TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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BossCat
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TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby BossCat » 10 Jun 2009, 11:12pm

Hi all,

Im in the process of building a largeish! - Camping trailer. Iv'e been a couple weeks searching the net trying to find out if there's a size limit for bicycle trailers on the UK roads? I dont want to finish building my trailer then get pulled over by the law because its to big?

Does anyone know if there's a legal size limit?

WORK IN PROGRESS

Here's how it looks so far....

SPECS...

Length - 2200m
Width - 0.95m - to outside of wheels.
Loadbed - 2m X 0.85
Running on 22in Wheelchair wheels with drum brakes - (solid tyres, these will be replaced with tyres n tubes to stop the rough bumpy ride.

Image

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Thanks
Tom C
************ My other trailers an Airstream ************
Image
French bicycle racer, Latourneau pulled an Airstream caravan in 1947 to demonstrate how light it was.

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Mick F
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby Mick F » 11 Jun 2009, 7:26am

I don't know.

I do know that some folk have towed rather large stuff - ladders, large boxes and the like. They never had any legal problems to my knowledge.

I asked, rather tongue in cheek, a while back, that I was concerned that a bike pulling a trailer may be considered as an articulated vehicle! As a consequence, there would be certain restriction on speed and available roads!

Nice project BTW!!
Mick F. Cornwall

random37
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby random37 » 11 Jun 2009, 8:35am

It should be fine from a legal point of view, but it's big from a towing point of view.
Are you sure you couldn't live with something a bit smaller?

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danfoto
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby danfoto » 11 Jun 2009, 9:30am

BossCat wrote:Does anyone know if there's a legal size limit?


No idea mister, but ...

Image

:wink:
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gaz
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby gaz » 11 Jun 2009, 9:40am

Don't go to South Australia - Cycling and the Law pdf.

From which - Bicycles, including a trailer, must not exceed 3.5 metres in length.

If your travel plans don't include South Australia you'll probably be OK.

On a more serious note there are regulations for reflectors and lighting in the UK.
Missing, presumed fed.

thirdcrank
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jun 2009, 9:52am

Most of the rules about vehicle size come from the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations AKA Con & Use. As the title suggests, they don't apply to other vehicles such as pedal cycles. I cannot think of anything which would cover pedal cycle trailers, so by default, I think it can be any size you like. (I do make that comment with less confidence than usual because it's always harder to prove a negative.) The proviso I would make would be that if it was so big as to be dangerous, other legislation such as not being in a position to have proper control would almost certainly cover the circumsatnces.

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danfoto
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby danfoto » 11 Jun 2009, 9:55am

How are you going to operate the trailer brakes, and come to that how are you going to ensure that you get equal braking on both trailer wheels?
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2Tubs
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby 2Tubs » 11 Jun 2009, 12:21pm

What are you taking with you?

Mark Beumont cycled around the world and he'd of only needed a 3rd of that for his trip.

But well done on the build, it looks a great trailer for moving stuff, but not sure it's the most suitable tool for camping.

Gazza
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Swizz69
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby Swizz69 » 11 Jun 2009, 1:26pm

Seen pics of canoes being towed on the net somewhere :)

This sprung to mind too...

http://www.eland.org.uk/misc.html

Nice work btw. Only concern i'd have is how you've hitched it to the bike - if its heavily loaded it might try to steer the bike a little, whereas one hitched to the axle pushes & pulls right where the bike pivots so has less of an effect, and also puts the load on the bike right where its being supported by the wheel.

What fascinates me is how you intend using it as a camping trailer. Having such a large load 'bed', just wondering whether you'll be sleeping on it too :?: Brill project if you are :D

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rbrian
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby rbrian » 11 Jun 2009, 3:31pm

Since it isn't a motor vehicle, I imagine the same law applies to cycle trailers as to horse drawn trailers - and those come much bigger than yours. Of course, I'm basing this not on facts, but on logic, so, since it has to do with the law, it's almost certainly wrong.
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North Star
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby North Star » 11 Jun 2009, 4:55pm

gaz wrote:Don't go to South Australia - Cycling and the Law pdf.


That seems like fairly wise advice: look how near to the kerb the 'as close as reasonably practicable to the left side
of the road' position is (page 7). Compulsory helmets for good measure, and I'm not totally convinced by their roundabout advice either.

Perhaps slightly (!) off-topic, I know...

