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UK Speed Limits
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Mikeact
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject: UK Speed Limits Reply with quote

Just wondering...I tow a caravan and my outfit is more than capable of todays speed limits..in fact it's nice to tow overseas at a higher speed. However, I was wondering whether or not a Gatso or other, could identify that I am breaking the caravan speed limit, but not necessarily the posted road limit.
eg Towing at 70mph on motorways, is exceeding the caravan speed limit by 10mph. Is the technology such that a camera would be able to identify that I am, in fact, breaking the law ?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is but I'm not sure how it's deployed, there was a post on here from a HGV driver caught by Gatso at the lower limit he has to adhere to.
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Skippy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it's true or an urban legend but I've heard that a Gatso can make a guess at the size of the vehicle based on how big the reflection of it's radar beam is and choose an enforcement speed based on that.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other speed camera relates sites seem to back up the fact that Gatso's can differentiate between HGV and PLG. I doubt they would be clever enough to do so for Caravan's though although there are many reasons why you shouldn't be traveling at speed when towing regardless of the ability of your tow vehicle to achieve such speeds.
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Mikeact
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Darren...not quite sure what you mean by your last point. I think that you're saying that other European countries are wrong with a higher towing speed limit than the UK ?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was not my intention to offend anyone but as an ex Traffic Officer I personally think that the current limit is fast enough.

Many accidents that involve caravans are compounded by poor loading and lack of towing experience/skill. Whilst newer cars and better stabilisers may well allow faster speeds to be achieved more safely, what has to be considered is what happens when the unforseen occurs and the driver stamps on the brakes. An 18ft+ caravan being towed at 70mph does not act predicatably especially when poorly loaded.

I'm not anti caravan but do think that more stringent checks on loading limits and improved training need to be introduced as well as caravan MoT's (indeed any trailer). The new testing requirement is a move in the right direction but not enough.
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GJF
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
It was not my intention to offend anyone but as an ex Traffic Officer I personally think that the current limit is fast enough.

Many accidents that involve caravans are compounded by poor loading and lack of towing experience/skill. Whilst newer cars and better stabilisers may well allow faster speeds to be achieved more safely, what has to be considered is what happens when the unforseen occurs and the driver stamps on the brakes. An 18ft+ caravan being towed at 70mph does not act predicatably especially when poorly loaded.

I'm not anti caravan but do think that more stringent checks on loading limits and improved training need to be introduced as well as caravan MoT's (indeed any trailer). The new testing requirement is a move in the right direction but not enough.


Darren has gone off topic so i am leaning on his comment.
Not sure Darren if you have been a caravaner but you have hit this right on the head.

Firstly, this isn't meant at you Mikeact just a general comment.

As an ex-caravaner, an 18ft Eccles i sold in 1989 i feel that caravan towing in this country is terrible, i live near the exits from the Kent ports and most days have to follow a caravan "snaking" its way along the road, with the driver seemingly treating it as normal behaviour.

To be near some of these drivers, driving faster as some European countries allow is frightening, i have seen several 'vans lose it and jack-knife in front of me, once only two cars in front, i had to weave all over the place at 70mph to avoid it.

When i towed, of which most of it was in Europe i used to travel as fast as allowed, but i would always weigh my nose wheel to get the correct balance weight and evenly distribute the 'van contents to adjust to it.
Most of the time i hardly knew the 'van was there as it behaved perfectly.
When discussing this with other caravaners i was looked on as odd.

A large amount of owners belong to the caravan club and are good towers, but there are many other caravan owners of this country who are inexperieced users, as they drive dangerously and do not give respect or respond to other vehicles around them, this has "tarred all caravaners with the same brush", and are generally hated by all other road users, it is time that there was a test to all large trailer and caravan users.

I have seen many drivers of caravans who have extreme problems being able to reverse the 'van into a space, so i back Darren with
Quote:
stringent checks on loading limits and improved training need to be introduced as well as caravan MoT's (indeed any trailer). The new testing requirement is a move in the right direction but not enough.


PS.

