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Old 23 September 2013, 18:07   #41
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I had a vauxhall vectra 2.0dti for my first car. Was so much cheaper than any small car to buy and run and cost me 550 to insure. Not looked at as a boy racer mobile and towed 1500kg. I used to tow my bayliner 1750 with it with no bother at all. Even on slips. Got 50 mpg all day. Most reliable car I ever owned had 14k on it when I got it at 2years old and eventually sold it with over 250k on it.
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Old 24 September 2013, 18:39   #42
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You don't need four wheel drive for towing or launching unless your slipway is unusually slippery or you launch from a beach or your boat is very heavy.

There is no such thing as a towing licence and anyone with a driving licence can tow a trailer, you are just restricted weight-wise depending on which categories you have on your licence. The rules are worked out on gross weights too - but it is possible to get trailers down-plated.

You cannot tow if you only have a provisional licence. But as soon as you pass the practical test you can slap L plates on and practice for the B+E test, providing you have a supervisor who has held B+E for at least 3 years. You need to check that your insurance covers you for tuition in your own car though!

It's worth noting that any vehicle can only tow an unbraked trailer up to half of its unladen weight. So although trailers can only be unbraked up to 750kg gross, if your car is less than 1500kg unladen then its unbraked towing limit will be less than that. Only vehicles which are 1500kg or more unladen can tow 750kg unbraked.

Most hatchbacks and saloon cars will be able to tow at least 1 ton. If your car has a gross weight of 1800kg then you can still tow a trailer up to 1700kg gross (obviously you need to stay inside the vehicles towing weight limit too).

If your trailer has a really high gross weight and the vehicle/trailer combination puts you over the limit for B licence but your boat is much lighter than the trailers rated payload, then you can have the trailer downplated so it becomes legal for you to tow.

As an example:

If you have a Vauxhall Astra which is 1800kg gross, and your trailer is 300kg unladen and 2000kg gross, it would not be legal for you to tow it. However, if your RIB with its engine and equipment only weighs 600kg, you do not require the extra 1100kg of payload that the trailer allows and you could get it downplated to say 1200kg gross, that still allows you 300kg more for whatever but more importantly it makes it legal for you to tow.
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Old 25 September 2013, 02:31   #43
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Originally Posted by tehguy View Post
You don't need four wheel drive for towing or launching unless your slipway is unusually slippery or you launch from a beach or your boat is very heavy.

There is no such thing as a towing licence and anyone with a driving licence can tow a trailer, you are just restricted weight-wise depending on which categories you have on your licence. The rules are worked out on gross weights too - but it is possible to get trailers down-plated.

You cannot tow if you only have a provisional licence. But as soon as you pass the practical test you can slap L plates on and practice for the B+E test, providing you have a supervisor who has held B+E for at least 3 years. You need to check that your insurance covers you for tuition in your own car though!

It's worth noting that any vehicle can only tow an unbraked trailer up to half of its unladen weight. So although trailers can only be unbraked up to 750kg gross, if your car is less than 1500kg unladen then its unbraked towing limit will be less than that. Only vehicles which are 1500kg or more unladen can tow 750kg unbraked.

Most hatchbacks and saloon cars will be able to tow at least 1 ton. If your car has a gross weight of 1800kg then you can still tow a trailer up to 1700kg gross (obviously you need to stay inside the vehicles towing weight limit too).

If your trailer has a really high gross weight and the vehicle/trailer combination puts you over the limit for B licence but your boat is much lighter than the trailers rated payload, then you can have the trailer downplated so it becomes legal for you to tow.

As an example:

If you have a Vauxhall Astra which is 1800kg gross, and your trailer is 300kg unladen and 2000kg gross, it would not be legal for you to tow it. However, if your RIB with its engine and equipment only weighs 600kg, you do not require the extra 1100kg of payload that the trailer allows and you could get it downplated to say 1200kg gross, that still allows you 300kg more for whatever but more importantly it makes it legal for you to tow.
thanks for the info
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Old 25 September 2013, 04:24   #44
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Sorry to be a bit "dad" here...

...driving a car is a huge responsibility, it is clear from the accident stats that some new drivers aren't really either skilled or mature enough to be responsible for 1.5 tonnes of steel travelling at 50+mph.

