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Legal Caravan Widths In The Uk


skipkoo

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Can someone please let me know the legal widths allowed for towing a caravan in the UK?  When in Holland this summer we looked at some Hobby caravans, but I am sure that at 2. 5 meters width, they are too big.

Many thanks

Skipkoo  :)

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http://www. nationalcaravan. co. uk/home/index. asp?id=2&nid=22

 

a caravan with a body in excess of 2. 3 metres wide or 7 metres long can only be towed by a heavy motor vehicle (over 3500 kg Gross Vehicle Weight)? Not even a Transit van, nor the biggest 4x4, can lawfully tow a caravan that exceeds these dimensions!

 

 

the 7mts long is the body length excluding the A frame IE just the body length

 

they can only be towed by a vehicle with a gross weight in execesses of 3500kg

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Maximum sizes for towing

Towing vehicle under 3500kg GVW

 

Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar)

7. 0 metres

 

Maximum width

2. 3 metres

 

Towing vehicle over 3500kg GVW

 

Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar)

12 metres if at least 4 wheels

 

Maximum width

2. 55 metres

 

Length of towing vehicle & trailer combined

18 metres

 

Maximum overhang of load from rear of trailer

3. 05 metres

 

 

Further information from: National Trailer and Towing Association (NTTA)

www. ntta. co. uk/law/

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apparently there is a tiny piece of legislation that allows you to to a 2. 5m wide (8feet)van in the UK  you can tow then ok abroad

I will find out wednesday,

when i pick my new van up from a Traffic Policeman !!!

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I hope you get it in writing from him Dave.

 

I personally would be a little wary (your insurers could decline a payout if there was a disaster).

 

Good luck.

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Can anyone tell me what that is in 'real money' - ie feet and inches.

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Approximate equivalents taken from Online Conversions are:-

 

Maximum sizes for towing

Towing vehicle under 3500kg GVW 68. 9 cwt

 

Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar)

7. 0 metres 22 Foot 11 ½ ins

 

Maximum width

2. 3 metres 7 Foot 6 ½ ins

 

Towing vehicle over 3500kg GVW 68. 9 cwt

 

Length (excluding the coupling and drawbar)

12 metres 39 Foot 4 ½ ins if at least 4 wheels

 

Maximum width

2. 55 metres 8 Foot 3 ins

 

Length of towing vehicle & trailer combined

18 metres 59 Foot 0 ½ ins

 

Maximum overhang of load from rear of trailer

3. 05 metres 10 feet

 

ATB,

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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apparently there is a tiny piece of legislation that allows you to tow a 2. 5m wide (8feet)van in the UK  you can tow then ok abroad

I will find out wednesday,

when i pick my new van up from a Traffic Policeman !!!

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Sorry Dave but this bit of legislation is supposed to relate to a foreign registered vehicle towing the wider caravan if that is allowed in the country of registration of that vehicle. You will be towing with a UK registered car so this cannot apply.

 

As a matter of fact cars towing wider caravans have been refused entry at UK ports.

 

As John says I hope that you do get it in writing from the traffic policeman as it certainly will not stand up in a UK court. The Police use the "Hughes guide to Traffic Laws" and that certainly confirms the allowed sizes as stated by the other respondents to your query. Ask him to prove that it is legal by showing you in print in that guide!

 

The actual law that you are breaking is "The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) regulations of 1986 and amending regulations".

 

I'll bet the price looked excellent value when compared with 2. 3m vans. I wonder why?

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A long wheelbase Transit would be ok to tow one, (class 7 for mot though) <_<

 

on the plus side, you would be able to park where you want, that is until the police moved you on :lol::lol:

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Don't mean to be picky but I think that length conversion should read 22ft 11. 5in (though I did see you put 'approximate' ;) )

 

. ..that 10 inches could be very important!!!

 

1 metre = 39. 37 inches

7 metres = 275. 59 inches

275. 59 / 12 = 22 ft 11. 5 inches (approx)

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Guest Hobbybod

Right, just a few additional 'pragmatic' points about the towing limits applying, in the UK, and covered by Tall Limey and others.

 

For towing 'vans in excess of 2. 5m wide (and 7. 0m body length);

 

Although the GVW (or MAM) of the tow vehicle should be in excess of 3500kgs it doesn't have to actually weigh in excess of 3500kg; just has to have the capability of being loaded to above 3500kgs.

 

There are some Transits, Sprinters, and Iveco Dailys that will do, but the best solution I saw was to use an American Ford import, double cab pickup; some of these do have MAM's greater than 3500kgs. T-L may know. Then there's the Hummer and Chrysler Suburban, but I'm not even 100% sure about those. T-L???

