towing small car

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ian gregory, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. ian gregory

    ian gregory Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    teignmouth, devon
    Hi
    can anyone tell me the pitfalls & advice of towing a small car & is it true that you can't reverse?
     
  2. trekkin

    trekkin Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    495
    Location:
    Staffordshire
  3. zac

    zac Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Hampshire
    We have a small smart car on an A Frame for using in the UK, it is true you cannot reverse with the car attached but it only takes a few minutes to uncouple it. Of course this can be stressful if there is a queue and you are holding up traffic :)

    There is also added weight as well when towing which cuts down speed and adds more fuel, we dont use ours a lot only on the long trips up north if we know we are going to be staying somewhere for a few nights and it will be worth going out in the car. We will be using it also to assist in getting about in Taunton when we go down in a few weeks to have our alarm fitted to our MH. Dont forget the added tax/insurance/maintenance etc of owning another car. These all add up.

    What is good for one may not be for another but each to there own.

    Good luck
     
  4. ian gregory

    ian gregory Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2015
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    teignmouth, devon
    thanks your reply, just watched the video on A frames & reversing looks easy but I'm sure its not, we have just acquired an American rv which we won't be using until May next year & we wanted to tow a small car, have plans to move to Spain but want to check out various locations which I'm sure won't always be American rv friendly, decisions decisions!!
     
  5. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    28,934
    Likes Received:
    25,574
    Location:
    .
    then you need to know that A frames are illegal in Spain.. better to buy a trailer..

    I also had an RV (36ft) and a car with A frame.. and it's not possible to reverse more than a few feet before the wheels go to full lock.. anyone who says otherwise is taking nonsense..

    forgot to say welcome.. :)
     
  6. bartiny

    bartiny

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    419
    Location:
    Accrington, Lancashire
    Hi, I have a quad bike that I used to tow with an A frame, when I wanted to reverse, then as long as the wheels were in a straight line (on the quad) and I was pushing straight back, it would not be a problem, if I wanted to guide it either Left or right, then the wheels would go to full lock and I would then be pushing it with the front wheels locked (not rotating).

    I was discussing this with a fellow camper who towed a car (a scat) with an A frame and he told me that he did not have that problem, he could reverse it where he wanted, but he did add that certain cars (he mentioned the Smart car) had this full lock problem.

    HTH:)
     
  7. Masman

    Masman Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    south yorkshire
    Why not look at hireing a car when you get to where you are going.It may sound expensive but if you add up the cost of buying and running a car it's not as bad as you think.buy a yearly damage waiver insurance pretty cheep which keeps hire prices Down.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,443
    Likes Received:
    16,869
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    And you would be correct.

    There is one youtube clip showing a small car being reversed around a corner at a fair pace....with the wheels in the opposite lock.

    The steering geometery on the car is such that it will always go into the opposite lock, car reverses left, wheels turn right, unless the turn is very gentle.

    The main thing is....if it can be reversed (in any fashion) it means the brakes are too far out of adjustment to be of any use while driving forwards.

    While reversing, the resistance is enough to apply pressure to the sliding brake hitch and apply the brakes
    the harder you push the harder the brakes are applied.
     
  9. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    2,865
    Likes Received:
    2,684
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    ................ which also makes it illegal in the UK.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    672
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    A frame towing has not been made illegal in the UK as there is a government statement to say so. An A frame connected to a car becomes a trailer. A trailer with brakes fitted must work so any car towed as a trailer must have a working braking system.
    The reversing question is that to be a trailer in law, reversing must be possible which with an A frame, a short distance is possible in a straight line. There is no legal definition as to how far the reverse needs to be. The overrun braking system uses a damper to make this possible.
    The practical problem with reversing the toad is that the caster angle of the steering geometry is designed to trail the wheels in a forward direction (hence why they follow and turn correctly without being steered manually while being towed) but will turn to one side if reversed without manually controlling the steering.
    As for the OP questions, the practical aspects of a toad are fairly straightforward if you do not drive into a dead end and plan your route.
    The legal issue is very likely to be only a problem in Spain as they do not accept it as a trailer.
    The only reason I can see for this decision is that there are C&U regulations regarding trailers with more than one axle must be close coupled ( spaced less than 1mtr apart ) unless they are LGV's. This is only my thoughts on the Spanish decision as I have not found a definitive reason.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Speve

    Speve Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    1,969
    Likes Received:
    1,637
    Location:
    Salisbury
    Get yourself a trailer and save all the hassle and stress of worrying about the legality of it all.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    400
    Location:
    Market Rasen
    Someone has mentioned on another forum that his insurance company told him that the DVLA has told them that A frames in the UK could be illegal in November. Probably rubbish.
     
Loading...

Share This Page