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Sorry this is nothing to with anything Military but thought this would be the best place to get a sensible answer, well hopefully.

 

We went up to the NEC yesterday to the caravan show on a jollie !!!!! on our travels round the show we came across a company selling 5th wheel caravans, I struck up a conversation with a salesman on the stand as you do, and found out these are designed to be towed by a Nissan Nivara or the like which the company fit air suspension to and the 5th wheel coupling to the bed. However I was very surprised to be told that as the total weight for caravan and pickup was 7300 Kgs you were able to tow this set up as a 5th wheel on an ordinary B+E license, this also appears on their web site !!

 

So my question is when do you need C+E on your license going by this person if you have B+E the total weight could be up to 7500 Kgs and be a 5th wheel. So if you have C1+E with code 107 on your license the total weight could be 8250 Kgs

 

Does it make any difference that it is not on a tow ball.

 

Confused :nut:

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Talking to a 'salesman' about the braking system on these caravans and was told that "it's a variator electronic system that works on the position of the brake pedal". Slightly baffled and not liking the sound of that I asked if it was type approved, "dosen't need to be". Ok, CE marked? "These are built in the US so dont need anything like that". A quick glance around found that although coupled to a UK Navara and being sold as a complete brand new unit, there were niether trianges or rear fog lights fitted, and no sign of a weights/dimentions data plate. Time to walk away.

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If you have the old type licence then you can tow up to 7500kg combined weight or 8250kg if the trailer is only 750kg. It does not matter if it is tow ball, tow pin or fifth wheel. There have been a number of Landrovers running with 5th wheel. Dixon and Bates used to do a fifth wheel conversion and the racecourses have used one for towing starting stalls.

 

Ed

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The Dixon Bate Landrover conversion was a proper mini tractor unit and well built from memory, we had them locally at Lingfield racecourse. The Nissan version looks like the American 'Gooseneck' type connecting in the pick up bed, I have also seen these with air brakes here. A local contractor had one who was rear ended whilst loaded, it wrote the Nissan off as it buckled the chassis at the gooseneck connection point!! I believe they all just scrape in legally on a car licence however that is with the caravan empty,if we had one my family would add another 1000kg's of non essential clutter!!

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Ahhhhhh so it does not matter what type of trailer connection it is as long as max train weight does not exceed 8250 Kgs (on old license) and it has type approved breaking system.

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Or in my case shoes and wine :cool2:

 

The Dixon Bate Landrover conversion was a proper mini tractor unit and well built from memory, we had them locally at Lingfield racecourse. The Nissan version looks like the American 'Gooseneck' type connecting in the pick up bed, I have also seen these with air brakes here. A local contractor had one who was rear ended whilst loaded, it wrote the Nissan off as it buckled the chassis at the gooseneck connection point!! I believe they all just scrape in legally on a car licence however that is with the caravan empty,if we had one my family would add another 1000kg's of non essential clutter!!

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Remember that the 8250kg limit is only if you have a 750kg trailer. If the trailer is heavier then you can only go to 7500kg.

 

Cheers

Ed

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Perhaps if you are lucky you could find one of these which will get around all your problems in one easy step

 

 

 

R

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Perhaps if you are lucky you could find one of these which will get around all your problems in one easy step

 

 

 

That is fan bloody tastic, I wonder if they do a similar kit for a ka.

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Ahhhhhh so it does not matter what type of trailer connection it is as long as max train weight does not exceed 8250 Kgs (on old license) and it has type approved breaking system.

 

Correct, the E part of the licence is trailer, it doesnt matter how its attached to the towing vehicle

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Don't understand this, why does the trailer only have to be 750Kgs ! Is it not the total train weight which would be 8250Kgs so if the towing vehicle is lighter then the trailer can be heavier bearing in mind I am on about 5th wheels.

 

Remember that the 8250kg limit is only if you have a 750kg trailer. If the trailer is heavier then you can only go to 7500kg.

