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Is it Legal???
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userfred22
Posted: 4 November 2008 8:30 PM
Subject: Is it Legal???
 
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I, like many others, will know of the 85% towing guidelines but, apart from being stupid, is it actually against the law to tow a caravan that is heavier than the car towing it.
Does any one know what the insurance company's views are on this?

My views, for what they are worth , are that legal or not you should never put youself in the situation where the "tail wags the dog" and you should never giver an insurance company an opportunity to look for a loop hole.
userKlyne
Posted: 4 November 2008 10:41 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 


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From a legal point of view it is the manufacturers maximum allowed towing weight that is important. So I would be within my rights to tow a van 800kgs heavier than my car, if I could find one! Now I tend to agree with you that keeping within the kerbweight of the car is the sensible thing to do. One of the problems faced by caravanners today is that caravans seem to be getting heavier or people want larger vans. If they don't want to own a 4X4 I think increasingly you will find people forced to tow at a ratio of more that 85% of kerbweight.

David
userOcsid
Posted: 5 November 2008 10:18 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Its legal as Klyne points out and it can be safe. We can come to terms with using lighter cars using technology.

A solution is already here for coping with towing vans that are heavier than the towing vehicle it's one of the trailer stability controls, such as Al-Ko's ATC.

I hear pens being sharpened to condemn any gizmo that replaces innate physical stability with electronics and mechanics, but just that has been done in aviation for years and more recently in automotive dynamic stability controls.
Like as has been said the towing vehicle is being force to become smaller whilst at the same time vans often need to be large and heavy, either for families or our modern expectations of convenience or comfort.
So unless we make our vans more rudimentary, smaller or there is a quantum change in construction and equipment technology, we are faced with accepting the use of ATC or similar type technology.
A lighter car can certainly deliver the required power and offer improved CO2 over the heavier vehicle. It just needs engineers to address the towing stability without seeing an arbitrary mass ratio of 85% as the only option.

Edited by Ocsid 2008-11-05 10:20 AM
userBristles
Posted: 30 November 2008 7:37 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 



If anyone is uncomfortable towing in excess of the guide lines and they are ONLY guide lines, then they should have the intellegence to stay around the guide lines until they feel more competent. If we look at articulated lorries irrespective that they have more wheel's (so does a twin axle) they consist of a cab and a TRAILER. The trailer in every single case out weighs the cab hands down. It is still a trailer being towed by a motor vehicle, it can still jack knife and perform similiar dangers to that of a car and caravan, in two words, "common sense" must be prevalent.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 1 December 2008 6:22 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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The insurance issue was discussed on this earlier forum thread:

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=6104&posts=29
userfred22
Posted: 2 December 2008 3:05 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Thanks Derek, I did do a search before posting my enquiry but the one you have given did not come up. It seems to cover the subject well
userW3526602
Posted: 18 March 2009 5:53 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Hi,

Just about every PROPER Land Rover ever made can tow 3500kgs. The maker's towing limit is based on something like its ability to move off on a 1:8 slope. Most other big 4x4s are similarly rated.

As has been said, Common Sense. If you have a huge weight hung on your rear bumper, then you shoud drive accordingly. It almost as though the rules were writen (or vetoed) by somebody who had never towed, and has tried to think what would be safe assuming he didn't adjust his driving style.

602
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 18 March 2009 7:03 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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The UK regulations that limit what can be towed by what and by whom are detailed in the Technical Information section of the Caravan Club's handbook.

The current CC handbook's guidance on the caravan-to-car weight-ratio is as follows:

"The caravan industry recommends:

For a NOVICE caravanner, ideally, this ratio should not exceed 85%.

For an EXPERIENCED caravanner the maximum recommended ratio is 100%, provided the figure is permissible in respect of the tow car's published capability."
usersamnjan
Posted: 8 May 2011 6:31 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 


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Derek Uzzell - 2009-03-18 7:03 AM

The UK regulations that limit what can be towed by what and by whom are detailed in the Technical Information section of the Caravan Club's handbook.

