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Lutz

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Posts posted by Lutz


  1. I don't want to linger on the subject, but the damper should prevent the caravan, however heavy, from shooting forward so suddenly. Besides, the amount of travel in the drawbar is only inches which doesn't give the caravan much opportunity to gather a lot of momentum relative to the braking car.


  2. I'd like to know where the apparent rule regarding parking of caravans at least 500m from a lake comes from. I've dredged the Austrian regulations and couldn't find any reference to it. The only law I could find concerning parking of caravans is that it is illegal to park a caravan on a public road without it being hitched to a car.


  3. I can't find any mention in the linked page that the marker boards for overhanging loads required for Spain and Italy are different. The Spanish version has three diagonal bars, the Italian one five.

     

    Vehicle registration documents are required. If the driver is not the holder, a letter of consent is also needed.

     

    Germany requires a reflective vest if the vehicle is not privately owned. Most countries that require reflective vests do so for all occupants who leave the vehicle in the event of a breakdown or accident.

     

    M+S tyres are accepted as winter tyres, but not all winter tyres are M+S. Snow chains are not an acceptable alternative although these may be required locally, as signposted.

     

    Norway requires white forward facing reflectors on the extension mirrors if the caravan is more than 50cm wider than the towcar.

     

    No mention which countries require daytime running lights.

     

    There are lots more minor rules and regulations to watch. For example, in Germany indicators must only be used to leave a roundabout, not while entering it. In Spain overtaking is not allowed 100 metres ahead of a brow of a hill or where forward vision is less than 200 metres, regardless of whether there is a no-overtaking sign or not.


  4. No, this is a full-on, ABS-operating emergency stop. You'll get a bang, I promise you. There is nothing wrong with car or van.

     

    If there is nothing wrong with car and van then what is your explanation for the bang? Is there perhaps something loose inside the 'van which could be flying forward and hitting the bulkhead, such as the awning? I've never experienced a bang when performing an emergency stop.


  5. It is my contention that the makers should have upgraded the chassis strength to cope with the extra weight

     

    As car manufacturers are under pressure to reduce weight it is unlikely that they would ever design their vehicles with the reinforcements that would be necessary to allow higher noseloads than those we have today. Besides, towing doesn't feature very high on their priority list as the proportion of cars used for towing is too small to consider any on-cost which may affect the majority of vehicles which will never be used for towing. It is therefore up to the trailer/caravan industry to come up with technical solutions to allow safe lower percentage noseweights if their trailers or caravans get any heavier.


  6. The bang from the back of the car if you have to do an emergency stop has to be experienced to be believed! I was convinced I would find the trailer had punched through the back of the car, but all looked normal. I thought that the calculation of spring rate for the drawbar was one of the crucial things to get right, and was one of the determinants of MTPLM and hence payload. Does the spring need changing if the van is replated for a higher payload?

     

    If you experiencing a real thump then there is some wrong. For a start it means that the brake is either fully on or fully off and there is no gradual response.

    It sounds as though either there is an awful lot of "stick/slip" friction in the system, or the damper is not doing its job. To test the damper, if you push the hitch in slightly when reversing and then unhitch, it should come out on its own but very slowly.

    The spring rate itself is more or less independent of the MTPLM. One type of hitch will cover a quite a big range of trailer weights.


  7.  

    Oh really? I drove almost a mile from the corner to the place of safety.

     

    Yes, really. The film only shows the behaviour of an outfit with Tyron bands, but not under the same conditions without. For that reason it doesn't prove anything.


  8. A 91 load rating index is good for 615kg per tyre or 1230kg per axle.

    A 95 load rating index is good for 690kg per tyre or 1380kg per axle.

    If you have a look at the vehicle plate it will state, among other things, the maximum front and rear axle loads, so take the higher of these two figures and compare it with the above. That will tell you which load rating you require.


