Hello people with expertise in the vehicle department.
I have a nice shiny new French driving licence for which I signed away my right to drive heavy-duty vehicles but I appear to still have category BE, which has a picture of a car towing a caravan on the back of the licence.
Assuming I get my insurance to cover it and also (I understand?) a Control Technique if it’s over 500kg, are there limits as to what I can tow?
I’ve been to see a micro-caravan which I am rather taken with and it hovers around the 500kg weight.
Reading that more carefully, @Stella - does that mean that I need to have a much heavier car than my C3 or my partner’s Dacia Sandero to be allowed to tow more than 750kg? We aren’t planning to, as it happens but over 500kg and under 750kg would possibly be what we need?
I tow a four wheeled 749kg non-braked trailer with a Dacia Duster (1.5 tdi) with a 230cm x 120cm bed and I wouldn’t want to go any larger with this vehicle.
Yes, a 750kg braked trailer would be easier on the downhill sections, but you really need more engine power than a little 4 cylinder engine can provide on long hilly sections.
Several trailer tips (all based on personal experience to towing a number of smaller trailers and my 749kg un-braked one).
Longer wheelbase trailers are easier to reverse
Double axle trailers turn more slowly and are easier to reverse
Having 4 road wheels mean the load is split more evenly and you can avoid excessive hitch weight/lift
Fit the widest and puncture proof jockey wheel you can find. You WILL find yourself moving your trailer around on rough ground at some point and those skinny solid jockey wheels are only any good on cement/tarmac.
Looks like the unbraked towing weight for my partner’s Sandero is 545kg (thank you for pointing me in the right direction to find this, Stella) which should be fine provided we don’t put too much extra stuff in it. No chance with my C3 though but that’s ok provided one of them works!
The over 500kg rule.
You can tow trailer or whatever up to 500kg gross wieght ie trailer and contents and the trailer has the same number plate as the towing vehicle.
If the gross wieght is over 500kg then the trailer must have it’s own carte gris and number plate however just because it has a carte gris it doesn’t have to have a controlled technique.
Example 1 :
I have a trailer that has a carte gris, it weighs 180kg empty. when I bought it l had the option of giving it a carte gris, or not. Without the carte gris I could carry 380kg of material and with carte gris 570kg of material so I obtained the carte gris.
Last year we bought a car trailer to carry our smart car behind our camping car.
The trailer weighs 360kg but as its payload with the Smart sat on it is 1300kg then the trailer has a carte gris and it’s own number plate but it will never need a CT but of course it still has to be maintained correctly, tyres brakes etc as it is a road vehicle and must comply with the law.
Looks like the teardrop you are looking at is around 500kg so if that is empty then obviously it will be over the 500kg when loaded.
If you are buying it new then the selling company will give you the correct advice, hopefully.
Just had a look at the invoice for the car trailer and the cost for immatriculation including number plates and the suppliers administration was 150 euros.
Hope this helps.
I’m chuckling at the picture in my mind… of you in a tin hat…
Everyone’s so different… were I younger… camping/caravan fine… but I did enough of that as Akela for umpteen years… now elderly/infirm/incontent… I might think twice… (especially as my favourite roundabout has been put off-limits)