VOSA Stopping Fivers

Discussion in 'Fifth Wheelers' started by Jim, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    We had a funster who was towing a fifth wheel stopped by Vosa on Friday just outside Shepton. Wrote him up for the handbrake. VOSA said that an electronic handbrake was illegal, they gave him 72 hours to get it sorted, he's on his way to Calders now to get a regular handbrake fitted.

    Most fivers i know rely on chocks, if you don't have a handbrake fitted then you should consider it before VOSA pull you in. :thumb:
     
  2. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    When I had my Fiver, I understood then, that all Fivers had to have a mechanical handbrake, by law.
    Mine did and I was told that all UK imports had one fitted before resale.
    So I'm surprised that there was one out there without the mechanical handbrake.

    Pete:Cool:
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    vosa have been aware of it for awhile .if you look back i brought it up awhile ago . chocks are just that chocks .
    there will soon be alot more of these type vehicle checks . the last one i got a word about was living vans . defined as having a large area to carry m,bikes ,cars etc .are not campers or caravans . like mine they are living vans . / many m,homes have this sort of garage area . they are being registered in correct as motor caravans and also have the wrong mots .
    i think soon you will hear of vosa stopping them as well.
    toy haulers as some are called are a definate pull if the 5er is over 3,500kg gvw . its on the cards . be warned .
     
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  4. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    This has always been an issue Jim - it has very much been down to the interpretation of the Construction and Use regulations by each supplier so therefore a very grey area - when we bought ours we looked closely at C&U and it was one of the many reasons that we plumbed for Niche Marketing as their interpretation was the same as ours that a fixed lever operated handbrake was the correct interpretation of the C&U regs. Electronic is only as good as the batteries and furthermore if you continually energise the electromagnets in the braking system you do risk failure at a critical time. The wheel wedge used by some while it is a very efficient system of stopping a twin axled trailed vehicle moving the application time I would suggest would be considered unacceptable in an emergency a) because of the application and b) because it is not a fixed part of the vehicle - ie it could easily be left out of the vehicle or lost and therefore the vehicle would be without a 'mechanical' means of braking.

    While it is annoying for the member concerned I think this 'stop' by VOSA has at last removed the 'grey' area albeit it can only be taken as the opinion of just 1 VOSA inspector
     
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  5. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    There are a surprising amount out there without a mechanical handbrake relying on wedges and clamps to satify the C&U requirements
     
  6. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    I believe there is an A frame manufacturer relying on electronic braking !

    Peter
     
  7. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Is'nt a ratchet type 'scissor' brake between the wheels, mechanical?

    Craig
     
  8. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    no, like all largish trailers, caravans 5vers need a proper handbrake fitted permanently
     
  9. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover

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    i have a tow car fitted with a brakebuddy that is electronic / hydraulic
    is this not legal now?
     
  10. aba

    aba

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    i presume it still has a mechanical hand brake so i guess your ok.

    but what about the new cars that are fitted with electronic parking brakes are they now illegal ?????
     
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  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    that braking system well covers the braking regs . one of the few systems that does on a frames . again vosa do understand which systems are ok and which arent . there is going to be alot more vosa checks .
     
  12. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    I would think that he was relying on pulling the pin on the driving brakes safety device----this operates the brakes if the trailer parts company with the tow vehicle--------it is not designed to remain on (like a parking brake)

    Have to confess that our first 5er did not have a park brake:Blush:---we were quite relieved when we no longer owned it, but made sure the next one was legal:thumb:
    Nigel & Pamala
     
  13. algill

    algill Funster

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    The first thing we did when we got our 5er was to fit a parking brake.

    That's over 5 years ago and we haven't used it yet. :RollEyes:

    I can see that there would be a use for it though if we had a breakdown on the road and had to separate the tow vehicle from the 5er.

