What to buy for city driving and occasional towing. - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #29
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
Maryland
Posts: 818
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridget T
Thanks to everyone for the advice. I did finally buy a volvo C30, small car but rated to tow my Uhaul -CT 13.

I have to get a hitch installed now. I do not have trailer brakes at present but plan to add them later this year or next. Right now trailer is wired for lights with a 4pin.
Any advice on how I should set up the wiring from car to trailer based on not having brakes now but planning to add them?

Thanks,
Bridget
Those C30s are great looking little cars!

I just looked it up, and Curt has a hitch for your car. It is rated at 2,000/200 (standard class-1). The model number is 11829. Etrailer should be able to get you one at a reasonable price. I am biased towards Curt hitches. I have dealt with others, but none seem as well made as Curt. I have installed Curt hitches on Mercedes, VWs, Hondas, and Toyotas. Only the VW was a pain, because they design the car to work with a Euro hitch, not a US style receiver hitch. Still, once it was installed, it worked very well.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:23 PM   #30
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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???
The C30 can only tow its stated limit of 2000 lbs with electric brakes, per owners manual.
The "without brakes" limit is 1,000 lbs, which I think it unwise to stake one's life and property on.
Although one might believe otherwise, this car is too light to handle tow loads of much over 500 lbs without extra brake assistance for stopping and sway control.
It's a very expensive ride- why skimp on such an obvious and relatively cheap safety feature?
Be smart-install brakes on the trailer, and a controller on the Volvo at the same time.
You won't regret it if you do, but may very well regret it if you don't.

Francesca
.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:35 PM   #31
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles
???
The C30 can only tow its stated limit of 2000 lbs with electric brakes, per owners manual.
The "without brakes" limit is 1,000 lbs, which I think it unwise to stake one's life and property on.
Although one might believe otherwise, this car is too light to handle tow loads of much over 500 lbs without extra brake assistance for stopping and sway control.
It's a very expensive ride- why skimp on such an obvious and relatively cheap safety feature?
Be smart-install brakes on the trailer, and a controller on the Volvo at the same time.
You won't regret it if you do, but may very well regret it if you don't.

Francesca
.
I, too, think brakes would be a good idea. I don't have them, but I will add them when I put a new axle on the Scamp. As it is, I don't feel unsafe, but it would always be nice to have more braking power than less. The one thing I will say is that it is likely that Volvo has tested and rated thenC30 to tow more than 2,000 pounds. Most manufacturers dumb down the towing for the US market. My pvious car, a VW Golf, carried a tow rating of 1,200 pounds in the US, and 3,100 pounds in Germany. No difference in the car other than small variations in the emissions system. The VW Golf actually won the best tow vehicle award from Caravan magazine in the UK. It is not uncommon to see them towing 20 foot campers over there. They tend to tow a lot smarter than we do... Balancing the tongue weight more carefully and driving more slowly when towing.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:00 PM   #32
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
I, too, think brakes would be a good idea. I don't have them, but I will add them when I put a new axle on the Scamp. As it is, I don't feel unsafe, but it would always be nice to have more braking power than less. The one thing I will say is that it is likely that Volvo has tested and rated thenC30 to tow more than 2,000 pounds. Most manufacturers dumb down the towing for the US market. My pvious car, a VW Golf, carried a tow rating of 1,200 pounds in the US, and 3,100 pounds in Germany. No difference in the car other than small variations in the emissions system. The VW Golf actually won the best tow vehicle award from Caravan magazine in the UK. It is not uncommon to see them towing 20 foot campers over there. They tend to tow a lot smarter than we do... Balancing the tongue weight more carefully and driving more slowly when towing.

Hi!
Each to his own, I always say- but I don't buy in to this forum's ongoing "European vs. American " vast conspiracy regarding realistic towing standards.
Why is it, I'd like to know, that in forums with a certain demographic bent, the Europeans ALWAYS have it right?
Isn't it possible that conditions, including geographic, attitudinal, and statistical might be different in North America?
Facts are facts, and physics is physics. It follows that in this case, the car itself, regardless of how much Spanish Leather one puts in it, is too light by weight to safely manage the load anticipated by the buyer of this very expensive vehicle unless equipped with brakes.
To attempt to save the few hundred dollars it takes to install a braking system in the trailer and car is in my opinion just plain bizarre, if not negligent.