The first time you drive a car on your own will be totally different to driving under supervision. There are loads of cliches about only really starting to learn to drive after you pass your test. Actually we learn (or should!) from our mistakes - keep them small or the lessons can be really hard! It is the thing you are most likely to do in life that will kill you or someone else. Consider carefully who you want in the car distracting you or egging you on in those early months.

Whilst you can pass your test and then immediately tow a trailer I'd suggest getting some reasonable experience before adding significantly to your stopping distance and having to worry about the longer bendy vehicle.
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Old 25 September 2013, 05:36   #45
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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
Sorry to be a bit "dad" here...

...driving a car is a huge responsibility, it is clear from the accident stats that some new drivers aren't really either skilled or mature enough to be responsible for 1.5 tonnes of steel travelling at 50+mph.

The first time you drive a car on your own will be totally different to driving under supervision. There are loads of cliches about only really starting to learn to drive after you pass your test. Actually we learn (or should!) from our mistakes - keep them small or the lessons can be really hard! It is the thing you are most likely to do in life that will kill you or someone else. Consider carefully who you want in the car distracting you or egging you on in those early months.

Whilst you can pass your test and then immediately tow a trailer I'd suggest getting some reasonable experience before adding significantly to your stopping distance and having to worry about the longer bendy vehicle.
+1
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Old 25 September 2013, 17:09   #46
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I have completed the trailer towing test to be able to tow. I have been around towing for all my life and I must say the towing test is utter garbage. It does not in any way shape or form teach you how to tow properly or the effects a trailer will have on the towing vehicle or how to drive properly. I.e. I was told that I would have received a fault for double checking when carrying out a hill start. My argument was that I would be slower to pull away given extra weight and it was only right that I be doubly sure that it was clear. I was told this was hesitation. I was also given a fault for coming down the gears when slowing for a roundabout coming down a hill. My argument was again heavier weight got to be in control of that extra weight. I was told car brakes are designed for towing and that too much wear is put on gearbox and clutch. Utter joke. That said you must now do this to be able to tow legally for heavier stuff. My argument was that they now wonder why there are more accidents with people towing. I could go on but I won't bore everyone lol. All in all just be sensible and go easy till you get used to the feel of the car and trailer and don't take chances. Also noteworthy on certain roads if you have people stuck behind you, pull in and let them by. It will stop them getting frustrated and will help you to relax a bit more whilst towing.
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Old 27 September 2013, 10:35   #47
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People pass the B+E test at 18 or younger all the time, but it is mostly people who have grown up on farms and been driving tractors all their lives. I agree that you shouldn't rush in to it, I did not tow anything until I had been driving for 3 years. I did the B+E test and I agree it's complete bollocks. You are not taught how to load the trailer properly, how to secure the load, the effects of braking in corners or how to control snaking etc. There isn't even an emergency stop any more so you don't see the added braking distance. All you do is drive around, a simple reversing exercise and a hitch/unhitch.

Towing a small trailer whilst going forwards is easy. As long as you can perceive space well and you are aware of your length and width you'll be fine. It's when you come to reversing it around a corner or bringing it back into line if it starts getting out of shape on the motorway when experience counts. Unless you have significant experience of towing already, I would suggest that you do not tow in your first year of driving.
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Old 27 September 2013, 12:51   #48
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My wife has been driving for 25 years & still won't move the EMPTY boat trailer with the car......
If you've ever had one snaking it's the worst feeling & one you never want to repeat !!
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Old 27 September 2013, 13:04   #49
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I'm not doing any serious towing, it is literally 500m down a hill to the beach and most of the time you are beach launching so can take all the time in the world (unless the tides coming in!! ) and no backing down narrow slip ways

I am sure my dad can give me a few pointers, he seems quite good at towing.

to be honest i am only testing the water i don't have any money to commit to a car yet, I still have my searider to do and the list stands as:

-glass console to marine ply then secure to deck
-buy and fit engine here is something to discuss, 4 or 2 stroke?!?!?
-fit steering
-fit vhf
-fit nav light

a few jobs to do! can't wait to get her out on the water though
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Old 27 September 2013, 17:04   #50
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Don't go there with that 2 or 4 dilemma haha

Buy what ever you can get for a good price which needs to be reliable and well looked after

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