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NickiePete

Warning To Caravan Owners

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In the last several trips using the M25 I have only on one occasion seen police motorway patrol vehicles when two patrol vehicles were on the hard shoulder dealing with what appeared to be two civilian vehicles stopped after a possible chase.

 

Given that even the authorities, especially the police, consider the hard shoulder to be probably the most hazardous part of the motorway I am somewhat surprised that a police motorway patrol would stop a vehicle towing a caravan just to issue words of advice unless they were concerned that the outfit was an extreme danger to other road users.

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i must have been lucky, when i got the tow bar fitted, I found a nice little purpose built hole in the kit for attaching the breakaway cable.

 

been using it from day 1.

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Hi Dave11a

Hate to disagree (and don't want to get into an argument) but both clips are sprung. However, the one that can be used for direct attachment is a sprung hinge design as opposed to the spring being in the "sprung metal closing leaf".

Cheers

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When i picked our van up, the dealer looped the breakaway round the neck of the towball when he was showing us how to hook up the van. I pointed out that there was a loop on the side of the tow hitch & he said something along the lines of 'well use that if you can be bothered to get down to clip it in there'

I took his loop off my tow ball & cliiped it in to the loop. Took me nearly 15 seconds. I've always used this loop as thats what witter put the thing there for.

 

I use the m25/m20 alot when towing as they are my local motorways & have passed/been overtaken by the police on any number of occasions & they never pulled me over.

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Hi Dave11a

Hate to disagree (and don't want to get into an argument) but both clips are sprung. However, the one that can be used for direct attachment is a sprung hinge design as opposed to the spring being in the "sprung metal closing leaf".

Cheers

 

No arguments here but when I read your post as saying the spring clip is ok which I thought was adding to the confusion as the loop around one is commonly called the Spring Clip type the other is referred to the Caribena Clip type. ;)

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To, er, add to the confusion! I'm told by our transport workshop that there are two sizes of cable diameter available as well. There must be a avove x weight to use the thicker one, but we can't find what it is. The only issue I can see using the heavier cable with a lighter trailer is that it might not break which could be a good thing in some circumstances.

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In the last several trips using the M25 I have only on one occasion seen police motorway patrol vehicles when two patrol vehicles were on the hard shoulder dealing with what appeared to be two civilian vehicles stopped after a possible chase.

 

Given that even the authorities, especially the police, consider the hard shoulder to be probably the most hazardous part of the motorway I am somewhat surprised that a police motorway patrol would stop a vehicle towing a caravan just to issue words of advice unless they were concerned that the outfit was an extreme danger to other road users.

 

The original post is very suspect and I am now thinking it is a wind up when you consider all the facts. More than likely stopped because driving perhaps overloaded, dangerously or erratically. Too many things in the post do not add up for being pulled over.

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To, er, add to the confusion! I'm told by our transport workshop that there are two sizes of cable diameter available as well. There must be a avove x weight to use the thicker one, but we can't find what it is. The only issue I can see using the heavier cable with a lighter trailer is that it might not break which could be a good thing in some circumstances.

 

I may be wrong but I seem to remember reading somewhere (can't find the info on alko's site either) that the clips or the eye at the handbrake end are designed to fail not the cable itself. I am sure someone on here will tell us or have a link to the correct info.

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Hi Dave11a

Apologies if I didn't make it clear and thanks for your clarification.

I was quoting verbatim from the article in the CC Magazine which can be downloaded from this link (don't think you have to be a member to do so) - http://www. caravanclub. co. uk/news-and-events/club-magazine/read-latest-issue/?page=1

Might be useful for those following this thread.

Cheers

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Its worth buying one of the major makes like Alko or BPW as the cheap Chinese ones on Ebay are known to fail and not upto the job .

 

Its not worth saving a couple of quid when your safety is at stake ?

 

 

Dave

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Its worth buying one of the major makes like Alko or BPW as the cheap Chinese ones on Ebay are known to fail and not upto the job .

 

Its not worth saving a couple of quid when your safety is at stake ?

 

 

Dave

 

Totally agree

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I have been caravanning for about 13yrs, I have had 4 tow cars & 3 vans . . I have had towbars fitted to the 4 cars and every towbar has had an "eye" on it too loop the breakaway cable on it . . IMHO people who say they don't have "eye" on their towbar are to lazy to get down on their knees to look !

I've had towbars fitted on all of my cars. I've never seen an eye on any of them. And not only will I get down on my knees and look, I'll crawl under the car to service it and for the first three towbars, I got under the car and fitted them.

I also check the bolts which hold the towbar "frame" to the vehicle. Do you get on your knees and check that before towing.

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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

 

Likewise, Westfalia detachable on BMW 5-series Touring and there isn`t anywhere to loop a cable through.

 

And I have been down on my knees.

 

And underneath it.

 

No doubt this will also be disputed as there is always someone that "knows it all", but in reality knows dangerously little.

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The original post is very suspect and I am now thinking it is a wind up when you consider all the facts. More than likely stopped because driving perhaps overloaded, dangerously or erratically. Too many things in the post do not add up for being pulled over.