 

Cheers

Ed

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I like that you can do a full 360 and still be attached to the coupling cooooooolllllllll.

 

Perhaps if you are lucky you could find one of these which will get around all your problems in one easy step

 

 

 

R

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The rules used to state that you can have 7500kg combined weight with any combination of tow vehicle and trailer.

 

But if the tow vehicle is 7500kg then you can have an additional 750kg trailer making 8250kg.

 

750kg is a common trailer weight in the rules. You can have one behind a minibus and behind an HGV if you've got a rigid licence. Worth double checking if you are planning on being over 7500kg combined weight. It has all got increasingly confusing with the different cut off dates.

 

Ed

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Just to pick up on an earlier point made, Fifth wheel trailers do need to have Type approval, however it isn't law for a fifth wheel caravan until next October (2014). There are currently problems with getting type approval for braking systems on these, as you are not allowed to have Over-run brakes, and I haven't yet seen an electric or electro hydraulic system from the US or anywhere else that actually has approval, although I am working on one at the moment. Some of these Fifth wheel caravans especially the larger US ones have an unladen weight approaching 3500 kg, when you add in the laden weight of additional furniture , crockery, your bikes and the barbecue the weight often climbs above 3500kg making them CAT 03 trailers which then mean they are subject to the same testing and plating required by HGVs.

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I like that you can do a full 360 and still be attached to the coupling cooooooolllllllll.

Just remember to unhook the electrics and chain first!

 

My own feeling about these 5th wheel caravans is that they are a close to useless fashion statement, and far more trouble than they're worth.

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When we were in the US last year, we saw many huge 5th wheel caravans, far more than the ball-hitch type.

What is really interesting is that in many states (certainly Montana, Wyoming, Utah) folks were towing a Jeep on a trailer or an A-bar behind their 5th wheel unit!

I think in Montana the total train length allowed is 85feet!

They have very few roundabouts in the States.:D

(I did wonder about the braking systems, but never found the answer)

 

John

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Alot of US vehicles are capable of being equipped with continuous brakes but a majority utilise Electric or Electro hydraulic brakes. There isn't any reason for these not to be used in Europe other than the fact that they are triggered by an electrical signal either from the brake lights or from a decelerometer. The problem arises then with the overall reaction time.

It is possible to tow more than one trailer in the EU providing the maximum train length isnt exceeded.

 

Towing a vehicle on a dolly is not allowed except for recovery and there is some dispute with regard to towing on A Frames.

 

When towing on an A frame the car is now counted as a trailer and as such the brakes have to work. There are some systems that allow the cars brakes and lights to be applied but again these have to give the correct reaction times.

 

Some European countries dont allow them at all.

Edited by Paul Dodd

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Fifth wheel trailers do need to have Type approval, however it isn't law for a fifth wheel caravan until next October (2014).

So once type approval comes in will that only apply to caravans built after that time or will it be retrospective.

 

Some of these Fifth wheel caravans especially the larger US ones have an unladen weight approaching 3500 kg, when you add in the laden weight of additional furniture , crockery, your bikes and the barbecue the weight often climbs above 3500kg making them CAT 03 trailers which then mean they are subject to the same testing and plating required by HGVs.

 

Thinking about this point as all caravans are over 1020Kgs unladen don't they require plating ? I presume there is a clause for them so is it if they are over 3500Kgs ?

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If you design build or import a new type of caravan for use in the EU it needs to be approved now. If its an existing design then it has to be approved by Oct 29th 2014. As it only affects new build it isnt retrospective.

 

There is a difference between the statutory plates required to be fitted by a manufacturer and the ministry plates. There has been a requirement to fit an identification plate containing details of the manufacturer and the mass of a trailer etc since 1982. The ministry plates are only attached to vehicles that are for hire and reward, this is where the 1020 kg limit comes in. It gets very complicated when you define hire and reward as reward does not necessarily mean a payment.

 

Of course this may all change when the MOT s for trailers comes in.

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