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Nuevo EK Fitting a Bike Rack

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Post by gassygassy on Mon May 25, 2020 6:04 pm

Right, resolution is at hand in the form of Watling towbars. They do a Nuevo towbar for £275. Unfortunately of course that one doesn't fit mine, it's only for the earlier models. My 2015 requires a different towbar which is £415, and even if that is plus VAT it is about half the price of the TowTrust towbar.
Anyway if I can't find one for less than £500, which I presume the Watling towbar is though they don't say so, I'll go for the Watling one with its approval label!. I'll re-use the wiring and electronics from my existing tow bar - it has the computer box so I hope that is generic and not model specific.
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Post by kaspian on Mon May 25, 2020 6:11 pm

You know it  makes sense Rodney ! up!
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Post by gassygassy on Tue May 26, 2020 8:53 am

I've spent five minutes lookig at the test procedure of tow bars and couplings. For steel, the number of test cycles is 2x10^6 i.e two million push/pull cycles at full specified force. The dye penetration method of crack testing is employed. The force must be applied smoothly and quickly and maintained for 60 seconds. Now even supposing you regard one full push / pull cycle as taking 60 seconds and not "push for 60 seconds and then pull for 60 seconds" that works out at the test lasting 23 days non stop.
Anyone who tries to tell me that a tow bar has been thus tested on each motorhome chassis can go and take a funny run. I don't beleeeeeeeeeeeeve it. I don't care what sticker they have on the tow bar, it hasn't been tested to EN 94/20/EC. These test houses cost several arms and legs per day of testing. If tow bars had been tested like this they would be costing £4000 each for a Mondeo, let alone a Nuevo.

However.................. we are no longer in the EU smile! So do our tow bars still have to comply? I think the answer is probably, I think we are going to adopt all their laws anyway.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue May 26, 2020 9:41 am

Yes, all EU Law is retained until it is repealed. EN 94/20/EC has been replaced by Regulation 55 which is similar and extends requirements to vehicles beyond M1 type.

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Post by gassygassy on Tue May 26, 2020 10:17 am

That's interesting Ploughlin. Where would I find Regulation 55? I suspect that small volume towbars don't have to be tested, but it would be interesting to read.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue May 26, 2020 3:13 pm

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Post by gassygassy on Tue May 26, 2020 5:01 pm

Hi Ploughlin, have you read that? It seems that what we call towbars are Class A coupling devices. A lot of what I read is way beyond what we would encounter, it includes HGV couplings, tractor draw bars, automatic coupling devices. The realm is a lot greater than we would have at first thought! I haven't read it all and I didn't see anything about full stress testing for 2x10^6 cycles. It may be there but by now I would rather watch the grass grow!
It seems that you can get your towbar certified by sublitting data rather than submitting an actual towbar attached to a chassis for pushpull testing. That makes more sense than the expense of physically testing each one.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue May 26, 2020 5:34 pm

I think you don't test each one, only one of a TYPE, hence the name.

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Post by gassygassy on Tue May 26, 2020 10:14 pm

I meant that I don't think they have to test each towbar they make, of course. In other words they will have to submit a separate application for each of the A/S models, and the same goes for all motorhome manufacturers. That is why I would find it hard to believe that if for example A/S make 20 different models, they would have to actually test 20 different tow bars through 2x10^ stress cycles. They and we couldn't afford it.
Anyway I will be going to Watling towbars for a new one for my Nuevo.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue May 26, 2020 11:01 pm

I believe that for many current models of AS, the second stage weight plates don't have a towing weight noted, as AS can't be bothered to homogolate for it, for just that reason.

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Post by safariboy on Thu May 28, 2020 10:27 pm

We have an AlKo bike rack.  It was expensive (£1600) but it is easy to load and I feel that the van drive better than with the original Fiamma rack.  I changed because loading e-bikes onto the (much higher) original rack was increasingly difficult.
we have been on and off many ferries and never grounded.  The van is a Broadway.
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Post by pagetheoracle on Thu May 28, 2020 10:51 pm

We have a 67 plate Broadway and have a Memo Europe Bike rack which I cannot recommend too highly. It’s superbly designed and manufactured allowing a pull down mechanism that can easily Seat 2 100kg gentlemen so e bike loading and carrying is simple. Worth spending the extra on what you really need/ want. You won’t regret it and you will get a chunk of your money back when you come to sell.
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Post by jwells on Fri May 29, 2020 10:35 am

When we bought our Nuevo we were told by AS that we should not fit a towbar to it! We had a Fiamma rack fitted, I removed the 2 steadies, and having used it for a while with standard bikes decided electric bikes would be a good idea. However that idea had to be given up after we loaded up for a long European trip and I took it to the local weighbridge!! The back axle  was over weight!
With some careful redistribution of load, we managed to get it down to limits, but decided there was no way we would be able carry ebikes!
Check your back axle loads before you fit ANYTHING on the back! sensored1
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Post by Gromit on Fri May 29, 2020 11:27 am

jwells wrote:When we bought our Nuevo we were told by AS that we should not fit a towbar to it! We had a Fiamma rack fitted, I removed the 2 steadies, and having used it for a while with standard bikes decided electric bikes would be a good idea. However that idea had to be given up after we loaded up for a long European trip and I took it to the local weighbridge!! The back axle  was over weight!
With some careful redistribution of load, we managed to get it down to limits, but decided there was no way we would be able carry ebikes!
Check your back axle loads before you fit ANYTHING on the back! sensored1
Or contact SVTech and get the van uprated to 3500kg.

The infuriating thing about this is that it's only a paper exercise. It allows for a useful in increase in permitted axle weights, all perfectly legal, but with no modification at all to the van.

It's not cheap, but probably worth it for peace of mind, should one ever be stopped for a roadside check.

Can't understand why A/S said you should not fit a towbar when they offer that service themselves?? They didn't fit ours, but would have done if the price they quoted had been a bit lower!!  shrugg
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Post by jwells on Fri May 29, 2020 11:56 am

Our Nuevo is already rated to 3500kg. The overhang is the problem with the Nuevo, and from my own experience just because you still have 50 kg spare capacity on the back axle doesn't mean you can hang another 50kg out on the back of the van - it's all to do with moments! Not a problem if you are only lightly loaded for a short trip of course, but the only way to be sure is to weigh!!
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Post by Gromit on Fri May 29, 2020 12:41 pm

Quite right about the overhang, but I think your gaffer must pack even more pairs of shoes than mine . . . if that's possible!!  broomstick

I've been to the weighbridge twice when fully loaded for a trip, and with bikes on the tow bar rack, and although it was fairly close I've been within the limits - even with full tanks of diesel and water.

Curious, as I don't think the Nuevo has changed much in the last century, which is good. Why change for the sake of it when it's already just about as good as it gets in such a compact van!
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Post by jwells on Fri May 29, 2020 12:51 pm

We never had a problem with overall weight, just the back axle weight! That is why I recommend anyone adding things to the back end check the weight!!
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