A-frames vs trailers again, sorry!

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Roadracer2002, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Roadracer2002

    Roadracer2002 Funster

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    I must apologise in advance for this posting as I am hoping for a deluge of opinion and advice regarding the A-frame/Trailer debate.

    Firstly, some pre-requisites;

    My plan is to tour the UK throughout next year and tow a Smart Fortwo behind the motorhome. I have no plans to go to Europe with a towed car at the moment and my thoughts are that as Europe is generally more motorhome friendly a car may be unnecessary for touring anyway.

    I already have a tow bar fitted with a standard 7 pin trailer socket and I have no wish to have further modifications to the motorhome (Burstner Solano t750) so this effectively rules out A-frames requiring additional motorhome wiring as required by some A-frames with electronic braking systems apart from Smart-tow (as far as I’m aware). Also, my personal view is that if I went down the A-frame route an inertial braking system may not be entirely within current legislative guidance so I would likely go for an electronically braked system.

    The gross train mass of my motorhome is 5400kg and so I am OK with either a Smart Fortwo on an A-frame or the car on small 2-wheel trailer.

    So, my quandary is, do I go down the A-frame or the trailer route?

    I have done a lot of research and certainly in the UK the A-frame route seems to be the most logical and convenient way to transport a small car?

    What causes me concern is future legislative changes in the UK which may effectively ban A-frames for transporting a vehicle that has not “broken down” which my local motorhome dealer hinted may be coming next year?

    I would be grateful for thoughts, experience and practical advice.
     
  2. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    If you are that concerned then simply go for a trailer and avoid all doubt.........
     
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  3. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    I use an unbraked AFrame with an American RVi Brake2 inertia system which sits in the car footwell and operates the pedal.
    The only link to the car is a breakaway switch fitted central under the front bumper, with all other info via a wireless unit in the mohome cab.
    I ordered direct from the US and received it in 48hrs.
    www.rvibrake.com
     
  4. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    that looks intresting, not seen this before. Might assist when swapping car's as then only need to get it modified to tow only.

    How good are they and have there been any problems, what car's have you used this on just out of interest ?

    Thanks
     
  5. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Am using it on Kia Rio 3 , works well especially with ability to adjust sensitivity and effort, no problems so far.
     
  6. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Also beware unexpected wear and tear on the toad. My opinion is trailer all day.. Why risk an A frame if you are in any doubt at all
     
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  7. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    Very interesting, thanks, i will look into this a bit more as we are thining of changing our towcar and this i am sure will save a lot of money in the long run if it works as well as it says :)
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Those rules that are coming next year, have been coming next year for the last ten years. Plenty of people enjoy the convenience of an A Frame in the UK. Either route make sure your car is insured for being a trailer or being sat upon one.
     
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  9. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    We went down the trailer route as was concerned about the wear and tear on the car with an a frame also travel to Spain for winter and a frames a no no
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I dont understand the wear n tear problems folks think they have.

    The cars structure, steering and suspension is capable of withstanding the forces involved.....you drive it and just the same forces apply.
     
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  11. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Agree with John. The americans tow cars behind RVs with no problem.
     
  12. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    But are they designed to be towed for long distances or long periods of time?
     
  13. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    They are designed to be driven long distance/time....no difference.
     
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  14. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    But being towed is a different kettle of fish eg. Extra strain on front end chassis
     
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  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    If the chassis cant take the strain it cant take the strain of normal driving.
    Only difference is the forces are reversed.....the car steers the wheels
     
  16. Speve

    Speve Funster

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    Well I don't need to worry about it already got the trailer.
     
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  17. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    No.. that's not the case is it. The A frames connect to either the original or adapted front cross member that was never designed for that purpose at all.
    That's no me knocking A frames as they are obviously still OK in the UK but there have been instances of issues ... wasn't it a ford KA.
     
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  18. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    Yes , one, but the reasons why we dont really know.
     
  19. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    For use in the UK and/France go A frame. There is a company that gives a written guarantee that they conform to legislation. Why on earth would we lumber ourselves with a blooming trailer and all the disadvantages that go with it ?

    Wear on the toad ? What you mean wheel bearings ? Do trailers not have wheel bearings ? What else is going to wear that will present a problem ?

    When in France a fella had a Smart on an A frame from Towbars to Towcars. The A frame itself was extremely light and easy to use. It went in the boot with consummate ease . I cannot think of an easier thing to set up and use. It comes as above with FULL written certification that it conforms to ALL requirements for use on the roads in the UK and in Europe. That said certain countries will spit the dummy but in this case for use in the UK get one and forget what the sooth sayers say.

    Dont forget with a trailer you have to have somewhere to store it not only on site but at home when not in use. Strapping a car to a trailer is not that easy. It absolutely must be done well cos if ever a car came off a trailer and it wasn't strapped on properly all hell would ensue.
     
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  20. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    I brought a normal A-Frame at the start of the year to assist whilst touring in the UK. I did consider the tralier option but for the reasons above it is just to much hassle trying to find somewhere to put it when onsite. The A-Frames are not without issues, the main one for me not being able to reverse without it being unhitched. That said it is the lesser of two evils and i prefer this to a trailer. I have a HydraTrail for use in Europe which is a lot easier once connected up but i do prefer the car/A-Frame

    Each to their own though.
     
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