Toad "trailer" requirements

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by camcondor, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    When towing on an A Frame do you need a board / plate attached behind the towed car as it is effectively a trailer? Just want to be ready for when our toads A Frame is fitted next month!! What is the recommended and easiest solution - magnetic number plate (with the motorhome numberplate on it) to affix to the toad or a lighting board ? Do I need anything else?

    Laurie
     
  2. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Hi Laurie,

    I'm sure I've read somewhere that it is possible to take the electrics from the RV and wire it via normal towbar connectors into the TOAD's lighting system.

    Would certainly do away with the need for a lighting board.

    As for the plate I guess the Magnetic "RV Reg" plate is the way to go.

    I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along with advice on this soon.:thumb:

    BTW I purchased a "Show Plate" for my Bike Rack as near road legal as I could make it.:thumb:

    I believe they need the BS Kite mark and seller/garage details on Legal ones.Still, it's more legal than SOME I've seem on trailers on the roads.
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    As far as I am aware there are no legal restrictions on a trailer number plate, I print mine with the computer and affix with clear fablon. a toad must have a braking system that works on ALL road wheels, electrics naturally must be connected to RV The toad becomes a trailer which must then carry the RV numberplate. There must be secondary means of attachment which will also apply brakes on toad in the event of tow bar/hitch failure and toad must be able to reverse when attached to the RV
    all that said please note the following. There is no Law allowing or disallowing the use of "A" frames in the UK, use abroad is dependant on the whatever system being used actually being legal in the country of origin. (Which it is not) a separate trailer on the other hand satisfies all these conditions. Good luck it is a minefield out there. Loopholes in the law which Will eventually be closed one way or the other. hope it is in our favour. Good luck whatever.
     
  4. des

    des Read Only Funster

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    when chris cox fitted my a-frame, he supplied a number plate and fixing system, magnetic red trianges, and a trailer board for the back window. apparently it was not straight forward to wire into the fiat system. previously i towed a corsa, which was wired direct, and needed no trailer board.

    i assume your supplier will do something similar.

    des
     
  5. Road Runner

    Road Runner Read Only Funster

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    I was never happy with the light direct through the car lights so now run with a trailer board.
     
  6. superk

    superk Read Only Funster

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    Hi
    My policy was along the following lines:- If the rationale is that the car on an A-frame is acting as a trailer and therefore 'legal' then mark it up as a trailer - make sure the lighting works correctly - ours was wired to the cars so that all brake lights and indicators worked as the RVs.

    We put red triangles on the back (used blue tack -never came off in four six-month trips.)

    A number plate screwed over the car's existing plate with bolts and thumb screws so easily removable.

    And, for good measure, I always put a square yellow-red diagonal striped trailer marker board and a 'Long Vehicle' sign on as well - just like an artic truck's trailer. I blue tacked these in the rear window.

    Never got stopped.

    :Smile:
    Keith
     
  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i wired the toad lights direct off the motorhome but there where problems.

    i like to think i know car electrics but this was a challenge, especially brake lights.....brake lights on, all dish lights come on due to backfeeding through the fuse box. i had to fit a relay to overcome this.

    if the A frame fitters offer to wire this way then go for it...saves a lot of hastle with a lightboard, trying to fix it securely so not to damage the paint ect and storing it when not in use.

    you can buy magnetic triangles and i fit the number plate with elastic bands around the original. easily replaced as they wear out and snap.

    john.
     
  8. Thepips

    Thepips Trade Member

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    Hi Laurie,
    We're taking our Citroen to Towtal next week to have the A-Frame fitted. They seem confident that they can wire it up to the vehicle lighting which is something Chris Cox couldn't do although he managed it on our Fiat:Eek!:
    It really is the neatest solution and you don't have to worry about running cables the length of the car or storing the trailer board.
    I'll let you know how we get on.

    Regards
    Doug
     
  9. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all the replies. And thanks, Doug, that will be helpful - I want to "be prepared" as we are fetching the Smart with the motorhome and towing it on to a small meet on the Saturday in September directly from Towtal. I have a short lighting board and no storage problems for it, but would rather, as you say, avoid all the wires and stuff and potential rubbing of board on Smartie's bodywork. Hopefully they will wire the Smart up to work from the van directly and I'll use an appropriate magnetic numberplate/ signs to make it into a "trailer". I imagine Towtal will keep the relevant bits although I'll organise a numberplate now, I think.

    The motorhome dealer made a right mess of the original reversing camera and I'm tired of battling to get them to respond to anything so have purchased a wireless system intended for BIG trucks / horseboxes which has a good signal up to 30m - was intending to use it to give a permanently-on view of my otherwise-invisible Smart Car on the A Frame rather than just when reversing, and installing a 12v burglar alarm battery from which it can draw current rather than trying to cobble it to the rear lights. I want to mount the cam up high, near the vans roof rather than at the numberplate where the idiot dealer mounted the initial system. Nice view of the towball is all I ever see!!!!

    Thanks again for useful suggestions folks :thumb:
     
  10. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Hi Laurie,

    Just a thought here. My SMART (a 4-2) was plastic bodied.

    You may have to rethink on the Magnetic Number plate idea.

    Steve.
     
