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Old 28 September 2013, 22:35   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: South West
Boat name: Das Boot
Make: Honwave T40
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu, 20
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 117
2013 Unlikely Tow car award..

Goes to the Citroen DS3

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My calculations said it would be legal but I was convinced it would end up with me getting a few miles up the road and turning back sensing extreme danger. ~1087 kg being pulled by a car with a kerb weight of 1155 kg and recommended nose weight of 46 kg sounded a bit too close to the limits for me.

There was no snaking, no wheel spinning on hill starts, the brakes could cope and it averaged 40 mpg on the motorway!

I really don't want to change cars based on something I'm only going to be doing 2 or 3 times a year and it looks like I won't have to. That said I find the laws a bit confusing so if anyone thinks this set up is illegal or dangerous please let me know?

GVW 1584 kg
GTW 2484 kg
Braked trailer (within GTW limit on 12% gradient) 900 kg
Braked trailer (with load transfer with the GTW limit) 1150 kg

I'm using load transfer i.e, no passengers in the back of the car and very little luggage.

Matt
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Old 29 September 2013, 03:46   #2
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Country: UK - Wales
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Make: Europa Sport
Length: 3m +
Engine: Johnson 25
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I just want to add. Citroen brakes are the best I've ever had really powerful. Just a shame the car wasn't as good c4 alive with faults lol

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Old 29 September 2013, 05:15   #3
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Country: UK - England
Make: Tornado
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Engine: Twin 50 Mariners
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Towing regs - a lot of long threads on that topic!

Think you're OK on the car itself - as I understand it the requirements are:
- actual vehicle + trailer weight is less than GTW
- actual vehicle weight is less than GVW
- actual trailer weight is less than Towing Capacity (assuming that's your 1150kg)

I assume you have an "E" category on your licence? If you haven't and you got your licence post 1/1/97 you're limited to EITHER 750kg trailer Max Authorised Mass, OR (trailer MAM less than 3500kg and less than car unladen weight), both of which you'd fail (assuming trailer MAM for an actual weight of 1087kg is probably more than the car kerb weight of 1155kg?)

My understanding anyway of what seems a needlessly overcomplicated set of laws
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Old 30 September 2013, 16:25   #4
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Country: UK - England
Town: Plymouth
Boat name: The Micky
Make: Allpa 390
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Engine: Mariner 25
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The requirement for the MAM of the trailer to be less than the unladen weight of the car was removed earlier this month. For those without the BE category on their licence, the only restriction is that the combined MAM of the vehicle and trailer do not exceed 3500kg.

Since his car has a MAM of 1584kg that would allow him to tow a trailer with a MAM of 1916 (regardless of laden weight providing it does not exceed the MAM) if he doesn't have the BE category.

It does look like a strange outfit but good on the OP, it's legal and in the eyes of the manufacturer it is also safe. I saw a hatchback towing a car on a trailer once, also perfectly legal.
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Old 30 September 2013, 16:59   #5
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Thanks - I stand corrected! I said it was complex, keeping track of changes like this makes it even more so!
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Old 02 October 2013, 04:41   #6
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Country: UK - England
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Oh yeah don't I know it. The problem is that the gov.uk site where the information is generally served to the public has it in such simplified form that most of the time it's misleading and in some cases wrong.
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Old 18 October 2013, 20:25   #7
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Country: UK - England
Town: South West
Boat name: Das Boot
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 117
I'm still not sure I totally understand it all. I have B+E because I passed before '97 (don't really get why they think that means It's ok for me to tow without any training but I do my best to be sensible).

I pretty much decided it was legal based on the car manual. It made a lot more sense than government websites. It still didn't stop me thinking it would be bonkers hooking that up to my car.... It just looked wrong, the nose weight had to be set too low (the trailer manufacture told me it would be very unstable), and every guide on towing I read suggested the ratio of tow car weight to trailer weight was unsafe or only for the very experienced. It was clearly having an effect on the car but never felt unsafe or unstable because I could feel it there so drove accordingly.
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Old 24 October 2013, 19:54   #8
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There is no weight limit for trailers towed by category B vehicles (although if you pass your driving test after 1st September 2013 there is a 3500kg limit on the BE category) so you are free to tow up to the vehicles capacity.

If your cars manual says it can tow 1150kg then that is what you can tow. Since you are so close to that limit though it's a good idea to get as much of the weight as possible in the car, for example anything heavy in the boat which isn't bolted down should be put in the car, for example anchor etc. Also it will be better if you have a couple of passengers, as having more weight in the car will make the whole lot more stable. Be careful not to exceed the gross train weight though.

You don't need to be very experienced, you just need to know what you are doing. Don't drive like a lunatic, use the brakes to slow down and NOT the gears, don't brake whilst going round corners, leave yourself a lot more room for braking etc.

It just looks odd because not many people tow at the maximum capacity of their cars, especially not with small hatchbacks. My car is an estate and has a towing capability of 1900kg, which is relatively low but if you think about it, that's sufficient for a car transporter trailer with a saloon car or small MPV, or even a horse box with two small horses in.

This is perfectly legal and I could even throw in another 400kg or so and still be legal and safe:

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