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Old 04-15-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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UK Towing Regs.. Amendment to Width

HI All

I have just had confirmation that the long awaited changes to the UK towing width regs will be coming into force shortly!!!

Following the consultation, an amendment is being made to the regulations which govern the width of trailers allowed to be towed by cars or light vans”.
From 20th April 2010 cars and light vans with a laden weight of 3500kg or less will be permitted to tow a trailer with a maximum width of up to 2.55 metres providing the combination is in compliance with the weights, dimensions and other road traffic rules.

Straight from the horses mouth as it were

What exciting news for those in the UK who like the post '68 Airstream trailers and other models such as the earlier shorter Spartans.

Unfortunately we are still restricted to 7mts length but it does give us more scope
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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3500kg / 7700lbs
2.55 metres / 8' 4"
7 metres / 23'

What about the law about using or not using a WDH?? Do you know the details on that one? Any changes?
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:26 AM   #3
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Good news indeed - thank you for your efforts and letting us know....
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
3500kg / 7700lbs
2.55 metres / 8' 4"
7 metres / 23'

What about the law about using or not using a WDH?? Do you know the details on that one? Any changes?
Hi

There is no ambiguity about using WDH in the UK... they are not allowed.

Trailers have to be independantly braked and therefore would not be compatible with a weight distribution hitch

There are fact sheets & links on my website that clarify the changes to the regulations and changes that need to be made to the trailers for towing once they are imported to the UK
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:26 AM   #5
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Don't understand

Sorry to have to ask, but why not have a weight distribution hitch on a trailer? I use one on my Bambi and it has brakes, may I ask for further information about your post? My concern is safety.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvie View Post
Sorry to have to ask, but why not have a weight distribution hitch on a trailer? I use one on my Bambi and it has brakes, may I ask for further information about your post? My concern is safety.
Hi Elvie

The towing regs are different in the UK.

They aren't compatable. When we import them we have to change the hitch to one that is independantly braked with a breakaway switch.

For example... if the trailer comes loose from the tow vehicle it would come to a stop and wouldn't roll back down a hill

They wouldn't fit either. Our version of a hitch is much bigger than yours.

Also the tow bars for newer vehicles are specific to the vehicle with an approved weight rate so I doubt the insurance would be valid if there was an accident.

I hope that makes sense...

There are fact sheets on my website for those in the UK who want to check it out
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:37 PM   #7
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Surge brakes vs. electric/hydraulic brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maybricks View Post
Hi Elvie

The towing regs are different in the UK.

They aren't compatable. When we import them we have to change the hitch to one that is independantly braked with a breakaway switch.

For example... if the trailer comes loose from the tow vehicle it would come to a stop and wouldn't roll back down a hill

They wouldn't fit either. Our version of a hitch is much bigger than yours.

Also the tow bars for newer vehicles are specific to the vehicle with an approved weight rate so I doubt the insurance would be valid if there was an accident.

I hope that makes sense...

There are fact sheets on my website for those in the UK who want to check it out
Maybricks,

For those of us in the USA this makes no sense in that Airstream's come equipped with either electric drum or hydraulic disc brakes in this here part of the world.

The vast majority of trailers that are above one ton in weight will utilize a weight distribution hitch to transfer weight from the rear wheels of the tow vehicle to the front wheels of the tow vehicle as well as the trailer; it is the tongue weight of the trailer hitch that is the real determining factor for the need for weight distribution.

I am not aware of any laws of physics that would cause problems for the electric/hydraulic brakes on a trailer using a hitch of this type.

Do the Airstream trailers in the UK come equipped with surge brakes rather than electric/hydraulic brakes? I can see where this could cause an issue in that the brakes will only work when the trailer "surges" forward as the tow vehicle speed is decreased and that is what actuates the brakes.

Please help us on this side of the pond understand the issue.

Thanks

Jim
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:14 PM   #8
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Jim you hit it right on the head. They use surge breaks over there. Just like many boat trailers, the momentum of the trailer presses the brakes. If the trailer breaks away the brakes lock tight.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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So there must be some way of activating the surge brake if the trailer breaks away. OK, i get that part of it but still wonder why a WDH is incompatible with surge brakes? Or am I still misunderstanding something?

Sorry to be a pest about this, just curious about safety issues.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvie View Post
So there must be some way of activating the surge brake if the trailer breaks away. OK, i get that part of it but still wonder why a WDH is incompatible with surge brakes? Or am I still misunderstanding something?

Sorry to be a pest about this, just curious about safety issues.
Surge brakes rely on a bit of "end play" to actuate the master cylinder; this is that rectangular thing on the tongue of the trailer. These are designed to take downward force, but WD hitches can place a large torque or bending moment through the sliding mechanism, causing binding and preventing the surge brakes from actuating correctly unless WD hitch and any anti-sway gears are carefully designed and adjusted.

Surge brakes are more reliable than electric trailer brakes, but not as flexible since they're not independently controllable.

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Old 04-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #11
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OK, thanks, makes sense now. I misunderstood, thought WDH were bad news for some reason.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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does anyone know the maximum length for trailers in Europe as i see one 29ft on Ebay which is registered in Germany?
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #13
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max lenght in the netherlands is 12 meters and car plus trailor max 18 meters
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:33 PM   #14
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18 metres = 59 feet
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