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 Post subject: Towing Caravans
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 09:56 
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There Is a trial going on at the moment on a stretch of the M5. That caravans have to stay In Lane One. It Is NOT ENFORCEABLE At the moment. Is this a way of Reducing accidents due to them swaying or just to make traffic flow freely :?:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 10:21 
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HA sources have said it a scheme developed to reduce congestion.

Because caravans are limited on dual carriageways, they can hold other traffic up when in the overtaking lane, particularly when overtaking up-hill!

This causes traffic to bunch behind them and congestion. the HA's concern is that the want to reduce this kind of traffic flow disruption during the holiday period - the traffic in this area is at it's heaviest during the holiday season:

Traffic flows:

August: Midweek average 44,000; weekends average 56,000
October: Midweek average 38,000; weekends average 30,000

I think it's a good idea and should be applied to LGV traffic as well. I know this may not be warmly received by the sites many HGV users, but I think there is scope for this as long as it is applied sensibly and managed appropriately!


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 Post subject: Re: Towing Caravans
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 15:54 
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Derick wrote:
There Is a trial going on at the moment on a stretch of the M5. That caravans have to stay In Lane One. It Is NOT ENFORCEABLE At the moment. Is this a way of Reducing accidents due to them swaying or just to make traffic flow freely :?:
Not enforceable? I thought they had cameras up for that. I'm sure I saw it on the news, unless maybe it was another peice of equipment for something else. Or by not enforceable do you mean that no action is taken beyond a nag letter sent to the registered owner? Not having a caravan or using the M5 much I have to be honest and say I didn't pay much attention.

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 Post subject: caravans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 22:51 
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Location: Treacletown ( just north of M6 J3),A MILE OR TWO PAST BEDROCK
From an old timer on west highland single track roads up against the worst of southern england - BAN ALL CARAVANS UNTILL THE DRIVER TESTED TO HGV STANDARDS - A GROUP OF CARAVANS IS TERMED AS A "PLAGUE"


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 20:30 
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Would it not be good practise to have to pass a test on pulling a trailer and then maybe tax caravans, it would only need to be a nominal fee, say £2,000,000 per mile for instance.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 00:55 
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New drivers do have to pass a trailer test, B+E. The problem is all the older generation who have already proved that they cannot tow a caravan are simply given the qualification. Go figure :?:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 08:57 
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AFAIA, you pass a test in a car, go home, hitch up your caravan and away you go :?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 22:18 
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Not since 97 Oscar
2. CAR DRIVING LICENCE FIRST OBTAINED SINCE 1 JANUARY 1997
Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to category B+E and all larger vehicles. In addition to the new driving tests, drivers of vehicles which fall within subcategories C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E also have to meet higher medical standards.

But from what you say how many drivers know this, and are the police enforcing it???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 00:28 
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tinytim wrote:
Not since 97 Oscar
2. CAR DRIVING LICENCE FIRST OBTAINED SINCE 1 JANUARY 1997
Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to category B+E


B+E is car and trailer/caravan over 750kg. See this page on the DVLA website. It is possible to get a caravan under 750kg.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 18:08 
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Location: Treacletown ( just north of M6 J3),A MILE OR TWO PAST BEDROCK
Look at the road space a car+ caravan takes up - some occupy almost the same space as a HGV - do they pay for the privilage as hgvs do -no
AND WHY NOT.
This Government reduced the tax on smaller cars as an incentive -the M6 toll charges by length(so i read) - so why not have a caravan tax, they cause more congestion than a 44 tonner, so why not make them pay?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 18:19 
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botach wrote:
Look at the road space a car+ caravan takes up - some occupy almost the same space as a HGV - do they pay for the privilage as hgvs do -no
AND WHY NOT.
This Government reduced the tax on smaller cars as an incentive -the M6 toll charges by length(so i read) - so why not have a caravan tax, they cause more congestion than a 44 tonner, so why not make them pay?


