Braked A-Frames - comparing two manufacturers

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sidney, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Likes Received:
    It's funny how two manufacturers can produce the same thing yet the results are staggeringly different...

    My first tow car was installed with an a-frame from Tow-A-Car.

    I recently I bought a vehicle that had been installed with a TowTal A-Frame.

    The TowTal a-frame has a couple of things the Tow-A-Car a-frame does not have:
    On the end of the folding arms is a flexible joint - this seems to make it easier to install.
    This frame also uses a single bar that connects through the towing eyes and the a-frame.
    You can put a padlock through the end - something I like a lot!
    The folding section of the TowTal frame is galvanised so no chipped paint - also excellent.​

    So if the scoring was based on aesthetics, ease of installation and security the TowTal a-frame wins.

    But for me the most important thing is the effectiveness of the overrun braking system. The TowTal frame installed to my car is hellish and I believe it to be quite dangerous because it does not provide sufficient braking. The devil is in the detail. Tow-A-Car modify the Al-Ko brake lever to the underside of the a-frame. This simple design modification provides for a much more efficient system.

    To paraphrase Archimedes, "Give me brake lever long enough and I'll stop your toad from shunting into the back of your motorhome".

    If you look at the images you'll see the issue. By welding the lower part of the brake lever in place the Tow-A-Car a-frame gains extra braking from the movement of the lever.

    I contacted TowTal to explain the issue. They didn't think the mod was necessary But offered to look at it. I know this mod is required so I will be undertaking the modification myself as I don't have a great deal of confidence that TowTal to do the job. Why? Well sadly the rest of the installation was quite poor too...
    The brake cable was hanging down and dragging on the ground. I found it to be fixed with a single plastic cable tie!
    The brake cable was rubbing against the drive shaft!!
    The connection to the brake pedal used a single plain hexagonal nut which dropped off because it was finger tight!!!


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