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2 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

I’ve never understood why receiver hitched are not allowed for towing in this country. So much more versatile, and on the right vehicles, weight limits of up to 200kgs. 

 

And higher - often 350 kg for SUVs

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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19 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

I’ve never understood why receiver hitched are not allowed for towing in this country. So much more versatile, and on the right vehicles, weight limits of up to 200kgs. 

 

They are allowed on trailers over 3500kg. As it makes little sense to have hitches which do not allow full interchangeability between the towbar on the towing vehicle and the hitch on the trailer, one came a the decision to standardise hitches for light to medium trailers being towed by cars and light vans with the simplest and most cost effective system, that of the towball type. As structural constraints limit noseweights to under 100kg for a good many cars there is a need to cater for the lowest common denominator. I think everybody would agree that a receiver hitch on the back of a Ford Fiesta would look ridiculous.

 

Edited by Lutz
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But why not allow them on suitable vehicles? They’re so much more versatile than a ball. You can fit a 50mm ball adaptor to the receiver hitch, as well as loads of other accessories, such as pintles  and winches. Even racks for motorbikes, luggage baskets and vehicle mounted barbecues. The sky’s the limit. 
 

Widely used in the States and Australia, but not legal to tow with in this country. 

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I do not think that the receiver type hitch is specifically illegal for use in the UK, (happy to be proved wrong!) rather it is not type approved for the vast majority of vehicles, and its normal weight limits are way outside the capability of most vehicles.

For caravans and small trailers in the UK and Europe the 50mm ball is the de facto standard and there is simply no point any European manufacturer of these bothering with any other hitch.

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6 minutes ago, Stevan said:

I do not think that the receiver type hitch is specifically illegal for use in the UK, (happy to be proved wrong!) rather it is not type approved for the vast majority of vehicles, and its normal weight limits are way outside the capability of most vehicles.

For caravans and small trailers in the UK and Europe the 50mm ball is the de facto standard and there is simply no point any European manufacturer of these bothering with any other hitch.

 

Many of the European manufacturers of cars and towbars do make receiver hitches for use in Australia and North America - a number of towbars for European sale do use a receiver-type arrangement into which is bolted a flange, swan-neck or detachable fitting.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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2 hours ago, Fireman Iain said:

But why not allow them on suitable vehicles?

 

Then there would have to be two different versions of trailer, one for a ball hitch and another for a receiver hitch and the two wouldn't be interchangeable.

 

1 hour ago, Black Grouse said:

 

Many of the European manufacturers of cars and towbars do make receiver hitches for use in Australia and North America - a number of towbars for European sale do use a receiver-type arrangement into which is bolted a flange, swan-neck or detachable fitting.

 

Receiver hitches are readily available in Europe, but only for trailers over 3500kg. To my knowledge, all receiver-type arrangements are flange fitting. I don't know of any type approved receiver hitches designed for any other type of attachment. I have only seen them on heavy duty 4x4's and commercial vehicles.

 

3 hours ago, Fireman Iain said:

I’ve never understood why receiver hitched are not allowed for towing in this country. So much more versatile, and on the right vehicles, weight limits of up to 200kgs. 

 

Why are they more versatile than the ball type? I don't know of any trailer under 3500kg that is fitted with a receiver hitch. So what would be the advantage?

Edited by Lutz
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BTW in the latest CMC magazine there is a review on the LR Discovery it mentions that the 2.0L version has a nose weight capacity of 350kg.  Seems awfully high for a 2 litre vehicle?  Kerbweight is 2184kg and gross train weight is 6630kg.  Gross vehicle weight 3130kg.

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28 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

Why are they more versatile than the ball type? I don't know of any trailer under 3500kg that is fitted with a receiver hitch. So what would be the advantage?

Adapters are available to fit a swan neck ball, flange, or NATO hitch (pin and ring) into a receiver.

7 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

BTW in the latest CMC magazine there is a review on the LR Discovery it mentions that the 2.0L version has a nose weight capacity of 350kg.  Seems awfully high for a 2 litre vehicle?  Kerbweight is 2184kg and gross train weight is 6630kg.  Gross vehicle weight 3130kg.