The current CC handbook's guidance on the caravan-to-car weight-ratio is as follows:

"The caravan industry recommends:

For a NOVICE caravanner, ideally, this ratio should not exceed 85%.

For an EXPERIENCED caravanner the maximum recommended ratio is 100%, provided the figure is permissible in respect of the tow car's published capability."



The wording there is RECOMMENDED
If the V I N plate says that the vehicle can tow a weight heavier than the vehicle, then that is what the legal towing weight is
I personally would not recommend exceeding 100%
usertonyishuk
Posted: 23 June 2011 5:01 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 


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Legaly as long you remain under the recommended train weight for a car / van, I would think you would have no peoblems.

If usinga 4X4 I think the problem would become more complicated as these ""working" vehicals are designed to move heavy loads at slower speeds,

Towing a 3 ton fully loaded full cattle trailer around the M25 at 60 MPH with your Discovery may be frowned upon., but may still be legal ??

Rgds
userKeithl
Posted: 23 June 2011 6:01 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 


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Actually Tony there are no 'may be's' about it!

All Discovery's, Range Rovers and Defenders can legally tow 3,500 kg (yes 3 1/2 Tonnes) of over-run braked trailer. This may even be near double the kerb weight of some of the smaller Defenders!!!

So if you want a proper towing vehicle then get a Land Rover

Keith.
user602
Posted: 26 June 2011 5:53 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Hi,

Nobody has mentioned the limits of a Group B driving licence.

Nor the fact that the manufacurer's towing weight is for an ordinary trailer, not a caravan. Caravans handle differently.

602
userTheTravellingRooster
Posted: 8 July 2011 10:47 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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fred22 - 2008-11-04 8:30 PMI, like many others, will know of the 85% towing guidelines but, apart from being stupid, is it actually against the law to tow a caravan that is heavier than the car towing it.Does any one know what the insurance company's views are on this?My views, for what they are worth , are that legal or not you should never put youself in the situation where the "tail wags the dog" and you should never giver an insurance company an opportunity to look for a loop hole.



Hi fred22, and to you all out there. Some months ago on another very well used and respected forum I was accused of massaging figures. This was aimed at me by one individual and supported by a few others that clearly did not understand the logistics of towing figures and calculations. At the time I was using my 1997 Volvo T5 CD Auto to pull a 2001 Elddis Crusader SuperSirocco. The Volvo weighs 1638kgs and a maximum braked towing weight of 1600kgs. The caravan has a Miro of 1426kgs & an MTPLM of 1750kgs. The caravan was under utilised by being loaded to just under the 1600kgs limit of the Volvo. As a large comfortable 2berth it still offered a more than respectable payload for two & 'have cat will travel'.
There would never be a  'Tail Wagging the Dog' scenario because the car would swallow any additional payload up-to the maximum gross vehicle weight including the 75kgs weight on the tow-ball (outside but inside of the car).
The MTPLM is a/the technical maximum that the caravan chassis can be loaded up-to. The recommended guideline of 85% is a  'Belt & Braces' job for the protection of newbies/beginner caravanner's and the general public at large.
Provided that the maximum weights on the individual axles and the structures as a whole are not exceeded and the train weight is not exceeded then the outfit is legal (SUBJECT TO license entitlement),also ensuring that the outfit is loaded correctly to ensure stability on the move.
My ratio without any additional payload in the car other than two sports bags of luggage with myself a passenger and the cat (all 8kgs of him) etc gave me a figure of 92%.
With 46+yrs of towing all-sorts with all-sorts,I believe that am a little beyond the newbie/beginner stage.
The outfit in question is below.The slightly nose-up attitude of the caravan is down to the tar-macadam path at that point. The caravan rides perfectly level with the centre of the tow-ball at 440mm from the ground and the nose weight at 70kgs (maximum is 75kgs).


Edited by TheTravellingRooster 2011-07-08 10:56 AM




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user602
Posted: 15 July 2011 5:45 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Hi,

Probably not an answer to the question being asked, but ....

If you exceed the manufacturers limits, you are overloaded.

