Towing - some advice please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by jac-in-a-box, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    To start, I've never towed before.

    As first time motorhomer's we've found some of the places we've visited in Scotland to be somewhat remote and the ability to get out and about is rather limiting. No public transport and I'm a long way from being confident in driving into some small villages, besides which it's a pain in the back end having to pack up and set up again if we do use the m'home.

    Really would like to to get a small car to trailer, not A frame, to give use more get out and about opportunities.

    We've got an Autotrail Dakota on an Alko chassis (if that makes a difference?) with towbar and electrics fitted.From what I can gather from the net and documents I have, my max gross weight is 3850kgs, max rear axle load 2120kgs and the max train weight is 5200kgs.
    Am I right in assuming the max weight I can tow, car and trailer is 5200 -3850= 1350kgs? I understand that I should be looking at a trailer nose weight of around 60kg so that is something I should allow for on my max rear axle weight?

    I would only be looking to tow a small car, Smart cars seem popular, but I need somewhere to put a pair of small dogs and I don't think they have rear seats. Any thoughts on something cheap and reliable...It'll only be used for motorhome trips as we've other cars for daily use. Daewoo Matiz would fit the bill and seem plentiful.

    Type of trailer? Single or double axle? Any advantages of either - reversing is not a favourite activity, would the single or double axle have an influence?

    Your thoughts would be appreciated - selling the motorhome and buying a caravan isn't an option!:)

    Thanks, David
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    1350kg is the total (trailer AND load) weight of the loaded trailer....could be full of bags of sugar or ingots of gold, it makes no difference.

    The cars actual weight is the one to be concerned with, not the cars max gross weight and most small cars will be under 1000kg kerb weight.

    Single axle are easier to move around unhooked but twin axle gives you extra stability and, in the event of sudden air loss, it still has one good wheel on the ground on that side.

    Reversing should be the same regardless of axles....size is the deciding factor.
    a short trailer is far harder to reverse than a long one.
     
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  3. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Good info' there, thank you :)

    David
     
  4. icantremember

    icantremember Funster

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    Yes
     
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  5. Ber090

    Ber090 Funster Life Member

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    A-frame and Toyota aygo! Why mess with a trailer?
     
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  6. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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    Hi, at the risk of triggering a fresh debate on this subject. Can't see the point in towing a car, might as well have bought a tin shed and dragged that (ex shed dragger). When towing your subject to restrictions in speed and 3rd lane etc. not to mention difficulties in a quick turnaround having ignored the sat nav.

    I believe the whole point of a MH is mobility in comfort. Having said that we have taken to loading a scooter for short trips to the supermarket or towns etc where a modest MH may be a bit of problem to park.

    But life is full of choices. Whatever you decide good luck.
     
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  7. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Why mess with a toad?
     
  8. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    If your worried about going places with you MoHo solo then with a trailer on tow it's going to be twice as long to manoeuvre .
     
  9. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    You may find you have to reverse the car onto the trailer,to keep the nose weight down on the hitch,this is just an observation. Single/double axled trailers ? The single axle will be easier to manouver by hand,when off the hitch,the double axle will give a smoother ride,but will be a tad heavier.....
    Electric bikes on a rear mounted carrier ? Decisions,decisions....LOL. Best of luck...."Whatever"
     
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  10. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    An Aygo or Peugeot 107 on a single axle trailer would be within your 1350 kgs but for me in the UK a frame is by far the best(y)
     
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  11. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    With a large MH I can understand your reluctance to take it to some places, we down-sized to a panel van conversion a couple of years ago as we like to go to placed that most people wouldn't even contemplate taking a car!!! I'm not however suggesting that you downsize so the most obvious thing is what you have suggested, namely getting a small runabout car.

    Don't rule out a Smart - we have one (gonna be selling him shortly :cry:) and although only a 2 seater it is amazing what we can get into it - we often go to the local car boot in him and come back with it stuff with all sorts, we've even got some inflatable roof bars for him and have carried a large roof box!

