I fancy some A....Frame... ;)

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Dereckerick, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Dereckerick

    Dereckerick

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    Evening all

    Having just returned from a fantastic weekend in the Lakes with the family, ive seen a number of MHs with A frames and a nice small car on the back, and it looks like an ideal setup.

    What are the pros and cons, are there ones to avoid, what the cost?

    Ive got a 2.8TD Fiat and would love to take our 2door Corsa along with us for little trips out, have i enough pulling power?


    Cheers Guys and Gals

    Alittle pic from the weekend ;)


    [​IMG]
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    no probs at all towing a corsa...you wont even know its ther so a camera is a good idea.

    my kontiki is 3850kg with the old 2.8TD engine and pulls our corsa with no trouble.

    on average i lose around 1mpg when towing...26 solo, 25 towing.

    i use a Caratow frame which has the bar atteched to the car and is visable.

    chris cox frames use two 'eyelets' but are more difficult to fit single handed.

    google 'A frame' and check them out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  3. Dereckerick

    Dereckerick

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    I knew you'd have the answer for me Pappa!!
     
  4. schojac

    schojac Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    I tow a 2001 Fiat Seicento using a car-a-tow A frame on a 2.8 Ducato.

    Pros;

    convenient transport when parked up, this country is not motorhome friendly and parking the MH can be frustrating at times.
    Takes, after practice, approx 10 mins to attach including light check etc.
    Little effect on consumption.
    easy to store A frame unlike a trailer

    Cons;
    reversing virtually impossible; straignt line reverse can be done but road must be level.
    Weigh up situation before comitting; i.e. is there enough room to turn around
    Necessity to unhitch if previous comment isn't followed.
    Grey area regarding legality abroad.
    car is not insured fully comp when being towed - value £1000 approx covered by towing vehicles insurance.

    Is it worth it?

    YES
     
  5. Dereckerick

    Dereckerick

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    mmm, its the missus' car and that may be a stumbler.... will have to speak to the insurance peeps.
    Getting a specific car for the job is just not worth all of the additional costs, not to mention additional storage.
     
  6. aba

    aba

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    hi one thing to check is the train weight of your motorhome as a petrol corsa weighs in at around 850kg depending on fuel load and anything else you may have on board the diesel ones weigh closer to 1000kg most people don't take this into account.:Doh:
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    forgot to mention....to buy new and have fitted by suppliers will cost around £900+

    ebay is good for used and a lot cheaper...mine was £200 + £40 for a new brake cable and fitted it myself.

    caratow

    towtal

    chris cox
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    sorry...its the gross weight you need to take into account...always the gross with trailers evn if towed unloaded.....corsa 1.4 is around 1440kg or around 860kg kerb
     
  9. cliff

    cliff Read Only Funster

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    A rame

    Hi,

    Your Fiat will have no problem, I tow a Diahatsu Charade (750kgs) with a Hobby Transit 2litre (125bhp). For your A frame try caratow.com in devon, good product, you can have as a kit or they fit and they have agents. You will know about the contraversey about a frame towing, all I can say is mine works great and in four trips abroad I have had no problems with the officials.

    Cliff
     
  10. gazz

    gazz Formerly "gazznhelz"

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    i have just bought an A-frame for my smart, got mine from armatiges trailers in ferry bridge, i'm the first person to have a self fit a-frame off them, so i'll be doing a write up and photo's of it's install.

    it's £799 fitted of £650 to fit your self,

    for me it'll be a hell of a lot more convinient than the trailer i just sold, i was constiantly worrying someone would steal the trailer, i had big hassles storing it at home, and on a few campsites they wanted to charge me extra as i had 3 items, and the max allowed within the pitch price was 2, i.e. a car and caravan or motorhome and car, of course i elected not to stay at those sites, some that didnt charge extra wanted me to park the trailer in their carpark at the front of the site, ideal for a thief to nick during the night i thought.

    RE: insurance, i have the car insured with comfort insurance, and they do a policy specificaly for A-framed cars (get a quote online and the last question it asks is if the car will be towed on an A-frame)

    My car is insured fully comp when driven solo or on tow, and the modifcations made to the car are noted and covered too (and yes your are modifying the car, so need to inform your insurers, you are removing a structial part and replacing it with a part made by a third party, not the manufacturer, i.e. the beam/attatchments that allow the a-frame to join the car to the tow bar, your also modifying the brakes by attatching the cable to the pedal (on the smarts with the armatige frames, the connection is done underneath the floor, so no drilling the bulkhead and passing a cable through, it attatches to where the pedal attatches to the linkage to the master cylinder, you are also modifying the electrics... unless you use an ugly trailer board)

    the bloke at armitages says he knows of 6 insurers who will specificaly cover A-framed cars,

    for me at least an A-frame offers so many more advantages than disadvantages over a trailer, i've towed with one before, a beachbuggy back when i was aged 19 - 24, so i know what it's like,

    for the 'taken a wrong turning' just unhitch the car, turn it around and park it up, turn the van around and couple them back up again,
    the kinds of roads that turned out to be dead ends i found, were they types that i couldent turn the trailer around in anyway, so i was unhitching the trailer and pushing it around, much easier to drive the car i rekon,

    you can get a jockey wheel as an option on most frames, so no need to remove the entire frame, either just the wheel or arange a way to hold the frame off the road with a bungee.
     
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