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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 29-02-2016, 21:52 Thread Starter
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Question We want an A Frame, but what one

I am going to get an A Frame fitted in the next few weeks. It is for UK use only. But not sure what one to go for, or where to get it fitted. We are fitting it to a manual 2015 Toyota Aygo 1.0

1: What are the differences in the A frames available?
2: Which one is safest and easiest to reverse.
3: Can you recommend a good place to get it fitted. I am based in Liverpool.

Thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 00:30
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I have used an A frame in UK and France to tow our Smart car "Toad"

We have been all over with it and only had to uncouple twice to manoeuvre out of tight spots

I don't have the A frame with me right now but I think it is the Car A Tow type

It is the "overrun brake" type which pulls on the car brakes when the MH is slowing and the Toad tends to run on.

This works fine and is not a problem in a forward direction

Reversing however is another matter.

Unless you are very careful, you will find that as the MH starts to move backwards, it compresses the A frame coupling thus pulling on the brakes on the Toad

You then find you are trying to reverse the MH and Toad with the Toad brakes fully applied - Not Good

If you can overcome that potential problem, you are then faced with the other issue - that of steering the Toad "trailer" in anything other than a straight line.

The caster angle of the Toad front wheels, that make it follow the MH so easily when rolling forward, becomes your enemy when going backwards.

The front wheels of the Toad will try to move to one or the other extreme lock - because that's what the design dictates

This is also Not Good

The over run braking problem when reversing can be overcome with a "Brake Buddy" type system where the brakes on the Toad are only applied (electrically) when the brakes on the MH are applied.(or by using a rigid A frame and not having the brakes applied at all - but that is illegal so Not Good either)

But

The caster angle issue when reversing will not go away.

Whether you can live with these snags, only you will know - and you will only find out after you have tried it

I would suggest contacting someone near you who has an A frame set up and giving it a try

Because we were coming to Spain - where A frames are a definite No No - on a regular basis (I have seen a few people here using them still - but that's their look out...) I went for a trailer for the Smart and had it converted into a flat bed which will also haul the Harley as well as take rubbish to the tip (no sarky comments please...)

Hope this helps

Cheers

Dave

Last edited by HarleyDave; 01-03-2016 at 00:33. Reason: Spelling Typo x2
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 00:52
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Have you looked in classifieds I am sure someone was selling an A frame and car.

cabby

Don't be silly all the time ask your question.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 06:10
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We have been towing cars behind various motorhomes for the last 15 years. Initially, Smart cars on a Brian James trailer then moving to A Frame. We are on our second car which has been fitted with an A Frame. Both have been converted by Towbars 2 Towcars in Grimsby. In my opinion they are the market leaders in the technology and development of A Frames. They are the electronic type A Frames, I think most people have moved away from what is deemed as old technology in the form of the overrun type system. TB2TC have recently moved to really nice workshop, but still in Grimsby area.


It may be of interest to learn that your chosen type of towcar is the model which TB2TC seem to convert the most. They normally have a huge amount of pre-converted cars at their showroom and seem to sell large numbers at the shows. This should give you confidence in their ability to convert your car based on the amount they have done, which I would assume must be in the 100's by now.
They did a really fantastic job converting my new Mercedes SLK this time last year. It really did put their knowledge and experience to the test. Working through each challenge professionally and logically and delivering an excellent end product that has covered almost 8000 trouble free miles in the last year. My previous Abarh 500 did almost 15000 trouble free miles being towed with their system.


Customer care is excellent, I rolled over the cable which connects the car to the motorhome, a quick call at 3pm and the new cable arrived at site 400 miles away at 8am the next morning.


I have no connection with this company other than being a delighted customer and cannot recommend them enough.