Francesca
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #33
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles

Hi!
Each to his own, I always say- but I don't buy in to this forum's ongoing "European vs. American " vast conspiracy regarding realistic towing standards.
Why is it, I'd like to know, that in forums with a certain demographic bent, the Europeans ALWAYS have it right?
Isn't it possible that conditions, including geographic, attitudinal, and statistical might be different in North America?
Facts are facts, and physics is physics. It follows that in this case, the car itself, regardless of how much Spanish Leather one puts in it, is too light by weight to safely manage the load anticipated by the buyer of this very expensive vehicle unless equipped with brakes.
To attempt to save the few hundred dollars it takes to install a braking system in the trailer and car is in my opinion just plain bizarre, if not negligent.

Francesca
The reason I think the Europeans have it right (in this case) is that they are the ones doing the actual vehicle testing. Volvo brings their cars to Arizona to test towing under some of the most extreme heat conditions. I don't think they see too many 120F days over there. They actually hitch up trailers and do real-world tests. Volvo's US import/sales revision (almost certainly the ones responsible for printing the US owners manual) does not do their own testing, to my knowledge. They just (for whatever reason you want to believe) lower the rating. I must say that I am not sure what the Euro spec for the C30 is, in regards to towing capacity. I just know this to be true with many European and Japanese manufacturers.

I mean, seriously... Toyota specs my car to tow 1,600 pounds. Then Toyota USA lowers that rating to "0", and even says the car is incapable of carrying a bicycle on the back. The only difference of note is that my car has a more powerful engine in the US.

I'm not saying this is a "smoke filled room" conspiracy. It is what it is. Whatever that is. I can understand them doing it for one (or more of e following reasons:

1) We (in the US) are more lawsuit happy than anyone else in the world. I was involved in a lawsuit that ended with a British company pulling out of the US market completely... Even though they were not at fault (and neither was my company).

2) Trucks are far more profitable than cars. This is a fact...and car companies don't try to hide it. If they make it appear that the proper vehicle for towing... even a tiny trailer... is a truck rather than a car, they will sell more trucks and make a bigger profit. They can't get away with this in a lot of other countries, because people simply will not buy trucks.

3) US regulations. Don't know this to be true, but maybe adding a large towing capacity could bump a vehicle into another category when it comes to weight, class, emissions, etc. I'm just guessing... This may not be the case at all.

If someone would rather tow with a truck or SUV, that's fine with me. It just bothers me when I hear that cars can't (or shouldn't) tow. Many cars are made to tow. They are tested by the manufacturers to tow. They are given a safe tow rating. And it really annoys me that in the US, this rating is often stripped away for no apparent reason.

I have the same line of thinking when it comes to tire inflation. The tired manufacturer designed, manufactured, and tested the tire. The tire shop had a 17-year-old install it on my trailer. Who do I trust to tell me how I should inflate it: the manufacturer, or the guy in the tire store who was working at Target a week earlier?
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:55 PM   #34
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Trailer: 72 Boler American
Indiana
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I wouldn't put a Curt hitch on my lawnmower.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:59 PM   #35
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg H
I wouldn't put a Curt hitch on my lawnmower.
They probably don't make one for it, so I don't blame you.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:02 PM   #36
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No hopefully they don't, I've heard of some issues with them and I don't know for sure but they're probably from China.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:04 PM   #37
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Name: Francesca Knowles
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European Brake Standards ROCK!

Okie Dokie, Artichokies!

Let's adopt ALL European Standards- including those for brakes!

Unless it's felt that the only European Standards to be respected are those regarding TV weight limits, a look at these regarding brakes might be in order:
Could there be any connection?
Take a gander at these rules and see for your self- They're for all trailers up to 3500 kg, which I'm sure all Europhiles everywhere can readily convert to our primitive avoirdupois system.

BEGIN QUOTE from trailer brakes - Vintage Americana

Fact Sheet – American Caravan/Trailer up to 3500kg Brakes October 05

Differences between American caravans and trailers, and European regulations

1. Operating brakes
It is common on American caravans/trailers with electric brakes to have an electrical device mounted in the towing vehicle which the driver operates manually to apply the brakes of the trailer independent to the brakes on the tow vehicle. This is prohibited in Europe where the regulations demand that the service braking system must be applied without the driver removing his hands from the steering control. [UNECE Regulation 13, paragraph 5.1.2.1. / EC Directive 98/12/EC, paragraph 2.1.2.1.]

