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NickiePete

Warning To Caravan Owners

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

 

HI Angus,

Free did not implie that it says any thing about having to get on one's knees.

Andrew.

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Thanks Arthur,

 

But the reference to a 'secondary coupling' is not the breakaway cable is it?

Hi yes, the Secondary coupling mentioned in the legislation is the breakaway cable

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Having spent some time under my car on Saturday fitting a 7S socket, apart from the two holes I mentioned there is no other way of attaching a cable. This is on a 9 month old car with a dealer fit towbar!

 

I got (acquired) a clip on cable today but there is no way it will clip to the holes mentioned above, so I'll use the "clip to itself" cable I already have fitted wrapped around the swan-neck.

 

As I mentioned above & checked the cable I got today is about 50% larger than the one fitted, so there are better cables available

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Having been keeping an eye on this topic I to have found this a rather interesting debate. When I brought my caravan I was adviced to fit the cable to the eyelet on the tow bar. But a couple of months later when I went back to pick up my caravan again (after we had some work carried out on the van ) I was this time adviced that the police now wanted it around the tow bar. All rather confusing

 

having read this topic and looking under my new tow car (disco 3) I notice that this has two pre formed holes for a break away cable, so yesterday I popped to my local caravan spares shop and brought a new clip type cable (£4) which appear to be a little bit thicker (which can only be a good thing) I will hopefully be changing it over today, I guess the only question is how long should I make it

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I'm beginning to think this thread is now doing more harm than good.

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On re-reading the OP I am wondering if Nickie and partner have misunderstood the police advice and possibly advice previously given to them.

They pointed out that our breakaway cable was secured around the tow ball as we had been previously advised to do so.

None of the advice given by the CC the NCC and Alko mentions securing around the tow ball and that may be the reason for the police concern.

They pointed out a place to clip the cable right underneath our towbar
Again none of the advice in the aforementioned publications suggests that the attachment point may be hidden from view.

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I'm beginning to think this thread is now doing more harm than good.

 

Agreed!!

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The mass of our twin axle trailer is greater than 1500kg, but there is no fitment to prevent the drawbar touching the ground in the event of decoupling as per the legislation? Am I missing something?

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I think folk are getting confused over different bits of advice & legislation (it doesn't surprise me really)

 

If the trailer has no brakes it needs a secondary coupling to prevent the drawbar touching the ground

 

If a trailer has brakes it needs a breakaway cable attached to, if available, an attachment point on the towbar. If there is no attachment point it can be wrapped around the towball.

 

I work for an "O" licence registered company and all our trailers comply with the above, as we are subject to auditing they have to be correct.

Edited by Ich

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A secondary coupling can be a strong chain on a trailer without brakes which would keep it from going off on it's own if it came off the towing vehicle. This is attached to a pigtail on the tow car and bolted to the trailer.

 

An accident occured in recent years when this happened and killed a small boy I believe.

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I think folk are getting confused over different bits of advice & legislation (it doesn't surprise me really)

 

If the trailer has no brakes it needs a secondary coupling to prevent the drawbar touching the ground

 

If a trailer has brakes it needs a breakaway cable attached to, if available, an attachment point on the towbar. If there is no attachment point it can be wrapped around the towball.

 

I work for an "O" licence registered company and all our trailers comply with the above, as we are subject to auditing they have to be correct.

 

That is the conclusion I have arrived at also.

 

I think in the case of the Original Poster the police had issues with the fact that there WAS an attachment point on their tow bar but they were NOT using it. ....

This point was more than likely picked up as a result of being pulled over for having inadequate towing mirrors?.....

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I think folk are getting confused over different bits of advice & legislation (it doesn't surprise me really)

 

If the trailer has no brakes it needs a secondary coupling to prevent the drawbar touching the ground

 

If a trailer has brakes it needs a breakaway cable attached to, if available, an attachment point on the towbar. If there is no attachment point it can be wrapped around the towball.

 

I work for an "O" licence registered company and all our trailers comply with the above, as we are subject to auditing they have to be correct.

:goodpost: That's about it,really. Says it all.

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If a trailer has brakes it needs a breakaway cable attached to, if available, an attachment point on the towbar. If there is no attachment point it can be wrapped around the towball.

.

 

A trailer up to 1500kg can have a secondary coupling of chain or a breakaway cable.

 

 

 

Braking requirements are prescribed in Regulations 15 and 16 of The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986

as amended. ..........

For trailers up to 1500kg laden weight it is permitted to use a secondary coupling, which in the event of separation (NOT failure) of the main coupling will retain the trailer attached to the towing vehicle, prevent the nose of the trailer from touching the ground and provide some residual steering of the trailer. Above 1500 kg laden weight the trailer must be fitted with a device to stop the trailer automatically in the event of separation (NOT failure) of the main coupling and this is normally achieved by a breakaway cable attached to the parking brake mechanism . ...............