 

Having spoken to Police persons, many do not seem to know the law exactly, and provided the tow vehicle looks sensible, the concensus is that they've got better things to do and you are unlikely to be stopped; other than in a VOSA roadside check or after an accident. And then you are in deep doo-doo!

 

From the Hobby Rally last w/e, it also became apparent that it isn't just 'width' that could be an issue.

In measuring up a Hobby designated as a 700, its body length from rear awning rail to front awning rail measured . . . . . . . . . 7. 4m!!!! With the front locker in the measurement it's close to 8. 00m!!

 

One does wonder why they call it a 700 in the UK. :rolleyes: Although a few of us came up with a reason! :rolleyes:

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I suppose a question here would be that if we were allowed to tow 2. 5 wide caravans would this cause a particular problem? Afterall you can't say the roads are not wide enough as there are many other vehicles as wide that use all roads every day of the year. You would have to ensure that you had a tow vehicle capable of towing it but thats no different to any caravan. Is this a case of the law being a ass?

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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I suppose a question here would be that if we were allowed to tow 2. 5 wide caravans would this cause a particular problem? Afterall you can't say the roads are not wide enough as there are many other vehicles as wide that use all roads every day of the year. You would have to ensure that you had a tow vehicle capable of towing it but thats no different to any caravan. Is this a case of the law being a ass?

 

David

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it another oddity of being told were in europe you will obey there rules

 

but when it comes to having parity on them its not on

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Guest Hobbybod
Hobbybod,

 

If you tow using a vehicle with a MAM over 3500kg the trailer/caravan's body length can be 12m i. e. 39' 3'' in old money so a Hobby 700 is OK.

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T-L, we realised that, but the point was that, with an 'ordinary' towcar you are contravening the regs. on two fronts, both width and length!!

 

If the width restriction was raised to 2. 5m for 'ordinary' towcars, you'd then still be contravening the length restriction with these '700' 'vans.

 

Chances of getting this width restriction changed seem minimal at present, even after quite a few folks have written to their MPs. The UK caravan industry has a vested interest in keeping the restriction of course.

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Chances of getting this width restriction changed seem minimal at present, even after quite a few folks have written to their MPs.   The UK caravan industry has a vested interest in keeping the restriction of course.

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Why does the UK industry have a 'vested interest' - if the restrictions were changed then surely the UK industry would also produce wider vans - especially as they mostly use continental chassis.

 

I do realise from your previous postings that you are 'anti-UK-industry' but do at least give them credit for having some intelligence. ;)

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Why does the UK industry have a 'vested interest' - if the restrictions were changed then surely the UK industry would also produce wider vans -  especially as they mostly use continental chassis.

 

I do realise from your previous postings that you are 'anti-UK-industry' but do at least give them credit for having some intelligence. ;)

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I would guess its the thought that whilst the uk manufacturers would have to re design and proabably retool etc for wider widths the continentals could launch loads of new to the uk models immediately.

 

At the moment plenty of european vans can't be sold here (or rather can be sold can't be towed legally here) - giving the uk makers a degree of protection.

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Why does the UK industry have a 'vested interest' - if the restrictions were changed then surely the UK industry would also produce wider vans -  especially as they mostly use continental chassis.

 

I do realise from your previous postings that you are 'anti-UK-industry' but do at least give them credit for having some intelligence. ;)

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Sorry TedNewman, but I think you are being a bit unkind to Hobbybod

Most brit caravans go down a production line & through a narrow sump for construction. It took Coachman more than 2 years to widen this to enable the new UK wide caravans to be produced (have they managed it this year?)

If we allow the European width, it will take thousands of pounds to reconstruct & retool

I think Hobbybod has a point

PS I love Brit vans & have a Coachman - but would love a wider one!

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Sorry TedNewman, but I think you are being a bit unkind to Hobbybod

Most brit caravans go down a production line & through a narrow sump for construction. It took Coachman more than 2 years to widen this to enable the new UK wide caravans to be produced (have they managed it this year?)

If we allow the European width, it will take thousands of pounds to reconstruct & retool

I think Hobbybod has a point

PS I love Brit vans & have a Coachman - but would love a wider one!

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I think I have been very fair! From Hobbybods postings he certainly comes across (to me) as someone that has nothing but disdain for the British Caravan Industry.

 

We may be new to the caravan world but we have been extremely happy with our Swift Group Abbey Freestyle caravan and we ordered it only after a long research of what was available (including German vans) and for the price we think it is terrific value and the continental vans, as good as they are, did not offer us the living style that we desired but our Abbey does.

 

And for your information as a family we are half British and half German and we spend much time on the Continent every year and as a consequence have no inbuilt prejudice for or against any nationality of van makes.

