Bessacarr E495 Towbar fitting

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by bmwtouring, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. bmwtouring

    bmwtouring Read Only Funster

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    I would like to fit a towbar to my new shape Bessacarr e495 (Fiat 4005kg chassis) as i am looking at carrying a scooter.

    I have noticed on the swift website that this is a £425 option but after making a few quick calls the prices seem to be coming out at £500+ to have one fitted retrospectively.

    Have any members had one fitted that could pass on any info/details? is this possible to fit yourself with an off the shelf towbar (are they even available)

    Thanks
    Kev
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    A trailer will be OK but It would be interesting to see if anyone has carried a scooter on a rack with E495. I would think you would need to fit airbags, The overhang is on the limit as it is, and most of the usable storage is also in that overhang! I'd be surprised if you would get on a ferry without scraping it badly or even pulling it off. You have done the right thing by posting here, as it will be good to see if others have carried with it OK before buying one. Best of luck
     
  3. Brisey

    Brisey Funster Life Member

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    Hi bmwtouring

    Watling Engineering fit and supply tow bars and scooter carriers, they are based near St Albans, so not too far away from you. They made a good job of fitting our tow bar, if what you require is not a standard item they offer a bespoke manufacturing service. Have a look at the following link.

    Watliing Engineers - Towbar mounted motorbike carriers, motor bike rack, scooter rack, scooter covers and motorbike cover

    PS its good to know that there is another Funster in Uxbridge,:BigGrin: perhaps our paths will cross one day.:thumb:
     
  4. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    I have been told that the Alko chassis must not be drilled, may be worth checking.
     
  5. estcres

    estcres Read Only Funster

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    We had our towbar fitted by ESSAJAY of Poole, Dorset. Give them a ring and speak to Steve. They advertise in most of the Motorcaravan mags.

    He gave me a price which we agreed, made an appointment, and he completed in less than a day.

    Very good service.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    a good towbar manufacturer/fitter will only use the existing holes in an Alko chassis.

    if the chassis is drilled it WILL invalidate the Alko warranty and it WILL rust ,unless it's re-galvanized, where its drilled.

    john.
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I do not think the 495 is on an Alko chassis, I think it just has a long extra hangers bolted on to thel LWB Fiat original. Those extensions might be made by Alko though. Plenty of 495s will have tow bars so maybe the holes are already there.
     
  8. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi Kev see this from the other site:

    We are probably going to look the dummies here. We have had our mh for 12 months now, and have loved every aspect of it, being previous tuggers this is our first motorhome, never really giving much thought to payloads as we generally travel light. Over the 12 months we have had fitted extras that we wanted such as awning and satellite system.

    We decided to use the motorhome more for travels to Europe and are going on a planned trip back to the cote d'azur next month, so....we decided once again to have a towbar fitted, easy lifter hydraulic scooter rack and have also bought a 125cc chinese scooter weighing in at 102kg.

    We booked the van into a reputable firm after looking at recommendations from this site for the towbar and scooter rack last month. As many have said on here, they were great on the day, job done and nice people.

    The following day we had to take the scooter to VOSA in Norwich to have it checked as Ipswich DVLA in their wisdom would not accept the European certificate as it was completed in china not Europe! Long and short of it, after the bike was cleared we put it on the motorhome for the first time. There was a VOSA vehicle check going on that day and we were pulled over. End result:-

    40kg overweight, but the main problem rear axle has a limit of 2000kg, and with the rack and scooter on it was 160kg overweight!! Bugger! We were issued with a prohibition order and the van impounded until we were cleared within the weights. We had to take it all off and travel home without either, returning with a van to pick up the rack and scooter.

    Whilst we now appreciate we were at fault, being very naive, verging on the stupid! we do think on having giving the axle weights and GVW to the firm who fitted the towbar and rack with details of the scooter, the firm should have known that this wasn't going to be near the permissible axle weights, but it was still fitted.

    End result is that we have a towbar, a demountable hydraulic scooter rack and a brand new scooter at a total of around £1,700 that is useless for the purpose we intended, without even one day of use in any of it! Bugger again!

    We have sent off details to another reputable firm to see if the rear axle weight can be upgraded, but we're not holding our breath.

    The options are - we either flog the lot - somehow manage to upgrade the rear axle without too much expense - or........trade our van in for a new van with integral garage. (Looking very closely this time at axle weights!!!)

    There you go and thats a fact, this was posted on 21 / 8 / 2008:Cool:

    We have an old Kontiki and we used to carry a Italjet 125cc about 106kg, our rack was 2" box straight off the chassi with a Aluminum scooter rack so as light as can be, to keep it Legal we had to take out the Safari room ladder as we only store above the cab and all the other stuff we never used, we don't have a satalite dish but we do have a Gennie. But what I will say is if we had a tank of water we were 40 kg over weight, so Becareful and do your home work before you spend your money.
    Good Luck. Bob.:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
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  9. bmwtouring

    bmwtouring Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all the comments it is a lot to take on board, it would be nice to hear from anyone with the new bigger fiat chassis ie sundance 630l or Ace firenze that has a towbar and scooter rack fitted.

    We have just come from tugging a 26ft caravan and i do miss the flexibilty of having a car to get about, we have push bikes but i don't find this ideal.

    Thanks again to you all for your comments
    Kev
     
  10. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    Generally speaking towbars are not designed to carry heavy scooters only to tow other vehicles and the scooter will impose much greater torque on the rack.

