Trailering

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Hmm, trailing - never done this before and a little apprehensive. The plan is to tow 22' weston from Norwich to Surrey. Any tips ???
 
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Drive Carefully!! Seriously, I tow (don't laugh!) a 19ft Macgregor,weighs about a ton and have no problems. Obviously allow for the length when cornering and take it easy and try to stay off of narrow roads! A bar on the rear with legal lighting will probably prevent the police from firing at you... Good luck..
 

snowleopard

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a few tips...

remember the legal requirements: don't drive in the right hand lane of 3/4 lane motorways & stay under 60. To get a stable tow, make sure the weight on the towbar is correct, check with your car dealer (roughly, if a strong person can just lift the front of the trailer it's about right. Too heavy and the car will be unstable, too light and the trailer will have a mind of its own. If you feel the trailer is taking charge or starting to weave, slow down GENTLY, don't hit the brakes.

And most of all, don't forget to release the trailer brake before moving off! (speaks a man who didn't)

Good luck
 

Bergman

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Find a nice big and empty car park and have a practice at reversing.

Its not really too difficult but practice where you have plenty of room is time well spent

PS Try to use mirrors OR look over your shoulder. Change from one to the other mid manouvre can be fun.
 
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oh, and don't forget a safety chain from the trailer to the tow bar. (from someone who forgot and regretted it, but that's another story).
 
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My first experience of trailing a caravan was a nightmare with a tyre blowout and a speed weave [not an experience I want to repeat!] ... I don't know when this trailer was last on the road but check it over [as others have advised] attention to tyres, brakes, hitch condition and ascertain whether it has manual or automatic reversing - if it is manual you have to get out the towing vehicle and move a 'catch' to prevent the brakes from locking on when you reverse.

Do you know anyone who has towed who can go with you?
 
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Thanks you all for the tips.......I just know this is going to be horrible

Some points for me sweat over:

Trailer board I think will have to be a big 'un - Indespension have quoted me £50+vat for a 6'6" with 9m of cable a fog lamp. As well as cost, the problem will be how to attach it.

The trailer is with the broker so I'll no opportunity to practise:(

Do you think wing mirror extensions are worthwhile?

Is it easy to fit the safety breakaway cable?

The trailer has no spare wheel! (feels his pulse rise)

The trailer is being serviced before I use it but neither I nor any of my pals have any experiance of trailering but figure I could spread the anxiety is we come in numbers :) One work pal thinks I'm mad.
 
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Take heart!,
I, too, have just started trailering (a 21' one ton fishing boat). It's not so scary. As the others have suggested, just keep the speed down and allow for the thing when cornering.

I don't have wing mirror extensions on my Landrover and can see around enough around the boat for safe driving.

Best of luck

Chris Enstone, Rival Spirit
 
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Well that's good news about the service! That would remove most of the worries I'd have. Wing mirrors - depends on how the boat sits on the trailer ... often the hull doesn't actually obscure too much view unlike a caravan? It would always be better to fit them anyway but you may not need the expense and 'fiddle factor'?

Look at http://www.cpanet.freeserve.co.uk/towing.htm and http://209.15.65.13/hints/trailing.htm which are just 2 sites I found with good info and advice?

Re: breakaway cable - I believe it is now an offence to simply loop this over the towball? You must have a loop which goes under one of the towball bolts to which the cable should be attached.

BTW - when you first plug the board in [you can probably do this now?] to the car check firstly that everything works and secondly that the right light opertates [eg. LH & RH indicators] because wrong connections can occur and the result of the opposite indicator flashing wouldn't bear thinking about!
 
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Sorry for the duplication - I posted the same question elsewhere, but this topic is more suitable so here it is agian....

Another question - what should I do with the two side and top covers - they're only on poppers so might blow away. On the otherhand, leaving the center cockpit open might make things worse. A pal had an idea of shrink wrapping the cockpit covers in place. I work in a warehouse and get a big roll. what do you think?
 

Colinh

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Re: a few tips...

You left the brake on ? We lowered the hitch onto the ball, and I assumed it was locked on. It was not. The locking tongue was sat on top of the ball.

All was OK until I drove off, and the trailer declined to follow. By gum ! Did that pull the brake on ? It bust the emergency cable !

Colin H.
 

Avocet

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Hi there,

A couple of points, someone said keep to 60 mph. I'm not sure but I think trailers are still limited to 50 on single carriageway "A" roads.

Also, if you're towing with a car built after 1998, it should be fitted with a type-approved tow bar. The maximum permitted nose weight for the trailer (the weight you try to lift when you pick up the tow hitch) should be clearly marked on it. It might be called a "D" weight on the label.

From my experience, some car/trailer combinations "snake" and some don't. I towed a Leisure 17 with a variety of cars and found it an utter joy. - didn't even know it was there half the time. I also towed an Evolution 22 behind several cars and it was an utter PIG. Find a deserted bit of road and gradually increase your speed up to the maximum you're going to reach. Every 10MPH or so, just give the steering a gentle twitch and see what the trailer does. If it twitches once to follow the car and then settles, you're fine. If it feels like it wants to carry on twitching after the car has stopped, you're likely to have big problems at higher speeds. Re-loading with more weight on the front can sometimes help (as indicated by other respondents) but not always. I bought an "anti-snake" bar (about £50 from any caravan shop). It was the best £50 I ever spent - but that's only because I had a boat and trailer which were prone to it!

Good luck.
 

mark_turner

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I have trailed boats for years and provided all advice above is taken it is not that bad. Just try to relax about it or you get very painful wrists very quickly.

the main point I was going to make was that tail boards can be bought in two separate halves (to fix on to suit the width of your board) if you don't want to get a very bigh one. I have gone to Towsure (theyv'e got a web site) and found them to be cheap and fair quality.

Mark
 
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