Towing

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Reallyretired, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    After much cerebration and marshalling all the pros and cons I have plumped for towing my Smart on a trailer rather than an A-frame.

    Went down today to Smart-Trailers in Bognor to have a look at one, unfortunately the guru was away but there was one I could look at, complete with a really odd Smart car on it, apparently a rare version.

    To get to the point the trailer in question had an enormous noseweight (neither of us could lift the hitch so guess at more than 100kg) The sales blurb doesn't mention the noseweight at all. Has anyone any experience of using one? :Confused:

    It is called X-country and is a single axle trailer specifically designed for a Smart.

    Smart-Trailers.co.uk

    Any inside information from a user would be great:help:
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    i believe the trailers are designed specificly for the smart car so the nose weight when loaded would be around 50kg
    unloaded, all the weight will be at the front as the engine ect would not be there to counter balance the nose.

    the nose wieght and other wieghts will be on the data plate attached to the frame.

    never used one as i A frame mine.:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  3. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Nosewheel weight

    My apologies if I have the wrong end of the stick here - but I thought that it was the weight that could be applied to actual tow ball on the towing vehicle that controlled the 'nosewheel' weight of the trailer. The actual weight of the nosewheel on the trailer is irrelevant - as long as the tow hook to which it is going to be attached is capable of accepting that weight.

    Most vehicles in this country can accept 50kgs or 75kgs nosewheel weight - most 4 wheel-drive heavies can accept more but in general nosewheel weight is accepted at being either 50 or 75kgs ON THE TOWING VEHICLE.

    (Depending on the manufacturers 'nosewheel weight' recommendations for your towing vehicle) - if the trailer/Smart combination that you saw weighed over 100kgs then I suggest that you probably would not be able to fit it to your towing vehicle without doing damage to your vehicle rear suspension.

    If, as you say, the car was already on the trailer and you could not lift it - then I suggest it was either badly loaded OR badly designed OR designed to fit onto a 'bigger' value tow hook.

    I have just changed my car to a Volvo estate and no matter how I load it onto my two ton trailer, I cannot achieve a 75kgs nosewheel weight - therefore I have to either change to a bigger trailer or go to an A frame (I have ordered an American Blue Ox Frame).


    Dick
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    agreed Dick, the nose weight is imiterial if the tow ball /bar can accept that weight but as you say the most common weight is 50 > 75 kg.
    i too think the car was badly loaded (probably on the wrong way round)
    the correct nose weight can be acheived by moving the load for and aft but that aint always possible with a car as cargo.
    but who would load the car unhitched from the towcar anyway:Eek!::Doh:

    I think you would only damage your suspension if you EXCESSIVELY exceeded your nose weight. i use my towbar as a step on my pickup so an additional 105kg (ME) can be added to the 75kg nose limit but obviously not when moving.

    the trailer i'v been looking at is a 6ft X 4ft twin axle 750kg and the unladen weight is 130kg so i think for the download to be anywhere near 100kg on the smart trailer it must be made of solid steel or badly loaded.

    <750KG TRAILER>
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  5. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    We also tow our Smart on a trailer and I looked long and hard for one that would be relatively easy for two , er, mature, ladies to manage with hitching / unhitching.

    I must say from the outset that that precluded twin axle trailers as they are really hard to manage when unhitched. We found the Brian James trailer purpose made for the Smart, the best in the end. We intially purchased a Carcaddy trailer which was great (they are no longer produced but pop up now and then second hand)but the ramps, when lifted, did not clear our gate and we found this difficult to manage. It was a beautifully balanced trailer, however.

    The Brian James is nicely engineered although a bit more thought could have gone into the detail (and no, they are not at all helpful in supplying little extras - nice to have a niche market and just shrug off customers requests and tell them to naff off if they don't like it!) We went for the lockable towhitch and also had the middle board fitted so the trailer could be used for another small vehicle, not just a Smart. However, they are pricey - just a tad under £2k with the extras, includes the wheel straps and a spare wheel though.

    There is a photo of ours hitched up to our Adria in the members' albums on this forum, with our Smart on board. Nice to tow and no noseweight problems!!

    Laurie:thumb:
     
  6. takeaflight

    takeaflight Read Only Funster

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  7. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    not so Laurie,
    wind down the nosewheel til the front axle is clear of the ground and you have a single axle trailer. i do this with my 3.5tonne twin axle and i can manuevre it anywhere on me own, except uphill:Doh:
     
  8. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    Thoroughly agree, Pappajohn - I can handle my twin axle quite happily even on gravel with the 2nd axle clear of the ground BUT it does help to have a 'pneumatic' jockey wheel tyre rather than a solid wheel. The solid wheel does tend to dig into the ground under the weight whereas the 'pneumatic' tyre rolls over most problem areas.
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    a 'pneumatic' jockey wheel tyre .

    now theres a luxury.

    i'v tried to get one for my A frame jockey but they all seem too big. :Angry: it dont half rattle when i drive to the hitch.

    its only a small lightweight jockey to save weight when i have to lift it into the boot:Doh:

    i only move my trailer on tarmac so it aint too bad.
     
  10. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    Well our home driveway is extremely steep (and narrow) making a twin axle absolutely useless to us, and virtually impossible to manoever (for two women of mature years.....). Plus, unless one can absolutely ensure that the ground will always be absolutely level when loading /unloading, it will always be of concern. A Smart car or similar micro car simply doesn't need a twin anyway; if the trailer is well manufactured and balanced I'm much happier with a single. Reversing is also much easier. Down to personal choice I expect.

    Laurie
     
  11. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    The idea of a pneumatic tyre came from years of stretching my arms pushing or pulling a wheelbarrow - how often do you see a proper 'professional' wheelbarrow with a solid tyre. Builders know that a wheelbarrow has to travel over all sorts of rough ground - and that a 'bouncy' wheel is much easier to manoeuvre on rough ground than a solid tyre (just try pushing a solid tyre wheel up a kerbstone).
     
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  13. camcondor

    camcondor Read Only Funster

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    I remember the trailer incident Olley described, but its a minority of trailers that are afflicted compared to the numbers on the roads. Anyway, I have Tyron bands fitted to the tyres on the motorhome and the trailer, so its likely to minimise the potential for that scenario repeating itself. As I recall, the trailer stayed very stable despite the puncture and the subsequent state of the wheel. And the spare was hammered as well due to its location on the trailers edge as I recall.

    Still doesn't make a twin axle trailer remotely desireable in our situation; we would never be able to use one in this location. I'll take my chances with a single!!
    :Rofl1:

    Laurie
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    sorry if i came across condemning single axles Laurie.:Blush: i too have a small (6ft X 3ft)single that i use regularly but it is very light and unbraked.
    Tyron bands are an excellent invention and should be fitted as standard to all trailers/caravans.:thumb:

    john.
     
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