Towbars, Legality & Tech Specs
Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:18 PM
I think I'll buy a caravan but being practical I best fit a towbar to my car (2005 Ford Galaxy Silver 1.9 TD 85kW[115ps?])
Well I went down to the local garage
Turns out I needed to check my driving licence to check the towing capacities and MAM and ... and ... and ... and came out confused!
Well to save confusion and I've checked the forum and to no avail anyway.
1 - Your licence
Seems that on 1st of January, 1997 things changed with regards to cars (category 'B') and towing trailers (category 'E'). Here is a useful link. Turns out I've got B, BE, B1, B1E, C1, C1E, D1, D1E. And from what I can gather this means I can drive a vehicle with a trailer not exceeding a MAM (Maximum Arthourised Mass) of 8.25 tonnes in weight. Few first hurdle down I can at least tow a trailer above 700kg.
2 - The car
Acording to information I found on the V5C. This has a Mass in Service of 1736 kg (1.7 tonnes) and Maximum Permissible Mass (exc. m/c?) 2510 kg and a Technical permissible maximum towable mass of 700kg for an unbraked trailer and 2000 kg (2 tonnes) braked. Few, seems I'll be within the MAM figure with the family and "luggage" on board. Just need to adjust tyre pressure!
3 - The Caravan \ trailer
Looking at the Mass of some of the caravans they appear to be over 700kg. Also found this on my spidering the web. Seems any caravan would be ok. Have a look here.
So my questions:
Are they braked? If so, how?
Do I need a special tow bar for these caravans over 700kgs?
Any suggestions for the selection of towbar?
Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:55 AM
Caravan brakes are activated by an 'overrun' linkage on the drawbar/hitch. As you brake the car, the caravan pushes forward on the hitch, which slides a small amount pushing a lever to activate the brakes. When you pull away, the caravan moves back letting the brakes off again.
Any towbar will be ok, the choices come down to whether you want detachable or fixed. If you go for the fixed / flanged towball option, make sure your towball is of the 'Alko' type (spaced out further, more slender neck) as the majority of caravans seem to come with an 'Alko' hitch which needs more clearance. Fixed 'swan neck' towballs are fine.
Me? I have the Westfalia oem detachable one and it is fine. When wiring up the electrics, make life easy for yourself and order a vehicle specific wiring kit with either the twin sockets (messy looking) or the 13 pin socket (much better) and make the fitter aware that you need the fridge wiring connected ( you will need a 'smart relay' and a wire running from battery to socket via this relay) as most wiring kits do not include this.
Hope that this helps,
More chrome than a Pikey's caravan!
Posted 24 August 2011 - 10:22 PM
Done some more spidering and found this forum post. Seems that caravans over 700 kg are braked.
So which towbar?
ive got a mk2 towbar for sale,if your intrested?
LEXUS IS 200 SE NAVIGATOR 2005
now with vag-com binned vista,binned xp now running windows 7 (if i can work out how to use it),if anyone in my area needs help them message me and where see what we can do.
now also driving a 60 reg black zetec tdi 140bhp smax,totally different from the galaxy and a lot lot faster.
Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:17 AM
For me, detachable and 13 pin wins... For both looks, convenience and reliability...obviously if your caravan is 7 pin then it makes sense to wire for that and not have to use an adaptor.....either way make sure that the additional wiring for a fridge is included along with either a smart relay or other device to only apply power to the fridge when the car engine is running.
Another top tip...if you have never towed before, enrol on a towing course, and then take it steady at first...too many first time tuggers end up ruining family holidays by rushing and end up facing the wrong way on the motorway with the caravan on its side...
Posted 10 June 2012 - 11:03 AM
If you passed before 1997 then the max is 2000kg (1800kg for DOHC engines) Manufacturers max permissible weight.
Max unbraked trailer is 700kg, all trailers over 750kg (MAM) must be braked anyway by law.
Max nose weight is 85kg.
The 85% of laden vehicle, is a recommendation only, for post 97 license holders the MAM of the trailer can't exceed the laden weight of the vehicle any way, but with the gal that's irrelevant anyhow as the lightest kerb weight at around 1670kg (depending on spec/variant) already exceeds the max of 1030kg (MAM) that can be legally towed.
TO DO LIST:
Air con, o ring & recharge **done**
Spare wheel & winch **Sorted** �70 off ebay
Tow Bar **DONE**
Parking sensor x2 **DONE**
7 day heater timer now installed. **TOASTY**
Exhaust needs TLC **Now replaced**
Find that annoying rattle under the dash
My other car is a 480 bhp VOLVO in this colour!
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