    Ebay 3.JPG Ebay 4.JPG Ebay 5.JPG

    The engine is at the rear and on top is a flat surface which is ideal for our dogs - we just put a padded dog mat on top of it for comfort. They love being able to see out of the back and oggle people in vehicles behind us ... I'm sure the dogs must pull faces at them! :LOL: We have a staffie/greyhound cross (aka heffalump) a chihuahua/jack russell and a patterdale and all of them fit in the back.

    IMV a trailer is the way to go - having towed a car in the past on a 'bar' (forerunner of the 'A' frame) I wouldn't ever tow a car now except on a trailer ... much easier to manoeuvre and reverse and the car itself doesn't run the risk of you damaging the running gear etc whilst towing it and gives more protection to it - you could put a cover over it to keep it clean and help prevent stone chips etc. Whilst a trailer will need to be included in your overall weight it should be possible to still be within your limits.

    The only thing I would suggest, though, is to reconsider only having the car for your MH trips as having it sitting around a lot of the time won't do it any favours so maybe consider getting something to replace one of your existing cars and then use it as your daily transport to? Obviously this would be a much cheaper option too!
     
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  12. tjay

    tjay Funster

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    Hi ,we pulled a Nissan Pixo on a Brian James Micro Max trailer with a combined weight of 1350kgs behind our Bailey 740 with now problems.
    I have various joint pains and a bad back after a motorcycle accident and the slide out ramps on the trailer means no heavy lifting.
    Paid less than a couple of grand for it and only £1250 for the trailer !! best thing we ever did.
     
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  13. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    We had a BJ Micro max, v good trailer .
     
  14. Littlewheels

    Littlewheels Funster

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    Do consider "movers" I wouldn't be without them,I can load my Smart onto trailer,tie down and be hitched up in 10 minutes without raising a sweat and I am 70.

    The Smart is amazing and the storage behind the seats is excellent.

    Get Towing and be Smart
     
  15. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    Thanks all for your contributions! Plenty to consider...

    Down sizing - while no doubt it would our improve our ability to get out and about more, we've only just bought it and the layout works just fine for us.

    Scooter(s) - not for us, though we have two folding bikes with baskets on the front for the pair of hounds (Yorkies) I feel too exposed on them but the dogs love it!

    I'd initially thought an A frame would be ideal, but with uncertainty of their legality in Spain, and possibly elsewhere, I discounted it. Though thinking again, for convenience and not having to find somewhere to keep a trailer, I may well opt for the A frame within UK. Still going to have to go for the trailer for Europe travel - possible to hire them?

    Minx - looks as though a Smart car may well suit after all, seems you make full use of yours! If I can park the two hounds, they're small enough after all, on the rear shelf no reason to rule one out.
    If you're selling, perhaps drops me a mail please...yours looks rather "smart"!

    tjay - see you're in Dundee, as am I. Going to send you a message:)

    Any more thoughts will be welcome...down-sizing or caravanning won't be happening though!

    David
     
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  16. jac-in-a-box

    jac-in-a-box Read Only Funster

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    A "mover" - I'm a little lost...something else I'll need!

    David
     
  17. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    When over the water we take electric bikes and hire cars when needed.
     
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  18. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I took a toad to France last year. First time I have and it will be the last. Extra cost on the tunnel, extra fuel towing it, together with a fair bit of inconvenience hitching and unhitching. We hardly went anywhere that we couldn't have gone in the MH.(7.6,m)
    Packing up etc shouldn't take more than a minute or two if there is a bit of discipline ie if you've finished using it, put it away.
     
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  19. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Having towed most of my life, be it caravans / trailers cars on a frame or driving artics, the best thing we have done is downsize to a panel van. (y)

    Our last motorhome we had a Smart car and a Smart trailer and it was plated at 1300kg so you would be OK with that, there is a decent space behind the seats but our dog got hot as its on the engine. :eek:

    But since downsizing to the panel van, life is so easy, no more of this driving through a town.........thinking ;) Oh this looks nice we will have a look round, and not finding anywhere to stop.:rolleyes:
    And no more loading the car with all the things for a day out, just get in the van and go, and having everything with you. :ROFLMAO:
    What ever we have taken with us over the years, be it scooters or cars, the thing that gets used most days are our bikes. (y) Bob and Janie.
     
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  20. Tea Bag

    Tea Bag Funster

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    Hi.
    I am with bobandjanie... Result.
     
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