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Old 21 May 2020, 16:04   #1
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Towing large (7m+) RIBS

Just curious.

For those lucky enough to be in such a position, what is it like to tow a large (7.5m+) RIB?

- Do you need to let the police know? Escort?
- Do you have to avoid certain roads and junctions?
- What MPG do you get?

What is the largest you can tow before you have to put it on a lorry?

Canít say Iím jealous, but Iím genuinely curious what itís like to tow such a long trailer.

Alex
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Old 21 May 2020, 16:12   #2
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https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/w...d-width-limits
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Old 21 May 2020, 16:25   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskylee View Post
Which is why all the big caravans are 690ís!
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Old 21 May 2020, 16:44   #4
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I have a mate go ahead and ‘manage’ traffic on any narrow areas, utilising 2 way radios for comms, we also move very early on a weekend morning to limit meeting other vehicles. Just take it steady ��
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Old 21 May 2020, 17:02   #5
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I towed my Pac 22 from Uig on Skye to Portsmouth behind my LWB Mercedes Sprinter - a total length of just shy of 16m with a width of nearly 2.5m. We were on the A34 at about 0200 in the morning having driven for far too long but with not too far to go and the A34 was closed due to an accident. We were diverted off the A34 on to tiny little back roads for about 45 minutes. It still makes me shiver thinking about it.

There is also a bit somewhere about indivisible loads, which a RIB falls into, so you can exceed the 7m limit.
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Old 21 May 2020, 17:17   #6
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You obviously need to make sure the load/trailer is legal, and that you have the appropriate driving licence category (B+E) if you aren't on a pre-1997 licence that allowed you to tow > 750kg without any additional tests.

Plenty of docs out there explaining the rules, but unless you're trying to tow some kind of mega RIB/yacht (which I doubt you'll be doing behind a normal car!), no need for police notification/formal escort vehicles, etc. I believe over something like total train length (vehicle + trailer) > 25m needs police notification and escort vehicles.

I don't tow my 9m RIB on public roads very often, mainly just the 200m between the house and yacht club, and then around the yacht club for launching/recovery, but when I have taken it away for work I do try to double check the route first as best I can, Google StreetView certain junctions, etc. A route I'd planned on Google at home once a few years back to a local RIB tube shop lead me down a road which had since had barriers installed part way down preventing vehicles from reaching the next road, so I had to do a 3 point turn in a nasty place - thankfully a friendly HGV driver was parked up close by and taking a rest, and helped guide me round. Narrow roads and cars parked on both side clearly make life harder...

But once on open roads/motorway to be honest I barely notice the trailer - my Bramber twin axle trailer is super stable, and tows beautifully. If anything, its so stable I notice it less than my little 4m RIB trailer. I've only ever towed it behind a TD5 Defender 110 and more recently a 5.0 Supercharged Range Rover, and neither notices it at all (especially the latter vehicle!). I've never bother to check mpg when towing though, it's bad enough at the best of times!

Definitely needs a bit more preparation and planning than towing a more usual much smaller trailer, but certainly not a major problem.
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Old 22 May 2020, 05:37   #7
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Thanks everyone for the comments, certainly seems to be less faff than I expected!
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Old 22 May 2020, 07:04   #8
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I had a reversing camera mounted at the top of my rear doors on the van and that was pretty helpful when reversing. For my current vehicle I'm thinking about geeting a reversing camera that clamps on to the boat A-frame.

https://www.revcam.uk/clamp-on-reversing-camera.html

Whilst a long trailer needs a bigger space obviously and judging where the back is is a bit more tricky, they tend to be easier to reverse and you soon get used to how wide a berth you need to give corners.

Having a non-panicking and spatially aware helper is also a benefit. I'll stop there!

As you say, it's less faff than expected.
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Old 22 May 2020, 07:27   #9
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Might be worth a read:
https://www.rya.org.uk/sitecollectio...EGULATIONS.pdf
Same for towing gliders in their trailers.
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Old 22 May 2020, 08:18   #10
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I towed my 8.6 rib back from Salcombe when I purchased it was bit hairy on the narrow Devon roads but once on the A roads no problem on the dual carriage ways very comfortable at 60mph I'm towing with a Disco 4 we may have been slightly over the towing weight limit of 3.5 tons as it has a 75 gallon fuel tank on it & it was full, we measured the whole outfit when we got home total length 50 feet.
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Old 22 May 2020, 11:54   #11
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I take a near 8m RIB to the West of Ireland Ireland and back each year from Southampton. I always had this user case in mind so was careful to select a RIB that was not excessively wide. This was a key criteria in selecting our Humber Ocean Pro 800 - at 2.56m wide its as wide as you can go whilst still using the normal mirrors on our X5. Most boats of this length are 2.8m-3m wide which makes a HUGE difference. We have the mirror extenders if ever required but they vibrate awfully so are very impractical. We have a 225HP outboard on the back so boat/engine/trailer and all gear does weigh a bit, but once we allow the extra time and plan ahead it works just fine. Just watch your boats fuel tank levels (run it down) and distribute your gear to optimise the trailer nose weight. The annual journey does not fill me with any kind of dread doing a drive of that duration with the boat - although I did need to do an extra driving test here in the UK - which was a stress to go through that again after so long, but it was a brilliant experience and I am actually delighted I was made go through it - I am a much better driver with the trailer-on post my lessons and test. Sometimes the narrow roads in the west of Ireland are tricky and a busy Quay side in Schull in Cork can be fun when people are parked all around the slip, but with patience and a smile everything is manageable and people generally happy to help in my experience when required. I have a young co-driver or two (kids under 10) but I do the drive alone without my other half and with no drama. So if you want to move a boat of this length (together car and trailer are just 20 inches less than a 40ft articulate lorry (trailer/tractor unit combined) - I know because we measured it for a laugh with a trucker parked beside us in a motorway service station) then just watch the width on the Boat you buy and get a decent trailer (we use a specially made SBS trailer - SBS extended a shorter trailer to optimise weight of trailer for the boat and this saved money too) and they were really helpful with getting the axles in the right position prior to delivery. Hope that helps. Best J
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Old 22 May 2020, 13:24   #12
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Depends on how confident a driver you are I've towed several large cruisers & currently have a 7.4m rib. Not a problem at all just remember to give yourself a bit extra room when turning corners etc . A good tow car & a well set up trailer it isnt an issue at all.
Legaly width and weight become the limiting factor not length as you dont count the drawbar or overhang. 9ft6in is max legal width and 3.5t weight. As boats get longer they get wider & heavier & you usually find those dimensions are reached before the length becomes a problem. So 9 or 10 m boats can still be legally towed if the beam is below 9ft 6in
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Old 22 May 2020, 15:33   #13
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I know GuyC mentioned a reversing camera, I've got one that clips onto my A'Frame and plugs into the RIBs 12V socket, it has built-in wifi so you just download the F-Car app on your smart phone and you can see whats behind when reversing. Very handy as I sometimes have back up on our narrow Cornish lanes and you never quite know just how much room the person in the car behind has left you..!!
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Old 22 May 2020, 16:44   #14
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I think you've got a good spread of advice here.

