Handbrake On Tow Car

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sidney, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    So I was coming down the A1 in my car this morning and I saw a MH towing a car on an A-frame set-up.

    The handbrake was up, almost vertical, so I flagged him over thinking the handbrake had either been left on or had somehow been pulled up by the breakaway cable being too tight.

    I said your hand brake is on. "No" said the chap, "that's off".

    Can someone enlighten me?:Blush: because I have recently bought a CAR-A-TOW frame to go on my car and right now I'm confused.
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Conventionally the break away system can only apply the hand brake from the bottom of the lever ergo the lever will be in the straight up position when its ON
    Your not going mad Im confused too:RollEyes:

    Some A frames are used without brakes or break away systems, even though they are fitted to the A frame, I suspect this was the case.
    The hand brake lever is designed with a spring bias to favor the on position as opposed to off, So a slight knock or miss handling even when not connected will have it fly up to the on position, But without being connected it wont or cant apply the brakes
    Perhaps "That is off Gov":thumb: was the simplest answer rather than admit it dont work because it aint connected
    G
    Ps I am assuming you meant the brake on the A frame and not the one in the vehicle
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  3. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    This system, like mine, had the pneumatic ram on the handbrake. So when you pull it up a few inches the ram pushes it up, and a lever pulls the brake cable and the brakes go on.

    I didn't want to argue the toss, the guy must have already thought I was a bit nutty for pulling him over :Rofl1:
     
  4. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    Just be careful to make sure that the actuating cable from the A frame to the car is well lubricated. I had a problem in Spain a couple of years ago when the cable jammed with the brakes fully applied to the Smart toad. The only way to get going was to cut the brake cable as it would not move within it's outer cable. Had to drive 500 miles with no brakes on the toad.:Eeek:

    Mike
     
  5. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    no brakes on a toad shouldnt really cause a problem .i have towed with an unbraked a frame for years . best recovery bit of kit we ever bought when i had my garage. towed all sorts of vehicles thousands of miles . never knew about train weights in the early days . if it moved you could tow it. ha ha . how we got away with it i cant say.
    mind the harvey frost tow boy was another good bit of kit . still have them all.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    not neccessarily true Al, most vehicles have an 'unbraked' maximum weight which may be well below the statutory 750kg.

    My Chrysler 300 has a kerb weight just shy of 1.8 tons and a gross weight of 2.25 tons.

    Max braked trailer weight of 2 tons (train = 4.25 ton) but it has an [HI]unbraked[/HI] trailer limit of just 450kg
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  7. aba

    aba

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    Unbraked aframes generally don't have a moving hitch which braked ones do have, if the cable is incorrectly adjusted the toad / trailer generally hits the end stop of the moving hitch with quite a thump easily enough to damage the tow bar fixings on the towing vehicle.
    Also unbraked RECOVERY a frames have a speed restriction.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    on my towtal system the handbrake works on the same damper/pushrod as the regular brake cable except......the pushrod doesnt actuate the handbrake, the handbrake actuates the pushrod.

    The breakaway cable pulls on the handbrake lever which in turn pulls on the brake cable.

    If the lever is upright, and the spring loading needed to apply the brake is vicious, then the brake is firmly on.

    There is no way of having the brake lever vertical without the brakes being applied.....whether the breakaway cable is connected or not.

    As said, his brakes didnt work and the pull cable probably wasnt connected to anything once it left the a frame.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  9. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I have a caratow aframe and if the handbrake lever is up the brakes are definitely on, unless the cable from the aframe to the toad isn't connected for some reason. The pneumatic ram is strong enough that attempting to tow with the handbrake on the aframe up will drag the toad along with it's wheels locked, no good for the tyres. I have done it, just once and only for a few yards.
     
  10. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Your not a proper "A Framer" till you've towed with locked wheels:thumb:
    Well Done:thumb:
     
  11. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Your not a proper "A Framer" till you've towed with locked wheels:thumb:
    Well Done Welcome to the club:thumb:
     
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  12. aba

    aba

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    I once set off with the toads handbrake on left 2 nice furrows across the grass:Doh: then stalled the motorhome when it hit the road :Doh:
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  13. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    i was once stopped by a police motorbike when towing a trailer he immediately said your brakes aren't working when i said they are ive just done them all he led me round to show me the reversing clip in places oops
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    yes i now know about unbraked weights etc . but have used it years ago and really it doesnt make alot of difference. i was ignorant of any weights etc at the time . i,m sure most motor homes would hardly know the brakes arent working on the a frame.
    i have been known to not turn the compressor on with my trailer up behind . and gone over and down mountains .
    yes i also now know about speed restrictions etc . never used them at one time . dolly works well at 70 mph . mind that as brakes .
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i would say if a sliding hitch thumps the end stop then the damper in the hitch is not working properly.
    yes i know about the speed restricions now . didnt when i first had an a frame in the late 70,s . towed anything with it . mind i very often just used the intertrade tow bar solid tow with a second driver . at the time braked aframes were unheard of . intertrade did do one but i never had that one .
    the tow boy worked great and the winch helped when recovering vehicles from ditches etc .
    but for recovery it was much better with a flat bed truck and a hiab.
     
  16. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    Thanks everyone :thumb:

    Its clear that this wasn't right and I feel happy that I stopped the guy (despite him not knowing his ar$e from his elbow). :Eeek:
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i dont doubt the vans brakes could cope but the vans unbraked maximum weight is a legal limit and if over that limit and stopped by an official who knew his onions you could be made to detach and also face prosecution.

    As i said, my car is 2.25tons laden and im sure the brakes could happily cope with far more than an extra 450kg.
     
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