  11. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi Laurie we tow a Fiat cinquecento on a Tow A Car A Frame, its wired up to the car which I like because the indicators on the side work, so when someones up the side on a rounderbout they can see them, and the lead is inside the A Frame so very tidy and easy, the trailer triangles we got some magnetic tape and stuck to them, the number plate I put the bolts out on the car one, then put the other one over it with wing nuts to hold it on. You do need a camera even though we have a rear window I cant see the car. somewhere on here I posted my top tip if you have a coded Key get a blank key cut so no one can start it, because you have to leave the key in the ingnition to keep the steering lock off. when we leave it parked anywhere just take one of the pins out and put a padlock in because someone could slip it off very fast, and tell your insurance company we have the van and car with Saga but Comfort will cover it if you have a problem. Good Luck. Bob.:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  12. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Bob, I've got a nice rear view camera ordered as the Smart Car is invisible behind the van! Must remember to let insurance know re the toad although they knew about the Smart being towed on a trailer. The van is with Safeguard, will let them know too. Hopefully the car will be properly wired up by Towtal so all the indicators / lights etc work directly from the A Frame, but will obviously need to add a numberplate and triangles or a chevron to the rear of the car when on tow.:thumb:



    Laurie
     
  13. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    I imported diodes from USA for fitting to the Jeep to allow the Jeep lights to work with the RV lights when towed. The diodes act as a 1 way way valve to prevent power flowing back down the wiring and damaging the cars delicate electronics when the ignition is turned off.

    The auto electrician had never seen them before but now imports them himself for wiring toad rear lights.

    They can be fitted to ANY car and work really well

    See here

    HY-Power Diodes 2 Pk. - Camping World

    I know Linda (Stateside Tuning) can get them pretty quick for anyone interested
     
  14. pij974

    pij974 Funster

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    We had our Fiat Panda done a couple of weeks ago by Car-A-Tow down in Poole. They also said that the wiring is very difficult and can cause no end of problems particulally if the vehicle is under manufacturer warranty. All they done was to put a wire through the car with a socket under the bonnet and one in the boot, so all we have to do is connect the a frame to the socket under the bonnet and the trailer board is connected to the socket in the boot. So none of the car electrics are touched. The trailer board is held over the original number plate with spring clips that hook over the plate, the original plate is spaced off the bodywork about 3mm to allow for the clips to hook over. Also do you really need triangles on the back of the car, as all cars have reflectors within the lights and thats all the triangles are for on the back of trailers?
     
  15. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    I think people use triangles / chevrons behind the toad purely to ensure it is correctly portrayed as a "trailer" while on the A frame, not necessarily because its mandatory in the UK at least. You are probably right that it isn't essential to do so as the toad has reflectors etc. but its easy enough to include these into a lighting board or any other system just to get rid of any doubt that you regard the toad as a "trailer" when its on the A frame - if you are very clear and definite about something that police / traffic staff are not too clear on, and appear to know exactly what you are talking about, chances are you won't end up fined for some minor technical infringement of trailer law if a bolshy copper having a bad hair day stops you purely to find fault!!!

    Laurie
     
  16. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Hi the triangles are to make it the fact its a trailer. We use to have a scooter on the back, and on the scooter rack I fitted a light board, a vosa chap told me to remove the triangles off it because it is indicating its a trailer so thats what we did, anything to keep them off my back ,my dad always said once a copper starts to write thats it they go through everything. Thanks Bob. :Rofl1:
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Here are you trailer lighting regs for anyone in doubt courtesy of the NTTA
    How many do you comply with??


    Trailer Lighting Requirements

    Trailers must have on the back two red sidelights, two red stop lamps, an illuminated number plate and two triangular red reflectors plus amber indicators designed to flash between 60 and 120 times per minute. If they are more than 1.3m wide, they must also have at least one red fog lamp. All trailers built after Sept 30th 1990 require front reflectors. They must have front reflectors and, if they are more than 1.6 metres wide, front position lights.
    Requirements:
    • <LI class=li>
      If, in the case of direction indicators, it is not possible to meet the maximum height requirements, this dimension can be increased to 2300mm.​
      <LI class=li>
      If, in the case of the rear position (tail) lamps and stop lamps, it is not possible to meet the maximum height requirements, this dimension can be increased to 2100mm.​
      <LI class=li>
      On trailers manufactured after 1 October 1985, the maximum height of the red triangular reflectors can be increased to 1200mm if necessary.​
      <LI class=li>
      Trailers manufactured after 1 October 1985 require numberplates, illuminated by an 'E' or 'e' marked lamp. If a clear window in the rear position lamp is approved, this can be used instead of a separate numberplate lamp but must be fitted to the manufacturer's instructions with regard to distance from the numberplate.​
      <LI class=li>
      At least one rear fog light is mandatory on trailers over 1.3 m wide. Two lamps are preferred but, if only one is fitted, it must be to the offside or on the centre line of the trailer.​
      <LI class=li>
      No maximum distance from the outer edge of the trailer is stated for a fog lamp(s) but there must be a minimum distance of 100mm from the stop lamp.​
      <LI class=li>
      The distance of the direction indicator from the side of the trailer may not exceed the actual distance of the rear lamp by more than 50mm.​
    • Trailers manufactured after 1 October 1985 which are more than 1600mm wide, (except boat trailers) require front position lamps (clear lens). ​
    Certain trailers must have side position lights which show white to the front and red to the back. In addition, trailers over certain lengths must have amber side reflectors.​
     
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