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National Trailer & Towing Association
Promoting Safe and Legal Towing

Towing with A-Frames

The single most asked question during our time at the Motorhome & Caravan Show related to towing of cars behind Motorhomes.

There has been a lot of talk about the impact of Regulation 13, the new EU braking regulations that came into force on 1st November 2014. The interpretation by many was that this would outlaw the use of overrun brakes for A-Frame systems. We have approached the Department for Transport for clarification and their official response reads:

"Under the European type approval system, and in particular under the General Safety Regulation (GSR), EU Regulation 661/2009, new vehicles and trailers registered after 01 November 2014 will be subject to UNECE Regulation 13 on Braking systems, instead of Directive 71/320/EEC as was the case previously. The Directive has been repealed with effect from the above date.

An A-frame, being neither a vehicle nor a trailer, is not subject to type approval and therefore there is no direct impact on these devices stemming from this legal change.

Legislation in Great Britain recognises the requirements of both Directive 71/320/EEC, and Regulation 13 and, as A-frames fall outside the scope of European type approval requirements, we have no plans to change this flexible approach. The requirements of Directive 71/320/EEC or UNECE Regulation 13 are applied in the UK by the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

The use of these devices is a matter for national law and countries outside the UK are not obliged to accept the use of these devices in their territory."

The DfT went on to say that this statement should be read in conjunction with their 2011 Information Sheet on A-Frames and Dollies and that nothing that happened on 1st November has changed anything on this sheet.