One reason is the damage to roads that HGVs do. Road surface damage is proportional to the 5th power of axle weight. That means that virtually all road damage is done by HGVs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 18:47 
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Location: Treacletown ( just north of M6 J3),A MILE OR TWO PAST BEDROCK
HGV s pay ,it would be nice to see the govt put back in a larger percentage of that money, and hit the foreign HGVs too. But for too long caravans have caused chaos on the roads without paying for it. I am not talking of damage, but of congestion. I would far sooner follow a 44 tonner on a narrow road than a caravan - at least the bloke in front has had to pass a test to prove he /she can drive a vehicle of that size - it was quite common in my younger days to see (albeit smaller) HGVs having to reverse on a single track road because the pilloc piloting the caravan could not reverse.
Either make them pass a driving test with caravan on or make them pay,or preferably both
Needless to say i hate caravans,but that's my personal opinion from personal experience


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 01:20 
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Do caravans have to undergo an annual inspection, MOT type?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:23 
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Homer wrote:
tinytim wrote:
Not since 97 Oscar
2. CAR DRIVING LICENCE FIRST OBTAINED SINCE 1 JANUARY 1997
Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to category B+E


B+E is car and trailer/caravan over 750kg. See this page on the DVLA website. It is possible to get a caravan under 750kg.

Not quite, under a post-1996 category B license, you can drive a car/trailer combination of up to 3.5 tonnes maximum allowable mass (MAM) where the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle. In practice this means that many of the lighter caravans can be legally towed with many typical towcars without needing B+E. For example, Volvo 850 (max train weight 3,500kg and unladen weight 1,500kg) can legally tow a caravan with MTPLM up to 1,500 kg (which includes the entire Bailey Pageant range, a very popular caravan).

It's only when you take bigger towcars (e.g. some 4x4s and MPVs) and/or larger caravans (e.g. Bailey Senator twin-axles) that you need B+E. This is somewhat crazy as you need to take another test to tow with a Discovery, which is one of the most capable towcars available and much safer when towing than a typical family saloon for which you don't need to take the extra test.

Now for that absolutely stupid banning of caravans from the middle lane: These days most caravanners tow with a car that's more than capable of towing the caravan at speeds well in excess of what they're allowed to do. For example, I took my combination over to France a few years ago and had no trouble keeping to the 130 kph speed limit. Towing my caravan I can legally travel up the hill in question at 60 mph; had I no regard for the speed limit, I could go up there in excess of 70. Most caravans can go up that hill at 60. So, caravans can't overtake but the lorry behind them can and pulls out. Oops, there's now a line of caravans stuck behind some slow-moving truck and the lorry (who's probably doing less than 50) is obliged to crawl past a long convoy of caravans, and so blocks the centre lane far more effectively than would the caravanners if allowed to get on with their journey unhindered. It would be much better and fairer if they put a minimum speed limit on the middle lane (say, 50 mph).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:41 
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tinytim wrote:
Do caravans have to undergo an annual inspection, MOT type?

They don't at present. However, I understand there are moves to get all trailers tested annually. That said, manufacturers these days offer a six-year warranty subject to annual servicing (which includes a roadworthiness inspection), so it's really only caravans older than this that would be affected. Then again, you have regular roadside inspections that not only catches unroadworthy trailers, but also numpties who overload or incorrectly load their trailers.

(With that said, I understand that many of the police so-called towing experts don't know how to weigh a twin-axle trailer and have wrongly deemed some trailers overweight and taken them off the road at these inspections.)

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 Post subject: Re: Towing Caravans
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 18:40 
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It would be completly pointless to only limit caravans, as LGV are limited to 56 mph and use both lane 1 & 2.

To make it effective, all LGV's, Caravans & coaches should be restricted to lane 1, during busy periods.

