Smart car towing

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Mark5204, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Mark5204

    Mark5204 Funster

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    Hi all. Recently bought a smart car and looking at getting a A Frame so we can tow it with our Swift Kontiki 645. Looking for any advise from you guys as never done this before. Also any suggestions on A Frame suppliers and Fitters you may know of within a reasonable distance of Bristol. Any advise at all greatly appreciated.
     
  2. simplyjimbo

    simplyjimbo Funster

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    Hi Mark,
    Just a quick question, why an A frame? We towed our Smart car behind our Kon Tiki 669 on a Smart Car trailer.
    Takes 5 mins to load and unload, no wear and tear on the car's running gear, no extra's having all the electrics fitted to the Smart car and you still have a trailer to sell when you finish with the car!
    The trailer can be moved with the car aboard, and its perfectly balanced design means you can drive on and off without having the trailer connected to the tow car, provided the rear support legs are lowered.
    Which leads me to another point................we have a Brian James Bantam Smart car trailer for sale..... if you are interested please private message me :)
    Best wishes
    Jim
     
  3. Mark5204

    Mark5204 Funster

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    Hi Jim

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

    The main reason for thinking A Frame is my concern on where I could store a trailer.

    I fully accept that a trailer is a better way forward mate but also the ones I have seen for sale have been very expensive mate.
     
  4. vicwo

    vicwo Funster

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    Hi Mark. I have done the Smart on a trailer. It towed very well but not as easy as a a-frame overall . Unfortunately I had to sell my smart after 10 years towing. I went for a small Suzuki still on a frame because I needed more seats. Tunnel to France with A-frame tomorrow plus bars2towcars A-frame. Brilliant


    .
     
  5. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    Not France ........... with an A frame :reel::imoutahere:.
     
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  6. Mark5204

    Mark5204 Funster

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    Hi Mate. Thank you for your reply. France sounds great but I was under the impression that A frames were a no no in other parts of Europe, but I am probably wrong.
    I am looking at prices etc for A frames and fitting at the moment.
     
  7. JFD

    JFD Funster

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    Hi, just curious: When you fit an A frame, I presume that some re-inforcement is needed at the front of the car. What does that do to the front 'crumple zone' that the car makers are at such pains to create? Or do you tow the car backwards?
     
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  8. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    you would expect the fitting of a front towbar to make the front stronger but certain cars are so badly made with weak steel that the metal deforms and tears when the car is towed.
     
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  9. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    We had Caratow supply and fit our Frame to our car a Toyota IQ.

    Our one is the simple mechanical type. I preferred this as if any problems occur with it I can sort it. I actually assisted in the fitting so now I know not only exactly how it works but how to remove it all from the car and re fit it to another car if ever I choose to do so. To do this would require another "Car" section kit but they are not expensive.

    Do not worry about the car being damaged . This particular company's framework is massively strong It is very well engineered and would in most cases strengthen the front end of the car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Total cost all in including a £40 charge for the company to come to our house and fit the kit was £1180.

    Do not listen to all the nonsense about the legality's of towing with an A frame. Its all down to those who do not study the real and actual facts. If you buy an A frame from Caratow or any of the leading supplier fitters you will get a certificate on conformity. I have translated this and copied and pasted it onto several A4 papers in several languages. So if the is a question asked in any country I visit I can select the paper and hand it over.

    If you want any further info just PM me. Im happy to chat on the phone if it helps and can maybe assist with dispelling some of the myths surrounding A frames and their use,

    I will NOT be drawn into another bun fight over the legalities here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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  10. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Quality kits like Caratow have over engineered framework. They use where possible the existing mounting points on the car where the bumpers are mounted. This is the strongest point on the front of any car.

    Caratow frames do NOT use the existing tow point where the standard tow eye goes. The frame work is designed in a way it gives two additional mounting points for the two tow eyes. In doing this it enables the fitting of the mounting points to be lower. This in turn means we do NOT have to cut holes in the front bumper of the car. It all comes neatly out of the lower grill. This is the same on any car they fit not just the Toyota IQ .

    The claim is the crumple zone is unaffected as the same mounting points are used as for the bumper bar that sits behind what we now call bumpers which are just big plastic mouldings on our cars. Not entirely sure I buy into that. But think of it this way. If we fit a towbar to our vans. An A frame kit to our cars. Or tow a car on a trailer. We alter the vehicles and or change the handling characteristics . This happens no matter what.

    Has anyone ever seen what happens when a car goes into the back of another car that has a tow bar fitted ? The car that runs in usually gets more damage but the car with the tow bar gets very little ! I was driving a van once when a car ran into the back at traffic lights. The car that ran in was buggered. The van was hardly damaged at all. Says something that does.

    Picture shows where the frame or part of the frame mounts to the strongest part of the car.