Back to subject, i can remember a large vehicle driver on this forum stating that his coach (could have been classy56) was mistaken for a lorry, so i believe the camera does pick up larger objects, but am not sure about caravans.
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missing_user



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have just returned from 4200 miles of caravanning in France and Italy:-

Your speed is usually measured at the Peage on Motorways.
The French speed limit for caravans is rather high.
The Italian speed limit for caravans is very low.
I would by choice, for safety reasons, tow at 65mph on the French Motorways [BMW 2.5 petrol engine and a short 12 feet caravan]
I am appalled at the people who overtake at speed downhill!
The loading of caravans is very important, two bikes and the noseweight of the caravan usually means poor loading, or a high 4x4 vehicle towball with the rear of the caravan almost touching the road.
The 50mph limit on UK 'National Speed Limit' roads is too slow and causes queues.
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a caravanner I am with strumble, but cannot see the relevance of two Bikes?, as for GJF, caravans changed dramatically in the early nineties with a large reduction in weight and dynamics giving modern caravans a vast improvement in towabilty, it usally gives me great pleasure to see the boy racers off at the lights when they sit at the side of me blipping the throttle.
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missing_user



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aj2052 wrote:
As a caravanner I am with strumble, but cannot see the relevance of two Bikes?,


I picked up a new 18ft caravan for my family member from the local dealer.
80kg nosewight empty!! Trying to put the gas into the front box and fully loaded for their holiday we were unable to get the noseweight below 95kg.
Add two bikes to the cycle carrier on the car towbar/boot carrier, or on the caravan towbar [as the Europeans do] and the results are appalling.
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GJF
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aj2052 wrote:
As a caravanner I am with strumble, but cannot see the relevance of two Bikes?, as for GJF, caravans changed dramatically in the early nineties with a large reduction in weight and dynamics giving modern caravans a vast improvement in towabilty.....


Although 1989, my Eccles Amethyst was brand new with a light weight chassis etc, the only reason i sold it, was i moved on to a new house and had no where to site it.

As i see a large amount of caravaners every day, going to, or coming from France, I see a large amount of badly weighted 'vans, some, you can see through the windows, are vastly overloaded inside with bikes etc,
i went past another 'van on the way to work this morning "snaking" on a straight level road - this isn't good caravaning!

Although you all sound like the more experienced caravan owners, i wonder what % of caravaners are actually aware that they should check the nose weight at the towbar, to enable good handling?

As for faster speed limits, until caravaners get more stringent tests, not when i'm driving on the same roads please!
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Border_Collie
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an ex-caravanner I could never see the point in rushing, my holiday started the minute I pulled out of my drive and finished when I pulled back in. If I came across a hold-up I would find a suitable place to park up, legs down and have a brew whilst watching others get redder and redder in the face. Caravanning should be a pleasure both for those towing and other road users.

If I tried rushing I was lucky to get 17mpg but taking it easier I could get up to 24. Mind you, that was with a 2.3 V6 auto and a heavy old van. Sad

Towing at a constant 50 for 250 miles takes 5 hours, at 60 it's 4h 10m but how often can you travel at a constant speed in England? The fifty minutes difference can easily be halved because of traffic or road conditions. Is 25 minutes really that important? NAH! Bon voyage. :D
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not a matter of rushing, IMHO its more a case of comfort driving in being able to cruise at a comfortable speed particullary on motorways when you are stuck behind solo cars in the slow lane doing just 50 or under and also on dual carrigeways or A roads where a higher speed is of course traffic justifies it. I think a bit of flexibilty is needed. the most problems to caravanners is the desperate need of solo cars to pass caravans although the caravan is being held up by a solo car(s) or lorries in front of it.
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Border_Collie
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think a bit of flexibilty is needed. the most problems to caravanners is the desperate need of solo cars to pass caravans although the caravan is being held up by a solo car(s) or lorries in front of it.
Who in turn are being held up by a caravanner. :P

Couldn't resist that aj2052.

I've been a biker, been a caravanner, been a bus driver and I'm on the wrong side of 60, I must be one of the most hated people who have used the roads. Sad

Stop! I've just realised this is in the Advanced area NOT Off Topic one. Embarassed
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, perhaps not, Sorry I can only match 3 out of the four.
Caravans and speed surely is the Topic
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