 

National Trailer & Towing Assn advice here

 

Attach safety breakaway cable(s) to the rear of vehicle. Clip the breakaway cable onto the special rings some towbars have or loop it around the bar, making sure it cannot foul the coupling head. Do not loop it round the towball neck unless you can find no alternative.

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

 

http://shop. al-ko. co. ..akawaycable. 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.

 

As I said back in post 100.

 

The best advice is to follow the advice given in this document: http://shop. al-ko. co. uk/edit/files/brochures/breakawaycable. pdf

 

It is endorsed by CC, C&CC, NTTA, NCC and SMMT 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

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Advice from NTTA although good and helpful is not law and only guidelines. I think that like most people, I would like to read specific legislation regarding the fitting as opposed to assumptions by even reputable organisations. Will any of these organisations defend you in court if you were prosecuted?

I agree trying to trace specific legislation is a nightmare as you have to duck and dive between our Road and Traffic Act and also EU law which seems to be linked in a random manner. Most laws seem to be very ambiguous in their meaning and only a court case will define it. In some cases it is difficult to tell if it has been adopted by our lawmakers.

I may be mistaken, but I don't think either the Road Traffic Act or EU law specifically state the cable needs to be attached to specific point on the tow bar of the towing vehicle as even new tow bars do not have a specific point. I think it refers to being securely attached.

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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.

 

Your memory is fine. However getting ALKO,Knott or BPW to give details provoked a " it's commercially sensitive information" responses when I enquired some years ago.

Everyone who has reported a separation has stated the clip failed.** ALKO now use a butt ended steel loop at the handbrake end instead of the original thick spring steel ring so it may be that either the clip or the loop could give way but BPW use a clevis with pin assembly and both use a spring closure hook not a locking carabiner type at the towbar end. Although it is reported that direct clipping of the b/c should only be done if it is approved has anyone seen such approval?

The wire rope used for breakaway cables is usually 3mm with a breaking strain of 800kg.

 

** wait now for those whose cable didn't to post! :)

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Surf01. .. I don't see the point of your post. All you have done is contradicted yourself in your closing statement from your opening statement.

 

Open with "Advice from NTTA although good and helpful is not law and only guidelines. I think that like most people, I would like to read specific legislation regarding the fitting as opposed to assumptions by even reputable organisations. "

 

 

Close with " I don't think either the Road Traffic Act or EU law specifically state the cable needs to be attached to specific point on the tow bar of the towing vehicle as even new tow bars do not have a specific point.

 

In the absence of any specific law that says basically "clip it here" you have to go off guidelines, and the guidelines as endorsed by the CC, C&CC, NTTA, NCC and SMMT would seem most practical, and what I would use if a prosecution was impending.

 

I agree, I do not think that any of these organisations would stand buy you in court and I would not expect them to, its not their job. However a good solicitor defending would be able to point to these bodies and say that his client connected the breakaway cable in accordance with guidelines endorsed by the CC, C&CC, NTTA, NCC and SMMT from their interpretation of UK law as it stands as there is no higher advisory body issuing guidance or legal regulation as to attachment position under the current law.

 

FT

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A trailer up to 1500kg can have a secondary coupling of chain or a breakaway cable.

 

 

 

Braking requirements are prescribed in Regulations 15 and 16 of The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986

as amended. ..........

For trailers up to 1500kg laden weight it is permitted to use a secondary coupling, which in the event of separation (NOT failure) of the main coupling will retain the trailer attached to the towing vehicle, prevent the nose of the trailer from touching the ground and provide some residual steering of the trailer. Above 1500 kg laden weight the trailer must be fitted with a device to stop the trailer automatically in the event of separation (NOT failure) of the main coupling and this is normally achieved by a breakaway cable attached to the parking brake mechanism . ...............

 

National Trailer & Towing Assn advice here

 

Attach safety breakaway cable(s) to the rear of vehicle. Clip the breakaway cable onto the special rings some towbars have or loop it around the bar, making sure it cannot foul the coupling head. Do not loop it round the towball neck unless you can find no alternative.

 

In my case TINA.

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Our breakaway cable has the clip on it and it was this that the Police clipped to the hole they found in the towbar. Is the general opinion that this is not correct and it should be a carabina?

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It should be used as shown on the PDF issued by the Caravan Club posted in the topic at post number 14

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I have just spoken to Sussex Police to try and clarify exactly how to attach the breakaway cable and. .........no one knows!

Their advice was ask Caravan Club or your local caravan dealer. Done that and the advice was conflicting to the advice from the Police. So still none the wiser!

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Send a copy of the pdf to the Sussex police and keep a copy in the glovebox of your car.

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If you have no eye to attach your breakaway cable to;

people are referred to this item http://www. towsure. c. ..y_Cable_Bracket

No excuses

Edited by gumdrop

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If you have no eye to attach your breakaway cable to;

people are referred to this item http://www. towsure. c. ..y_Cable_Bracket

No excuses

 

But there is no law that says it is required to fit it.

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