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tow cars
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userPete-B
Posted: 26 July 2022 7:19 PM
Subject: tow cars
 
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Evening all,

We normally take two bikes with us when we go away but the other half is losing her confidence a bit when we meet traffic or on busy roads and it's a bit unfair for me to push her.

So,Tell me what you think is the best small car to tow behind our motorhome so we can still get about when we're away it'll be just for the old Dutch and me.

I'd appreciate your thought or advice, thanks
userSteve H
Posted: 26 July 2022 7:41 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
Keeps coming back for more

Posts: 130
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Location: 2009 Fendt K-Mobil 500


Pete
Do you intend to tow a car with an 'A' frame or on a trailer? If it's on an 'A' frame then I think you'll find that it will be legal to do so in the UK but illegal in the EU.
userPete-B
Posted: 26 July 2022 8:32 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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Hi, It will be by A frame and only UK, thanks for bringing that up
userChasB
Posted: 26 July 2022 8:53 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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Hello Pete

Like you the other half doesn't have confidence around traffic.
We have a Fiat Panda on A frame and when the back seats are down it accommodates two folding e-bikes. The best thing is we use the Fiat Panda to travel around in the UK, folding e-bikes in the back and we can unload and be on our bikes off-road from any car park we find. This is only in the UK, in Europe the e-bikes are on the back of the motor home.
We think this is the best solution!!

Keep pedalling.
userlancepar
Posted: 26 July 2022 10:11 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 


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Posts: 349
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Location: Quarry Bank DY5 '05 Fiat AutoTrail Cheyenne 635SE


This is my TOAD, small, light, Cabrio and room for two dogs in the back. and the mileage don't increase when being towed.




(Peel-Camping-2019.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments Peel-Camping-2019.jpg (97KB - 11 downloads)
userPete-B
Posted: 27 July 2022 7:26 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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Thanks for the replies and Ideas it's just what I'm looking for. At the moment we've got two electric bikes which I carry in a specially adapted 750gk box trailer which has two bike grabs fitted in the back. The bikes sit each side which leaves lots of room down the centre for bags and other stuff which would normally ride in the van so helps with payload. I know this because I've been on the weigh bridge fully loaded including a full tanks of food and water and van and trailer together weighed 3350kg.

I guess if I sold the trailer and bikes bought a small car and do what you suggest, get a couple of small folders I guess we would have the best of both words. The boss likes riding down country lanes and the likes but seems to lose all confidence in traffic.

Anyhow thanks again guy's much appreciated.

Edited by Pete-B 2022-07-27 7:27 PM
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 28 July 2022 10:56 AM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 


5000500050005000
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


But, before you jump in, do your homework!

It is quite a bit more complex than buying a car and then getting the A frame fitted.

Certain vehicles are not suited to A frame towing because they have a type of automatic, or semi-automatic, transmission.

Some don't have suitable attachment points for the A frame mounts, so may need additional welding to facilitate this.

Many, if not most, cars will have servo assisted braking that only functions while the engine is running, leaving them seriously deficient in the braking department when under tow - unless the servo can be modified/adapted to function while towing. This means that the legal requirement that any "trailer" (i.e. your "toad") fitted with brakes (it is a car, it has brakes) is not legal while being towed (no servo = pretty much no brakes!), so the van brakes have to do all the work - not good if emergency braking becomes necessary!

So, speak to one or two A frame suppliers about suitable toad candidates.

Also, do look into the well publicised difficulties which arise if you need to reverse with the toad attached, as certain reversing manoeuvres are distinctly mechanically insensitive to the toad steering system - resulting in violent yawing from lock to lock with the steering wheel whirling back and forth like a demented spinning top! Many seem to conclude that the kindest, though less convenient, solution, is to first detach the car and then turn van and car separately.

Remember, you will need to disable the steering lock while towing, which I believe with some vehicles means leaving the ignition key in the lock while towing, because it cannot be removed with the key in the "unlock" position.

