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Old 29.01.2011, 11:48
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Who knows about [car] trailers?

We're moving house later in the year. For convenience and cost, we will not be using a moving company. For big, heavy stuff, I should have access to a van, and for loads of stored (loft/cellar) non-essential items, I thought about buying and using a trailer, as my car already has towbar and electrics connection. This stuff I can move across (about 20km away) in dribs and drabs, as the build nears completion.

Kerbside weight of my car (1.6 litre engine) is 1300kg with manufacturers max. towing given as 1200kg (85% = 1105kg). Had a very quick look at a few trailers on the 'net to familiarise myself, and will probably get something around 750kg (possibly 1000kg), single axle, covered sides and top.

My question, for anyone in the know - given the above details - should I consider braked or unbraked? Braked trailers (from what I've seen) tend to be heavier and for heavy payloads, but obviously offer an element of control on hilly, twisty roads, when loaded. Because of supply and demand, they are more expensive. Is the expense worth considering; or for my requirements, is unbraked OK?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 29.01.2011, 11:52
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

The only trailers I've used here have been motorcycle trailers, and they've all been braked as far as I know (the kind that are actuated by pressure on the tongue).

Figure two bikes have a combined weight of 450-500 kg, the trailer itself around 100.

You're looking at nearly twice that, so I'd say go for brakes.

I thought brakes were mandatory here?

Tom
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Old 29.01.2011, 12:04
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Try this link for more information.

www.indespension.co.uk

It's a UK company but theres useful info available.

In the UK you must have brakes if the trailers gross weight is over 750KG and I think this is a European Reg, so might not apply here in CH.

You could also look at www.witter-towbars.co.uk and from there you will see the towing capacity of you vehicle.
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Old 29.01.2011, 12:12
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Trailers without breaks are fine for moving furniture, including fridges and washing machines. I've moved many times and helped friends move using a trailer without breaks. When moving my horse, the car needed some extra weight at the back (an additional factory added tow-pack) and the trailer had brakes. BTW horse trailers are great for moving furniture because they have a ramp at the back and bars inside to secure things.
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Old 29.01.2011, 12:29
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

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The only trailers I've used here have been motorcycle trailers, and they've all been braked as far as I know (the kind that are actuated by pressure on the tongue).

Figure two bikes have a combined weight of 450-500 kg, the trailer itself around 100.

You're looking at nearly twice that, so I'd say go for brakes.

I thought brakes were mandatory here?

Tom
Brakes are not mandatory here, my trailer has no brake.

When you buy trailer here it comes with a permit (same as a car) & has its own numberplate. Make sure that is all in order when you buy; trying to re-register a trailer that has no permit can be a nightmare (don't ask how I know).
Probably when you buy a used trailer then you have to take it for a Vorführung at the Strassenverkehrsamt same as when you buy a used car; something worth checking.
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Old 29.01.2011, 12:33
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Unbraked will be fine, I recently bought a 750Kg trailer from Bauhaus for a silly price, about 700 I think. It has a frame and red tarpaulin with the Bauhaus logo on it, the advertising brings the cost down.

Remember though that the speed limit here with a trailer 80 kph, I "forgot" once and was hit with a 600 fine.
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Old 29.01.2011, 12:38
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

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Remember though that the speed limit here with a trailer 80 kph, I "forgot" once and was hit with a 600 fine.
Really, that slow? It seems like everyone on the motorway here pulling a trailer is doing at least 100 if not pushing 120..!
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Old 29.01.2011, 12:55
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Brakes will be mandatory if the trailer exceeds the cars unbraked maximum or 750kg.
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Old 29.01.2011, 13:34
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Anyone recommend an antisnake to the OP?

Have always used them when towing boats n planes (except for the very first time, of course, then always from that close shave )
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Old 29.01.2011, 14:04
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

For a small trailer it's not required.

Boats, Caravans, Car & Glider trailer's etc, definitely a good Idea!
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Old 29.01.2011, 14:43
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

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Really, that slow? It seems like everyone on the motorway here pulling a trailer is doing at least 100 if not pushing 120..!
Yes, they do, but yes, the limit is 80kph with a trailer, in Italy as well as I recall.

Tom
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Old 29.01.2011, 15:27
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Thanks to all for the info.
Have just returned from a "lookie-looks". Dealers and stores (including Bauhaus) seem only to have new available - 2nd-hand market seems to be Ricardo and AutoScout24 from the 'net.