However i would like to see caravans banned outright, pointless. Why can't they stay in a Hotel, like everyone else.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 07:42 
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bmwk12 - There are many advantages to a caravan over a hotel including:

- Cost
- Tranquility (middle of a field instead of middle of a town)
- no 'invasion' from hotel staff
- Range of locations (there are campsites pretty much everywhere, in areas where a hotel would not be financially viable)
- Pets ( as a dog owner it is nice to have the dogs come with you as a break for them as well, something only a few hotels cater for, and even fewer would allow the bringing of pet rats along as we used to do)
- Own familiar habitation, with whatever standard of living you are happy with.
- Friendly atmosphere amongst caravaners

I have found it very rare to be held up by caravaners. Normally it is the case of hgvs leapfrogging that catches me. The odd occassions where i have been stuch it has been due to the caravaner being held up by other traffic(with the disadvantage that they are unable to overtake on normal roads as easily).


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:52 
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Quote:
- Cost


Incorrect, a Hotel is far cheaper than a caravan.

When you take in the cost:

Caravan purchase, Main, Insurance & fuel cost to tow it, where you are going.

Quote:
- Tranquility (middle of a field instead of middle of a town)


You mean bogged down in a field, with no services available.

Quote:
- no 'invasion' from hotel staff


The same hotel staff, that clean your room & will bring you what you desire after a single phone call :!:

Quote:
- Range of locations (there are campsites pretty much everywhere, in areas where a hotel would not be financially viable)


If the area is worth visiting, then it is financially viable to have a Hotel, and they are everywhere.

- Pets

Put my pets in the local kennels, i go on holiday, do not wish to take any liability with me :!:

Quote:
- Own familiar habitation, with whatever standard of living you are happy with.


With a caravan, you have to make allowances, having spent alot of time in them from my racing days. The standard of caravan fall well short of a Holiday inn.

Quote:
- Friendly atmosphere amongst caravaners


Not if you park on his regular pitch, or your kids upset other's peace or your dog annoy's them.

Their are far more problems with caravans than people believe, we take for granted running water, which has to be barreled over to a caravan every day.

Then the daily toilet empty, what a lovely job :wink:

Analyse it all, with the traffic problems, we should ban them from the road.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:55 
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tinytim wrote:
Do caravans have to undergo an annual inspection, MOT type?


No, yet all LGV (HGV) trailers must undergo an annual inspection.

Go figure :!:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 16:44 
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Replying to bmwk12's posts:

For me, the cost of caravanning is much cheaper than hotels. All-up, the total cost of my caravanning including depreciation, site fees, extra fuel, gas, insurance, servicing, and food is about £110 per week for my wife and I. Compare that with a hotel (six nights @ £70 a night B&B + £20 per day for food). So, it costs nearly as much per day to stay at a hotel as it does for a week using my caravan.

Of course, with a hotel you have the potential to rack up even greater costs. It costs extra to have the hotel staff bring you what you desire -- and they tend to have a hissy-fit if you try to cook yourself something when it's convenient to you. Caravanning offers convenience that affordable hotels can't match :!:

IME, campers and caravanners are a very friendly bunch. It's rare to find someone you dislike, and if you do you can usually move pitch. For that, if you're a dedicated CL camper, you can usually up-legs and find another site!

That said, it's each to their own.

BTW, on the subject of traffic hold-ups: blame our wonderful government. Most outfits can travel in safety at the speed limit for solo cars. Unfortunately, the powers that be have decreed that trailer combinations shall travel at no more than 50 mph on single-carriageways and 60 mph on dual-carriageways and motorways. If you see a caravan travelling slower than that, there's usually something in front of it holding it up.

FWIW, the antics that some drivers get up to in ensuring they're in front of me is amazing. They overtake with inadequate room for the manouevre. They slow down at junctions and roundabouts, sometimes even stop, then seem to have a sudden realization that I'm towing a caravan, then pull out right in front of me (forcing emergency braking), then drive at 10 mph or less than you want to do, holding you up. Of course, bigots like Clarkson can't see the prat in front of the caravan, wrongly assume that the caravan is the holdup, and bleat in a sensationalist manner to anyone who will listen and who is gullible enough to accept their bigotry at face value :!:

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