Finally, make sure both car, and van, insurance companies are aware of, and understand, what you will be doing - particularly regarding who accepts liability should the toad suffer, or cause, damage (including third party damage) while under tow.

The number of cars being towed behind motorhomes strongly suggests that all the above have been satisfactorily resolved by the "toaders", but better to get your ducks all neatly lined up before taking a wrong first step, possibly leading to avoidable additional expense and/or complication.
-----
Brian
userGman
Posted: 28 July 2022 11:23 AM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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Posts: 94
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Location: Kippax, West Yorkshire. CI carioca 694


We have had our Peugeot 107 active since 2016, best thing ever, low insurance,
declared to insurers, no road tax, 50+mpg, Tow bars to tow cars at Keelby,
Security, get an unchipped key cut at your local cobblers £15. Fully electronic
proportional braking system, (servo works) OK reversing is a PITA try not to get
into a situation that requires reversing.

Hope this helps.

Steve.
userChasB
Posted: 28 July 2022 12:03 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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Hello Pete

We had thought about getting a small box trailer into which we could put the e-bikes and other stuff that wouldn't be in the van. But we had the A frame fitted to my wife's Fiat Panda and whilst it's towed it is effectively a box trailer. Once on site the other stuff is taken out and the A frame disconnected; we leave the folding bikes in the back, if we don't cycle from site. On our exploring around in the Panda if we come across a place to cycle, the folding bikes are out and ready to use in minutes.

We regards to what Brian says he is right in some ways but other points he raises we don't have any problems.

(Some don't have suitable attachment points for the A frame mounts, so may need additional welding to facilitate this.)

Make sure the A frame company doesn’t use the towing mount and ring; these are not designed for that use.

(Many, if not most, cars will have servo assisted braking that only functions while the engine is running,)

Never a problem with the Fiat Panda.

(Also, do look into the well publicised difficulties which arise if you need to reverse with the toad attached,)

I partly agree you can reverse in a straight line, but there are also difficulties in reversing a small trailer behind a seven and a half metre van. It is more convenient to unhitch the car where you need to turn around in a tight place; like the end of a cul-de-sac when you’ve taken a wrong turn.

(Remember, you will need to disable the steering lock while towing)

You have to do this to allow the cars wheel to castor steer. We use a spare key in the ignition and lock the car with the central locking key fob.

(Finally, make sure both car, and van, insurance companies are aware of, and understand, what you will be doing)

This must be done, our insurance companies are aware.

All this aside in the UK we tend to use the van more like a caravan, buy not taking the van off pitch when on site. We have the car with us and that it easier to park. We have to book pitches in advance in the UK and in more recent times have to pay the pitch fees in advance by bank transfer.

When we cross the water the van is used in a different way to how it's used in the UK. No car in tow! E-bikes mounted on the back! Travelling greater distances and sightseeing on the move and not having to book pitches in advance.

Europe is calling.

Chas
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 28 July 2022 1:20 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 


5000500050005000
Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


ChasB - 2022-07-28 12:03 PM ....................................
(Many, if not most, cars will have servo assisted braking that only functions while the engine is running,)

Never a problem with the Fiat Panda. .......................................................

Europe is calling.

Chas

Forgive me but I was intrigued, so I checked!

Apparently all 4x4 Pandas had servo assisted brakes, which were then introduced on all 4x2 Pandas after 1991.

The reason I mentioned this is that I once (and only once!!) drove a car that had a brake servo, without the servo. The reason was a servo fault that I became aware of, so attacked the vacuum servo to see what was wrong. Having prised the two elements of the vacuum can apart I discovered that a) there was a small hole in the diaphragm, and b) that I couldn't reassemble the can + diaphragm because I didn't have access to the correct press! Ah, unforeseen snag!