If you exceed the limits of your driving licence, you effectively don't have a licence to drive that vehicle, so have no insurance either.

602
userTheTravellingRooster
Posted: 15 July 2011 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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602 - 2011-07-15 5:45 AMHi,Probably not an answer to the question being asked, but ....If you exceed the manufacturers limits, you are overloaded.If you exceed the limits of your driving licence, you effectively don't have a licence to drive that vehicle, so have no insurance either.602



Hi 602. If your comment is in relation to the very opening question,there is a very definite answer. It is not illegal to tow above the kerb-weight of the tow-vehicle,it is however illegal to tow above the declared maximum braked towing weights. They are braked and un-braked.
There are however,a few marques that have vehicles with a maximum braked towing limit very much below the kerb-weights. In this situation the the braked towing limit must not be exceeded.
Towing above the kerb-weight is very much ill-advised,even for the 'Clever Dicks'.
One of the most frightening aspects of modern technology and especially when linked to computer systems is the fact that there are failures. The "it was working fine before the Range Rover bla-de-bla and caravan took flight",honest your honour is no defence.
The ABS,the Trailer Stability and all of the ' Safety Features are not worth a carrot when a computer reliant system goes into Fried State.
Over-loading the tow-vehicle (indeed any vehicle) is an offence, as is exceeding the Train-weight of an outfit also an offence.
The Stop & Check routines run by VOSA in collaboration with a traffic officer are checking for a number of possible contraventions not least of all, axle loads to the outfit if a caravan is in tow.
The nose weight of a given caravan is inclusive of the towing vehicle maximum authorised weight. It is more applicable to the weight over the rear axle and is often ignored. This in-turn can have a caravan running with a severe 'nose down attitude/stance'. This is often the first unexpected flashing invitation to 'Follow Me'.
userOcsid
Posted: 15 July 2011 5:11 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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TheTravellingRooster - 2011-07-15 11:12 AM

[Towing above the kerb-weight is very much ill-advised,even for the 'Clever Dicks'.
One of the most frightening aspects of modern technology and especially when linked to computer systems is the fact that there are failures. The "it was working fine before the Range Rover bla-de-bla and caravan took flight",honest your honour is no defence.
The ABS,the Trailer Stability and all of the ' Safety Features are not worth a carrot when a computer reliant system goes into Fried State.


Out of interest TTR have you come to terms with a computer between your right foot and the engine; or have even accepted using a modern automatic gearbox? From your stance I suspect not.
If you have its hard to see any argument where you can trust those safety critical control systems and here dismiss the benefits technology can bring to towing. In the towing case the computer's role is but an enhancement, in the engine/gearbox case its being relied on totally to do what you ask.
userTheTravellingRooster
Posted: 15 July 2011 6:18 PM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Ocsid - 2011-07-15 5:11 PM
TheTravellingRooster - 2011-07-15 11:12 AM[Towing above the kerb-weight is very much ill-advised,even for the 'Clever Dicks'.
One of the most frightening aspects of modern technology and especially when linked to computer systems is the fact that there are failures. The "it was working fine before the Range Rover bla-de-bla and caravan took flight",honest your honour is no defence.
The ABS,the Trailer Stability and all of the ' Safety Features are not worth a carrot when a computer reliant system goes into Fried State.
Out of interest TTR have you come to terms with a computer between your right foot and the engine; or have even accepted using a modern automatic gearbox? From your stance I suspect not.If you have its hard to see any argument where you can trust those safety critical control systems and here dismiss the benefits technology can bring to towing. In the towing case the computer's role is but an enhancement, in the engine/gearbox case its being relied on totally to do what you ask.


