Unibrake

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by barrywi, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. barrywi

    barrywi Read Only Funster

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    Am ditching my trailer and am thinking of having the Unibrake system fitted to our VW UP. I had a long conversation with the man who runs it and he was very helpful, the only problem is that he is near Brighton and we live in the Lake District but we have thought of a way of getting it sorted without my wife having to drive the 300 miles behind me in the motorhome.
    Anyway the reason for the post is to ask if anyone else has this system on their cars and if they are happy with it? The trailer was becoming a pain,literally as my wife now has hip problems so cannot be much help with pushing the trailer around.
    I believe this type of A frame is legal in europe due to the servo braking system on the car being independant . The man who runs the operation says he has multi language paperwork ( not piles of Euros!) to show police if stopped abroad. We would probably only tow in France.
    Before you ask I did think of changing my wife instead!!
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Not heard of anyone being stopped or fined in France .. yet.. but it won't be legal in Spain or Germany ...

    All the A frame companies provide reams of multi-language papers to show there's is legal to use abroad.. it's not them that get fined.


    Edit ..Just found this update from Caratow

    The Legals.

    The 'electronic braking' companies have been telling motorhomers their systems will comply with the new regulations, some have said their systems are Type Approved throughout Europe. This has lead motorhomers to believe they can travel anywhere in Europe and have no fear of being challenged by police. Not correct. Neither Type Approval or compliance with a future European standard will convince a Spanish police officer who plans to extract a fine from a motorhomer who is 'flat' towing a car. The Spanish issue is covered later in this update.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
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  3. trekkin

    trekkin Read Only Funster

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    Hi

    If the issue is that manoeuvring the trailer around is becoming more difficult why not fit a caravan style motor mover to it, seen them at the shows fitted to trailers, battery on the to hitch and a remote control to move the trailer around.

    Definitely stay within the law and probably a bit cheaper.
     
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  4. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I own a Terios which we occasionally tow with a Car - A - Tow "A" frame, now only in the UK.

    If I went down the trailer route I would get a tow bar fitted onto the trailered car and manoeuvre the trailer with the small car.

    I would only buy another "A" frame (for use in Spain) with a written undertaken, from the supplier, to reimburse me for any fines or costs that I may incur.
     
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  5. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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    Fit a caravan mover to existing trailer cheaper and legal.
    Dont believe a word the Unibrake salesman tells you he wont be paying your fine or trying to sort out the problem of carrying on with your journey.
     
  6. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    I thought it had recently become illegal in France too?
    I stand to be corrected.........
    Cheers, Dave(y)
     
  7. barrywi

    barrywi Read Only Funster

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    So much for the EU standardising everything. We can have rules for the length of a banana but not A frames
     
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  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    What an absolute load of rubbish. (Refering to caratow, not Scotjimland)

    The new eu regs forbid over-run braking on anything but centre axle trailers......a car does not have centre axles.
    a centre axle trailer is one with an axle, or multiple axles, arranged around the cente of the body /chassis between rearmost and foremost extremes.

    A frame manufacturers can interpret that any way they wish but a car can never be centre axle.
    but one thing is sure....they arent going to say 'oh dear, the law changed and we will have to close our factory'
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  9. barrywi

    barrywi Read Only Funster

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    Still selling the trailer on Ebay and will re assess the A frame situation in the months to come.
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I hope that is directed at Car A Tow and not my post
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Sorry Jim, of course it was aimed at Car a tow.

    I think the quote was wrongly selected on my part. :love:

    Post edited to suit
     
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  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Cheers John.. :cool:
     
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  13. Pilote87

    Pilote87 Funster

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    I have just found and translated a document from the web site of FFACCC (Fèdèration Française des Associations et Clubs de Camping Cars). It shows a response to a question on the French Parliament, but, as indicated, there is an ambiguity or two.

    Sorry, but I can't find a way to upload the (.doc) file so here it is in full.

