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Why Oh Why Did He Ignore Us!


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Eleven days ago we were driving along the A20 in France going south when we were overtaken by a British car pulling a caravan. We estimated its speed at about 70mph. When the caravan drew level with us we heard this strange clicking noise and then noticed that his caravan tyre was flat. We flashed our lights but the driver took no notice. The tyre began to disintegrate, shedding rubber and metal on the road. Still he did not stop despite our constant flashing. Then came a massive amount of smoke and a good distance further on he eventually pulled over. We hate to think what damage he had done to the wheel, mover and bodywork. He was accompanied by another Brit who had been driving ahead and must have seen the thick smoke in his mirrors. As he had someone to help him, we didn't stop.

 

Now had he taken notice when we first started flashing him, he certainly would not have caused so much damage to his van.

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I wonder if drivers in France being waved to stop are sometimes uncertain about stopping because of stories they may have heard of people being robbed etc. when they do?

 

If he had Tyron Bands he may not have been aware of the problem. Only the smoke became a visual sign of a problem.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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Very sadly there are quite a lot of people who hardly ever look in their rear view mirrors so the driver possibly didn't see you at all.

 

Blatting along at that kind of speed on the A20 the driver was possibly in a rush to get as far south as he possibly could, that and also as he was travelling in company he wanted to try and keep up with his mate in front.

 

Whenever I am towing a wide trailer or caravan I always have the normal door mirrors aimed down so I can see the tyres.

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I had a friend who punctured on the M5 south and his tyre ripped the bottom out of his wardrobe via the wheel-arch. His wife clothing collection was strewn along the motorway for a long distance before he knew anything about it. No Tyron Bands fitted so the damage was severe.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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Whenever I am towing a wide trailer or caravan I always have the normal door mirrors aimed down so I can see the tyres.

 

We do that too, and having the mirrors aimed downwards helps you to see the sometimes enormous kerbs in some places - so helps to avoid scrapes!

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What's the betting that the two of them had towing vehicles with a GTW of over 3500Kgs and therefore should not have been exceeding 56mph anyway?

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Very sadly there are quite a lot of people who hardly ever look in their rear view mirrors so the driver possibly didn't see you at all.

 

Blatting along at that kind of speed on the A20 the driver was possibly in a rush to get as far south as he possibly could, that and also as he was travelling in company he wanted to try and keep up with his mate in front. . ...........

 

This is what we thought too.

 

He may also have thought that we were flashing him because he ws travelling too fast. I estimated his speed was nearer to 80 mph although my OH thought 70mph would have been nearer the mark.

 

He would have noticed we were a British outfit when he overtook so I don't think he would have thought we were about to rob him.

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Its not a good idea to speed when towing any trailer,the amount of heat generated in any trailers tyres must be far higher than a towing vehicles tyres. I have been in Europe many times & tow at about 56 - 60 mph. This gives a reasonable fuel consumption & also keeps within the various national speed limits. I have been passed numerous times by outfits exceeding 70mph,usually Dutch or German,with up to 4 bikes bolted to the rear of the caravan. If they bothered to feel the van tyres when they stopped at services they would be amazed how hot their tyres were especially further south where the road surface temperature can approach 50 degrees.

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Having properly balanced wheels is proven to significantly reduce heat build up in the tyres very considerably and is yet another reason for getting this vitally important little job done !!

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Having read this post reminded me of an incident that happened on the CC site at Ferry Meadows earlier this year. we were sitting outside having a coffee and watching the departing vans leave the site (as you do) when my wife called out to a driver towing his van to stop. She had noticed that his jockey wheel was almost on the floor, After two or three shouts he came to a stop stuck his head from the window and asked the problem. She ran over to him told what the problem was and he got out of his car to have a look, They were to far from me to hear the exact conversation but my wife was pointing to his problem, She then called me over to explain what his problem was, He went on to explain that the wheel was as high as it would go. I said nonsense and told him that he should unclamp the shaft of the wheel and raise it to a safe height to which he replied that he had never done that since he had had the van and that he wasn't going to now miles from home, My wife and myself do not suffer fools easily and he was very happy to ignore our advice and to carry on with his journey turfing up all of the grass with his wheel as he went toward the gate. Something about half a brain and dangerous came to mind.

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Speaking of which . ...............................................

 

I met a fellow caravanner in Wales on my fornight out, and he mentioned that he had had a flat while travelling.

 

He had Tyron bands fitted, and he did not even know he had a flat. He felt awkward handling and he stopped.

 

I often check my mirrors to see if the van is vertical with the car, if you see what I mean.

 

I suppose if the van had a flat the car and van vertical edges would be 'out'. Thats my theory anyway.

 

BUT - I only check them say every five minutes and during that time anything could happen.

 

So, my question is this

 

Is there any way of being advised at the happening either electronically or otherwise that does not cost a national debt

 

Can anyone suggest anything please. .

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Tyre preesure remote sensors are becoming more affordable these days, This product from maplins looks to be a good buy. http://www. maplin. co. ..390208&t=module

 

They look very good. Pros: good information. Cons: wheel balance, additional 12 volt outlet reqd in car, price.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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They look very good. Pros: good information. Cons: wheel balance, additional 12 volt outlet reqd in car, price.

 

I have the tyrepal system and it doesn't need the 12v supply connected in use. I've had it live for 8 months and the initial charge hasn't run down yet! It uses so little current.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, What is the tyrepal system??

Do a search on 'tyrepal' and it comes up. Looks good but £125 for a single axle caravan!

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Its not a good idea to speed when towing any trailer,the amount of heat generated in any trailers tyres must be far higher than a towing vehicles tyres. I have been in Europe many times & tow at about 56 - 60 mph. This gives a reasonable fuel consumption & also keeps within the various national speed limits. I have been passed numerous times by outfits exceeding 70mph,usually Dutch or German,with up to 4 bikes bolted to the rear of the caravan. If they bothered to feel the van tyres when they stopped at services they would be amazed how hot their tyres were especially further south where the road surface temperature can approach 50 degrees.

 

You might expect the temperature of caravan tyres to be far higher than car tyres but in reality there is little difference. Towing a 300km stretch on French motorways a few weeks back, the tyre temperatures (using tyrepal monitors) of all 6 tyres were within 5degC of each other (25-30deg range)

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I paid £70 incl p&p from e bay's GERMAN site for a tyre pressure monitor - alarm for high & low pressure and temp. only 4 wireless dustcaps, 2 on back of car 2 on van - I figure I would notice a flat front tyre!

Used it to South of France a couple of times - excellent peace of mind. Can plug into a cigarette lighter or uses 2 x AAA batteries.

 

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

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On the way home in August this year we had a blow out on the Peage north of Reims, and of course it was on an outside tyre. Being a two lane motorway it was far to dangerous to try and change the tyre with all the trucks passing inches away. A call on the nearby security phone saw a motorway service truck lit up like a christmass tree arrive within ten minutes. A quick chat and the inside carrigeway was coned off and closed so the I could change the wheel.

 

No charge and no problem and no shrugs, well done the French (apart from the Rugby)

 

Tony

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