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About Lutz

  • Rank
    Over 1000 posts

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Hochheim am Main, Germany
  • Interests
    Foreign travel and technical issues
  • Towcar
    2016 BMW X4 30d
  • Caravan
    2008 Dethleffs Beduin 545V

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  1. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    Despite the poor way in which both the police and the press handled the whole matter, it seems that that police do have legitimate cause for concern that there are significant numbers of genuinely unsafe caravans about. Frankly, without some form of MOT, I cannot see an alternative to weeding them out. Why would there have to be a database of trailers? It should suffice if a certificate that can be presented on request, is carried by the owner.
  2. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    I would hazard a guess that quite an appreciable number of caravans never get serviced, just as there are cars which don't get serviced, either. However, it should be possible to make a caravan service including all the necessary items which need to be checked mandatory. As you say, most of them are done already as part of a service anyway. In that case, little or no extra cost would be involved.
  3. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    Where in the type approval requirements for unbraked O1 trailers is that stated? I can only find reference to such a requirement in ECE R55, and even then it only refers to the necessity to provide an anchorage points for a cable or chain. It doesn't explicitly mention that a cable or chain is required, so that is presumably, if at all, purely a national requirement. Here an extract from the regulations: "Coupling heads, for a tractive force up to 800 kg and intended to be fitted to unbraked O1 trailers, shall be fitted with a secondary coupling device or at least attachment point(s) to permit the connection of a secondary coupling device(s). The attachment point(s) shall be positioned such that when in use, the secondary coupling device(s) does not restrict the normal articulation of the coupling. "
  4. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    There's one way to find out. I think I'll continue to use my trailer in the UK without chains. Maybe the police or someone from the DVSA will book me, then I'll contest it and I'll know for sure. I'll also know why I have been paying for legal insurance all these years.
  5. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    Fitting a chain in Germany would, on paper, even be illegal because it amounts to a technical change to the trailer that is not covered by its type approval. There isn't even a standard which the chains have to fulfil (minimum breaking strength, for example) so no-one would know whether a chain, even if present, would actually do the job that is supposed to do.
  6. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    I have taken the trailer for the equivalent of an MOT here in Germany at least three times over the past years and it was never failed for lack of safety chains. It would be interesting to know whether taking the trailer over to the UK without them was illegal or I could claim mutual acceptance by reciprocal agreement.
  7. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    In the UK maybe, but they are not required on unbraked trailers over here and I've never been stopped when I've taken my unbraked trailer without chains across the Channel. Besides, there can't be very many caravans around on an unbraked chassis and they are talking about caravans here, not other types of trailer.
  8. Lutz

    Unsafe caravans to be seized

    What are the 'safety chains' that the author is talking about?
  9. Lutz

    What is a commercial vehicle?

    I can find no reference in UK legislation that specifically refers to only goods vehicles over 3500kg being able to tow a trailer with a body length of over 7m. All I can find is reference to the 3500kg GVW restriction, but nothing about a goods vehicle.
  10. Lutz

    German caravans

    LMC built caravans for Geist (a UK company) under contract from 2003 until 2010. They were basically LMC models modified slightly in line with UK taste. The upholstery was also made and added after arrival in the UK.
  11. That's not true. Firstly, the towing limit cannot be compared with the MTPLM but with its axle load. The total weight of the caravan is the axle load plus the noseweight, so it can exceed the plated towing limit by the amount of the noseweight. Secondly, the plated MTPLM can even be greater than 2000kg so long as its actual weight doesn't exceed the limit.
  12. I think you'll find that the 2395kg is the GVW of the Lexus LS430, not its kerbweight. I have the kerbweight listed as 1840kg. Although that may not be 100% correct, it sounds a bit more plausible. MTPLM of the caravan is its maximum allowable weight, not its mass in running order.
  13. Lutz

    Single Vs Twin axle?

    I've never been in a situation where I would have missed a second axle, and that includes having a blowout, so my motto is "if one axle does the job why spend money on something that I don't actually need?" Keep it simple and less can go wrong.
  14. Lutz

    40 Ltr on board water tank advice

    While I agree that a decent noseweight is beneficial to a good tow, that doesn't necessarily follow that a low figure is unfavourable. My previous car had a max. tow of 2000kg, but only an 80kg noseweight limit and yet it towed really well. Actually, I only towed 1800kg, but even that is well below 7%.
  15. Assuming the figures are all correct, although the quoted unladen weight is always open to question, it depends a bit on one's own expectations regarding the adequacy of the payload. You say that you intend to carry the awning in the car, but maybe with two children and all their stuff you may find out later that there is not enough space left in the boot. Besides, you also say that only bedding and small bits are going to be loaded into the caravan, but my experience is that with time you may want to take more along with you than planned originally. I'm not saying that the payload margin is too small, and it probably won't be if you exercise some degree of self-discipline, but I just wanted to make you aware of a possible future weight issue to bear in mind.