What's the right tow-car?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Sunty, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Sunty

    Sunty Read Only Funster

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    I've been carrying a 125cc scooter on a rack for a few years now, but age and the need for more comfortable, and dry, travel has cemented the idea of towing a car in the future. Rang about 4 of the main suppliers but only one responded and didn't answer my questions. My camper is a 6 metre 2.3hp Ducato weighing in at 3500Kg gross. We already have a Nissan Micra diesel car and I would like to tow it. But will it be ok? Also not sure about the difference between the over-run system or the more expensive one. (not sure what it's called) I understand they now have to be EU 2014 compliant, operating all four wheel brakes - that doesn't sound like the over-run system used on caravans. Any advice on tow-cars would be greatly appreciated. Sunty.
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    This is mine........Legal anywhere in the world :Cool:.
     

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  3. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Have you first of all checked what your permitted towing (train) weight is? Including any towing mechanism you choose? You'll have to have an way of braking if you use an A-frame of some sort as the Micra will certainly be over the 750kg non-braked limit.

    Also, if you intend to take the car to Europe with you I'd suggest re-thinking as towing one vehicle with another is illegal in some countries, Spain for one.
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    the over run system is exactly the same as used on caravans and normal trailers.

    the mechanism operates all four brakes simultaneously

    biggest drawback is the inability to reverse if the brake system is set up correctly....start to reverse and the brakes are appied, unlike caravans where the brake shoes are mechanically released in reverse.

    you need to check the train weight of your van, it will be stamped on the VIN plate, to determine the weight you can legally tow.
    it will be the highest figure on the plate......deduct the vans gross weight (MAM) from the train weight to give the max trailer weight.

    even though the car will be empty it is the cars gross weight you MUST use to calculate the maximum towed weight....a micra should be around 1200kg gross weight..
     
  5. aba

    aba

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    the simple fact that the micra has brakes means they have to work regardless of weight.
    the best way is on a trailer then you are legal everywhere a frames are still a grey area
    they seem to be accepted in the uk but other countries are less tolerant.

    you will probably be ok to tow up to around 2000 kg although the weight plate will tell you but make sure your licence allows towing of more than 750kg.

    i know that age plays a part in the vehicle weight you can drive and what weights you can tow.

    it all changed when they went to photo card licences.
     
  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    pre 1st jan 1997 licence entitles you to drive up to 7500kg or, with a trailer, up to 8250kg and will show on your licence as C1+E...unless there are any medical restrictions applied OR over the age of 70 years.

    post 1997 licence allows just 3500kg unless a seperate test is taken.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
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  7. aba

    aba

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    thanks PJ but i noticed the OP says in their about me many years retired so assumed (probably wrongly) that they could be close to 70 where the weight restrictions come in to play.
     
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  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I missed that bit :Doh:

    strange as it is a normal B+E catagory car licence is restricted to 3500kg gross weight but with a trailer of ANY weight up to the vehicles train weight.

    VWAlan is often reminding us he has a medium sized truck with a downplated weight of 3500kg, from around 7000kg i suspect, but can legally tow up to 11 tons combined weight.

    gross weights can be changed up or down but the train weight will always remain the same.
     
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  9. aba

    aba

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    funnily enough my photocard licence says on it.

    B , B+E , C1 ,C1+E ,D1 ,D1+E
    fklnp

    however C1+E has a restriction code 107 which i believe is not more than 7500kg towing no more than 750kg. gross train weight of not more than 8250kg.

    the D1+E has a 101 and a 119 restriction which i believe is not for hire or reward and weight restrictions dont apply

    so i can drive a 16 seater minibus with a trailer up to a gross mass of 12000 kg
    but i am restricted to 8250kg with any other vehicle. :Doh:
     
  10. Sunty

    Sunty Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the info. I am over 70 so have had to have medical to replace licence for up to 7500Kg. One of the sales companies shows a video and quite clearly you can reverse with their system. It's a basic A-frame but with some sort of vacuum brake system operating on the towed vehicles brake pedal. Problem is the company does not seem to have anyone to answer the phone. I was hoping someone may have experienced this type of system and able to comment etc. The recent ads seem to indicate that the new legislation set for 2014 will make them legal throughout Europe - but I have heard of horror stories in Spain. (Maybe they won't be in Europe for much longer!!!!)
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    that is a far better option.

    basically its electric powered operating a hydraulic pump and works off the tow vehicles electrics (brake lights/switch)

    reversing has no effect until you hit the brakes then they apply as normal.

    the system is usually infinately adjustable for 'toad' weight and amount of brake effort needed and is adjusted from the towing vehicle.
    can even be adjusted 'on the move' so the towed vehicle does more of the braking down long gradients and doesnt 'push' the towing vehicle.

    expense is the only drawback.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  12. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Yep...same as mine.

    but as i said, B+E allows 3500kg prime mover plus ANY weight trailer up to the max train weight....so even the over 70's can tow a heavy fifth wheeler legally, and without a medical, with a 3500kg pickup truck.
     
  13. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi pappa i havent dropped my gvw ,but could .have done it for others .
    i think the b+e pre 97 is a great licence to have .
    makes it all a joke really.
    at the moment you shouldnt have a brake controller in the towing vehicle .thats what makes many of the yank 5ers not correct . .i,m not sure the a frame idea will be able to have a controller in the towing vehicle either . we shall have to wait and see. there are systems similar that are as far as i can see ok.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    my apologies Alan, i thought you had dropped your gross weight, obviously i misunderstood.
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    no i could and keep it in mind .
    no good dropping the gvw as it wont be mot exempt then .ha ha .
    plus i like having disabled tax on an hgv .
    does traffic wardens heads in . hee hee. and carpark attendants handing out tickets . plus they cant clamp a blue badged vehicle .
     
  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you aint been to Scarborough for some time then Alan....

    disabled badge holders are not exempt from car park charges here....and we dont have police employed traffic wardens any more...it's all council run now...school leavers in baggy, ill fitting uniforms and hands in pockets or mobile phone attached to lughole. :Doh:
     
  17. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    bit similar down here cornwall council only let you have free if in a disabled taxed vehicle . if i use the bongo its on normal tax so use the truck it annoys them .
    dont think i have been to scarbourgh since we left yorkshire in 64 . keep saying i must do that coast before its too late .
     
  18. GIBLA53

    GIBLA53 Read Only Funster

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    Hi what you seem to be describing is a Brake Buddy - i had one of these about 5 years ago suppled by TOWTAL in Stoke-on-Trent. It was costly maybe about£350 over and above the A-frame.
    For me it was of limited use because the device didn't accurately fit or stay on my Fiat Panda brake pedal .

    Alan
     
  19. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    currently £780 plus 'shipping' from Towtal.

    shipping could mean from americaland...or just plain old UK p&p.

    average price in america, the home of brake buddy, is $1000 so no price difference really
     
  20. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    thjere are electric operated linear actuator systems . that just pull the brake on . can be a bit fierce but work fit very similar to the cable operated by the sliding hitch systems . but far better.
     
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