Caratow A Frames, first class.

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by janeb, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. janeb

    janeb Funster

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    Just had a complete A frame fitted by Caratow, for our Fiat Qubo last month. We towed it down to Cornwall for the first time just after having it fitted, slight trepidation as we didn't have the chance to try it out properly first! Travelled from Midlands to Poole and job done in a day.

    We had slight problem over the ordering, as the strengthening bar had to be made as it wasn't a stock item, but Alan and his son managed to get it all sorted for us. We are really impressed with the lightness and the setup, it performs splendidly and would recommend Caratow to anyone thinking of getting an A frame.

    They explained everything patiently, and were friendly, polite and courteous, prices are competitive too!

    A great improvement on our old one, thanks Caratow !
     
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  2. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Had our kit fitted by the same. Again the chap travelled from Poole to here near Evesham and fitted the kit ready to tow in a day. We had the Euro set up and its dead easy to use and completely uncomplicated. Only thing I've added since is a feed from the motor home to the IQ we tow to keep the battery charged up. When having the key in accessory position there is a very slight drain on the battery. This is because the wee instrument panel remains backlit while the key is in that position. Now the cars battery gets charged while we drive the motor home.

    Suggestion.. I had a key cut to enable the accessory position to be selected. The key does Not have the chip in it so the car cannot be started. It merely enables the steering to be unlocked. I put that key in the ignition in accessory position then lock the car with the standard key. So if we stop at a service area I do not have to mess with keys. I checked with my insurer (LV) and they have no problem with me doing this as it does not assist in anyone trying to steal the car.

    I also got a spares kit for the A frame from Caratow. This I keep in the boot of the IQ so if I loose a part I have spares. (y)(y)(y)

    PS
    I also got LV to confirm in writing that the car is insured while being towed in every risk department ! If the car falls off we are insured not only for third parties but for for the car its self. We have FULL and complete insurance including breakdown all confirmed in writing.

    lV are completely happy and agree the car becomes a 4 wheel trailer when being towed. They are completely happy with the whole set up. Well worth knowing but even more well worth having your insurance confirm it in writing. I carry a copy of the documentation in the Motorhome with us and a further copy is in the car.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
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  3. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    They must have changdd their bar since mine ( some years old) as mine weighs a ton.
     
  4. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    They have. (y)
     
  5. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    According to site:-

    How much does the frame weigh?

    Approximately 20kg

    They also say you can reverse with their frame, i couldnt do that with ours with the overrun system as the breaks apply when going backwards (even if going slow) and the wheels on the car always go the opposite way. Probably means you can go a few yards as i think they all work in a similar way with the overrun, but i am no expert by any shape or form.
     
  6. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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    mines a smart tow fitted 3 years ago runs great, electronic braking no dead pedal servo refilled by vacuum pump if we did not have the camera on the back would not know it was there. Car Skoda Citigo(y)
     
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  7. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    Sounds expensive being electronic, how much did it cost?
     
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  8. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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    £2500 was even worse watching them pull the front end off a two week old car.:oops:
     
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  9. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    Good to know, wow fitted to a new car that would be nerve racking.
     
  10. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    With the euro system there is a gas ram that prevents the brakes from being applied when reversed. Failing that it's 10 seconds to remove the clip so the brakes will not be applied at all.

    I believe it's a requirement that reversing can be done without disconnecting and I have no problems at all in doing do. If I were to reverse up hill though I would jump out and disconnect. 20 KG sounds about right. I have no problems at all with that weight.

    There way more expensive options but a significant extra cost . This system is easy to use simple to use with almost nothing to go wrong or maintain.

    All of these A frame set ups are a pig to reverse . But find a quiet spot and practice. It's really no harder than reversing a trailer once you get used to it .
     
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  11. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

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    Hi Charlie,
    The reversing is no issue (hgv license) but with my setup the wheels of the car do not go where they are supposed to, i read this was due to the breaks being applied. We used to get round this with my wife just jumping out and sitting in the smart and hold the steering wheel straight. I spent £895 on ours when it was done last year and i dont think i would pay a lot more, i have seen the one on caratow at £1195 which is a little high but acceptable but no where near the costs of the electronic ones. They would definitly be out of our price range for what we used it for, I also think if the car is bigger the reversing seems to be more stable as the videos i have seen are of larger cars and they appear to be ok. The tiny ones like smarts seem to be more problamatic at reversing, not really an issue to be honest as it doesnt take a lot to undo the brake system. I actually brought one of those RVi2 break systems to try but never got round to it, may be if we get back into the aframes i will try it. For now we are going down a different path with the Harley but you never know.
     
  12. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    It ain't easy that's for sure... My mate who drives for Stobarts reckons it's harder as the need for opposite lock is not required like it is for a trailer. The wheels turn like castors cos they are effectively castors if that makes any sense . Quite unlike trailer or caravan wheels that are fixed inline .

    For many the need to reverse is rare. Most just unhook if they have to. Ok not ideal but it's the way it is and such a small compromise if one doesn't feel inclined to learn reversing.
     
  13. Reevsie

    Reevsie Funster

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    Reversing can ban an issue. I have driven HGV for 17 years. I had an A Frame fitted at Unibrake and think it is a great system. But even after 17 years of reversing HGV's I could not reverse the car on the motorhome unless it is in a straight line. As soon as you turn the wheel on the motorhome the wheels on the front of the car go in the opposite way. Go any further and you will scrub the wheels along the floor. Simple to fix if you need to. Put on the steering lock on the car. It is then simple to reverse.

    BUT REMEMBER TO TAKE OFF THE STEERING LOCK after the manoeuvre.
     
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  14. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Brilliant. So simple its silly but brilliant nonetheless ! (y)(y)
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    One of the reasons I preferred the at home fit service provided by Caratow was I was there watching / helping with the fitment. It allowed me to monitor exactly what was going on and I took pictures as the job went on. Caratow offer a kit form solution so those who are confident could if they want to buy the kit and fit it themselves. I would have no hesitation in fitting a kit in the future . It really is not difficult. That said I would recommend fitting by the experts !

    The sub structure of the Caratow kit is nicely over engineered. It really is a substantial bit of kit. Most of course will never see it but I did and even though I am by admission mega fussy I was happy. (y)
     
  16. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    I have had to engineer my own, they don't make them for 1972 cars,.

    Pete
     
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  17. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Love a bit of ingenuity well done ! What is the car Pete ?
     
  18. kevan

    kevan Funster Life Member

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    Mine was also fitted on my drive took all day, he also made sure my electrics on motor home would turn on reverse light on tow car, most fitters don't wire the reverse light when fitting tow bar,
     
  19. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    Herald-13-60-1971.jpg

    FYI. Currently undergoing full refurb; Hence the cara-tow Bracket hidden behind the Front Valence. Which will allow me to take it to shows but still use the M-H.

    Pete
     
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