Towing and A frames

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by M1ke, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. M1ke

    M1ke Funster

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    Is there a definitive guide anywhere on the forum which explains the pro's and cons of towing a car behind you on an A frame? I am thinking of getting one but have heard that the law will change in 2014? Are they legal in Europe, or will they be in 2014? Anyone got a cheap 4 seater towcar that they want to sell?
    I'm sure that someone who has one could make a list of everything I need to know:BigGrin: ......please.


    Mike
     
  2. keith

    keith Funster

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  3. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    not legal in most of europe

    Not legal in most of Europe... defiantly a NO NO in Spain ... lots have been fined.

    Not legal in the UK if you take into account the RTA and the construction, & use regulations... but not going there.. been there to many times before...

    Lots of threads about this subject in the past. To many just stick there heads in the ground and ignore the rules.. but that is there business. Use a trailer safer and legal in Spain.

    Bob
     
  4. callumwa

    callumwa Read Only Funster

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    Don't........:hardhat:
     
  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Unless you really need one it's best to do without. I tow a Matiz on an A frame only in the UK. This is because the UK is not really suitable for motorhoming.

    The best thing for the UK is a trailer caravan or a motorhome that is small enough to park in our congested towns, a motor caravan is ideal for touring anywhere but here.

    As Bob says the legality of an A frame is uncertain anywhere except the USA where they are legal. They are widely used without problem in the UK so you can get away with it at present unless there is a change in the law.

    Towing a trailer is not a good thing as it takes up extra room on site and may involve extra charges, as well as being very inconvenient. If I had room to store a trailer (which I don't) then I would use the space to store a trailer caravan for UK use.

    Bobs situation is a bit different as he has to tow a trailer for other reasons.

    Perhaps the law may change to make A frames legal, they are certainly safer to tow than a trailer as having all four wheels down, with the front ones steering and brakes on all wheels makes them much more stable, no problems with snaking etc.

    You probably realise this is a subject that gets many Funsters a bit hot under the collar. Check out the many other threads on the subject.
     
  6. darklord

    darklord Read Only Funster

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    A frames without brakes are for recovery only.

    A frames WITh brakes, skirt around many transport regulations and laws and good salesmen will convince you they are legal.

    A frames may allow you to tow a vehicle and keep within your maximum train weight, whereas a trailer may exceed it.

    A trailer, may be prohibitivley expensive, whereas A frames are just simply overpriced, however, an A frame will go in the back of your car, whereas a trailer may end up on the back of a Itinerants car.

    An A frame is shorter than a trailer, so cost less on a ferry, but if that ferry is heading for europe...you may find that the trip price is the last of your worries, especially in Spain and its dominions.

    Trailers are legal as long as you remain within the gross train weight of your outfit, and have a license to tow it (beware after 1997 license holders), however, parking , storing, securing and insuring bring their own problems.

    An A frame relies on the interpretation of the law that makes anuthing towed behind a car..a trailer. This is reinforced by providing a breaking system that a trailer is required to have. Once the first interpretation is dismissed as relating only to recovery, A frames will become illegal.
    No particular body, is interested in investing the time money and effort to push A frames into illegality,...an accident, an EU ruling, or lobbying by a trailer manufacturer may change that,

    I recently used an unbraked A frame to tow a car around Devon. I relied on everyones ignorance and apathy to do so...HOWEVER, if i had been stopped, my defense would have been that the car had broken down and was being recovered, due to my bacjground, i doubt the CPS would have taken it to court,........if you like taking risks or are a customer of Betfred...get an A frame.
     
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  7. Gunner29

    Gunner29 Read Only Funster

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    Why

    I toyed with getting an A frame for our C1 but didn't. To us a motor home is great for touring and we are off to Germany and France leaving Sunday. When we go to Spain for a few months in the winter and stay on a site for a month or two we hire a car as and when required. I find this is best. Comparing the costs of towing v hiring I believe it is cheaper hiring. as for the law I don't know but do you both drive??? if you are stopped etc someone may have to drive the car.
     
  8. M1ke

    M1ke Funster

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    Thanks for all the interesting replies. A bit of a mixed bag really? The people I have spoken to on camp sites who have tow cars cannot speak highly enough about them. I shall do some research and find out exactly what the RTA position is and report back. In answer to the law change in 2014, all I have heard from a few tow car owners is that the law into the braking mechanics is due to change. The rest is speculation.
     
  9. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    do a search on here and the relevant RTA and construction and use legislation has been posted. clearly you wont know this being new as the subject of A frames gets raised every few weeks.

    some say its a grey area, but a frames used for anything other than breakdown recovery is not yet and unlikey to become legal in the uk

    believe what you will and take the word of somebody that tows with an a frame you met on a campsite. but they wont be paying your fines if you get stopped and charged

    as for 2014, who really knows
     
  10. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Why don't you get one of those 100% legal, cheaper, more spacious motorhomes, without an engine, that you can tow behind your car, thus saving one lot of road tax?:Wink:
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
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  11. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    why tow at all

    We have chatted about this towing behind our motorhome since we first bought it.
    The first thing that jumps out at you is WHY, in our case we have a 28ft motorhome that cost a whole lot more than a big family saloon.
    So it just didn`t make sense to have a £70k plus vehicle towing a car, surely the way to go would be to buy an adequate towing vehicle and caravan.

    As we don`t really like caravans we opted for the bigger motorhome and just hire a car if and when we need one, simples.:thumb:
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    well you can read as much as you like .but its quite easy to see how an aframe can meet all the requirements of construction and use .unfortunately many in use and for sale very clearly dont meet c&u requirements .
    its not difficult to meet the standards .
    although i say get a 5er meets all requirements and solves the problems . yes no walk through thats about the only problem i can see . large living vehicle short tow length . more manouverable than similar or shorter m,homes . makes sense one tax ,mot insurance .
     
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