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Are Tow ball drop plates illegal?

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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They are legal now, only on conventional "cars"(M1 vehicles) where the towbar fitted, was "Type approved" for use with them.
For use with trailers lighter than 750 kgs, I don't think you have to have a "type approved" towbar.

Type approval, is required on bars fitted to "cars" registered after 1st August 1998.
LINK

This LINK also adds a bit to this discussion, if the bar has a type approval for use of a specific drop plate, then that accessory, can be used.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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As ever with so many caravan matters "It depends". Where a car is subject to the construction and use regulations which basically means normal domestic cars (not dual purpose vehicles like land Rovers ) then you have to use the approved type of towbar. These do not usually come with dropping facility as they should already provide tow ball location that conforms to the required height.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Our Toyota Hilux Surf Estate had a drop plate which was too high for the caravan so we moved it down a notch. Towed like that for several years no issue.
 
May 24, 2014
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I think you have to consider what the deflection of the caravan is on the towball in question. If it is too nose high, then surely a drop plate is required regardless of the vehicle regardless of make size or age.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I think you have to consider what the deflection of the caravan is on the towball in question. If it is too nose high, then surely a drop plate is required regardless of the vehicle regardless of make size or age.
"Required" or not, it does not make their use legal on post 1998, M1 vehicles such as domestic cars, unless the bar's type approval included testing with that particular accessory, and it was all in the paperwork.

Basically the thread's question.
 
May 24, 2014
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As I wrote it, I was watching the morons across (they of rugby ball fame) come back from storage with their caravan (scruffy heap of a thing) attached to their BMW x3. The rear of that caravan was so low, it couldnt possibly negotiate a speed hump without dragging over it, and the nose way up in the air. That too surely cannot be legal, but what other way could you sort that out without a drop plate?
 
Sep 29, 2016
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As I wrote it, I was watching the morons across (they of rugby ball fame) come back from storage with their caravan (scruffy heap of a thing) attached to their BMW x3. The rear of that caravan was so low, it couldnt possibly negotiate a speed hump without dragging over it, and the nose way up in the air. That too surely cannot be legal, but what other way could you sort that out without a drop plate?

Intrigued:

What is "rugby ball fame" describing\referring to Thingy.

It's a new one on me.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
As I wrote it, I was watching the morons across (they of rugby ball fame) come back from storage with their caravan (scruffy heap of a thing) attached to their BMW x3. The rear of that caravan was so low, it couldnt possibly negotiate a speed hump without dragging over it, and the nose way up in the air. That too surely cannot be legal, but what other way could you sort that out without a drop plate?
Two wrongs don't make a right. If the caravan is sitting low, for instance if its suspension has collapsed, you can't add a drop plate to make it level again. You'd have to check the hitch height of the caravan when it is level, to see whether it is within spec. If it's not you'd have to have the suspension seen to. On the other hand, it is perfectly possible for both the towball and hitch height to be within the tolerances allowed by the regulations and yet still have the caravan with a slight nose up attitude.
 
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May 24, 2014
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Im neither opposing nor disbelieving either argument, just saying it doesnt allow for any sensible correction if and when it is needed.

The one I saw today had its rear end almost on the floor, not a slight deflection as the pic above.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Im neither opposing nor disbelieving either argument, just saying it doesnt allow for any sensible correction if and when it is needed.

The one I saw today had its rear end almost on the floor, not a slight deflection as the pic above.
No correction would be needed if both the towball height of the towcar and the hitch height of the caravan are within the tolerances laid down in the regulations.
 
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