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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

USA Caravan hitch



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 07, 11:22 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Frosty
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 53
Default USA Caravan hitch

Hi,
I am considering importing a USA "Toy Hauler" caravan. Any one any idea of
details for swapping tow hitch. I assume the USA will be the old 2 inch ball
type. I am aware of the weight problem and am awaiting details of width.
Even taking into account the import costs the sheer value for money and the
thought of being able to carry a mobility scoter and a moped make the idea
highly attractive. Going to pull it with a Rexton which has a massive 3500kg
tow rating.
Would appreciate any thoughts.
Cheers.

--
Best Regards,
Bill Frost.
Liverpool. UK
OUTGOING MAIL CHECKED BY Grisoft AVG Free.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 07, 12:57 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Geoff Lane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 870
Default USA Caravan hitch

"Frosty" wrote in
o.uk:

I am considering importing a USA "Toy Hauler" caravan. Any one any
idea of details for swapping tow hitch. I assume the USA will be the
old 2 inch ball type. I am aware of the weight problem and am awaiting
details of width. Even taking into account the import costs the sheer
value for money and the thought of being able to carry a mobility
scoter and a moped make the idea highly attractive. Going to pull it
with a Rexton which has a massive 3500kg tow rating.
Would appreciate any thoughts.


3500 kg towing limit might not be enough! Many of the toy haulers have a
gross weight in excess of five tonnes - and so you'd need a commercial
vehicle (and a C+E, C1+E, or adequate grandfather's rights). The lights
might not be suitable for the UK. However, one of the biggest issues is
likely to be the brakes. Many US travel trailers have electric brakes that
I understand are unlawful in this country. So, you'd have a lot of work to
do before you could legally use a US toy hauler in this country.

Do you have a shortlist of models you're considering? If it's a common one
(like an Alfa or Forest River) I might have a link to the latest specs.

--
Geoff
  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 18th 07, 09:44 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Frosty
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 53
Default USA Caravan hitch

Geoff Lane wrote:
"Frosty" wrote in
o.uk:

I am considering importing a USA "Toy Hauler" caravan. Any one any
idea of details for swapping tow hitch. I assume the USA will be the
old 2 inch ball type. I am aware of the weight problem and am
awaiting details of width. Even taking into account the import costs
the sheer value for money and the thought of being able to carry a
mobility scoter and a moped make the idea highly attractive. Going
to pull it with a Rexton which has a massive 3500kg tow rating.
Would appreciate any thoughts.


3500 kg towing limit might not be enough! Many of the toy haulers
have a gross weight in excess of five tonnes - and so you'd need a
commercial vehicle (and a C+E, C1+E, or adequate grandfather's
rights). The lights might not be suitable for the UK. However, one of
the biggest issues is likely to be the brakes. Many US travel
trailers have electric brakes that I understand are unlawful in this
country. So, you'd have a lot of work to do before you could legally
use a US toy hauler in this country.

Do you have a shortlist of models you're considering? If it's a
common one (like an Alfa or Forest River) I might have a link to the
latest specs.


Hi Geoff,
Thanks for response. I am aware of weight issues and have been looking at
their versions of "lightweight" at about 3500 Lbs dry. The limit on the
Rexton works out to about 7700 Lbs so there would still be a good margin for
luggage and fluids etc. Width has to be considered as most of them seem to
be 8ft wide! but there are some at 7ft. The Yanks seem to have four
towball sizes too! 1-7/8, 2, 2-5/16, and 3 inch.
However, as you say, all seem to have electric brakes which is a new one on
me and probably the biggest problem. Seems like much more research needed.
Will post any further results for interest.
--
Best Regards,
Bill Frost.
Liverpool. UK
OUTGOING MAIL CHECKED BY Grisoft AVG Free.


  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 19th 07, 08:06 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Terry
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 72
Default USA Caravan hitch

On Feb 18, 6:44 am, "Frosty" wrote:
The lights might not be suitable for the UK. However, one of
the biggest issues is likely to be the brakes. Many US travel
trailers have electric brakes that I understand are unlawful in this
country. So, you'd have a lot of work to do before you could legally
use a US toy hauler in this country.


