TOAD Again.... ...Sorry, Advice Needed!

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Wicketter, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Wicketter

    Wicketter Funster

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    We have been towing our Smart car for a number of years on a trailer with no real problems. Having just taken delivery of my first brand new Hyundai mi10, we thought an A frame may be worth a go and probably less hassle in the UK, also a bit more room for passengers if needed and shopping . We will still take the Smart on the trailer when we venture over the water!!

    My question is what are the advantages/ disadvantages of a cable type A frame, over an electronic one? We have looked at the Towtal systems but thought there may be others worth considering. We would prefer a fairly light A frame and something that doesn't distroy the front of my new car too much! Also are the electronic systems more likely to go wrong?:Eeek: We live in Bristol so a southernish company would be good. We will tow behind a Bailey Approach 740. Any thoughts or recommendations appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Snitrats

    Snitrats Funster

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    We are in the same dilemma, new car, which one to buy?
    The last car had an over run system , heavy and come 2014 possibly illegal (no one really knows)
    If you are looking for a lightweight one I have only found 2 suppliers.and I believe only one of them fits to a Kia. (both about £1800)
    If you go the overrun way (about £850) check the web sites how they connect to the car, some are quite horrendous. check also it dos not affect your warranty with Kia, also check that the crumple zone is not affected by the fitting. And last take with a pinch of salt the web sites claiming there 100% legal,
    still a gray area, Take your choice £1800 or £850 ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  3. Wicketter

    Wicketter Funster

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    We researched loads of small cars before we went for the Hyundai i10, very similar to the Kia Picanta but loads cheaper!! The warrenty will be OK with the A Frame fitted, according to the dealer, and the insurance will be fine ( I checked today.) The cable systems are loads cheaper too, so we are leaning that way, but thought we would do the research first! We are looking to get the job done in the Spring as I don't expect we will be going too far this winter with a car in tow. Many thanks for the reply :RollEyes:

    At the risk of doing this subject to death, any other views gratefully received!!
     
  4. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The electronic ones should be able to reverse without applying the brake. In practice however either are next to impossible to reverse any distance or in anything but a straightish line anyway so may not be such a great idea.
     
  5. Southampton

    Southampton Funster Life Member

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    I tow a Kia Picanto on a Unibrake A Frame (www.unibrake.co.uk) and have been extremely pleased with the system especially the powered braking on the Picanto. The A frame is quite light and folds very neatly into a supplied bag which then fits easily into the boot of the car. I am so happy with it that I am having it swopped onto my new van. We can have it fitted and be on the road within a few minutes. I am not associated with Unibrake in any way other than a very satisfied customer. It is at the high end of the price range but you gets what you pay for......Derek
     
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  6. Wicketter

    Wicketter Funster

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    Thank you very much Derek for that info! I looked at the unibrake website and it looks good. I'm sure you're right in that you get what you pay for! We basically want something that is easy to use ,reliable and does the job without any aggro, good aftersales is also a plus! Will explore further and many thanks for the link!:thumb:
     
  7. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    It should be also noted that the cable operated ones should have regular cable maitenance and a protracted setting up system every time they are hooked up 95% of A frame problems appear to be brake cable related in my opinion
    simply hooking up and driving away isnt good enough for cable systems
    Geo
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  8. Snitrats

    Snitrats Funster

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    Thats my concern too Geo.
    Ours came with no info, only a short handover talk,hence I am looking towards an electric system. Though rare there have been a few threads regarding the cable , seizing up, over heating brakes due to poor adjustment even one car catching alight:Eeek: Its very easy to take it off, chuck it in the bag and forget about any maintenance. I put mine away wet one time only to find a very sad looking bit of kit a month later
     
  9. aba

    aba

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    having experienced cable braked a frames and the associated maintenance that is required to keep them in proper working order i would suggest that anyone wanting an easy quick set up to get the electronic braked versions and if there should ever be a test case on the legality of such systems at least the electronic ones do allow the toad to be reversed a short distance which is more than you will be able to do with a correctly set up cable braked one.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    something just dawned onme regarding A frames.

    if you have a regular rear towbar, or any other structure which is permenant, fitted then that towbar must, by law, be type approved and have the necessary label/plate to show its approval.
    surely this must also apply to a front mounted towbar, which an A frame is in real terms.

    I dont think anyone has applied for or been granted type approval for an A frame setup which definitely makes them illegal to fit to recent new cars.
     
  11. Southampton

    Southampton Funster Life Member

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    The easy to use and maintenance free (well, a bit of grease around the ball) was the main criteria for me. Straight line reversing is not a problem until it starts snaking all over the place but so far I have not hit any problems......Derek.
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Over run or electronic braking...you dont say which you have.
     
  13. Southampton

    Southampton Funster Life Member

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    Electronic braking......I have a Unibrake system which uses a servo in the car.
     
  14. oldfozzie

    oldfozzie Funster

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    Dumb question

    I see lots of quotes that the servo in the towed car is used to boost braking. I may be a bit out of date but when I really understood how cars worked the servo power was provide by a vacuum created by the runing engine, does this mean you have to have the engine running when you tow?
    Also what about the ignition governed lights like indicators and brake lights.
     
  15. Southampton

    Southampton Funster Life Member

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    I am not an expert on mechanics but if you go to their website www.unibrake.co.uk there is a detailed explanation how it all works. I can confirm that it works extremely well. I once had to do an emergency stop (not fun in a 4250kg MH) and the toad brakes locked on and actually reduced the rigs stopping distance, excellent bit of kit.
     
  16. schojac

    schojac Read Only Funster

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    Electronic or cable I'm still waiting for someone to give me reversing lessons.:Wink:
    I do check and adjust when necessary my cabled version by checking the overun distance. As long as there is still some distance left in the system I "assume" that this will apply the maximum force when in use. That might provoke some comment though :Blush:
     
  17. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    You'll be waiting a long time then.

    other than in a straight line, gently and only on the flat or downhill you will not be able to reverse.

    maybe teaching my granny to suck eggs but.......

    any rolling resistance on the toad in reverse, ie too sudden, uphill or with the wheels turned, will apply the brakes....if it doesn't then the brakes are wrongly adjusted.

    then we come to negative castor effect in reverse.....the frame will push the front of the toad to one side BUT due to steering geometry the wheels will turn to the opposite lock and the brakes will operate due to rolling resistance...this effect applies to any reversing, regardless of brake type.
     
  18. aba

    aba

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    i have found that when reversing with the smart on the back due to the narrow tyres on the front you can get it pretty much where you want it to go with a little tyre scrubbing but it does put a lot of stress on the front of the car and the motorhomes tow bar that they are not designed for.

    if you find you have to reverse on a regular basis then an a frame is not for you.
     
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