    QUESTION



    Jean Glavany draws the attention of the minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
    the European Directive 94-20 EC. Indeed, it seems that the ability to tow a small car using a motorhome is tolerated according to French law. So there seems to be ambiguity on this point between the European and French law, especially regarding the motorhome wishing to tow another vehicle using a towing vehicle without recourse the purchase of a car trailer.



    RESPONSE



    The European Directive 94/20 / EC of 30 May 1994 - relating to the mechanical coupling devices of
    vehicles and their trailers and their attachment to those vehicles - was transposed by Order March 26, 1999, as amended. This order, first time imposed the requirements of Directive only to vehicles of less than 3.5 tonnes (light vehicles) and, since April 29, 2009, extended its scope to vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (heavy-weight). The application of this Directive is induced by the Directive 2007/46 / EC of 5 September 2007 establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended for these vehicles. As this is a framework directive, the latter subject to harmonize repositories approval of the vehicles in the Member States of the European Union. Thus the provisions community, for vehicles in circulation by Directive 2007/46 / EC, define three international categories of vehicles: - Category M: motor vehicles of transport; - Category N: Vehicles for freight; - Category O: trailers, each category of vehicles must meet a set of technical guidelines dealing with safety construction, functional safety and emissions. Directive 94/20 / EC is one of these special directives. It defines the approval of a coupling device, and its installation on vehicles. This Community classification is mandatory and these definitions are taken at national level in Article R.311-1 of the Highway code that lists all classes of vehicles lawfully in use on the road. To tow a motor vehicle, in this case a passenger car (international category M1) with a camping car (also international category M1), use is made of an apparatus called "framework to tow" (our A-frame) which raises regulatory and technical issues. In France, this configuration is not permitted by the rules of the road, outside the specific cases. Indeed, Article R.311-1 states that the establishment of a road train is expressly defined as Hitch of a motor vehicle (Arrow M or N) and a trailer (class O), being in particular a trailer characterized by a braking device which is compatible with the motor vehicle of the category for the tow and it whatsoever. The braking performance of the trailer is the subject of a regulatory test according harmonized European rules. The coupling devices used to tow a motor vehicle by a camping car, although it may be approved to Directive 94/20 / EC cited above, are diverted of normal function to be adapted to the front of a motor vehicle. The technical unit conforms Community regulations but not its installation on the trailer (which, to reiterate, is a motor vehicle) to be modified to accommodate the frame to tow. These changes include the addition of anchor points on the front and, for systems with a system of braking, by the laying of a cable or a rod which actuates the braking of the trailer vehicle engine.



    The technical and safety problems reside including the strength of the anchorages and validation of braking, as well as the signalling of the towed vehicle which is that of a motor vehicle, not that of a trailer. Furthermore, when the motor vehicle being towed is unhitched, it is necessary to disassemble the towing frame. These assembly and disassembly operations that are not carried out by a professional while they may operate in the braking system, are potentially a safety problem. It should also be taken into account that improper assembly may lead to an accident, in view of the registration certificate that the vehicle is actually towed a car (without driver), which could cause the insurer to review the conditions of Assumption of Damages. In conclusion, apart from specific operations in case of a problem, the only legal and safe way to transport a car behind a motorhome is on a car trailer.


    J
     
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  14. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    So, am I right?
    Cheers, Dave:((y)
     
  15. barrywi

    barrywi Read Only Funster

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    Sounds like you are correct, so what about the UK??
     
  16. barrywi

    barrywi Read Only Funster

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    Could Pilote87 please send me the doc file so that I can quote it to the A frame maker please?
    Huntersfold@tiscali.co.uk
     
  17. Pilote87

    Pilote87 Funster

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    PM and email sent.

    J
     
  18. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Go get 'em an then report back as to how many little pieces you chewed them into! :D
     
  19. barrywi

    barrywi Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone , now looking for a motor mover kit for my trailer, so if anyone knows of a seller pleaee post
     

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