Mike

stoobs
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby stoobs » 11 Jun 2009, 5:43pm

I imagine that there are regs governing individual axle loads, and probably a weight limit of 40 tonnes, so go steady :wink:

There's a window cleaner round here who tows a ladder, and everyone sees him, so that gives you some scope. On width, Rikshaws seem to be allowed, so perhaps that gives you some idea? I'd be more worried about width than length, as the actress might have said to the bishop.

chrisoleary
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby chrisoleary » 12 Jun 2009, 7:55am

I got a large carry freedom trailer last year and just can't fill it. It's great for trips to the tip or recycling centre but i would have to be taking the family on a 2 week camping trip to fill it.

I don't think there are any restrictions mentioned in uk regulations apart from needing an articulated lgv licence for a trailer over 3.5t.

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BossCat
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby BossCat » 12 Jun 2009, 9:14am

Oh! Quite a few replies but none seem to know for certain, looks like this is a bit of a grey area? - seems like everythings ok until you get pulled over! Think I best make enquiries at my local cop shop.

Ok lets start at the begining.
Hopefully this will answer some of the questions posed by members.

Last August a mate of mine bought a trailer tent, to give it a test out we headed of to Skye for a few days, weather was great, while the rest of the country was hit with monsoons.
On my return home I got to reminiscing about camping/fishing trips of days gone by. With these thoughts still on my mind the following month I bought myself a new bike...

Viking Urban Trail.

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My last NEW bike was bought for me by my dad when I was about 12yrs costing a whopping £26.10 Shillings (My how times and prices have changed) - (Need to get a photo of old racing bike to post)
I fitted out the bike with a 12V 6watt Dynamo I got off ebay (cant seem to get this working properly?) and a pannier rack (again ebay). I was looking for a saddle bag for the back (call me old fasioned) but they dont seem to make them any more? so I had to settle on a pannier.
After a few weeks my thoughts returned to fishing/camping trips etc. Humm! Rods tied to bike, rucksack full of fishing tackle - camping stove - tent - sleeping bag - food & drink - warm clothes ----- this list is endless? I then thought all that stuff could be put in a trailer and would save weight on the bike. So I started looking at bike trailers and there price Humm! quiet expensive some of them and not to my likeing!
After many restless nights sleep I thought BUILD MY OWN. So I begain looking at websites dealing with trailers.

I best tell you all now before someone post's any trailer links/pics! I have looked at thousands of websites & pictures of trailers, there's not many trailers I haven't seen - if any! - I dont count sheep when I goto sleep :mrgreen:

Humm!
Anyone spot the similarity?


Swizz69
Seen pics of canoes being towed on the net somewhere :)
This sprung to mind too...

http://www.eland.org.uk/misc.html


Image - Image

Yes! The yellow trailer above is the latest one iv'e seen (about 3 weeks ago) and is what my trailer is based on, but more on that later.

The Quest was on
First of was wheels. Duering our sunday trips to Blochairn fish/fruit (car booty type) market I started looking for wheels, I picked up a kiddies bike for £7 - 16in wheels.
Next up was the trailer its self, I remembered I had a large angle iron frame tucked away at the side of my shed. With frame and wheels in hand I took a trip around to see my mate Peter - He likes tinkering with stuff, plus he has a welder :wink:
A couple of hours later I had a frame with wheels attached. Next I cut a piece of plywood that I got from another mate (Pat) and bolted it into frame. Then came the Hitch/towing problem! I dont like the bar at the side ofthe wheel, nor do I like the long under the seat type bar. Anyway I didn't have any tube or a bender if I did but Peter did have flat bar. So this is what I/we came up with...

Towing Arm.
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This took about 3 to 4 weeks! not the making of the tow arm but finding something that would emulate a towball hitch like that on a car.
Eventually after all sorts of nuts/bolts/bent tube/swivel fastners/castor wheels were tried a friend of a friend got me this...

Universal Joint. (think its a landrover steering linkage?
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A large bolt ground down so it slips into the joint and nut and bolt to keep it there, all attached to a aluminium angle plate this how it looks when attached to any trailer iv'e made? - yes the present trailer is the seventh trailer iv made.

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Swizz69
Nice work btw. Only concern i'd have is how you've hitched it to the bike - if its heavily loaded it might try to steer the bike a little, whereas one hitched to the axle pushes & pulls right where the bike pivots so has less of an effect, and also puts the load on the bike right where its being supported by the wheel.


I think if the load is spread across the main axle there wont be to much of a problem. Iv'e tried out a couple of runs, only last night I brought home a load of offcuts of plywood from a skip about 2 mile away.