I have towed a large Rib round London and you need to claim space to negotiate the Blackwall Tunnel for example and you need to remember that your tubes will make you wider than an articulated lorry. The North Circular is a challenge as the lanes are narrow as is the A3 as you approach London.

The only thing I've ever found really challenging is reversing at night without a camera in tight quarters or negotiating a tight fuel station where you need to make a 90 degree turn as you pull ahead of the pumps. The rear overhang swings out and you need to plan the manoeuvre carefully to avoid making contact with anything. If you cannot see the rear three quarters as you pull out always get someone to spot for you and have them stand where they are in your line of sight with your windows down to hear them! Sounds obvious!

My best advice is to have a lighting board which is the full width of the boat and has a red marker light on each side facing forward and back. It greatly assists tight roads at night as it falls into your peripheral vision with your mirrors. I use some quite expensive mirror extensions and actually mount them from the mirror housing and slightly lower than my door mirrors so I can see the tubes and trailer wheels and lighting board without having to adjust anything.

Providing your nose weight is correctly set up and tyre pressures are balanced, towing a Rib is actually quite enjoyable.

I also tow a Vanmaster 640 Occasion which is just shy of 30' with the drawbar. This is much harder to tow as it get affected by cross winds and has a really long rear overhang making it a challenge on ramps, speed humps and so on.

Fuel economy is not something you will ever boast about and my outlook has always been that lots of weight and plenty of power makes towing much easier than over burdening a smaller capacity engine with a vehicle at it's towing limit.
Whilst a Range Rover will get through plenty of suspension bushes if you tow a lot, it makes a decent tow horse and will also pull a 2.5t boat up a slipway at idle. No drama, no slip. Perhaps the best way to look at using a powerful 4x4 is that when you are on decent A roads or dual carriageways and covering 200+ miles, being able to maintain the legal speed up steep hills and cruise elsewhere means your average speed is much higher.
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Old 23 May 2020, 10:11   #15
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Can anyone recommend a good retrofit reverse camera set up / manufacture/model etc. preferably wifi enabled.

The trailer is 30ft and I would like to clip the camera to the Ribs radar arch to help with slipway line up and launch. thanks
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Old 23 May 2020, 14:37   #16
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My step dad Always towed mine until the last few years. His hgv experience made him ace at it. Even so the width is the most daunting. I am about 2cm less than legal width.

My advise is own the road, people will try to force through stupid spaces so take the space up so they can’t.
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Old 23 May 2020, 17:08   #17
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Used to get 12-13 MPG towing a 9m with my old Disco TD5
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Old Yesterday, 04:14   #18
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Have toed a 7.5M Rib with a land rover defender, pulls it easy. Various rules apply look at gov website.

With trailer lengh it can be a pain especially on roundabouts and especially as other people on the road tend not to give you any room at all especially on roundabouts. For short or long journeys ive found it best to plan in advance and set off very early when traffic is light, on approaching a roundabout ive tried to put on hazzard lights and position middle of road if dual carrigaway which tends to make people hand back and give you room to get round roundabout. Need to just take it carefully, have everything secured properely and take your time.

It makes me laugh the amount of boats on trailers I see not secured properely with no light boards and no number plates and the police dont even stop them. Many accidents have occurred inclduing fatal ones with boats not secured onto trailers properely so dont let it be you.
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Old Today, 05:13   #19
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Used to get 15-18mpg towing a Ballistic 7.8 with the Hilux.
Wasn't too much of an issue towing, went all over the place with it.
I ended up with it in drystack though as I got bored with long tows back after a good day out.

Biggest problem was the day I was taking a shunt to align going down to the slip at Penmarlam on a wet bit when it decided to drag all 4 locked wheels of the Hilux backwards slowly.
As soon as it was on a dry bit it stopped, though I may have creased the seat a bit.
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Old Today, 08:05   #20
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Different slip but it does focus the mind!
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