A towing limit well in excess of kerbweight does not mean that it is suitable for towing heavy trailers at 60mph up the motorway, particularly for vehicles fitted with low ratio gearboxes, merely that it is capable of doing a hill start with them. The high noseweight as well points more to the "agricultural" abilities of these vehicles. These tend to be the very vehicles for which receiver hitches are available.

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

Adapters are available to fit a swan neck ball, flange, or NATO hitch (pin and ring) into a receiver.

 

I doubt whether any such adapter is type approved. It would therefore be illegal to use on a public road.
 

1 hour ago, Stevan said:

 

A towing limit well in excess of kerbweight does not mean that it is suitable for towing heavy trailers at 60mph up the motorway, particularly for vehicles fitted with low ratio gearboxes, merely that it is capable of doing a hill start with them. The high noseweight as well points more to the "agricultural" abilities of these vehicles. These tend to be the very vehicles for which receiver hitches are available.

 

If the vehicle is unsuitable for towing anything at a high towing limit, the manufacturer would have to apply a speed restriction below the legal limit. Otherwise, he would be selling a product that doesn't meet minimum requirements.

Edited by Lutz
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12 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 

If the vehicle is unsuitable for towing anything at a high towing limit, the manufacturer would have to apply a speed restriction below 60mph. Otherwise, he would be selling a product that doesn't meet minimum requirements.

Are you advocating that owners of several LR products can safely tow at well over 100% at normal motorway speeds?

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2 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Are you advocating that owners of several LR products can safely tow at well over 100% at normal motorway speeds?

 

Have you never seen Defender/Discovery/Range Rover towing a car trailer with a Defender/Discovery/Range Rover on it?

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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50 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Are you advocating that owners of several LR products can safely tow at well over 100% at normal motorway speeds?

 

If they can't tow safely at the towing limit under appropriate road, weather and traffic conditions, and the manufacturer hasn't applied a speed limit below the legal limit, then they shouldn't be towing. They should leave the job to someone else.

Edited by Lutz
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44 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

 

Have you never seen Defender/Discovery/Range Rover towing a car trailer with a Defender/Discovery/Range Rover on it?

 

Don't know about at motorway speeds but......

 

 

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front - Discovery 4. Wheels at the back - Bessacarr 845.

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

 

Don't know about at motorway speeds but......

 

 

 

Just a gimmick - like a VW Touareg towing a Boeing 747

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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15 hours ago, Lutz said:

 

I doubt whether any such adapter is type approved. It would therefore be illegal to use on a public road.
 

 

If the vehicle is unsuitable for towing anything at a high towing limit, the manufacturer would have to apply a speed restriction below the legal limit. Otherwise, he would be selling a product that doesn't meet minimum requirements.

 

Not sure I agree as towing a compact heavy trailer on a motorway would be less of a problem than a large twin axle caravan. The towing limit is based on the ability to restart on a 12% hill and has nothing to do with safety, although the components should also be able to withstand the strain. It is up to the user to decide what is safe using the weight, size, weather conditions and other relevant factors to assess the risk. Possibly the towing advice in the handbook should cover this, although I do not know of any that do.

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2 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

 

Not sure I agree as towing a compact heavy trailer on a motorway would be less of a problem than a large twin axle caravan. The towing limit is based on the ability to restart on a 12% hill and has nothing to do with safety, although the components should also be able to withstand the strain. It is up to the user to decide what is safe using the weight, size, weather conditions and other relevant factors to assess the risk. Possibly the towing advice in the handbook should cover this, although I do not know of any that do.

 

It is a myth that the towing limit is based only on the ability to restart on a 12% hill. That may be all that the regulations require, but no self-respecting manufacturer would leave it at that as he would be failing in his responsibility regarding product liability if he didn't issue a warning that there may be some usage restriction for certain types of trailer. That doesn't mean that the driver of the vehicle can blindly ignore road, weather and traffic conditions and simply rely on the manufacturer's figures. Under unfavourable conditions, towing a heavy caravan with a relatively light car still means that the driver would have to adjust his speed to suit, any maybe well below the legal limit.

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