This is very topical for me. We bought a camping car earlier this year so that we could continue to see this beautiful country with very little physical contact with others hence we call our camping car BUBBLE.
We are now seriously looking at aquiring a Smart car and trailer to tow with us so that we can tour the areas we visit more easily. We plan to call our Smart car SQUEAK!
I have done extensive research into the towing limits to be sure that we will be legal.
The following is a google translate of an article published Le Monde de Camping Car which is a French publication for Camping carists but the rules for towing apply universally all veihicles across France.
I hope it answers the questions being asked:
Before choosing the shape, the colour or the number of axles of a trailer, it is necessary to be interested in the traction capacity of your motor home. This key information appears on the gray card in box F3. This is the PTRA of the road combination, i.e. the sum of the PTAC (motor home and trailer). By subtracting from this sum the GVWR of the motor home, we determine that of the trailer (empty weight + payload).
But towing a trailer also involves some administrative restrictions, particularly concerning the driving license. Holders of permits B, C and C1 can tow a trailer with a maximum GVW of 750kg (for a payload of between 350 and 580kg). To tow a trailer with a GVW of over 750kg, you must have the appropriate license
Hitching up a trailer behind your motor home is good. But you still have to have the right license. It all depends on the characteristics of your trailer: it’s its PTAC that is in question. This permissible gross weight is the maximum permitted weight for your vehicle or trailer. It bears the designation F2 on your vehicle registration document .
The B license is sufficient: when the GVWR of the trailer is equal to or less than 750kg and the GVWR of the motor home is less than or equal to 3500kg.
You can tow a trailer weighing more than 750kg with the B license if the sum of the GVWR of your tractor and your trailer is less than or equal to 3500kg.
The B permit + the B96 training are necessary: when the GVWR of the trailer is greater than 750kg and the sum of the GVWR of the trailer and the camper van is between 3501kg and 4250kg.
What does the B96 training consist of? A simple 7-hour driving school training. B96 training will only be of interest to owners of lighter vans. Because with a 3.5 ton motor home, you can’t be concerned (it’s mathematical).
The BE license is required: when the GVWR of the trailer exceeds 750kg or when the sum of the GVWR of the trailer and the motor home exceeds 4250kg.
The C1E permit: when the GVWR of your trailer is greater than 3.5 tonnes.
C1 license (heavy goods vehicle license): when the GVWR of your motor home exceeds 3500kg and the GVWR of your trailer is less than or equal to 750kg.
The C1E license: when your heavy truck motor home tows a trailer with a GVW of over 750kg. Warning: the total weight of the assembly must not exceed 12 tonnes. This rule also applies to motor homes benefiting from the B79 exemption , which allows them to drive a motor home truck with the B license.
Question formalities, a trailer of 500 kg (for a payload between 250 and 300 kg) can circulate on the road by carrying the license plate of the towing vehicle. Beyond this weight, the trailer must have its own registration card and a dedicated registration.
In terms of insurance, it is also the PTAC which defines the procedure to be followed. In fact, if the weight of the trailer is less than 500kg, the motor home insurance applies. On the other hand, beyond a GVW of 500kg, it is necessary to take out individual insurance for the trailer. But be careful, it is only protected by insurance when it is hitched to the motor home.