Hi Ocsid. The computer between my right foot and the engine,as you put it. Yes I believe that I have in the form of Electronic Fuel Inject telling the Engine Management and other computer based safety features how to correctly behave and or react in the event of an issue.
When an electronic fuel system fails the Plan B,Distress Flags and a pair of oars don't deploy.
As for the modern gearbox,yes,that is if you consider a Five Speed Geartronic box to be modern.
Indeed the geartronic system I have found to leave the old style boxes for dead. The use of the manual side of the box is seamless unlike with the older boxes with  P.R.N.D.3.2.1. and using the 'T' Shift in hold to swiftly arrest the speed of a tow-car.
The fact that the modern boxes are also equipped with 5,6,7,8 ratios helps for a more seamless change pattern,up or down has got to play a huge role in the towing comfort with a modern automatic and especially a Geartronic or Triptronic system.
I read recently of a failure on a caravan stability system,it would appear that the caravan was not in any imminent issue,it was the system sending feed-back. All well and good in good conditions but not if it fails just as a Snake is being generated.
The are some people in this technology reliant world that 'Cannot Do' if a system  fails.
Look at the statistics for misguided fools that part very quickly with monies for that 'It won't fail me SatNav'. They can't even get themselves out of trouble if they were given a route map.
The same people could not plan a journey with a map and accurately gauge the mileage.
Such are some of the failures of our Education Systems over the years and the increasing reliance on computer systems that if a question was asked. What is the relevance of scale on a traditional map and how is it used,then demonstrate for me please,I am sure most youngsters would have a 'Brain Crash'.

user602
Posted: 21 July 2011 8:26 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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Hi 602. If your comment is in relation to the very opening question,there is a very definite answer. It is not illegal to tow above the kerb-weight of the tow-vehicle,it is however illegal to tow above the declared maximum braked towing weights.

Hi Rooster,

I was pointing out that (for instance) a Group B licence driving 1000kg ULW car towing a 1000kg MGW trailer is legal. If he overloads the trailer by 1kg, he is breaking the law and can expect a fine, and I assume some penalty points. However, he still has third party insurance.

But, if he drives a 1000kg ULW car towing a 1001kg MGW trailer, his driving licence does not cover him, so he is driving without a licence, so therefore he has no insurance of any kind. This could lead to even more penalty points, even disqualifiation, and possibly bankruptcy.

There are too many "ifs and buts" in this legislation. At first sight, a Group B licence can drive a Discovery (approx 2000kg ULW) towing a 1500kg MGW trailer. Wrong! The combined MGWs exceed 3500kg. So the Group B needs to find a tow car with a 2000kg MGW, and at least 1500kg ULW, which , in theory, would be less safe than the 2000kg Discovery.

602
602
userTheTravellingRooster
Posted: 21 July 2011 9:06 AM
Subject: RE: Is it Legal???
 
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602 - 2011-07-21 8:26 AMHi 602. If your comment is in relation to the very opening question,there is a very definite answer. It is not illegal to tow above the kerb-weight of the tow-vehicle,it is however illegal to tow above the declared maximum braked towing weights.Hi Rooster,I was pointing out that (for instance) a Group B licence driving 1000kg ULW car towing a 1000kg MGW trailer is legal. If he overloads the trailer by 1kg, he is breaking the law and can expect a fine, and I assume some penalty points. However, he still has third party insurance.But, if he drives a 1000kg ULW car towing a 1001kg MGW trailer, his driving licence does not cover him, so he is driving without a licence, so therefore he has no insurance of any kind. This could lead to even more penalty points, even disqualifiation, and possibly bankruptcy.There are too many "ifs and buts" in this legislation. At first sight, a Group B licence can drive a Discovery (approx 2000kg ULW) towing a 1500kg MGW trailer. Wrong! The combined MGWs exceed 3500kg. So the Group B needs to find a tow car with a 2000kg MGW, and at least 1500kg ULW, which , in theory, would be less safe than the 2000kg Discovery.602602


Hi 602. Yes I understand that perfectly well. It is however a fundamental part of being a driving license holder to ensure that the entitlement is in place to drive a particular vehicle and or outfit/combination.
Yes the situation with rules & reg's & counter rules & reg's is nothing short of a Mine Field.
The very old adage of if you don't know the time,ask a Policeman is open to a little manipulation here with, Ask a Traffic Officer about a Driving/Traffic matter.
Yes,one offence can escalate very quickly into multiple offences,but the one fact always remains,Ignorance is No Defence and is a hard excuse to have accepted.
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