 

We have now spent the best part of three months away with our van this year and we are still happy with our choice - which by the way is 7 feet 4 inches wide and from what I read these vans have been increased twice in the last two or three years so I do not see 'mass production lines' as being a problem for making the vans bigger.

 

By the way (2) as it is my birthday today I have been very gentle with my comments :rolleyes:

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Ted,

May I suggest that you re-read the thread entitled "Provence First Service" and perhaps you will appreciate why some of us feel the way we do about the British caravan industry.

My last British caravan was a Swift Corniche which just fell to pieces, where-as my 1995 Knaus is yet to have a fault.

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I have expressed my opinion, which differs to other peoples opinions, BUT we are all entitled to these opinions.

 

I show no disdain for vans from overseas - even though I am certain that they have their 'failures' as well - I just point out that the British can also do things well - if that is a crime then I apologise for the error of my ways. :o

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Ted,

I agree that the British can do things very well, however, it seems that in their quest for profits many corners are cut and inferior materials are used. Then many of the dealers doing PDI's and services produce shoddy workmanship.   Having said this, I do have two Japanese cars that have had excellent quality and reliability but I have yet to find a service department attached to a main dealership that is "worth a light".

I have now found a small family workshop that still take a pride in the service that they offer and at less cost than the Toyota dealerships.

It is not only the caravan industry.

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I agree with you BUT this also applies in other lands, and in fact we have just had an old friend from Germany staying with us who was bemoaning the low standards that now prevail in The Fatherland - his words not mine and as a parallel example of yours my mother-in-law (who lives just outside Munich) drives her car 20 miles to the next town because the main agent in her home town is useless - this time her words not mine.

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Guest Hobbybod
. . . . . I do realise from your previous postings that you are 'anti-UK-industry' but do at least give them credit for having some intelligence. ;)

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Ted, et al. ,

 

I am not 'anti-UK-industry' per se, only anti-lousy reliability, and quality control.

 

That this has been a problem in the UK caravan industry for some time is corroborated by the various CC surveys and many disaffected owners of UK 'van's.

 

There have even been postings in these, and other forums of 'snag lists' of faults found on 'vans under 1yr old; many of which should have been sorted at the PDI at the very least. Again a point raised in the CC surveys.

 

I have often remarked that I find the layouts and design elements of UK 'vans superior to many continental 'vans, but having had 2 UK 'vans which have leaked and suffered water ingress (one 'van repaired back at the factory with a complete new back panel only to leak again 18 months later!!) I looked for a new 'van, in 2001, which had a 5year warranty at least.

 

There were NO UK manufacturers giving such warranties at that time, and so I looked at manufacturers that did; it happened that they were all continental ones.

 

Subsidiary to my search for a decent quality 'van was the realisation that prices on the continent were ~30% cheaper than in the UK, for the same, or similar, 'van.

Hence my going to buy a new 'van in Germany; superior quality for much less money, even if the design of the 'van is not my ideal.

 

I am not alone in buying a continental 'van for these reasons as the increasing number, and proportion, of such 'vans appearing in the CC surveys indicate.

 

When the UK manufacturers produce 'vans to the same high quality and reliability as those on the continent I will happily go for a UK 'van; but they certainly aren't doing it yet.

 

What I do find depressing is that the UK Caravan industry seems to be blindly following the route taken by the UK motorcycle and car industries; i. e. not adequately addressing quality and reliability issues, in the face of mounting competition from abroad.

 

It's time they woke up and 'smelt the coffee', . . . . before it's too late!!

 

'Intelligence' and the 'UK Caravan Industry'; an oxymoron surely! :D

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I'm with you on this one Ted ;)

 

Tony (Doc) please stop knocking everything British as it's very boring.

 

If it's BRITISH it's no good in YOUR opinion :angry:

 

An awful lot of us have British vans and the way you go on we are all MUGS for buying them yet most are quite happy :)

 

Please give it a rest on this site and others as we dont come on the Hobby sites and run them down. (nothing to run down that's why)

 

 

 

 

PS:- cant see why Ted should apologise for anything as all he is saying is stop knocking our vans PLEASE!!!!!!

 

 

BTW:- I see the new Sprites are selling well over in Europe (more Mugs)

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Don't mean to be picky but I think that length conversion should read 22ft 11. 5in (though I did see you put 'approximate'  ;) )

 

. ..that 10 inches could be very important!!!

 

1 metre = 39. 37 inches

7 metres = 275. 59 inches

275. 59 / 12 = 22 ft 11. 5 inches (approx)

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You're absolutely correct. I've edited my original post to show this.

Sorry.

Gordon

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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