So, I reconnected the brake lines by-passing the servo, and decided I'd nip down to the garage (a mere 10 miles there and back) to get a new servo. However, before setting off, I thought I might just try the brakes on a quiet local road to see how much of the braking effort was provided by the servo. Answer? Almost all of it! Normal, relatively gentle braking, had no effect at all. Firm braking little better. So I tried a simulated full on emergency stop, pulling on the steering wheel for maximum leverage on the pedal. The car did then actually slow up a bit, but by then I had realised it had virtually no braking at all. Admittedly the car did have harder than normal pads and linings, which won't have helped!

Had to scrounge a lift to the garage from a neighbour, bought the new bit, fitted it, and then gingerly tried the brakes again with the servo back in line. I think I must have become a little heavy booted in the meantime, because I more or less had to wipe myself off the windscreen as soon as I dabbed the brakes! Lesson learned. No servo, (more or less) no brakes.

I'm therefore assuming that your Panda is probably a pre-servo model, or that the servo fitted imparts minimal braking assistance.

Other, more recent cars will vary in both the presence of a brake servo, and the extent to which the servo amplifies braking effort so, whereas I wouldn't presume that my experience of braking (?!!) a servo assisted car with no servo present is universal, I'm going to suggest that it might be wisest to assume that it is!

Europe calling? Oh yes, loud and clear!
userLandyman130
Posted: 28 July 2022 6:05 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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I have also recently thought about towing a small car with an A-Frame. Our Hymer Exsis T578, probably like many others, has a very small weight allowance for personal items like bikes. It did not realise this prior to purchase. Approaching my 70th birthday, I chose to drop my full Cat. C and D licence, due to hearing of so many problems folk were having with DLVA renewals. Bad move, with hindsight! My wife also had Cat. C1.

When I complained to the dealer after I'd added everything from the previous motorhome and filled the fresh water tank, it was overweight. I was told to travel with an empty tank. While touring previously, we always filled up at every opportunity.

We both have Cat, A and BE, so a scooter is possible, but my wife also has concerns about riding in traffic.

I have been looking at the Fiat 500 electric for towing with an A-Frame.

Some of our friends that had motorhomes, have reverted to caravan towing and we are also considering this. Why?

Our style of touring was to aim in a general direction and then stop when we found something interesting. But now campsite booking well in advance appears to be mandatory due to sites being full.
usercolin
Posted: 29 July 2022 7:40 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 


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Landyman130 - 2022-07-28 6:05 PM
I have been looking at the Fiat 500 electric for towing with an A-Frame.


It's very unlikely you can A-frame an electric Fiat 500, same goes with just about all EV's.
userthebishbus
Posted: 30 July 2022 9:07 AM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 


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Location: Warwickshire 01 Hymer 584


At the moment, I think there no all Electric cars that can be flat towed behind your M/H, but some Hybrid and plug in Hybrids can.
Brian B.
userPete-B
Posted: 8 August 2022 1:41 PM
Subject: RE: tow cars
 
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Posts: 748
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Afternoon all,

I've now got the little car Fiat 500 (great little beast) I'm also booked in with TB2TCs to get the A frame fitted mid September.

So, Ive decided to sell our little 7x5 Tickner Trailer which we used for carrying our two Leckie bikes and bags etc which would normally go in the van which means a lot more payload. The trailer comes with two bike grabs Tickners fitted inside so very easy to load them and strap down also it means, they are are inside the trailer overnight safe and dry when we're parked up on site As I say, there's plenty of room left down the middle between the bikes for anything else. When I had the trailer built by Tickners I also had the uprated suspension fitted for increase payload plus the two bike grabs. There's also handy lockable tool box fitted on the tow bar plus a place to load and carry our waste water wheelie container.

The trailer is in very good condition and has always been kept stored inside my garage when not in used and has only ever been used for camping and nothing else plus it's been serviced very year (wheel bearings greased etc)

Anybody think they may be interested because it will be at a good and fair price, get in touch. My grasp of technology is not great but I'm sure our Granddaughter would help me load some photo's etc.
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