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Thinking I am getting to old for tents, so thinking of small trailer tent.

 

Has anyone fitted tow ball to the car? If I was going to fit my own what thickness steel would be appropriate? On the zero I think I could easily pick up on chassis and lower wishbone arms and believe they would take the weight. Only going for a small 2 berth, possible a motorbike tent or small Comanche.

 

Ideas please or some who can build to my specs.

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Interesting challenge. Given the tank position, assuming you didn't want to interfere or change the tank at all, I think you're stuck with a rather low hitch height if you're picking up off the lower section of the chassis... I wonder if it would be too low? Obviously you could rise it up on the outside of the car, up at the back, but I wonder what strength/leverage stress this would put on the rest of the structure. I guess ultimately if you use thick enough steel, anything should be possible, but given the Zero rear end in the early days was known to fracture in places before GBS added webbing/strengthening, I'd be cautious about how much "safety margin" is in it, to be honest...!

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Something to think about before you go ahead, copied from bosal website

 

 

Tow bar design

 

Tow bars are reviewed on an individual basis, and only those that meet the European Courts safety and quality standards are considered type-approved. As of 1998 in the UK, only Whole European Type-Approved Vehicles can be fitted with European Type Approved towbars. To ensure that the tow bar you are purchasing is safe and compliant, always look for the type approval plate.

 

Manufacturers design towbars using data such as;

 

The car manufacturer's specified fixing points

 

Gross Trailer Weight

 

Gross Vehicle Weight

 

As this data varies depending on the make, model and year of the car, it is important that you invest in a (type-approved) vehicle-specific tow bar.

 

 

I've done it but won't any longer, if it's not type approved it's not legal in my understanding of it. Have an accident whilst towing I think it would be a world of legal pain.

 

Just my interpretation of it...

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Agreed, after reading that, if that's the legal position, I wouldn't be bothering (well, I wouldn't be bothering with a Lotus 7 and towing anyway, but, you know what I mean ;) )....

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I expected that my MX5 MK3 would be able to tow a small camping trailer, but the logbook states 0KG as the max towing weight.

MX websites have lots of info, although MK1s & 2s have a low towing weight specified.

There are lots of warnings of being uninsured etc if you try......so regrettably I wont.

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Legally its a big no to fitting a tow bar to virtually any kit car.

 

As Dan says all tow bars must be type approved if fitted to vehicles registered after 1.8.1998.

 

A non type approved tow bar will breach the construction and use regulations and therefore be an offence.

 

Since it is unlikely that the vehicle was registered with any towing weights specified it will not have a plated gross train weight and so will be overladen if towing any trailer. Another offence.

 

Unless you declare the tow bar to your insurance company, your insurance will be voidable, which means the insurance company can refuse to cover you in the event of an accident.

 

It is possible that with such a lightly constructed car, overladen (see above) with a non type approved tow bar, that consideration would be given to a prosecution for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition (S40A RTA 1988) which carries 3 points and a fine.

 

If there was an accident the it could be Dangerous Driving.( a mandatory ban, retest and possibly imprisonment)

 

Its more likely to be VOSA than the police who pull you over for a stop check at one of their roadside check points.

 

Having built a zero and had it rear ended I would not be putting any extra load on the rear end or be drilling any additional holes in the box section.

 

I hate tents too so sorry to put a damper on your plan.

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I was looking at a camper van and tow the kit, but wheres the fun in driving the kit. OK for some events where you can park up, pitch up and enjoy. Other options, Hotel starts to be expensive, plus I dont trust most Hotel carparks. I stay away 2-3 days a week with work and carparks are like a dealership for the less scrupulous members of the public. Plus you miss out on the fun and comradeship.

Plan B then...

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  • 11 months later...

We fitted a tow bar to Florin, our 2b+ & fortunately had no issues with any legal agencies; as did a load of other 7 type kit owners. We even towed our trailer tent down to Le Mans again with no issues.

Probably comes down to if your driving like a loon & DVLA/police have had a bad day then you'll get pulled.

We had a lot of good times away, with our kit & t/tent , if you can afford the B&B/hotel you still miss the alcohol lubricated evenings around the fire at meets like Stoneleigh -- Hoodstock -- Donnington -- Castle Combe -- Prescott.

Those days are past as our towing is now with a 4 wheel drive & boat.

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  • 1 year later...

Somewhat late to this topic, but this was something that I looked into some time ago and, as far as I can tell, the requirement for type approved towbars only applies to type approved vehicles - so singly or individually approved vehicles should not need type approved towbars.

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As said above, we towed our trailer tent ( & at times an ordinary 750 kg gross trailer ) thousands of miles without incident.  Never had any problems with the tow or police.  Got stopped by police near Stonehenge at solstice time with t/tent , but they just needed to know if we planned on joining the muddy field mob. " No Officer, we are just trying to get to our home in Hampshire" " Carry on then Sir, nice car by the way"

Was told many years ago, " Rules are for fools -- & the guidance of wiser men "   So we try to only do one thing wrong at a time,  works so afar.

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I have thought about type approved, but being a B reg it was before the rules were made. Second to this most plods and MOT testers for that matter look for the silver sticker.

As Baldrick would say "I have cunning plan", using an old Ford focus tow bar kit and you've guess it the silver sticker is still fitted. 

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