2. Mounting sensor devices
Alternatively, American caravans/trailers with electric brakes can have an electrical device mounted in the towing vehicle which senses deceleration in the towing vehicle and transmits a signal to the caravan/trailer braking system to operate the brakes. European requirements demand that this type of device must be mounted on the caravan/trailer.

3 Supply of electricity for electrical braking systems
The electrical energy required for the electrical braking system must be supplied to the trailer by the towing vehicle. If there is a battery on the trailer which is fed by the power supply unit of the towing vehicle, the power from the battery must be disconnected during application of the service braking system.

4 Time delays
Some American caravans/trailers rely on a signal from the towing vehicle stop lamps to initiate braking on the caravans/trailers. Owners of such vehicles need to be aware that the system may not meet the requirement for brake response time. European regulations demand that the time delay between the time at which the driver applies the brakes and the time at which the braking force on the least favourably placed axle reaches the level corresponding to the prescribed brake performance must not exceed 0.6 seconds. This could be difficult to achieve on systems that have to wait for the stop lamps to operate before the electronic control unit is activated and the system produces the prescribed brake level.

5. Parking brakes
American caravans/trailers do not always have a parking brake. European requirements demand that a caravan/trailer must be fitted with a parking brake that is capable of holding the vehicle stationary on an 18 per cent up or down gradient. Also, the working parts must be held in the locked position by a purely mechanical device.

6. Braking mechanisms
American caravans/trailers do not always have brakes on all wheels, and it is common for a two axle trailer to have brakes on only one axle. This is prohibited in Europe where regulations demand that each individual wheel must brake.

Caravans and trailers fitted with a braking system are required to be stopped automatically if the coupling separates while the trailer is in motion.

7. Inertia coupling
Caravans and trailers with an inertia coupling must be equipped with an automatic device that permits the combination to be reversed without the brakes generating a braking force.

American “5th wheel” type caravans are classified as semi trailers and, as such cannot use an inertia (overrun) type braking system. The operation of the towing vehicle’s braking system must directly operate the brakes on the trailer and electrically controlled systems are permitted.

8. Coupling (ball hitch) dimensions
The American ball hitch diameter is are usually 2 inches whereas the European (UK) is 50mm, therefore the trailer coupling may need changing to be compatible with the 50mm ball.

UK Legislation
Current UK legislation demands compliance with Directive 71/320/EEC including amendments up to and including Directive 98/12/EC. C&U Regulation 15 also recognises United Nations ECE Regulation 13 up to and including the 09 series
of amendments.

Additional Information
In the UK a caravan or trailer towed behind a motor vehicle of less than 3500kg Gross Vehicle Weight is restricted to a maximum width of 2.3 metres .

The driving licence required is a matter for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and not the DfT. Their email address is: drivers.dvla@gtnet.gov.uk
END QUOTE

Whew!
I don't know about you all, but I'm sold!
Let's do it ALL the European way!

Francesca
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:12 PM   #38
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I'm not adopting anything!!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:10 AM   #39
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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We can all agree there is a different in ratings between the USA and Europe and it is worth considering why. Basically we are all trying to understand the why of it all.

As to tow vehicle weight as a safety issue, there is the thought that small tow vehicles don't weigh enough to handle the trailer load safely. The reality is that the typical small tow vehicle weighs more than a loaded 16 foot Casita or Scamp weighs. My Honda weighs about 4000#s; my Scamp 16 weighs 2500#s.

If you look at the typical truck, it is rated to tow loads greater than the Truck weight. Why isn't that unsafe?


Norm
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:41 AM   #40
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Name: Jesse
Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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Whoa, Francesca! All I said is that I prefer to trust the company who tested and built the car. This is not a Europe vs America thing.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #41
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Trailer: 1985 U-Haul CT13 ft ('The Mothball')
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Ok, so much excitement about me getting the electric brakes! As I mentioned I was planning to get them this year or next.
It just happens that the good rv guy in my city and I have now met and he has an opening to help me change the axle/ add brakes or whatever it is we need to do. He's done this for trilliums before.
I will start a new thread about this. I hope those of you who have been so helpful so far will follow me there and help me to know what I need to buy from Dexter to put on my ct13.

Thanks,
Bridget
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:44 PM   #42
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Trailer: 1984 Scamp 13'
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Originally Posted by Greg H
No hopefully they don't, I've heard of some issues with them and I don't know for sure but they're probably from China.
You have heard bad information. I have had many Curt hitches. All have been very good. Better quality than Reese, DrawTite or Hidden Hitch. And they are made here in the USA.
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