Rule of thumb (law?) seems to show up to 750kg are unbraked (but also lack small stabilising front wheel for standing), and may fit the bill, but could be slightly on the short side.
1000kg looked a good size, has 3rd front wheel and brakes. Price for new not as horrendous as I first feared (although 750kg ones can be picked up quite cheap(ish), -- but even at Bauhaus I couldn't match G.G.'s price).

Need to see what I can justify spending (cutting nose to spite face - is it worth the extra for a bigger trailer for only one or two larger items?) and what future requirement after said purpose I may have.

Regarding stabilisers and max. speed limits, I don't foresee (famous last words) doing much more than tootering about semi-locally.
[I am familiar, with need for anti-snake/stabilisers - years ago my father "lost" an over-sized caravan, when it got a "wiggle" on, going downhill].
Thanks again for your thoughts.

Last edited by TiMow; 29.01.2011 at 15:32. Reason: addition
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Old 29.01.2011, 15:51
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

Just a thought - before you buy 1000kg of roadwarrior , you might want to check your license to ensure you're legal for driving >750kg trailers

Look for an entry on your licence that says "BE" - if you've only got a "B" entry, you're limited to 750kg, and will need to take a test to bget the "E" endorsement

HTH
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Old 29.01.2011, 16:00
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

The one I got was on offer at about 700 and it does have the small stabilising wheel for when it is not hitched.

Have you thought about renting? I know there is a thread here about renting in the ZH region and a company rents near me for as little as 10 chufs a day.

As others have said, your trailer will need a seperate number plate and vignet.
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Old 29.01.2011, 16:10
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

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Look for an entry on your licence that says "BE" - if you've only got a "B" entry, you're limited to 750kg, and will need to take a test to bget the "E" endorsement
Good to know, just checked, I have the BE.

Strangely, the Swiss have my 16th birthday as the date for all of my licenses, even though I was nearly 17 when I got my car license, and 18 when I got my motorcycle license!

Tom
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Old 29.01.2011, 18:19
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

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Just a thought - before you buy 1000kg of roadwarrior , you might want to check your license to ensure you're legal for driving >750kg trailers

Look for an entry on your licence that says "BE" - if you've only got a "B" entry, you're limited to 750kg, and will need to take a test to bget the "E" endorsement

HTH
Thanks for the thought. Fortunately, for me, when I got my full licence in UK in the 70's I inherited extra vehicle privileges for free which have since manifested onto my Swiss one to include small trucks and minibuses with or without trailers, necessitating eye examinations every 5 yrs. in order to keep them.

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The one I got was on offer at about 700 and it does have the small stabilising wheel for when it is not hitched.

Have you thought about renting? I know there is a thread here about renting in the ZH region and a company rents near me for as little as 10 chufs a day.

As others have said, your trailer will need a separate number plate and vignet.
Renting probably isn't an economic option, as I envisage the moving process to be conducted over an extended period, and sometimes just at a moments notice, as time becomes available. 10 chufs a day would be hard to find here I think. Prefer to pay a bit more for the convenience of having it available for use, when I need it.

As I now know that a new covered 750kg one (which probably is all I require, having physically seen what's on offer) can be picked up for about a grand, I can always sell on when finished, if I decide I have no further requirement. As I still have time on my side, I can still keep an eye out for a cheap 2nd-hand one too.

Last edited by TiMow; 29.01.2011 at 18:34.
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Old 29.01.2011, 19:59
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Re: Who knows about [car] trailers?

As is mentioned, 750kg is the max for unbraked.

The brakes are generally for when parked, they are not connected to the car brakes and only the cars brakes slow the trailer down when driving.

However, you also connect a line from the trailer brakes to the car. If the trailer becomes unhitched it will activate the trailer brakes so it stops. Make sure you connect this as it's an important safety feature and you will be booked if caught without it.

Re speed. Yes 80 kmph is the max. I once went past a camera at 97 with a trailer and it went off even though the limit was 100. I got fined.

Re purchase. I had a car with a similar towing weight and bought a relatively large but light trailer so I had good volume and weight margins. You don't want to find your trailer inadaquate so my recomendation is to do the same.

Incidentally, that trailer is now for sale as I got a bigger car and a much bigger trailer to acomodate my needs. It's uncovered so I don't think it suits your needs.

I found ricardo best for finding a trailer. Both times I found one that was a little different and consequently cheaper.
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