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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. If you read the text of the 2012 Amendment properly it says: (vi)in relation to the entry for category B in column (1)— (aa)for the entry in column (2) substitute— “Motor vehicles, other than vehicles included in category Q, AM, A, F or K, having a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 3. 5 tonnes and not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, including: (i)a combination of any such vehicle and a trailer where the trailer has a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 750 kilograms; and (ii)a combination of any such vehicle and a trailer where the maximum authorised mass of the combination does not exceed 3. 5 tonnes.”; (bb)in column (3) for “F, K and P” substitute “Q, AM, F and K”; The "old" column (2), as shown in the 1999 Amendment, which is substituted by the above says: Motor vehicles, other than vehicles included in category A, F, K or P, having a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 3. 5 tonnes and not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, including: (i)a combination of any such vehicle and a trailer where the trailer has a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 750 kilogrammes, and (ii)a combination of any such vehicle and a trailer where the maximum authorised mass of the combination does not exceed 3. 5 tonnes and the maximum authorised mass of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the tractor vehicle. Hence the old requirement (ii) in column 2 concerning the weight ratio is no longer valid.
  2. Then you'll have to go back to the text of the original Regulations which the amendment replaces. I think it was the issue of 1990.
  3. The entire 2012 Regulation which you have correctly located consists of all amendments. The issue in question is Item 46 (a) (vi) and (viii). There is no longer any reference to the the unladen weight of the tractor vehicle having to exceed the maximum allowable weight of the trailer.
  4. Well, they won't do any harm, but the fact remains that no-one has ever demonstrated that one would be any worse off without them under otherwise identical conditions.
  5. The reference that you make to the Road Traffic Act does not give any details regarding driving licence categories or changes thereto. The correct source of informaton is The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and that is in agreement with what I have said.
  6. We are not talking about age here, we are talking about weight categories and they are common throughout the EU. Yes, it is true that age restrictions vary from country to country, but what you can drive with a B, B+E, C1,etc. licence is the same everywhere. ps: The age limit for a category B licence was lowered a couple of years ago in Germany from 18 to 17.
  7. The DVLA pdf file "Changes to the driving licence and categories" shows only half the picture and has errors. For example, the statement: If you have passed your car (category B ) test on or after 19 January 2013, to tow a trailer weighing more than 3,500kg with a car or small vehicle (category B and B+E), you will need to pass a test for category C1E. implies that it was possible to tow a trailer weighing more than 3,500kg on a category B licence obtained before 19 January 2013, which is wrong. The other link to the GOV. UK website is perfectly correct. Nothing has been omitted. Driving licence categories are harmonised throughout the EU. The text that I have from German sources (in German, of course) is perfectly clear and confirms the details set out in the GOV. UK link.
  8. I didn't mean a weight check performed by the powers-that-be, but one carried out simply out of one's own interest. As I tried to explain earlier, the difference a blade stabiliser will make will be practically negligible and probably within the accuracy of the gauge that the average owner uses to measure noseweight. To make any appreciable impact, the blade would have to be so strong that one wouldn't even have a chance to engage it by hand.
  9. They won't be looking for the odd kilogramme or two, but probably caravans that are more like 200kg or more overweight, and that's relatively easy to estimate from the amount of debris spread around. There was a report on TV last year of a caravan being 400kg overweight! Years ago, before I started caravanning, my next door neighbour took his down to the Mediterranean with a sailing dinghy strapped on top of the caravan.
  10. No, you measure from the centre of the towball to the ground. That should be between 350 and 420mm.
  11. It certainly isn't legal. Witter should offer a dedicated towbar for the GT version of your car to take into account the fact that it sits lower than the "normal" one.
  12. Since changes introduced in January, that last statement is no longer true for a Category B licence. A Category C1 licence without the E and without inclusion of a Category B entitlement only allows you to tow a 750kg trailer. There was never a weight ratio restriction on Category B+E or C1+E licences.
  13. Apologies, yes, you are correct. It does increase the towball load not reduce it. As Harry. m1byt correctly pointed out, the blade of the stabiliser introduces a torque in the joint between the car and the caravan which redistributes the individual axle loads but the net result (the gross train weight) remains unaltered. The axle load of the caravan is increased slightly at the expense of the rear axle load of the towcar but obviously the caravan's overall weight is unchanged. Therefore, the noseweight, which is the difference between the axle load and overall weight, will be less (even though the actual towball load is increased). However, I think one would need a very sensitive weighbridge to even detect the above changes and for all practical purposes they can be neglected.
  14. It was not an accidental omission. The change to delete the weight ratio requirement was deliberate and applies throughout the EU since January 19 along with other changes to Category B+E licences and the introduction of Category B96 which the UK has opted not to implement.
  15. Even that is pure conjecture. You're probably right there.
  16. That requirement no longer applies. It was dropped in January this year.
  17. I've had a blowout at motorway speeds without Tyron bands and cannot understand what so special about them. No-one has ever demonstrated that one would be any worse off without them.
  18. Spanish, please. Don't throw all into the same boat. You'd never get away with it here in Germany. The TÜV would have a fit.
  19. I wouldn't subscribe to that. At least here in Germany the police are constantly carrying out weight checks at various service areas along the busy tourist routes. I've been stopped for a weight check myself. Besides, local insurance companies are very alert and coverage is easily lost in the event of an accident if any of the limits are exceeded. On the other hand, most Continental caravan manufacturers offer a whole list of factory-fitted upgrading options,sometimes at more than one level, which many people take advantage of. For example, my 1600kg caravan was upgraded to an 1800kg.
  20. That's right what Steamdrivenandy has written about Continental caravans. The current pricelist for the Dethleffs caravan that I've got is a 21 page book, admittedly it covers all caravan models (not their motorhomes, though), but nevertheless. There must be close on 100 factory fitted options available for each model.
  21. There should never be a need. Drop plates are meant to be used only on off-road vehicles which are exempt from the regulations regarding towball height. The idea behind this exemption is that such vehicles are often used to tow farm trailers on rugged ground where the standard ball height would lead to ground clearance problems. All other vehicles must comply with the heights mentioned above and do therefore not require drop plates whichever way round.
  22. Any database and any brochure or publication can only reference guideline MIRO's. MIRO is not absolute but vehicle specific and variances of well over 50kg from published figures are to be expected and, in fact, very likely. Therefore, any such information must be used with extreme caution.
  23. At least current VIN plates (I don't know whether they were the same in the pre-90's) show gross vehicle weight and gross train weight. Subtract the one from the other and you've got the towing weight.
  24. Whilst previous replies are correct in stating that centre of the towball must be between 350mm and 420mm above the ground with the vehicle in a laden condition, the same regulation states that the centre of the hitch with the caravan level must be between 395mm and 465mm. Therefore, with the towball on top tolerance (420mm) and the hitch on bottom tolerance (395mm), the front end will be 25mm or 1" up. However, as noseweight should always be adjusted in the "as hitched" attitude of the caravan, any height change up or down would be compensated.
  25. How donuts can improve the ride defeats logic as far as I'm concerned. A harder spring must inevitably account for a harsher ride. At best they can adjust standing heights. The only way of raising the back end of the car under load without affecting suspension travel is to fit springs of the same length but with a higher spring rate, either by simply exchanging the existing springs with stiffer ones or by fitting an additional spring medium to work in tandem but not by reducing the number of effective windings which is what donuts do.
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