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NickiePete

Warning To Caravan Owners

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We were travelling anti clockwise on the M25 this afternoon and spotted a Police 4 x 4 doing 40mph. We over took it and pulled in front of it. Whilst over taking, I, in the passenger seat noticed the police looking at out tow hitch. We traveled a little further before being pulled over by them. They pointed out that our breakaway cable was secured around the tow ball as we had been previously advised to do so. They advised that this is illegal carrying an on the spot fine of £30 and 3 points. They pointed out a place to clip the cable right underneath our towbar.

They also told us that our towing mirrors were not sufficient and advised getting ones on extendable arms so that they stand out enabling the driver to see the whole length of the caravan and a distance behind. This again carries a £30 fine and 3 points. Fortunately they were just advising and were very nice about it. Needless to say we are now researching more suitable mirrors and deciding whose job it will be to crawl under the tow bar to attach the cable!

 

 

Nickie

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Guest jks

If you don't have a point on your tow bar to fix the breakaway cable then I thought it was O. K. to put it over the tow ball.

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I am not sure. Our point was there but well hidden. They said that if the car and caravan are bumping about and the caravan breaks free, the cable could jump off the tow ball. They seemed to think that all tow bars have a point to connect to. They said swan necks have a point to clip to and bolt on tow balls have a place to pass the cable through.

 

Nickie

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I wonder if their vigilance is related to this incident, seems a co-incidence

 

http://www. caravanta. ..detachment-m25/

 

I've got a fixed swan-neck so I'll go looking for the attachment point tomorrow

Edited by Ich

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If you don't have a point on your tow bar to fix the breakaway cable then I thought it was O. K. to put it over the tow ball.

 

I expect the point in this case was that they did have the breakaway provision but were not using it?

Unless made in a helpful advisory way stopping someone for having the cable around the ball is being a bit pedantic and I doubt would ever warrant a fine if contested.

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Are you sure they were police?

 

Thought minor offences were £60?

 

40mph on a motorway?

 

 

 

 

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Yep knew about mirrors. My new van is 4 inches wider than previous and so I needed a new nearside tow mirror. As far a breakaway cable I hook mine over tow ball.

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I always thought it was bad practice to attach it to the towball in any manner, properly designed towbars have a permanent attachment point on the bar, as I assume there is as much chance of the towball coming slack and falling off as there is of the ball becoming so worn it no longer fills the coupling.

 

free

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Very little chance of a pair of properly torqued HT nuts and bolts coming adrift.

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Very little chance of a pair of properly torqued HT nuts and bolts coming adrift.

 

Thats the problem. ... "properly torqued HT nuts and bolts".... I wonder how many are.

 

When we had a new AL-Ko tow ball fitted by the dealer, I decided to replace the set that came with the factory fitted tow bar, so took one round to my local engineers to make sure I had the right size and spec. I was shocked when hehe asked what they were off and when I told him, he said they were basically black hi tensile peanut butter and showed me how the thread had stretched and distorted under magnification.

 

I now have a set of BS marked Hi-Tensile bolts and matching nuts. The original ones were supplied when the dealer fitted the tow bar when we bought it new.

 

I wonder how many sub standard bolts are out there. ... I don't think the £1. 99 for two bolts and nuts in a blister pack is going to be up to spec unfortunately.

 

Returning to topic. .. the LR tow bar fitted to out Freelander has two loops welded onto the main part of the frame, and in the instructions that came with the tow bar there was a warning to attach breakaway cables only to these loops and nowhere else on the tow bar.

 

FT

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When we collected our new Lunar van at beginning of July the dealer stated that AL-KO would only accept that the breakaway cable was doubled back on itself and looped over the ball. Not saying they were correct however that's what they said.

Lunar manual specifically states that if you have a fixed towball you should loop over the towball if no designated attachment point has been provided by the towbar manufacturer. If it is a detachable towball you must seek guidance from the manufacturer.

