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NickiePete

Warning To Caravan Owners

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Guest Phoenix
Except that the Mk3 Galaxy retractable towball doesn't have a bolt.
My company run a fleet of Mk3 Galaxys, some of which have retractable towbars. I agree that there is no visible mounting bolt, however we have overcome the problem on a couple of the vehicles by clamping a loop to the side of the towball arm to clip the breakaway cable to. Others have had a loop mounted out of sight behind the rear bumper assembly, but these were both difficult to locate, and also stood the risk of damaging the plastic bumper.

Phoenix

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i was told that a clip type must be clipped back on its self a carabbina type goes to a hole for said carabina but the clip type mustgo to the tow bar and not the tow ball as this cuold come off (unlikely) s oit must be clipped back onits self around frame work so even if you have a hole the clip type cannot use it as you carnt get it throuh to clip back on its self

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I have a copy of the book by John Wickersham The Caravan Manual. on pages 16, 17, 18, 19, it explains this all very clearly.

I would recomend we all read it buy it or get one from the library. http://www. google. co. ..IwAQ#ps-sellers

Andrew.

Edited by andrew2762

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If the brakaway cable cannot be looped through a dedicated fixing and clipped back onto itself, then a carabiner style fitting is required for a direct connection, as the spring-locked clip supplied with some cables can fail if used this way.

Gordon.

 

This is exactly how I understand it too. Basically I have a small hole drilled into the towbar for the breakaway cable. On the end of the cable is a spring locked clip which is too big to be looped through and back on itself through the small hole. I can't just clip it to the small hole as the spring locked clip can possibly fail. The question is, and I guess this will be VERY relevant to a lot of readers is where can I get a suitable carabina of the correct rating?

 

Also, should the spring clip be looped around the carabina too?

Edited by Paul75

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This is exactly how I understand it too. Basically I have a small hole drilled into the towbar for the breakaway cable. On the end of the cable is a spring locked clip which is too big to be looped through and back on itself through the small hole. I can't just clip it to the small hole as the spring locked clip can possibly fail. The question is, and I guess this will be VERY relevant to a lot of readers is where can I get a suitable carabina of the correct rating?

 

 

Here is the carabina type from Alko changed mine a couple of months ago when I swapped towing cars, the Freelander connection for the breakaway was to big for the carabina clip but the old style clip went through to clip back on itself now the Insignia has a specific eye for the carabina.

 

http://shop. al-ko. co. ..ibena-clip. html

 

And most of the dealers sell them as well

Edited by dave11a

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This is exactly how I understand it too. Basically I have a small hole drilled into the towbar for the breakaway cable. On the end of the cable is a spring locked clip which is too big to be looped through and back on itself through the small hole. I can't just clip it to the small hole as the spring locked clip can possibly fail. The question is, and I guess this will be VERY relevant to a lot of readers is where can I get a suitable carabina of the correct rating?

 

If it is to pass your existing cable through to link back on itself, then rather than use a carabina, use a 'D' shackle, it is far stronger.

 

If it is to replace a loop back type clip on an existing cable, then get a replacement cable with a carabina already fitted, you know it is the correct one then.

 

FT

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If it is to pass your existing cable through to link back on itself, then rather than use a carabina, use a 'D' shackle, it is far stronger.

 

If it is to replace a loop back type clip on an existing cable, then get a replacement cable with a carabina already fitted, you know it is the correct one then.

 

FT

 

So if I buy a D shackle I would loop existing spring clip back on itself through it.

 

Other option as posted above is to change the cable. How easy is this to do and is there anything I need to bear in mind when doing this (ie length etc?).

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Reading through all the legislation, nowhere does it state that there is a specific way that the secondary brake cable has to be fitted to the towing vehicle. It does state though that the fitting must be sufficient to activate the brakes.

However you can be done for "towing in a dangerous manner" and the only way forward then is to fight it out in court if the brake cable was looped properly around the around the towball a recommended by many organisations. There is no mention of an alternative fitting point or even the towball.

I have never heard of a towball breaking, but not saying it has never happened. The officer would have to prove that having the cable looped around the towball was dangerous and this would be extremely difficult as expert opinions would be required.

Secondly it will open a can of worms if by some remote chance the judgement went against you as it will leave possible millions of people open to prosecution unless their tow bar was upgraded and the braking cable changed. This would impact the trailer and caravan industry.

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Has anyone done their 'E' test lately who can give us an idea of the required standard?

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So if I buy a D shackle I would loop existing spring clip back on itself through it.

 

Other option as posted above is to change the cable. How easy is this to do and is there anything I need to bear in mind when doing this (ie length etc?).

