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Posts posted by Lutz

  1. 39 minutes ago, PandR said:

    This is what they state on the website.


    Q: I have heard that these systems are illegal abroad: Is this the case?

    A:  The system has been designed in such a way that it meets all the requirements of the UK department of Transport. i.e.

    If brakes are fitted to a trailer (tow-car) then they must work irrespective of the weight of the vehicle.

    The overall braking efficiency must be proven to be over 50% of the train (motorhome + tow-car), whilst this is impossible to prove using a sliding hitch. Our system has been to the Millbrook proving grounds (the DVLA government approved testing ground for all things automotive) and because the brakes are applied electronically this has been tested to be above the legal minimum.

    The trailer (tow-car)must be able to be reversed without the operator moving from the driving seat of the towing vehicle. The unique A-frame design allows the vehicle to be reversed.

    All rear lights must work from the motorhome controls excluding reversing lights. All of our vehicles are wired to comply. You must have a  fully wired 13 pin socket on your Motorhome. 

    A break-away system must be fitted to apply the brakes in the event of an emergency. All of our vehicles have an electronic break-away system fitted that applies all 4 brakes in the event of an emergancy.

    With this approval of the UK D.o.T. under the Vienna convention on Transport 1958 any vehicle registered in the UK is allowed free passage in all EU states for up to 6 Months in any one period. The only exception to this being Spain which never ratified the agreement.

    I didn't realise trailers had a vin number. My little Erde doesn't.


    Even if the A-frame/car combination meets all braking and lighting requirements, it still doesn't mean that it is type approved as a complete unit. It only fulfils certain conditions that have to be met before type approval can be assigned. A type approved trailer must have its own VIN and it must display the type approval number for the finished trailer. As A-frame/car combinations don't fulfil that requirement they cannot be classed as a trailer even if they meet all Construction and Use regulations, hence they are illegal on the Continent, even though some countries close a blind eye to them. However, that is solely at the discretion of the powers-that-be. One cannot claim any right to tow using an A-frame.


    If your little trailer doesn't have a VIN then it must have been manufactured before 2014 when whole vehicle type approval was first implemented. After that it must display a statutory plate showing the VIN, the type approval number, the name of the manufacturer and weight details.

  2. 53 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:


    Anything that is fitted to a vehicle has EU type approval in its own right . Example  A vehicle has type approval for a towbar to be fitted by thee manufacturer and the towbar has type approval .


    How does car insurance stand as the car is heavily modified for power braking system and electrics and the front has to be modified for front towbar so how does that effect crash tests and insurance ?


    The vehicle would need type approval for a tow coupling and the tow coupling would come under EU Reg 55 ?




    I doubt whether any car manufacturer would be prepared obtain type approval for any modifications to the car to accept an A-frame. He would have nothing to gain by doing so and it would only cost him money. But even if this hurdle were overcome one would still need type approval for the A-frame/car combination as a complete trailer. The only source to gain from this would be the A-frame manufacturer so he would be the one who have to apply for approval for the car plus A-frame as a class O vehicle, i.e. a trailer. He would have to submit documentation for each permutation, for example, his A-frame plus a Smart, A-frame plus a Toyota Aygo, etc.

  3. Count your lucky stars because if you were in Germany you could expect a 10% variation at the same petrol station on the same day and that variation could go both up or down, depending on the time of day. I've seen up to 5 changes in price on the same day at my local petrol station.

    • Like 1

  4. 13 minutes ago, PandR said:


    Essentially the brakes have been linked up to their motorhome so it is a fully approved "trailer" in its own right.



    It's not a fully approved "trailer". The A-frame may be approved but not in conjunction with the car. Full approval would be specific to the car being towed and would require a specific VIN number for the A-frame/car combination.

  5. 11 hours ago, Gerald said:

    Evening all.

    Having read all the comments, do I need the licence? We leave on our annual migration in January.

     The Spanish police like their grey arrears ie the use of A frames to tow a car behind a motorhome.

    Be Good



    Nothing grey at all re the use of A frames. It is quite clear that they don't fulfil the requirements of a trailer subject to whole vehicle type approval. It's only a grey area in the UK where one can't decide whether a vehicle with an attached A frame is a trailer or not.

  6. As we do pretty well 100% self catering with fresh produce obtained locally, our food stocks are limited to a whole locker full of herbs and spices, various cooking oils, sugar, flour, vinegar, garlic, etc. and the fridge packed with immediate essentials such as milk, butter, cheese and cooked meats. Besides, my wife prepares a few dishes before leaving home for lunch or dinner en route (as it usually takes us up to a week to reach our final destination) and these go into the freezer. Oh, and of course there's coffee and tea (no teabags for us - there's no substitute for loose tea prepared in a proper teapot).

  7. 9 hours ago, GaryB1969 said:


    Agree totally but that would require the UK caravan industry to be pro-active and go against everything they've banged on about for years so it won't happen. The CMC letters page would be bursting with furiously written letters scratched out on the best Basildon Bond.........


    Not only the caravan industry would have to be pro-active, but also their suppliers, notably AlKo, etc. and engineering companies in general.

    I am thinking, for instance, of companies like BL Trading, that invented the ATC which AlKo later copied and marketed so much more successfully than BL Trading.  The result was a protracted struggle regarding patent infringement, which the smaller company inevitably lost in the end for lack of adequate legal backing against such strong opposition.

    BL Trading are still in the business with their LEAS system, by the way, but their market share is infinitesimally small compared with ATC. The main difference between LEAS and ATC is that LEAS was designed from the outset as a unit for universal d-i-y fitment to any trailer chassis, not just AlKo and not only caravans.


