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Subject Topic: Tow license affecting the industry?
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Message posted by Gonzalo on 27/9/2016 at 10:15am
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Hi all, first time poster!
I've just managed to get my head around the tow license. I am one of the new breed of post 97 license holders. I must say, it took some doing to actually understand what you need to comply with. I won't go into the details as there are plenty of posts about that!

We fell for the world of caranning 2 years ago after buying a cheap 2 berth lunar from Gumtree. Is was a great way to pop away for the weekend with the dog, even if it was within an hours drive.

2 years later, we now have a growing family and wanted to upgrade our now 18 year old van. Unfortunately I was using the wrong weights to judge how much I could tow with my license. I was using actual weight instead of gross. The car (mondeo estate diesel) is more than capable but sadly puts me over 3500kg for virtually all 4 berth vans.

So I started looking into getting a B&E test. What a rip off that is! If I'm to proceed, I need to take 2 to 3 days off work and take yet another hit in my wallet.

It is all starting to get too much and has dented the appeal of caravaning.

I was wondering if anyone else has been put off by the 'red tape' and whether in the long term, as the under 35's grow older, this could impact on the industry?

Message posted by oxter on 27/9/2016 at 11:00am
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It may well do but for many years the growth in Campervan ownership all over Europe has been remarkable.

Welcome to UKCS by the way. Good to see you have 1 post but 2 site reviews. There's an example to us all. 😀

We know all about Euro Red Tape though. The towing rules and speed restrictions tied to the towing vehicle 🚗 rather than the trailer are crazy.

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Message posted by katycymru on 27/9/2016 at 5:28pm
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I passed mine in 2005, and know it's going to be something i'm going to have to factor in, as we have tentatively thought about going from a TT to a caravan.

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Message posted by Skoda Bob on 27/9/2016 at 6:13pm
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Mondeo and any van with a max weight of 1400 or under will keep you legal, that leaves you plenty to choose from

Message posted by Gonzalo on 27/9/2016 at 7:22pm
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That's what I thought skoda Bob, but sadly the mam of mine is 2330kg which leaves me with only 1170kg. After much searching, there are no 4 berths under that weight. Had my eye on a lunar quasar which was pretty light at 1350kg
Gutted!

Message posted by Grampian91 on 27/9/2016 at 7:45pm
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Xplore304 1030kg max weight.


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Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.

Message posted by birdman101 on 28/9/2016 at 6:12am
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Without taking the test you will be able to find a light van, but you will have to bear in mind that things like kids bikes ect will have to be left at home, as all these things will soon put you over the legal weight.At your age I would go for it it will then give you scope for whatever you want.We have had many enjoyable years caravanning 44 years now,with our children, then grandchildren who have had many holidays with us, and they are now 18 years of age upwards.

Post last edited on 28/09/2016 06:17:55

Message posted by Opensauce on 28/9/2016 at 7:38am
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It's not difficult at all to find a car/caravan outfit that one can drive on a B licence. The op misses the point by a country mile. He appears to see the test as a bureaucratic inconvenience & nothing to do with road safety. We need more testing of drivers who wish to drive anything more than a car not less.

Outside caravan forums where a small % of caravanners come to seek enlightenment I wonder how many larger outfits are being driven by unlicenced drivers who have no clue they are breaking the law & are probably a danger to themselves & other road users? Plenty ime.

Younger drivers may no doubt see this as unfair as older drivers do not need to take a test & also might also be new caravanners but it was recognised 20 years ago as roads became more crowded that driving licence law was inadequate & changes were made which were needed at the time & even more so now.

Post last edited on 28/09/2016 07:46:09

Message posted by bessie500 on 28/9/2016 at 10:14am
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The op has a valid point this test will put many future caravaners off, its alright starting with a older lightweight van,but sooner or later you'll want to upgrade to something bigger and better. I'm sure ive read that its around 500 to pass your B&E test, if it was me i'd be pretty pi55ed off if i had to pay that knowing full well the majority of current caravanners never had to.

Bessie

Message posted by Opensauce on 28/9/2016 at 10:30am
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I have to say Bessie that I was pretty pi55ed having to pay out for HGV lessons & test in 1973 knowing full well that the majority of HGV drivers who had been driving HGVs before 1969 never had to.

Equally anybody taking a driving test in 1935 might have felt the same way when those already on the road never had to...

Message posted by bessie500 on 28/9/2016 at 12:51pm
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Youd be even more pi55ed off now you cant just go to straight to your class 1 & you have to get your drivers cpc, but hey thats for work this is for leisure purposes

Bessie

Post last edited on 28/09/2016 13:03:01

Message posted by Opensauce on 28/9/2016 at 1:03pm
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Weak argument, I think. It's still driving on the road so safety related. Do you think anybody passing their test today should be allowed to to up to 8.25 tonne trailer combination & drive goods vehicles up to 7.5t. Ie revert to pre '97 licence conditions?

Message posted by HumberWolf on 28/9/2016 at 1:28pm
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To return to the original post, Gonzalo's problem is more to do with the MAM of the current Mondeo Estate than it is with the weight of the caravan he wishes to tow. This is significantly greater than most other estate cars in this class and many SUVs.

It seems an anomaly that he could legally tow a 1350kg caravan with the previous Mondeo Estate but cannot tow with the current car, which is actually lighter.

Message posted by phathamster on 28/9/2016 at 2:01pm
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it is a bit of a fudge really, as the op has found his car creates an anomaly, whereas a simalar car with a sensible MAM he Could be well within limits on a van but not neccesarily a good match when it comes to kerbwieght.

that is a stupendous MAM my honda CRV is considerably lower than that.


i think it may be possible to get your vehicle down plated? which could bring you within the rules?

Message posted by bessie500 on 28/9/2016 at 3:12pm
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Weak argument, I think. It's still driving on the road so safety related. Do you think anybody passing their test today should be allowed to to up to 8.25 tonne trailer combination & drive goods vehicles up to 7.5t. Ie revert to pre '97 licence conditions?

if it was good enough for you and i then why not, lets not forget that modern cars and caravans have far more safety features thans years ago, i also think attitude to safety is far greater than years ago.

Bessie

Message posted by Skoda Bob on 28/9/2016 at 6:54pm
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Has he got the right weights???, for the car
Is he using the max weight, instead of the kerb weight.
If its the max weights of both car and van , he is bound to be well over.
He should be using the kerb weight of the car, that includes a half tank and possibly the driver

Post last edited on 28/09/2016 18:58:29


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