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Motorhomes & A frames


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That is an interesting regulation Brian. I wonder why it is thought necessary to have ABS operating on an A- frame towed vehicle, it is not exactly going to slide into the back of anything is it ? Will the next thing be for all towed units to have ABS braking I wonder?

Brian B.

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When a UK motorhome tows a car on an A-frame, the car+A-frame can be considered to be a 'trailer'




and, as such must comply with UK regulations that relate to trailers.


Most people will be aware that an 'unbraked' trailer is a trailer that is not fitted with brakes - it's not a trailer that has brakes but those brakes are non-operative. Consequently, even if one could find a car that met the 750kg 'unbraked trailer' rule, that car would have brakes and those brakes would need to be operated if the car were A-frame towed.


Since 2007 all new passenger cars sold in the EU have needed to have ABS as standard. Brian is pointing out that the 2014 trailer-braking regulations will demand that, where a trailer has an ABS braking system, that braking system must function when the trailer is being towed. (This is the same principle as the unbraked/braked trailer requirement. In this instance, if the trailer has ABS, the ABS must operate during towing.)


Cars without ABS being A-frame towed would not be affected by such a regulation, but the motorcaravanner might then be put in a position of having three vehicles - a motorhome, a modern day-to-day car (with ABS) and an older A-frame-use-only car (without ABS).


Historically, it's been expected throughout Europe that, when one vehicle tows another with the latter vehicle's wheels all in contact with the road-surface, the vehicle being towed will not be in a condition to immediately be driven independently. That's why so much UK on-line discussion/advice relates to UK regulations about whether a broken-down vehicle can legally be towed via a rope, on a motorway, etc.


Motorhome+car A-framing is a fairly recent (early 1990s?) USA import to the UK and the practice conflicts with our towing-a-broken-down-vehicle rules and sits uncomfortably with UK trailer regulations. As technical regulations relating to vehicles and trailers become increasingly complex, it's likely that complying with those regulaions will become increasingly difficult (and expensive) where motohome A-framing is concerned.

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JudgeMental - 2013-01-21 9:50 AM


When the 2014 regs discussed previously I seem to recall that something to do with axle/axles was main issue that would outlaw car A framing not just the brakes...


The regulation you have in mind relates to trailer inertia-braking systems and trailer axles. It won't 'outlaw' A-framing as a practice. GOOGLE-ing on "a-frame 2014" will access discussion about the regulation, but it's summarised (plus other issues) here:





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