 

Simple if you have a pair of large grips / molegrips and a large screwdriver. Grip the ring part that fits to the base of the handbrake, pop the screwdriver / bar or similar and twist the ring open and remove from the handbrake. Then feed the cable out of the guides to the hitch taking note of the route through guides etc then put the new cable in the same way put the hook part in the handbrake hole and close the hook with the grips until it closes job done took me all of 5 mins my new cable was near enough the same length as the old one.

Edited by dave11a

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BTW if stopped do NOT argue the toss with the police because of what you have heard or read on any forum. Apologise profusely and hopefully they will let you on your way without issuing a ticket. If you are unfortunate to receive a ticket but feel you were not at fault, then go onto forums like Pepipo for advice. Depending on the advice decide if you are going to fight it or not in court.

In the meantime, try and comply with the law as much as possible, i. e. brake cable on caravan, no overloading, correct licence for outfit etc.

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Just checked my nice new detachable westfalia tow bar, nope no where to fit breakaway cable apart from around towball. Just as shown on page 98 of the Caravan Club August magazine

Edited by spannaz

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Simple if you have a pair of large grips / molegrips and a large screwdriver. Grip the ring part that fits to the base of the handbrake, pop the screwdriver / bar or similar and twist the ring open and remove from the handbrake. Then feed the cable out of the guides to the hitch taking note of the route through guides etc then put the new cable in the same way put the hook part in the handbrake hole and close the hook with the grips until it closes job done took me all of 5 mins my new cable was near enough the same length as the old one.

 

Perfect. New cable ordered. Thank you.

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Regulations for towing mirrors are as discribed in the Milenco diagram . You must be able to see down the side of the trailer and to point 4m out by 20m to the rear .

 

http://www. unece. org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/wp29/wp29regs/r046r2e. pdf Pg30 .

 

 

There has to be legislation for mirrors for the police to prosecute .

 

As far as I know the breakaway cable has to be fitted to a attachment point if fitted but if one is not fitted then it can be looped over the ball and I dont think that has changed since 1982 when they came in .

 

Dave

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BTW if stopped do NOT argue the toss with the police because of what you have heard or read on any forum. Apologise profusely and hopefully they will let you on your way without issuing a ticket. If you are unfortunate to receive a ticket but feel you were not at fault, then go onto forums like Pepipo for advice. Depending on the advice decide if you are going to fight it or not in court.

In the meantime, try and comply with the law as much as possible, i. e. brake cable on caravan, no overloading, correct licence for outfit etc.

 

That's the problem as I see it Surf!...We all think we are complying!.... I wish Laws were written in plain English so that everyone could understand what is expected of them when it comes to what should be a simple procedure like attaching a breakaway cable to the towing vehicle!

But I would take your advice and not argue if stopped. .....but would not accept a fixed penalty if issued and would elect to go to court. ...

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Stuart

Yep that's the article I was alluding to in my earlier post.

 

All

As stated in this article, and again I'm not taking sides -

  • A looped cable could jump off a towball – a cable may be attached more securely using an eyelet that’s part of the towbar or a retro-fitted one like this. The attachment point must be no further than 100mm (4in) from the centre of the towball
  • Far better hinging, spring clips like this were introduced recently and only cost around £6. 50 complete with a new cable. These types can be used for direct coupling to an eyelet, or to form a traditional noose by clipping back on to the cable

Main part of my logic in changing the cable type.

Cheers

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I too use a westfalia with a detachable ball. I couldn't find anywhere to attach the breakaway cable,so I contacted Westfalia and asked them what I should do. They told me to loop the cable around the towball.

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Reading through all the legislation, nowhere does it state that there is a specific way that the secondary brake cable has to be fitted to the towing vehicle. It does state though that the fitting must be sufficient to activate the brakes.

However you can be done for "towing in a dangerous manner" and the only way forward then is to fight it out in court if the brake cable was looped properly around the around the towball a recommended by many organisations. There is no mention of an alternative fitting point or even the towball.

I have never heard of a towball breaking, but not saying it has never happened. The officer would have to prove that having the cable looped around the towball was dangerous and this would be extremely difficult as expert opinions would be required.

Secondly it will open a can of worms if by some remote chance the judgement went against you as it will leave possible millions of people open to prosecution unless their tow bar was upgraded and the braking cable changed. This would impact the trailer and caravan industry.

 

 

Hi Surf01

 

Understand that, and don't have any issues with what you have said.

 

WIth the paperwork that came with my tow bar when Landrover fitted it, it specifically says only use the special attachment points for the breakaway cable, so my thoughts would be what does it say in the paperwork that came with peoples tow bars. .... that is if any paperwork was even passed over!

 

I am sure the tow bar manufacturers must have considered this, and like you say, if you end up in front of m'lud in a test case. ... then the manufacturer would be one of the experts called I would have thought. Again, if you loop it round the tow ball as there are no specific attachment points and get stopped and subsequently taken to court, then surely the manufacturer has some culpability for making and retailing something that when used does not conform to the law.