The Univesal Joint may have seen its last haul as im waiting on a towball type hitch arriving...
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Im getting a bit ahead of myself, where was I? aah yes - 7th trailer.
Each trailer that iv'e made has been a little better than the last, with a stop in between to build a One Wheeled Trailer(which is still a work in progress). The materials I used all seem to be pretty weak angle iron/wood, as the wheels on the trailer(s) tended to splay out when any weight was put on it. I have since sourced out some stronger/better metal - Box Tubeing 40 X 40mm and thicker/stronger angle iron for the dropouts.
Most my older trailers have been dismantled but here's a pic of my One Wheeled Trailer in the background you'll see my attempt at a wooden trailer, on which is the remnants of a bike and old road sign that went in to the constuction of the One Wheeled Trailer
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Oh! while on the above picture you may notice the rather untidy garden? Well I have since done up the garden with a new fence & golden chippings, the trouble was the chippings were always getting kicked onto the path. On one of my jaunts I spied some wood that would do for an edging around the path. I asked the home owner if they were throwing it out? Yes take it they said.
Humm!
How would I get such a long lump of wood home? - Build a trailer :wink:
So work went into construction of my sixth trailer (Only made for the wood trip) and my second Step ladder trailer. I'll have to line up all my trailers and take a photo.

The Long Haul Trailer.
Trailer is made from an old step ladder (not the rungside) with a piece of wood bolted on to hold the hitch assembly. Two lengths of conduit pipe were inserted into ladder to enable it to extend.
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Return home. Trailer Extended carrying an 18 feet and a 16 feet piece of wood!
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Note the yellow duster tied to the end of the wood as as warning to motorists.
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Present day and the 7th trailer.
Had Peter (my mate) weld up the main frame/tale beam/dropouts. Now need to scource out another couple of crossbeams, though I do have angle iron which may do the trick, and already has holes in it which will lighten the constuction.
I think WEIGHT could be the down fall of this trailer? By the time its finished I may not have the legs to tow it. Aluminium would have been the better choice but you can only work with the tools youv'e got. I'll keep an eye out down at the recycling center, you never know!

The Plan Is.
To construct a camping trailer/TENT. Imagine if you will a shoe box. Take the lid off the box and insert 4 poles in each of the corners. Replace lid the on poles then unfurl a canopy/tent from inside the lid down the sides of the trailer. One side will extend out and be held up by a further 2 poles, that side will house the bike at night etc, I'll be sleeping off the ground in my cosy trailer :wink:

Give that man a coconut :wink:
Swizz69
What fascinates me is how you intend using it as a camping trailer. Having such a large load 'bed', just wondering whether you'll be sleeping on it too :?: Brill project if you are :D


Stoobs
I'd be more worried about width than length, as the actress might have said to the bishop.


Im sure i read somewhere theres a limit for motorbike trailers of - L 2.5m X W 1m

Gaz
Don't go to South Australia.
On a more serious note there are regulations for reflectors and lighting in the UK.


Got all my Lights - Indicators - Reflectors sorted out. Always wanted to tour around Oz. Of course this would be my dream bike and trailer to do it in... :wink:
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2Tubs
What are you taking with you?
Mark Beumont cycled around the world and he'd of only needed a 3rd of that for his trip.
But well done on the build, it looks a great trailer for moving stuff, but not sure it's the most suitable tool for camping.


It will be used for moving stuff when the trailer box is removed. Its already brought home a pile of wood and other bits n bobs to make itself.

Danfoto
How are you going to operate the trailer brakes, and come to that how are you going to ensure that you get equal braking on both trailer wheels?

Image


Someone suggested to me something I was already concidering! An over run system, where's as when the towing vehicle slows down and the trailer moves forward the brakes are applied automaticliy. Or I was/am going to have a two into one system that I can opperate with my left bootheel.

I just took delivery (Tuesday) of a trailer (for my shopping trips) just like (my 8th trailer) that but minus the green lid, these past few days I have made a wooden lid for mine. I plan to box it all in. Did I mention I brought home a plie of wood on my big trailer :)

Right lads its time for a bit of shuteye. Please feel free to comment on the madman that I am :) Till the next update/instalment - Ride Safe

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - Zzzzzz ...!? Damn a wheels come off. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 Zzzzzzz Zzzzzz Zzzzzz

Tom C
************ My other trailers an Airstream ************
Image
French bicycle racer, Latourneau pulled an Airstream caravan in 1947 to demonstrate how light it was.

hamster
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Re: TRAILER SIZE - LAW ?

Postby hamster » 12 Jun 2009, 10:05am

I just hope you live somewhere flat... :shock:

I had a week in Devon recently tandeming with 6 year old on the back and three year old in a trailer. All up that's 75kg plus me.
The Magura brakes were brilliant (and necessary), but anything over 1 in 7 is a push.