitch independently and once off, the "A" goes in a locker so no trailer to trip find a home for. I am not adverse to towing, in fact this July we are towing a Zodiac Medline III down to the South of France making us a tad over 18M overall:Eeek:

    I guess that the ultimate question "Is it a car or a trailer" would be answered if you parked on the highway, with the car/trailer connected to the motorhome with no road tax (or whatever we are meant to call it nowadays) on the car and argued that it is a "trailer"

    Many insurers (mine included) will insure a car when towed on a "A" frame and given the numbers of units you see towed it could be considered common practice.

    I can reverse mine, and it has a braking system so falls within the definition of a trailer so I am happy overall

    Eddie
     
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  18. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    Lovely :Smile: we have had ours for over 30 years and restored it from a terrible state. Slowly ! As with a family it was done as we coud afford the parts. The French love it as there are none here as far as we know but they did have the Vellam but nt too many of those survive here either .
     
  19. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I can answer that one! I used the RTA to prove a point years ago with a car I was transplanting an engine into. I left one on the road, whilst the other was having the donor engine removed on the drive.

    Ticket was added for no ta/mot/insurance etc.

    I went to the police station and asked to see the Road Traffic Act - then pointed out the section that stated something like 'A vehicle that has no engine or gearbo ceases to become a mechanically propelled vehicle, and is considered and treated as a trailer in law and thus is eempt from ta, mot , insurance'

    I had an apology - and an unhappy neighbour who had reported me! lol!

    With current recovery/transport regs - a vehicle needs all documenttion if two or more wheels are on the roadway. So towing on a dolly is not permitted for unroadworthy vehicles, but full suspension on a trailer is fine.
     
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