    Al
     
  14. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Correct it is mechanical BUT it is not a permanent fixture - there for it can be left behind /forgotten in which case the vehicle has no handbrake - I think the answer in truth is in the name - HAND brake

    parking brake, also called hand brake, emergency brake, is a latching brake usually used to keep the vehicle stationary. As I understand C&U it must be a fixture to the vehicle/trailer .
     
  15. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    only needs one

    Only needs one. One day we will see the same report for A frames.. just a matter of time.

    Bob
     
  16. Landy lover

    Landy lover Funster

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    Electronic handbrakes on modern vehicles are applied by and or released by electricity - once applied the power source is turned off ( as in ignition) and there is no further reliance on power to maintain braking - using the electronic braking system on a 5'er to hold as a handbrake would rely on keeping a permanent 12 volt power system to the Electromagnets - therefore these are not designed for continuous application and would undoubtedly fail in time PLUS once the tow vehicle is removed you would be reliant on the 5'ers on board batteries and once they discharged the brakes would fail.
     
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  17. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Mine is a mechanically operated expanding wedge between the tyres and is locked in place mechanically and is fixed to the vehicle by a steel cable. As far as I am concerned this satisfies the requirements laid down in the following document issued by the DfT.

    Another issue that never seems to be mentioned is the gross weight of the trailer, as can be seen from the document things change at 3500kg max vehicle weight, was the trailer inspected in the recent incident above this weight?

    Use of the emergency breakaway attachment for parking is not a grey area and is definitely not allowed.

    Having made my views and interpretation known please be aware of the disclaimer at the bottom of the document.

    It would be interesting to hear Alex at Calder Leisure's views on this, are they still selling 5er's without a ratchet operated parking brake operating internally on the brake drums.

    http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publicatio...rican-caravan-trailer-brakes-and-coupling.pdf
     
  18. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Well!

    I tow a 4x4 Terios behind our Gulf Stream and the handbook states that it can be towed behind a motorhome on a "A" frame. So I bought that one so there would be no warranty problems.

    However, I personally believe that "A" frames are illegal, as I cannot see any reason why they should be legal.

    It is a car! end of argument. Regardless of whether your driving it along the road, or pulling it along the road

    If you dispute this, hook up your tow car onto your motorhome, remove the car tax disc from the car, and park then the whole lot up on the road. Then debate with a Policeman that the "car" is a trailer and doesn't need road tax! Or park it with no tax and then suggest to the Policeman that if you quickly clip the "A" frame on that it turns into a trailer:Wink:

    As for type approval et al? All it needs is for someone to be driving a car that has been "adapted" for towing (remember no crash testing is done after the car is modified) to knock a pedestrian down and there is the slightest evidence that additional injuries were caused due to the modifications, and that will be the end of it!

    How many of us have told our insurance Companies that we have had engineering modifications made to our vehicles to enable them to be towed for leisure (not breakdown) behind a motorhome?

    Very few I would guess as there are no Engineers in the mags or on the forums offering to carry out mechanical reports to satisfy insurance Companies, which you can guarantee, would be the response to telling an insurer that you have fitted a "A" frame! making engineering modifications to a car.:Eeek: In fact perhaps those that dispute that "A" frames are legal they could publish the response from their insurers when told that the car had had engineering modifications?:whistle:

    My Terios has a steel bar welded across the front of the car at about knee height now, this is the bar that the two arms of the "A" frame hook onto. That wasn't there when Diahatsu did the crash testing and N-Cap did there reports :Blush:

    So don't worry about your electronic brakes:Rofl1: Just make sure you don't hit anyone and get on a manslaughter charge:Wink:
     
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  19. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Is that definitely the case or are VOSA issuing inspectors with (possibly new) guidance that tells them what is legal or not in these circumstances?
     
  20. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Such disclaimers are more or less standard now and reflect what has always been the case - that the courts decide. They are basically equivalent to those issued by lawyers which say that an opinion expressed is just that and not professional advice. Disclaimers have become needed more in recent years because of the compensation culture which has come to infest the world.
     

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