    Also many motorhomes are not designed to carry such loads due to the huge overhang, weak extensions to chassis (sometimes extensions do not go right to the rear of the MH), weak rear end structure and very limited payloads (often only 200 - 400 kg) and axle loads.

    You must also bear in mind that with a 30% overhang the rear axle load will increase by (approx) 130% of the weight hung on the rear (towbar, bike rack and scooter) and the front axle load will decrease by 30% of that weight.

    Companies generally are only interested in selling you their products. Never believed straight away what these companies tell you. Always get independent advice. Forums like this one are always ready to help out in such situations.

    How many times have we come across a tugger who bought a caravan on the advice of a dealer only to find out later that it is far too heavy for their tow car.

    Anyone who buys equipment without first doing proper research is tempting fate.

    Please do your research first.
     
  11. Jan Pendreigh

    Jan Pendreigh Read Only Funster

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    Armitages at Ferrybridge put the towbar on our old European camper which had a long overhang and alco chassis and they were very good, checked weights etc. Might be worth talking to them. They do all the towing equipment for the AA etc so know what they're talking about, also much cheaper than Towsure and the like.
    Jan
     
  12. bmwtouring

    bmwtouring Read Only Funster

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    Expensive towbars

    I have been phoning round getting some prices for towbar fitting on my Bessacarr E495 and have been very surprised at the cost of towbar fitting, the prices at the moment are ranging from £425 to £646. All seem to be made to fit, but surely there must be a stock item if swift fit them as an option. If you add the price of a scooter rack another £300 to £400

    WOW and I still have to buy a scooter!!!!!!
    Kev
     
  13. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    That seems to be the going rate, most manufacturers use the same make but the name escapes me. We had one fitted on our Bessacar by a dealer, it was covered in white plastic but was rusting within 8 months.

    Off Topic...
    Love the sig, I find that man's quotes very inspirational even now. He was truly great. I bought a CD recording of his speeches, even the worst of them put Camerons half decent attempt at a speech today to shame.
     
  14. david1234

    david1234 Deleted User

    iv just been up to watling engineering as they are just up the road 500 + vat +a bike rack on top didnt even ask how much for the bike rack seemed very smug, now it all type,
    the guy i talked to was anyway.
    would be nice if i could see what im paying 600 pounds for rather than just pay up and hope for the best.
    i know it has to be disgned to my motorhome and its not of the shelf part but it should be swift.
    are u listening??
    no idear how to talk to people just looked at me ahh motorhome ££££££ rins u sir?

    by the sounds of it they dont like armatage very much.
     
  15. Diabalo

    Diabalo Funster

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    I don't understand, I was speaking to Mark from CLS at the weekend about having one fitted to my 2007 Bessacarr E435 and it is a stock item from Swift that can be fitted DIY.
    Are you saying you can get it cheaper elsewhere?
     
  16. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Bespoke manufactured towbars with a rear bumper all seem to come in around £500 or so - ours was done by Towtal, who made a good job of it. While it was being done, I chatted to the owners son, who now runs the business with his wife, and at that time they were getting a load of work directly from various motorhome dealers and manufacturers, as I understood it, so perhaps various manufacturers outsource some of this work to specialist firms anyway. I thought the Towtal bar was well thought out, carefully attached with the Alko chassis in mind, and it took several hours to manufacture, paint and fit. Expensive - well, our toad cost a whole lot more than £500 and the integrity of the towbar is the only thing keeping the toad safe when you're towing; I wouldn't like a DIY job or a backyard bodge unless I happened to be suitably qualified to do it properly, or knew that the person doing it was - a towbar that is poorly attached or designed can cause a fatal accident. :Eeek:
     
  17. bmwtouring

    bmwtouring Read Only Funster

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    Towsure

    Towsure do motorhome towbars, just give them 3 sizes as in 2008 catalogue page 232

    Catalogue online here
    Towsure Caravanning & Camping Catalogue 2008
    or phone 0114 250 3045 (Peter is very helpful)

    Size from top of chassis to bottom of rear body work
    Size from end of chassis to furthest back point of body work
    Size to outside width of chassis

    £299 to £319 plus single electrics

    Kev
     
  18. walnut

    walnut Read Only Funster

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    Hello,

    How did you get on with the towbar?

    I have a new E495 and have checked the underside, The frame underneath has the holes already with nuts welded on ready to accept a towbar. Simply a job of bolting on the towbar, 2 bolts on each side.
    The hardest part looks like the electrics, which need to be spliced in.

    20 min job.
     
  19. Yetties

    Yetties Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    On the thought of your last comment above re missing the flexibility of having the car to use.
    We came to the same conclusion and having spent much time looking around we opted for a fifth wheel trailer with a double cab pick up.
    Whilst we have gone for an ultra-lite trailer for our own specific reasons we do feel that they offer all the advantages of a caravan and a motor home but none of the disadvantages associated with either, and if you have an old style 71/2 ton driving license and keep the gvw below that you have no issues there either.
    Neil
     
  20. Buggyboy

    Buggyboy Deleted User

    I've got a Bessie E495 and figured that a bike carrier was just not practical due to the maximum weight that can be carried Bike-wise. Already had a towbar fitted but it does just bolt on into pre-drilled holes. Bought a cheap bike trailer off e.bay to put my bike on. Ok in UK but costs a fortune on the ferries. You could buy electric bike and carry it on a flamma bike rack? :thumb:
     
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