    • Like 1

  8. 35 minutes ago, matelodave said:

    Liven it up a bit then with something controversial:rolleyes:


    15 minutes ago, logiclee said:

    All those doing low miles and driving diesels have bought the wrong car. :P


    7 minutes ago, matelodave said:

    Not if you want to comfortably tug a caravan around;)


    Now there's a controversial statement if ever there was one :D

    • Haha 1

  9. 34 minutes ago, Woodentop said:


    I didn't say you would need new number plates. What I did say is that the ring of stars on the plate is an EU thing so if we are not part of the EU then we are using them illegally and hence the whole plate could be defined as illegal <in the EU.>. Cover the ring of stars and the GB left behind would likely not be compliant in this country as the plate does not meet with UK regs. Ergo you will need the big old oval GB sticker as well.


    What piece of legislation are you referring to which states that the presence of the ring of stars is illegal if the UK is not part of the EU? Frankly, I don't think that you will find anything to that effect. As far as I know the presence of the ring of stars is not protected in any way. Anyone can fly the EU flag. If anyone can make it illegal it can only be the UK government.


    • +1 2

  10. 15 minutes ago, Stevan said:

    The world land speed record for a towed caravan is over 140mph, so this would suggest that above the "critical speed" is a speed at which some stability returns!


    No, because great care was taken to ensure that instability requiring corrective action never occurred in the first place.

  11. 29 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

    I think  "invalid" may have been the wrong choice of word. My information is that the EU Commission advised the UK Govt. from the outset, following the 2016 result, that in the event of the UK leaving the EU without an exit agreement (deal) then, amongst everything else, all driving related harmonisation arrangements will immediately cease and UK driving licences will no longer be officially acknowledged in EU member states as they are currently. Hence, during the run up to the original exit dates, UK Govt. advice to obtain IDPs and insurance green cards since the International Traffic Conventions will then apply to UK drivers as natives of a non-EU country with no other agreement in place.


    But, conversely, has anyone confirmed that EU style driving licences issued in the UK according to EU vehicle classes and sporting the EU flag will continue to be valid after the UK leaves the EU?

  12. 26 minutes ago, Woodentop said:


    And that is why you need a different IDP for Spain than anywhere else. Spain adheres to the 1949 Geneva Convention whereas the rest of the EU adheres to the Vienna Convention.  I always thought the idea of the EU was that everyone conformed to the same rules?



    The confusion only exists because the UK signed both the 1949 and the 1968 Convention. Countries that only signed the 1968 convention will only issue IDP's according to the 1968 Convention, but that doesn't mean that a resident of such a country can't drive elsewhere where only the 1949 Convention was signed. How EU countries handle their requirements relating to non-EU countries is up to each country. There is only common agreement within the EU.


    26 minutes ago, Woodentop said:


    I don't have a card licence - yet - but doesn't it have the EU ring of stars on the top left and/or a Union flag? When we leave the EU I think I heard that the presence of the ring of stars will make it invalid as far as the EU is concerned - so we're all going to have to get new licences - at £20 a pop no doubt!



    Who says that EU style driving licences will automatically become invalid when the UK leaves the EU? I have seen nothing to that effect anywhere. It's purely an assumption that nobody has confirmed. Besides, if they become invalid because it is an EU driving licence it would become invalid in the UK, too, and one would have to exchange such a licence for a new UK one.


    • Like 1

  13. 42 minutes ago, Stevan said:

    Now there's the rub! We really don't know which of the relevant factors is actually responsible for most of the stability issues. Lots of opinions but very little real evidence.

    We don't even know precisely what the effect of speeding is, whether there is a critical speed at which the problem is at its worst, or a simple, slower is more stable, relationship.


    I have myself been present while tests were conducted to establish the critical speed above which instability will not be recovered without active intervention of some sort. However, this critical speed is specific to each and every outfit depending on factors like load distribution, suspension geometry and settings, etc., so one cannot generalise. Typically, for caravan outfits, this speed is around 50 to 60mph (hence the towing speed limits within this range in most countries), but under ideal conditions (I cannot be specific here because I wasn't present for all tests) or for other types of trailer, it can be as high as 70mph plus.

    • Like 1

  14. 58 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

    So you also used your common sense and didn't rely on a 3rd party towbars towload limit....the plot thickens lol


    It's no different with caravans. Most hitches are rated at 150kg max. noseweight and plated with that limit, but the caravan itself, unless it is a really big one, is normally limited to 100kg.


  15. 8 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

    When I used to bring my ta  caravan home out of storage which I was allowed for 48 hours under the insurance even though it was nose in I used 2x wheel locks ,2x motorcycles chains through the wheels ,2x leg locks , 2x security posts and hitch lock , alarm and 2x cars parked in front at night .


    Even on sites I would use 7 locks .




    Struth! I don't even possess a lock for mine and it's been out in the street for over a week many a time.

  16. Some car manufacturers such as Audi, for example, quote different permissible towloads for different maximum gradients, usually 8%, 10% and 12%. At Opel we even had some models for which different towloads were specified depending on the type of trailer.

  17. I'm a bit surprised at their reference to security abroad, too. Caravan theft is almost unheard of on the Continent where I have stored my caravans for almost 30 years on a site where the surrounding fence would give up any resistance already at the very sight of a pair of wire cutters and yet probably less than 10% of the caravans have any form of hitch or wheel lock.

  18. 1 hour ago, charlieboy2608 said:

    Well according to Lutz on here we should be referring to the towbar hmmmm....


    If there is a difference, of course the lower of the two values will apply. I was referring to cases where no towload limit can be found in the V5 or in the owner's handbook.


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