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Old 04 August 2010, 18:10   #1
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Biggest rib you can tow behind a hatchback

What is the biggest rib you can legally and physically/practically tow (and pull up a steep slipway) behind a hatchback sized car like my focus without needing to take any additional driving tests or anything?

My rib is currently 5.2m and probably has a gross weight with trailer of about 750kg, maybe a bit more. Car doesn't have much trouble towing it the 1.5 miles to the slip so was wondering how much bigger I could go without having to also buy another tow vehicle.

Cheers,

Tim
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Old 04 August 2010, 18:26   #2
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What is the biggest rib you can legally and physically/practically tow (and pull up a steep slipway) behind a hatchback sized car like my focus without needing to take any additional driving tests or anything?

My rib is currently 5.2m and probably has a gross weight with trailer of about 750kg, maybe a bit more. Car doesn't have much trouble towing it the 1.5 miles to the slip so was wondering how much bigger I could go without having to also buy another tow vehicle.

Cheers,

Tim
First you'll have to look at the tow limits for your particular size of car Tim. This will dictate what size RIB and trailer you can tow.

The towing a RIB up a slipway will depend on the slip in question. Shingle/Concrete....Steep/Shallow. One things for sure though! Using a FWD car will compromise you significantly for easy and reliable retreval. A RWD car would be better, but a 4x4 is best. If you're stuck with your FWD Focus then fitting a Front detachable tow bar is a possibility.

Of course there is always a long length of rope tied to the tow bar solution.

So there are some options for you.
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Old 04 August 2010, 18:48   #3
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Tim,

You might already be illegal!

The maximum you can tow with an unbraked trailer is 50% of the Unladen weight of the car. Depending on the model of focus this could restrict you to something around 550kg.

Since you ask about licenses then I assume you passed your test post Jan 1997. In which case you want to know what you can tow with a Cat B license. Unbraked up to 750 kg provided within the limits of the vehicle. Braked - a trailer with a MAM not exceeding the MAM of the vehicle PROVIDED that the combined MAM of trailer and car also don't exceed 3500 kg.

e.g. If the maximum laden weight of your car (and this is a guess) is 2000 kg then you could tow a braked trailer with a maximum authorised mass of up to 1500 kg.

How well it will get up a slip may be a different question but I think depends more on the slip (steepness, surface etc) and your tyres than just the car!
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Old 04 August 2010, 18:59   #4
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First you'll have to look at the tow limits for your particular size of car Tim. This will dictate what size RIB and trailer you can tow.

The towing a RIB up a slipway will depend on the slip in question. Shingle/Concrete....Steep/Shallow. One things for sure though! Using a FWD car will compromise you significantly for easy and reliable retreval. A RWD car would be better, but a 4x4 is best. If you're stuck with your FWD Focus then fitting a Front detachable tow bar is a possibility.

Of course there is always a long length of rope tied to the tow bar solution.

So there are some options for you.
Andy is probably right - and a 4x4 is the ideal solution of getting it up the slip - but bear in mind that the MAM of a typical 4x4 will usually mean that you can't tow a significant sized trailer and keep the total train weight under 3500kg - forcing you down the licence upgrade route.
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Old 05 August 2010, 03:34   #5
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My trailer is currently braked and I passed my test after '97. Was thinking whether 6m or even 6.5m would be doable. I read somewhere there is also a width limit.

So don't know what MAM is but anyway....if the laden weight of the car is say 1500kg which is probably more realistic, I could tow a braked trailer upto 1500kg because it matches the weight of the car? How heavy is a 6m or 6.5m on a trailer?
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Old 05 August 2010, 03:37   #6
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Oh and the slipway is yarmouth which you're familiar with Andy. Steep concrete, well maintained. Focus handles it ok with a bit of grunt.
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Old 05 August 2010, 04:09   #7
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MAM is maximum authorised mass. It will be stamped on the ID plate somewhere on the car. My 6.5 inc trailer weighs about 1700kg. I'm sure this would exceed the towing capability of your car and therefore be illegal. However, I'm sure the car would still be able to tow it, even up a slipway, but it won't do the clutch or gearbox much good.

You need to delve into your handbook to get the figures for the car.
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Old 05 August 2010, 04:35   #8
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So MAM is the max mass that can be towed (I assume its this) or the max gross mass of car and trailer?!
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Old 05 August 2010, 04:55   #9
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So MAM is the max mass that can be towed (I assume its this) or the max gross mass of car and trailer?!
MAM is the maximum gross weight of the car. i.e the car, fuel, people and whatever the design expected to get crammed in the boot and should be on a plate on the car (usually under the bonnet or on driver's door/post.

The trailer will also have a plate with its maximum laden weight on it. Beware that if you tow a 2000kg trailer with a 1500kg MAM car (on a post 97 cat B only licence) you will be illegal even if the trailer was empty and only weighed 300 kg. Its the authorised limit that matters rather than the actual weight.

The combined limits for the car and trailer must also not exceed 3.5 tonnes for your current license.

In terms of width - I don't think you need to worry if you are looking at 6.5m boats. The max width is the same for everyone regarless of license.
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Old 05 August 2010, 05:00   #10
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Google found this thread which is useful assuming its correct:

http://www.toyotagtturbo.com/forums/...ad.php?t=51154

So my max towable weight is probably about 1300kg but it seems I would be limited to the unlaiden weight of the car which is less, around 1100kg. I doubt a 6m would squeeze under this?
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