 

Very true but either way it has led to a very good thread indeed.

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I really am totally confused. Is there somewhere that tells you categorically how to attach the breakaway cable to your car? I have fitted a towbar breakaway cable bracket (Towsure item code B82) to my towbar and connect the cable to it by passing the cable through it and looping it back on itself. I went to purchase a new one at my local caravan sales place and was told by the salesman that they didn't sell them as it was illegal to use them. A man standing near us joined in the conversation and said that there was nothing wrong with using my set up, and he knew he was right as he worked for VOSA. I quietly sidled away and left them arguing. The question is, who is right? The salesman, the man from VOSA or are they both right?

 

Confused Mike :blink:

 

P. S. There WAS an eye fitted to the towbar on my Pajero, but none of the other towbars on any of my towcars has had one.

 

M

Edited by Townie

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Likewise, Westfalia detachable on BMW 5-series Touring and there isn`t anywhere to loop a cable through.

 

And I have been down on my knees.

 

And underneath it.

 

No doubt this will also be disputed as there is always someone that "knows it all", but in reality knows dangerously little.

 

If there is no where on the towbar to loop through then over the ball is fine.

 

I really am totally confused. Is there somewhere that tells you categorically how to attach the breakaway cable to your car? I have fitted a towbar breakaway cable bracket (Towsure item code B82) to my towbar and connect the cable to it by passing the cable through it and looping it back on itself. I went to purchase a new one at my local caravan sales place and was told by the salesman that they didn't sell them as it was illegal to use them. A man standing near us joined in the conversation and said that there was nothing wrong with using my set up, and he knew he was right as he worked for VOSA. I quietly sidled away and left them arguing. The question is, who is right? The salesman, the man from VOSA or are they both right?

 

Confused Mike :blink:

 

P. S. There WAS an eye fitted to the towbar on my Pajero, but none of the other towbars on any of my towcars has had one.

 

M

 

What exactly where you wanting to replace, this does not seem clear to me.

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Agreed Paul75

 

Townie

That's what the problem is - not that anyone here knows of!

There are various links to other sites giving advice but the consensus, I believe, is there are various ways that appear to be appropriate.

There is an article in CC Magazine this month that touches on this. Link here again http://www. caravancl. ..t-issue/?page=1

 

Cheers

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We used to loop back the original breakaway cable through a shackle fixed via a hole in the towbar.

 

I swapped the cable for a genuine AL-Ko one with a carabiner that clips directly into the tow bar.

 

Unfortunately it now drags on the floor and I can't work out why.

 

It was fitted by a mobile mechanic and is a genuine Al-Ko cable,he would not fit any other.

 

I presume they are all the same standard length.

 

Ian

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We used to loop back the original breakaway cable through a shackle fixed via a hole in the towbar.

 

I swapped the cable for a genuine AL-Ko one with a carabiner that clips directly into the tow bar.

 

Unfortunately it now drags on the floor and I can't work out why.

 

It was fitted by a mobile mechanic and is a genuine Al-Ko cable,he would not fit any other.

 

I presume they are all the same standard length.

 

Ian

 

When I bought my new Alko Caribena one at the local dealers they had 2 different lengths even though the Alko site doesn't show that and the shortest of the 2 was the same length as my old one.

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Interesting, hope ALKO send me the right one! :rolleyes:

Edited by Paul75

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Paul75

Just move the caravan closer ;) if it's not

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If there is no where on the towbar to loop through then over the ball is fine.

 

 

 

What exactly where you wanting to replace, this does not seem clear to me.

 

I was wanting to replace the bracket as I had changed the towcar and had forgotten to remove the bracket off the old car. I thought that I'd buy one from my local shop, but as they didn't sell them, I ended up sending away to Towsure.

 

Mike

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Sounds like the salesman was talking rubbish!

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http://ec. europa. EU/enterprise/sectors/automotive/files/pagesbackground/taam/taam-agenda-minutes-sofia_en. pdf

 

Page 41 and 42. Seems there is still some inconsistency to be dealt with.

 

and

 

http://www. unece. org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/wp29/wp29regs/r055r1e. pdf

 

Page 31. Specifies the mandatory attachment points for type approval which so many can't seem to find despite crawling around on their knees.

 

free

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http://ec. europa. EU/...es-sofia_en. pdf

 

Page 41 and 42. Seems there is still some inconsistency to be dealt with.

 

and

 

http://www. unece. org. ..egs/r055r1e. pdf

 

Page 31. Specifies the mandatory attachment points for type approval which so many can't seem to find despite crawling around on their knees.

 

free

 

Well, perhaps I can`t find a `mandatory attachment point` as one isn`t actually enshrined in EU law.

 

You can quote as many EU `Agreements` and `Addenda` as you like, but like many bits of paper produced in Brussels they are meaningless. The only scrap of paper which actually counts is the one which has been passed by by the eurocrats and so become LAW.

 

Therefore, if you wish to actually want to have a look at something which is relevant to the discussion, have a read of Directive 94/20/EC, amended by the Council Directive 2006/96/EC of 20th November 2006.

 

It doesn`t mention anything about getting on ones knees.

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