    Those 4 substantial bolts go into the chassis leg. As I say extremely strong.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  11. vicwo

    vicwo Funster

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    Charlie you are spot on. I have towed all over France for weeks on end over 10 years. Not a problem. If I get stopped what are they going to do ? Shoot me ? Life is to be enjoyed. Off to France this morning. If I get put in jail please send a file. We do worry on this subject. I'm surprised some on here dare get out of bed. Come on you lovely sunshine
     
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  12. busby

    busby Funster

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    They are prosecuting A Frame users in France now. MMM this month..Sorry,,,BUSBY.
     
  13. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Feel free to PM me. I will send you the conformity certificates if you like.

    I also have the print offs of two cases where people got checked and fined in Spain. They appealed the decisions and the fines were overturned. These two cases set what I believe are called precedence's.( My daughter who is a solicitor found these for me) and precedence's are hard to argue with. In other words take a copy of this with you to hand over to the police IF you ever get stopped.

    Shoot you ? Well some would have you believe you would have boiling oil poured over you first. But on the negative side if you are one of the extremely rare cases that do get a pull in Spain they may bankrupt you with the simply massive 40 Euro fine :LOL::LOL:

    Have a brilliant holiday mate !
     
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  14. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    some people would believe anyone selling magic beans and the piece of magic paper that they offer to legitimise what they are selling. it doesnt give immunity to prosecution even if you offer it to the police officer that pulls you over or even from the judge in court
     
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  15. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Really ?
    I would not do it any more mate..

    Sorry, cannot find an English translation but it is better to come straight from the mouth any way..

    http://www.lemondeducampingcar.fr/a...ee-par-le-camping-car-il-faut-y-renoncer.html

    Basically it says that in answer to a question in the French Parliament that "A" Frames are now illegal - no ifs or buts
     
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  16. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Strengthening the front is wonderful for the pedestrian crumple zone.

    please don't post " conformity certificates" They may call them that but they certainly aren't unless the vehicle has been crash tested after the modifications & they are supplied by the manufacturer. They are just the companies interpretation of how they consider they 'comply' , with the regulations.
    I might as well be writing them .

    You don't get fined in Spain for "A frame usage " but for illegally recovering a vehicle from the road using an illegal method.= 600€ fine + if you wish to appeal the fine under the "Ley de Mordaza"
    ( Known colloquially as the 'citizen gagging law') which was introduced to prevent people who were arrested/fined from appealing fines implemented; by making you deposit a surety of 900€ to appeal ANY fine. This includes all & any motoring offences.
     
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  17. Gorse Hill

    Gorse Hill Funster

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    Are these CoC from the car manufacture after the alterations carried out after fitting an A frame, if so yes please (y)
     
  18. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    That's interesting Charlie, can you tell us where the details are so we can all have a shuftie at the cases in question?
     
  19. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    A-Frames are not allowed in Spain,

    If you have a motorhome and you want to carry your car to Spain, you have to be aware that A-Frames are forbidden in Spain, so you will need a trailer to carry your car.


    http://n332.es/2015/03/30/the-rules-regarding-a-frames/

    INSTRUCTION 08/V-74.- Motorhome towing a Car.




      • TRANSPORT OF AUXILIARY VEHICLES
    Very often, motorhomes carry auxiliary vehicles, usually bicycles, a moped or small motorcycle. This practice is authorized provided an approved bicycle rack or a platform for this purpose is used and, when projecting out from the usual characteristics of the motorhome, the following requirements as provided in Article 15 of the Reglamento General de Circulación are met.

    Protruding from motorhome at the back, up to 10% of its length and if one vehicle (indivisible load), 15%. That all appropriate precautions are taken to prevent damage or danger to other users of public roads and should have extremities protected to lessen the effects of a possible friction or shock.

    The protrusion must be visibly protected by the use of a V-20 sign as per Article 173 and whose characteristics are set out in Annex XI of the Reglamento General de Vehículos. This sign is placed at the rear end of the load so that it is constantly perpendicular to the vehicle axis.

    After frequent questions regarding the possibility of a motorhome towing a car, this possibility is prohibited in Article 9.3 of the Reglamento General de Vehículos which prohibits the movement of a motor vehicle towing another, unless there is an immediate risk of damage or injury and it cannot be dragged by another vehicle specifically designed for that purpose, in which case it is allowed only to the nearest place where it will not hinder traffic movement and provided that it is not on a motorway.

    Notwithstanding the points already mentioned, a combination of vehicles consisting of a motor and a trailer or semitrailer on which another vehicle can be transported is permitted if the set qualifies for driving on public roads and is approved to Directives 70/156/CEE and 94/20/CEE and they do not exceed the maximum length allowed for these sets which is 18.75 meters and 16.50 meters in the case of a semi-trailer.



    You can find more information about Instruction 08/V-74 directly from the website, http://n332.es/2015/05/23/motorhome-and-campervan-legislation/

    Remember to follow N332 on Facebook for daily updates and news relating to Spanish traffic laws, just search for “N332”.
     
  20. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I haven't seen the certificates/proof provided by the a-frame company so can only guess that the reason they claim the a-frame is legal to use in the EU is because it 'turns' the car into a trailer and therefore you're not towing a car any more so the fine isn't valid ... I can't say that I agree with this 'definition' but that's my thought on the 2 cases Charlie has cited.
     
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