 

I suspect this will be one of these subjects that keeps re-appearing from time to time.

 

Personally I think the best advice should be if you have an attachment point - use it, if you don't, loop it round the tow ball.

 

FT

 

EDIT : Spelling

Edited by FlyingTog

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Hi

Takes us back to precedent.

Remember we are innocent until proven guilty (not the other way around). :)

It is up to the prosecutor to prove guilt. To do so, they would have to clearly display in court what the regulations permit or not.

Has a case come to court - I don't know?

But, from this thread and the previous investigation I have done I doubt it has or the regulations would have been amended to remove the dubiety. Certainly it would appear that the Caravan Club (as recently as this month albeit there will have been a month or two in magazine production) and other appropriate organisations, who have their own legal departments, believe threre are a number of ways of achieving legal connection of a breakaway cable.

Cheers

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  • Far better hinging, spring clips like this were introduced recently and only cost around £6. 50 complete with a new cable. These types can be used for direct coupling to an eyelet, or to form a traditional noose by clipping back on to the cable

 

You say these spring clips can be 'used for direct coupling to an eyelet'. This is NOT how I understand it, as far as I understand it this type of cable must always be used by clipping back on itself like a noose.

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Thank you Nickie for the post we should also thank the policeman, he is the reason we are debating how to attach a breakaway cable and why its so important to get it right. Its also good to know they now make provision for a brakaway cable on some towbars :)

 

There is no way I can attach the cable to my tow bar, instead I use the loop on the bike rack to loop mine through.

ZX78-A.jpg

A few years ago police in Northumberland were stopping motorists & explaining that tiredness can kill & why they should take a rest, they were also giving them coffee or energy drinks.

 

A good tactic as it was brought to the attention of the media at the time, this was then brought to the attention of their readers

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Either way an interesting topic regarding brake cable. Although there is a lot of legislation regarding mirrors, most of it seems to refer to the exterior mirrors attached to the towing vehicle and not extension mirrors. Most if not all extension mirrors not matter how well they are set up will give you a good field of vision rearwards, but it is unlikely that you will be able to see the rear nearside corner of your modern caravan in the mirror unless you make like a contortionist.

According to the law the mirror can only project "x" amount from the side of the vehicle and I think it does not into account when towing a trailer the ext mirrors need to be further out. As far as I am aware, if towing a modern caravan with a width of 2. 3m there is no 4 x 4 or vehicle on the road in GB that allows you adequate vision according to the EU directive.

If towing a trailer especially a caravan, it is advisable to have ext mirrors on both sides to avoid being pulled over by the police. They are getting more strict on this aspect every year. Hopefully they will start prosecuting drivers who are towing for exceeding 60mph, using 3rd lane for overtaking on motorways and overloading!

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Hi Paul 75

I'm only quoting from the Caravan Club and advice received from various other sources including NTTA, AL-KO, caravan manufacturer, etc.

There are two types of clips, one where it has to be looped back on itself (the "traditional" type) and one where both looped back and direct connection to a dedicated attachment point is appropriate. The direct connection option seems to be gaining growing support as the best method within the towing industry community.

 

Hi Paul B

You may have to be careful (not knowing it's construction \ vehicle fitting) with attaching the breakaway cable to your bike rack as this may not be classed as a suitable dedicated attachment point. In addition this dedicated attachment point would be expected (my understanding) to be within 4" of the towball.

 

Cheers guys

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Stuart

Yep that's the article I was alluding to in my earlier post.

 

All

As stated in this article, and again I'm not taking sides -

  • A looped cable could jump off a towball – a cable may be attached more securely using an eyelet that’s part of the towbar or a retro-fitted one like this. The attachment point must be no further than 100mm (4in) from the centre of the towball
  • Far better hinging, spring clips like this were introduced recently and only cost around £6. 50 complete with a new cable. These types can be used for direct coupling to an eyelet, or to form a traditional noose by clipping back on to the cable

Main part of my logic in changing the cable type.

Cheers

 

I think Paul was commenting on your bit about "Spring Clip" these are the type which can only be used to clip back on itself

http://shop. al-ko. co. ..ttachment-.html

 

The Caribina type not Spring are the ones that can be clipped direct to a dedicated eye.

http://shop. al-ko. co. ..ibena-clip. html

Edited by dave11a

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Following from Dave11a's post. .. on one of his links, you can access this document. ..

 

http://shop. al-ko. co. uk/edit/files/brochures/breakawaycable. pdf

 

It is endorsed by CC, C&CC, NTTA, NCC and SMMT. Although it is dated 1/5/2003, I think that this is the document that should be the base reference if anyone asks about brakeaway cables.

 

It has all the endorsements of relevant bodies and if the Police etc decide to take someone to task, if this document was followed, I think it would be difficult to secure a prosecution.

 

FT

 

PS. .. if anyone can find a later version, please post a link.

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