Have a look on the website to see many of the same type of cars you have already converted. This will give tyou an idea what they can do. Also give them a call they will answer all your questions.


www.tow-bars2tow-cars.co.uk




TOW-BARS 2 TOW-CARS Ltd

Barton St,
Keelby,
Grimsby
DN41 8TP
Tel: 01469 560402


Email: info@tow-bars2tow-cars.com


PLEASE LET NO OPEN ANOTHER DISCUSSION AROUND THE LEGALITIES OF A FRAME USE.....PLEASE!!!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 08:34
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Like Stewart I too use the bars2tow cars a frame Not the cheapest but certainly the best. I towed a Smart over much of France for several years using the Brake buddy. It served me well but the bars 2 tow cars can be disconnected from the motorhome in seconds. Lift the a frame into the upright position and drive the car out of the way. I bought a Suzuki Celerio auto/manual the weight about 800kg which is same as my old Smart.
Stewart did we meet at the nearby campsite and share bars 2 tow cars courtesy car ?

Vicwo
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 08:40
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Vicwo, is that Celerio the AGS auto gear shift? I assume the gearbox has no problem with 4 wheels down towing?

Michael

Michael
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2015 Flair 920LF, with the option book thrown at her!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 09:05
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Michael yes that is correct. I chose this small car because it is a manual gearbox with the electronic shift stuck on the engine, Open the bonnet and there it is. The Celerio has also got creep, This is brilliant as my wife can creep up to the motorhome with her foot on the brake. The boot is big enough to take her disability scooter and still carry 4 and a half people.
Its a 3 cylinder engine with character. Its going down to the South of France next month for some sunshine
I love this little car and it has curtain airbags.

Regards Vic
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 11:35
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I too have had TOW-BARS 2 TOW-CARS Ltd on my last 2 tow cars , their customer service is second to none , like Stewart in previous post , I damaged my electric connection and they replaced it straight away .
I find that providing I reverse in a straight line I can do it with ease , dont even try reversing it round corners . having said that in 6 years of towing it I have only had the need to reverse a short distance twice .Its so easy to uncouple and re couple if needs be
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 12:46
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I have used a Unibrake A frame for the last couple of years a 2012 Aygo. We had the system fitted near Brighton and I have been very pleased with it. I had the system removed from my motorhome as we have bought a new one, this was a simple process and part of the reason we chose Unibrake.
We now have a much more compact motorhome and are trying to decide whether or not to have it refitted or to sell it. I think from memory was about 150 to remove it from the motorhome and about the same to refit to the new one.
I will probably get it refitted as it does give a lot more freedom, and like you I had it fitted solely for uk use.
I read up on all the systems and in my mind this was the best one. This is a personal view as with all things.
I have no affiliation to Unibrake other than being a very happy customer. Here is a link to the website so you can have a read.

http://www.unibrake.co.uk

All the best.
Brian

Amateurs Built the ark. Professionals Built the Titanic.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 14:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicwo View Post
Like Stewart I too use the bars2tow cars a frame Not the cheapest but certainly the best. I towed a Smart over much of France for several years using the Brake buddy. It served me well but the bars 2 tow cars can be disconnected from the motorhome in seconds. Lift the a frame into the upright position and drive the car out of the way. I bought a Suzuki Celerio auto/manual the weight about 800kg which is same as my old Smart.
Stewart did we meet at the nearby campsite and share bars 2 tow cars courtesy car ?

Vicwo

Hello, nope it was not me. You may have seen the car however. TB2TC had it on their stand at last years Peterborough show. It was the least I could do after all they went through converting it. The actual conversion and fitting of the TB2TC system was simple enough. It was the challenge of getting the lights on the car to operate as it is a CAN BUS wiring System, they had to make a load of voltage convertors and then the issue with the automatic roll away system which involves the car automatically engaging the handbrake if you forget to put it on and it starts to move. A major issue when you want to tow it.
They got it all resolved and it has been without issue for almost a year. I cannot recommend them enough. No where else would have been brave enough to take on the challenge, nor dear I say have the technical ability
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