Motorhome Facts Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you tow a Smart car on a A frame?
Had any problms with gearbox or anything else?
How many miles have you towed your Smart car?
What is the furthest you have towed it without driving it in between?
Various comments in poll section say damage may occur if you tow a Smart car on a A frame so I would be grateful of any experiences before having A frame fitted.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
hi djp

havent towed a smart car , but have a framed my 4x4 all over uk , no probs , cant see how it would damage a gearbox, maybe somebody else will post who has done it to put youre mind at ease.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
DJP


Re Smart car towing

i have a roadster smart, and was told that they CANNOT be towed on an A frame because the have a centrifugal clutch system,
I was going to use a dolly to tow mine but was told it would have to have the rear wheels off the ground.......Problem: they dont have a steering lock on them to lock the wheels
We have opted for a trailer
Bantam trailer do a bespoke trailer for the "baby"smart which i believe i have seen a MHF member with one on this site called "biggermac"

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,104 Posts
Tiptronic g/boxes fitted in Smarts rely on a pump to supply oil to the nec working parts (without going into great detail) therefore if a vehicle fitted with this system is towed then lubrication is not being sent to the transmission/drive mechanism, so towing your pride and joy is not on!

Ok for a short tow to the Garage if broken down, not for touring France!

M&D :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
hi red

not knocking them , theyre actually quite smart :lol: . just thank god i havent got one cause id probabaly have wrecked it by now by towing it about .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
My mate and his wife are full-timing in their Kontiki and have covered over 5000 miles towing their Smart car on an A frame, they have been to Spain twice and have had no problems whatsoever with the car......perhaps ignorance is bliss?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Hi my Smart has a 6 speed manual box, you can use it as an auto or change gear using the lever, it is electronically controlled and not hydraulically driven.
It only has a brake pedal and throttle pedal, it is great fun to drive and is towed on an A Bar.
Eddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Questions, questions, questions for EDDIE

Hi Eddie
Whilst towing:-
Do you leave the gear lever over to the right or the left?
Keys in or out of ignition? If in, in which posiion?
Do you lock the doors or do they self lock?(If keys are not in ignition)
I assume it is unbraked?
Do you use a trailer/lighting board?

Sorry for all the questions but it's a case of need to know!
Thanks in anticipation

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Hi Dennis, the gears are in neutral, the key is turned to first position, Doors unlocked,unbraked A Frame with Brake Buddy in car to operate car brakes, all fitted by Towtal, car plugs in to light socket on motorhome.
Towtal fit a Frame to the car and wire up a plug for the lights etc, A Frame clips on to Brackets on car plug in electrics and Drive .

Towtal
hope this helps
Eddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Smart A Frame

Eddie
Thanks for prompt reply.
I am going up to Towtal !st July for fitting etc. I have not come across Brake Buddy before. I assume it applies the brakes in the Smart? Was it extra or included in the price? I am paying about £795 for tow bar and A frame and lights.
Sorry for more questions
Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Towing on A frame legality

Hi Scotjimland

I have looked into this recently and found this on Towtal website

When attached with a fixed towing frame the car is considered to be a
trailer and is subject to trailer regulations covered by the official
Construction and Use Regulations. A number of EEC Directives
apply to U.K. trailer regulations. A car on tow with a fixed towing
device is defined as a steerable multi-axle trailer.

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Hi Dennis, yes it is extra but it means you can use the lighter unbraked A Frame and the Brake Buddy does all the braking.
All in Price around £1200,
Eddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Smart A frame Again!

Eddie
Thanks again.
Towtal tell me an unbraked A frame is ok as the Smart (Pulse) weighs in at 720kg with 75% fuel load and no passengers. :?

Dennis
 

·
Registered
2003 Timberland Freedom
Joined
·
6,007 Posts
Hi Dennis,
thank you for the info, I have looked at the regulations on this site,
http://www.ukmotorhomes.net/a-frames.shtml
and it's still at bit of a grey area .. here is an extract ,

Quote
"From the above I hope it is clear that we believe the use of "A" frames to tow cars behind other vehicles is legal provided the braking and lighting requirements are met. However, while this is our understanding of the meaning of the Regulations, it is only the Courts which can reach a definitive interpretation of the law.

Alan Mendelson
Primary Safety Branch
Department for Transport"

Un Quote

These are the UK regs, Im still looking for the directive from the EU , my interest stems from my own desire to tow a small car around europe and I read somewhere that it was only legal on a braked trailer.. I'll keep searching ..

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Towing a SMART

Here goes nothing!

I've been researching this subject for weeks. I've heard all the horror stories from Merc about the seals blowing on the gearbox. Dreadful wear on the gearbox itself, etc. etc. But, to cut a long story short (and it is a VERY long story), the SMART does not have a conventional automatic gearbox (which would get damaged if towed). The best description I've heard is that it's a software controlled manual box. This means that when you put it in neutral, that's exactly what you get. No problems. Because I'm a suspicious individual I didn't take all this without checking around, so when the Caravan Club held it's annual rally in my back garden (Burghley Park) a couple of weeks ago, I took a ramble around and found people who were towing SMARTS on A frames. I asked each of them what their experiences were and not one of them had ever had a single problem. Then I asked the dealer that I bought my RV from. They said the same thing: Both they and several of their customers have been towing SMARTS for years without any adverse effects. Pretty convincing evidence. However, one thing worth bearing in mind is that sur le continent, several member states are not too keen on A frames. They have to tolerate them as apparently, the ruling is that the law which applies is that of the country of origin, i.e. if you arrive from the UK towing with an A frame, there's not much they can do about it if you stand your ground. However (again), the Dept of Transport is currently reviewing and updating the UK rules on towed vehicles and no-one seems very certain as to what the revised definitions will be. It could be that they will come into line with other EU states and make A frames 'illegal'. Whether this will apply retrospectively is anyones guess.

Bottom line: For more or less the price of a braked A frame, you can go to Woodford Trailers and get a very nice, fully braked trailer that will take all four wheels of your SMART off the ground. As far as I know, no-one (not even the French) object to that and as a bonus, you only wear out two tyres instead of four.

So after weeks of convincing myself that an A frame was the answer. I went out and bought a trailer today.

Go figure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Smart on an A

Hi Gewity
Been through everything you have and still looking :?
I have searched many web sites including all MH sites and Smart sites and cannot find ANYONE who has actually had a mechanical problem whilst towing on an A frame :D
The legal side is still a grey area, but at the moment leaning to the legal side in UK and Europe. The Towtal website gives lots of info and documents to convince various law enforcement agencies that A frame towing is legal as long as the lighting rquirement is complied with.
Again I cannot find anybody who has been prosecuted for A frame towing.
So that is the route I am going. .........................for now anyway.

Enjoy the MH and Smart

Dennis
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top