Hi Geoff,
Thanks for response. I am aware of weight issues and have been looking at
their versions of "lightweight" at about 3500 Lbs dry. The limit on the
Rexton works out to about 7700 Lbs so there would still be a good margin for
luggage and fluids etc. Width has to be considered as most of them seem to
be 8ft wide! but there are some at 7ft. The Yanks seem to have four
towball sizes too! 1-7/8, 2, 2-5/16, and 3 inch.
However, as you say, all seem to have electric brakes which is a new one on
me and probably the biggest problem. Seems like much more research
needed. Will post any further results for interest.
--
Best Regards,
Bill Frost.
Liverpool. UK


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Why would electric brakes be a problem? Here, in this part of eastern
Canada, except on a utility trailer less than 1000 lbs. IIRC. Although
it may be a higher number cos one often will see a normal car towing
an un-brake equipped trailer loaded with two 'skidoos'. Each snow
machine etc. weighing 400-500 pounds plus weight of trailer, hitch and
other 'gear'), brakes, normally electric, are 'required'. Must have
met/passed several yesterday.

It is also possible to buy axles of different widths (up to 8 feet
width), suitable for a boat trailer) and load capabilities either with
or without electric brake drums to build your own trailer.

Right now am concentrating on a part time welding course, with a view
to building a boat trailer. Was looking at those axles the other day
in a national outlets called 'Princess Auto', headquartered in
Winnipeg. Axles with electric brakes can cost variously up to around
$500 ea. (say 250 quid?), then you need springing, wheels suitable
tyres etc. etc. With some 'careful', see the 'Artful Dodger' method of
gradually saving and finding structural steel or an old bus or truck
chassis probably looking at an end cost of $1500 to $2500. Trailer
then has to be inspected and registered by the provincial Motor
Registration Division, and an annual licensing fee paid. Also for the
period trailer is in use insurance companies will require trailer to
carry same categories of insurance as the towing vehicle.

Very few trailer problems. If one is seen broken down it is usually a
wheel bearing (especially boat trailers) or tyres. Also Highway
Enforcement and Police are pretty tough on proper and working lights,
turn and brake signals.

But for info: What kind of brakes would be acceptable in the EU?
Remembering as a UK youngster problems with those caravan 'surge'
brakes snatching and grabbing ............... ? Tiddling and adjusting
them so that they worked going downhill was a pain.

If a trailer with electric brakes is acquired here it is fairly quick
and easy to install the 12 volt control on the towing vehicle. It can
either be manually operated from the dash or coupled to the towing
vehicles brake pedal. Opinions differ as to which is best. Especially
like right now when towing snow machines/ATVs. on our presently icy/
snowy roads.

Be interested in comments/info. TIA

Scouser: ex-Liverpool 1956!

  #5 (permalink)  
Old February 19th 07, 09:02 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Geoff Lane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 870
Default USA Caravan hitch

"terry" wrote in
ups.com:

Why would electric brakes be a problem?


Because (AFAICT) they don't meet the requirements of the UK Construction
and Use Regulations. That's not to say it's impossible for electric
brakes to be designed to meet those requirements, but AIUI the braking
systems fitted to US travel trailers do not.

But for info: What kind of brakes would be acceptable in the EU?


Overrun brakes that satisfy the requirements of the C&U regs, including
the decoupling requirements and auto-reverse. Regulations 15 and 16 of
The Motor Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 allegedly define
the requirements, but I can't find the text on line.

Remembering as a UK youngster problems with those caravan 'surge'
brakes snatching and grabbing ............... ? Tiddling and adjusting
them so that they worked going downhill was a pain.

If a trailer with electric brakes is acquired here it is fairly quick
and easy to install the 12 volt control on the towing vehicle. It can
either be manually operated from the dash or coupled to the towing
vehicles brake pedal. Opinions differ as to which is best. Especially
like right now when towing snow machines/ATVs. on our presently icy/
snowy roads.


FWIW, I think that electric brakes are wonderful - especially the "panic
button" that lets you sort out a snake with little drama. Unfortunately,
whatever is fitted to the car must be type approved - and AIUI no cars
have been so approved with electric trailer brakes. Additionally, there
is the implicit requirement for overrun braking on trailers up to
3,500 kg gross weight.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/vehi...ntsfortrailers
has more info.

HTH,

--
Geoff
 



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