Given we have the latter we were "stuck between a rock and a hardplace" as a result of the conflicting "requirements".

After much debate we ended up with this.

There are two different types of clip used on breakaway cables one of which must be looped back on itself but as this would not fit through the pre-drilled designated attachment on the fitted Witter bar and I could not loop over the detachable towball I got them to change the breakaway to the other option which can be clipped directly to the towbar.

There is a specific article in Caravan Club Magazine (July or August - don't have with me) on this subject.

Cheers

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When I collected our van from the storage site for the first trip of the season in May I put the breakaway cable over the ball hitch, the owner of the storage site said that it was no longer legal to do that and doing so could incur a fine. He then look over the tow bar and found a suitable bolt to hook it around.

Very helpful chap who knows what he is doing.

Alan

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If the tow ball falls off the breakaway cable won’t be attached to anything, pretty obvious if you ask me, someone said if the nuts are correctly tighten that won’t happen, if that is the case why bother with the breakaway cable ? It’s there for a reason! As for the mirrors if tow without being able to see the length of your outfit you deserve to be fined.

There is no lower seed limit on a motorway, just an upper limit.

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Purchased Haynes Caravanning Handbook second edition ( 2010 ) recently . Breakaway cable is attatched to the tow ball in their illustration . Now I am confused

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Advice from NCC in 2010 was . .. The cable should be looped through any large diameter hole or loop in or on the towbar and then clipped back

on itself. The cable hook should NOT be clipped directly to that hole as this may lead to premature failure, unless

the cable is designed for direct attachment. If there is no suitably sized hole or loop in or on the towbar, the

cable must be passed around the neck of the towball, beneath the coupling head and then clipped back onto itself.

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My swan neck has an excellent point to clip to, but it needed a change of breakaway cable to the right version

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So, my towbar (swan neck) which retracts under the bumper by some clever gadget nested in the side of the boot of my Mk3 Galaxy and has no little loop to attach a clip to, will make my breakaway cable illegal?

 

Piffle and waffle.

 

 

Just as driving without a seatbelt is illegal, it isn't if you don't have seatbelts fitted (eg in a classic car).

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My swift handbook tells me to loop the breakaway cable around the tow ball. It must NOT be clipped to the towbar.

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Guest jks

It seems that Mr Plod was trying to find a reason to stop Nickie and probably doesn't know the law and was just guessing. I reckon the towing mirrors were the real reason for stopping them.

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When I fitted my Witter towbar in 2005 I noticed a 10mm hole was drilled in one side of the flanges. I used a D shackle through the hole as a permanent fixture and I clip the brakeaway cable to it.

post-261-0-65761200-1344760345_thumb.jpg

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It seems that Mr Plod was trying to find a reason to stop Nickie and probably doesn't know the law and was just guessing. I reckon the towing mirrors were the real reason for stopping them.

 

actually, they did know the law. ..it is required that where provision is made for the breakaway cable then this must be used, where there is no such provision then it can be looped around the tow ball.

 

http://www. nationalcaravan. co. uk/downloads/breakawaycable. pdf

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When I fitted my Witter towbar in 2005 I noticed a 10mm hole was drilled in one side of the flanges. I used a D shackle through the hole as a permanent fixture and I clip the brakeaway cable to it.

Do you clip to it or pass the cable through it?

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It seems that Mr Plod was trying to find a reason to stop Nickie and probably doesn't know the law and was just guessing. I reckon the towing mirrors were the real reason for stopping them.

 

No, its you that does not know the law, the Police Officer was perfectly correct and did his job with courtesy by the sound of it.

 

 

 

Phil,

 

If the tow ball falls off the breakaway cable won’t be attached to anything, pretty obvious if you ask me, someone said if the nuts are correctly tighten that won’t happen, if that is the case why bother with the breakaway cable ? It’s there for a reason! As for the mirrors if tow without being able to see the length of your outfit you deserve to be fined.

There is no lower seed limit on a motorway, just an upper limit.

 

:goodpost: :goodpost:

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