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Thread: Warning about A-Frame towing

  1. #21
    IanH Guest


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    Sorry, and Hard Hat now on, but I'll go for it anyway............................

    If you have a Motorhome, you have a car and a caravan, all in one, in many guises

    If you need to tow, in any way shape or form, a CAR behind it, then you have a reversed image CARAVAN

    So why not simplify things, a lot actually and simply buy a CAR and tow a CARAVAN behind it, thereby having...........Only one vehicle , a means of transport once at your destination................... a much bigger living space than even quite big motorhomes.................

    I really cannot see any possible reason to tow a car behind a motorhome..............BUT, as I said, Hard Hat now on!!!
    Last edited by IanH; 23-02-2017 at 21:54.

  2. #22
    Wooie1958's Avatar
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    I presume you`ve resurrected a 17 month old thread just so you can start arguments and trouble again
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  3. #23

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    If you want to tow a car get a car trailer........


  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    Warning about A-Frame towing posted on MHFun forum
    Ensure you regularly check the frame mountings on your car and that the car is not suffering with any distortion or metal fatigue.

    Report 1...
    Ford Ka 8 or 9 years old - a part of the "chassis" on the near side has broken allowing the a-frame to twist and pull the front of the car forward. ... Both front wings have popped out & forward by a couple of inches. it had a strong sub frame bolted to the car chassis. The vehicle had to abandoned while on tour in Scotland to be returned by the breakdown service.
    The car was MOT'd last month and is in excellent condition otherwise with absolutely no rust and very low mileage.
    The poster in the past had been an avid a-frame user but has always considered they should be subjected to annual testing along with the MOT.
    The poster said, If the car is repairable, which he doubts, he will not continue towing it or any other.
    The A-Frame was attached to a solid bar which is in turn fixed to strong steel plates bolted to the "chassis" ..... All very strong but possibly maybe too strong, putting a load of stress on the car.

    Report 2.
    Another user posted on the same thread regarding a 5door hatchback fitted with a new A frame and only a couple of years old.
    The whole front end was loose where the chassis had snapped, luckily it all got noticed before the front of the car was pulled off..

    The law for tow bars has been strict for many years that you can only bolt to reinforced points on the car designed for the purpose. a frames are bolted through thin pressed steel at the front of the chassis. in no way are cars designed for this or it would have to be type approved and crash tested etc.
    Another reason that a frames are not legal, but rely on grey areas of the law.

    Check them all regularly. Maybe the Spanish and Germans are right after all.
    Wouldn't a dolly sort it all out?

  5. #25

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    First thing first,the first post says fit to car chassis,there has been no chassis on cars since the day of the herald or spitfire,apart from some 4/4 or trucks they went out with nelsons eye.
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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Haro View Post
    Wouldn't a dolly sort it all out?
    A dolly would be classed no different than an A frame in Europe, probably worse because they are not braked and a dolly is impossible to reverse, an A frame is just difficult but possible with care and practice
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  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Haro View Post
    Wouldn't a dolly sort it all out?
    From .gov

    Dollies
    The use of dollies is intended for the recovery of broken down vehicles, not for the transportation of a vehicle from A to B. Under Regulation 83 of C&U a motor car is permitted to tow two trailers when one of them is a towing implement and the other is secured to and either rests on or is suspended from the implement.
    When used for recovering broken down vehicles dollies are exempt from having an operational braking system fitted, provided that the towing vehicle is capable of meeting the minimum prescribed braking requirements for the combination. However, if dollies are used for the transportation of perfectly functioning vehicles they will need to be fitted with an operational braking system. Additionally the brakes on the wheels of the towed car which are in contact with the road must work and meet the specified 50% braking efficiency required for a trailer.
    The dolly would also be required by Regulation 22 of C&U to be fitted with suspension. Regulations 19 and 22 in C&U permit a broken down vehicle to be recovered without complying with these requirements. However, there is further legislation under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 that introduces a limitation on the maximum speed that the combination can be driven - this is 40mph on motorways and 20mph on other roads.
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  8. #28
    gordy is offline Free Member
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    A Frame Towing.

    Why am I about to tow a car behind a motorhome this year. Cos myself and the wife (67&65) have no strength to push a caravan about whether having caravan-mover or not. Also wife hated the box up our ar*e, shaking and waving when we towed a caravan many moons ago. (but, but, but, doesn't count). So far the towed/towing car we got has been used since our main bigger one failed the MOT.
    Per the talk through this thread a dolly has no brakes so only used by emergency vehicles.
    Standard A frame mounted to suspension lower arms is also illegal as has no brakes and emergency vehicles only.
    As too the brackets being pulled from the front of some cars yes it is possible and can be averted.
    A frame is coupled to the emergency towing eye bracket behind the bumper after adding another threaded mount. Car Manufacturer has designed and passed off the towing eye mount so why not another. Now as far as I can see there is a flaw in some setups, whether using mixed parts a possibility. The towing eyes stick out from the body under the bumper and note should not be jerked apart or jerked together so the fitting of the A bar is crucial. Hence any slack on the hinge bar should be taken up with washers or spacers. A spacer tube should I would say be fitted between each towing eye to stop eyes coming closer and A bar washered/shimmed before securing it on.
    Mind you my friend uses a standard A bar set up for pulling cheap cars home for himself to fix and resell. He's been stopped by the police yes, they look around the set up and ask if its got a road tax. Taxed yes and off they go.
    As too brakes the tow cars have all to work of course, whether by overrun coupling with pull wire onto brake pedal, or electronically via box onto brake pedal. Electronically is a simple system to see but at about 1500, using momentum and slowing of the car it works the brake pedal. Think this has a built in Vacuum pump. All Likened to mobile phone action if you think about it.
    I've heard that the ignition should be on and engine running to operate the vac assistance of brakes but over run is a jerky procedure and car would be skittering along on the slightest slowing down.
    I've still to work out the connecting of rear lights of towcar without using a lighting board. Plug connects under bonnet from Motorhome. Mmmmm see fitting company on that one...Anything else ??
    Last edited by gordy; 10-02-2018 at 14:21.

  9. #29

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    Why do people need to take a car with them at all? Seems particularly unsuitable if you are wildcamping.
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  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by hairydog View Post
    Why do people need to take a car with them at all? Seems particularly unsuitable if you are wildcamping.
    Because we are not always wildcamping, I have a disability, I also have a disabled dog so need sometimes to find places suitable for him to walk with his wheels
    IMG_20170701_151404[1].jpg

    We sometimes stay on a CL/CS site for long periods and a car gives us the opportunity to go further afield to see places that are difficult to visit with a motorhome, it is also a trailer to carry extra weight.

    We don't all have the same needs or ideas
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