  9. Hate to think how it would have behaved without the bands.

     

    Exactly the same. No-one has ever demonstrated that one would be any worse off without them.

     

    It could not have been long before the flat tyre was noticed because a flat tyre will flex an awful lot, generating heat in the process. If you drive for long on a flat tyre it will catch fire. (I can speak from experience because it's happened to me.)


  10. That is another good reason to fit Tyron Bands. We drove quite a long way with a burst tyre to a safe stopping place. No damage to the wheel or the van was caused even though the tyre wall was the cause of the puncture.

     

    I can't see how Tyron bands would have helped. .Once a tyre bursts it offers next to no lateral grip whether the bead remains in place or not. If you have to drive a long way before being able to come to a stop it will tear itself to shreds in the process and Tyron bands cannot prevent that.


  11.  

    A caravan outfit will never stop as quick as a solo vehicle as caravan brakes still live in the dark ages as there design has not changed for 60 yrs +.

     

     

    Dave

     

    That's not the case. Tests have shown that the braking distance in the dry is only marginally different. The problem with caravan brakes is less one of efficiency in the case of a single emergency stop, but more one that they are prone to fade if called upon to do a lot of braking.


  12. All I can say is that I've been towing for almost 25 years, lately with big single axles, and never have I had a feeling that I'm missing something by not having a second axle. (I don't have any reservations about flying in an Airbus A300 or a Boeing 777, either :). Haven't seen any plunge into the Atlantic lately)


  13. Really? On what basis? I wanted a t/a because it offers more living space.

     

    Why should a twin offer more living space? I've got a 26' single axle and there aren't that many twins that are bigger.

     

    There is no loss of payload, with twin axles you can carry more weight surely?

    J

     

    Why again? There are now 2000kg single axle caravans on the market and there again, there aren't many twins which are heavier.


  14. I'm not questioning your statements. In absolute terms they may be perfectly true, but what I am saying is that the relatively small improvement doesn't justify the extra cost nor the loss of payload due to the extra weight of a second axle.

    I believe that in many cases a twin axle is a status symbol thing.


  15. In most cases where people claim that twin is more stable they are comparing a large twin with a smaller single axle, which is not a fair comparison. A larger and/or heavier caravan will always be less "twitchy", regardless of whether it is a single or a twin.


  16. It seems strange that there are some models where removing the spare wheel from the front locker is a possible solution to reduce the noseweight. On my caravan the noseweight was far too low until the spare wheel was put into the front locker.


  17. Towing a high ratios is not a problem pulling its only making allowance for it . The main problem is lack of ballast at the front when you need to stop in a emergency and the caravan pushes the tow vehicle into a jack knife . Caravan brakes rely on the tow vehicle stopping to apply it own brakes .

     

    Dave

     

    The caravan brakes should be perfectly capable of stopping the caravan on its own once the force required to actuate the overrun has been overcome. If this weren't the case, the stopping distance would be appreciably greater for an outfit than for the equivalent solo vehicle (which it isn't except in the wet).


  18. I would have to disagree, twin axles will always be more stable than single axle due to the reasons mentioned above. If you want a simple test, deflate one of your tyres at 60 mph and look how stable it is, now repeat the same on a twin axle. The results speak for themselves.

    J

     

    I hope that running with a deflated tyre is not considered normal usage.

    I'm into my fourth year with a 26' 1800kg single axle which tows like a dream. With a verdict like that I see little point in spending extra money on the cost of a second axle or to lose payload due to its weight.


  19. Does the fact that the caravan that the OP is looking at is a twin axle impact on the stability factor? I. e. would twin axles make a 95-100% match a bit more of a reasonable prospect?

     

    The fact that it the OP is looking at a twin axle has little impact on the stability factor. A modern single axle of the same size would be comparable. The difference between single and twin nowadays is marginal or else the caravan manufacturers wouldn't be offering ever heavier single axles. These have already reached 2000kg, which is heavy by any standards.

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