The 10th International Portafold & Ansfold Gathering (i.e. 2018)

Following the huge success of the 9th International Gathering we'll be at Retrofestival again. It's a massive show now and is popular with everyone.

It's held at the Newbury Showground, Priors Court, Hermitage, Thatcham, West Berkshire, RG18 9QZ; on the weekend of the 10th, 11th & 12th of August 2018.

Don't book with the organisers, contact me to get your pitch saved.

Breakaway Cables

Any talk that's not covered by the other forums.
Post Reply
User avatar
Admin
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun, 05 Nov 2006, 8:53 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset

Breakaway Cables

Post by Admin » Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 12:51 pm

Following a request from Dave (after he got a £100 spot fine for not having a breakaway cable fitted to his Portafold) I have the official legislation that you can quote to the relevant authorities. All the credit must go to the very helpful guy at the NTTA (National Trailer & Towing Association) www.ntta.co.uk

Basically, any trailer (legally called a vehicle) that was first used before the 1st April 1983 is except from using a breakaway cable.

This is written in law in the Road Traffic Act 1986, Statutory Instrument Number 1078, Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulation 1986, Regulation Number 15.

That being said, whilst it's not legally required, I would highly recommend that rather than using a breakaway cable (that are designed to snap once the handbrake has been applied) I would use a towing cable or chain. Basically, something that is man-enough to tow the Portafold should the caravan un-hitch itself from the tow ball. I myself have a rubber coated cable with D shackles on each end. I've had it made strong enough to tow the full weight of my Portafold (approx 450kg) plus an extra percentage to allow for the 'snatch weight'. This is latched to my brakes on the Portafold and the towing eye on the back of my car.

And for the record, Dave has had his fine rescinded, as he was legal. :thumbup:
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

knockdolian
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 01 Feb 2017, 8:43 pm
Location: Yeovil, Somerset

Re: Breakaway Cables

Post by knockdolian » Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 7:29 pm

Hi all, being new to the forum and a new owner Ive been reading old poste. I found this one very interesting. The idea of a breakaway cable is to apply the brakes should the hitch come off the ball. It should lock the brakes then snap leaving the brakes locked on. On a portafold that wouldn't happen because of the handbrake lock. The jocky wheel would dig in snapping the cable and allowing the trailer to react as if it had no cable.
All that said I thought a trailer under 750kg doesn't require brakes
What do you think ?
Paul

User avatar
Admin
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun, 05 Nov 2006, 8:53 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset

Re: Breakaway Cables

Post by Admin » Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 9:41 pm

knockdolian wrote:
Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 7:29 pm
It should lock the brakes then snap leaving the brakes locked on. On a portafold that wouldn't happen because of the handbrake lock.
The handbrake lock (or flip-over lever) should always be in the off position, or flipped over away from the ratchet, while towing. Otherwise the brakes would stay on after the first hard brake on your journey. And get progressively more on with every hard brake.

As Portafold's have no sprung handbrake, if there was a breakaway cable, the brakes would snap on then snap off again in an instant.
knockdolian wrote:
Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 7:29 pm
The jockey wheel would dig in snapping the cable and allowing the trailer to react as if it had no cable.
Can't picture if the jockey wheel would hit the ground first, or the hitch itself. But the hitch would probably dig into the ground enough to snap a traditional breakaway cable.

I always set my jockey wheel up in a way that it will spin freely should I ever ground-out the A frame. This means I won't end up with a flat-spotted jockey wheel tyre.
knockdolian wrote:
Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 7:29 pm
All that said I thought a trailer under 750kg doesn't require brakes.
But if it has brakes they have to work correctly. But as all Portafolds and Ansfolds were built before 1983, we're all safe anyway :thumbup: (see post above)

I'll take a picture of my 'towing cable' next time I'm at the garage. It's the safest way to ensure you'll not lose your pride and joy.
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

knockdolian
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed, 01 Feb 2017, 8:43 pm
Location: Yeovil, Somerset

Re: Breakaway Cables

Post by knockdolian » Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 7:05 am

I agree with pretty much everything you say. My point was a breakaway won't work on a portafold. To tow a portafold with a breakaway cable should the hitch ever come of would be useless. If it dug in the cable would snap and if it didn't it wouldn't operate the brakes anyway. In my job I have seen trailers come off or drivers driving off and forgetting to remove the breakaway. The cable snaps . Just got interest has anyone lost a portafold?
Glad to hear the chap got his fine back anyway.

User avatar
Admin
Posts: 665
Joined: Sun, 05 Nov 2006, 8:53 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset

Re: Breakaway Cables

Post by Admin » Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 3:53 pm

I've seen one go astray on a rally field many years ago. The owner didn't hook up properly and he drove off across the field, got to a hump and the movement of the car going over the lump pinged the Portafold off and it rolled straight ahead as he turned left towards the exit. Luckily there wasn't anyone around to run over!
Matthew
portafold.co.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wanted: Any original Portafold, Ansfold or Mini-Motel brochures, adverts or magazine articles.
Also, any chassis numbers for the above caravans!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users