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ralph1

Modify an old trailer

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A friend as asked if he can modify his old builders trailer into a bike trailer, or if it would now need to be type approved after the modifications?

I would be handy if he did, as he wants to borrow mine!

Edited by ralph1

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49 minutes ago, bultobill said:

Is that more for new trailers?

I think he was going to remove the back and weld a couple of rails on the chassis, like the home made ones you see at the trials (and on ebay) 

He just wants to make sure he's not breaking the law

Edited by ralph1

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If it's a pre existing trailer, being only modified and not a full structural change,  it needs no further testing. IVA is for new vehicles or heavily altered or rebuilt

They don't have sufficient staff now at the test stations to do all the tests, let alone if they had to do the older, reconditioned stuff as well! Imagine all those old box trailers where is you replace the sides or base it would need retesting. Nightmare.

Tell your mate hes good, if he lightly modifies an old one, no IVA needed.

 

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my friend modified his by cutting a couple of slots in the floor near the front for the front wheels of two bikes to partially drop into, before strapping them down. He can still use it as a proper trailer between trials - clever, I thought!

 

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What jonboy is saying I agree with and that is what happens in reality..... Light mods = good to go.

A lot depends on if it was manufactured and sold with an approval cert originally or home built   if you want to get really fussy about it.

Ever heard of anyone getting pulled on this one?      No me neither.

Read small trailers section in link for cert requirements and how its meant to work.

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/trailers

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1 hour ago, bultobill said:

What jonboy is saying I agree with and that is what happens in reality..... Light mods = good to go.

A lot depends on if it was manufactured and sold with an approval cert originally or home built   if you want to get really fussy about it.

Ever heard of anyone getting pulled on this one?      No me neither.

Read small trailers section in link for cert requirements and how its meant to work.

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/trailers

Thank you for the info, I notice there are quite a few DIY part kits available on eBay for trailers I wonder how many get IVA approved!

Now I have anxiety about my own trailer,  I modified an old trailer into a bike trailer with quite a few mods didn't even know about IVA or type approval!?!?!

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You only need to comply with type approval with a new trailer.  However it must have a weight plate and capacity stamped on it with the year of manufacture.  The IVA process is mostly about lighting and compliance with the road regulations.  Converting a goods trailer to a bike trailer is not going to give any real problems.  There are (as above) kits sold that never get tested and there are commercially manufactured trailers that side step the process.  The IVA is designed for custom trailers and very small manufacturers.  The next level is batch approval and finally European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.  If you buy something like an Ifor Williams it will have whole vehicle and come with a certificate of conformity.

Following the letter of the law to the absolute if you modify the bodywork strictly it needs re-approval.  For example converting a box trailer into a catering van.  If this is done all that is tested is the modifications.  Therefore modifications that do not affect the road characteristics (lighting mostly) are not part of the approval.  Even the people that test them are a bit vague and unclear on the process.  Our experience of the test process is that if you can you are well advised to not get dragged down into it.  When type approval was introduced VOSA thought it would be a big deal and set up a lot of stations including independent test facilities (we applied to be one and were approved).  Now there are hardly any test centres as hardly anyone goes through the testing.  All the small manufacturers have either packed up making trailers or are producing illegal trailers.

Adding a bike carry channel to a goods trailer should be OK.  Do not overhang the back too much and make sure that the bike weight is over the axle.  Please, please, please make sure the lights work and the tyres are OK and the general state of the trailer is good.  The chances of being stopped if the trailer is in good order with working lights are tiny.  The chances the coppers know towing law is even more tiny.  They will know a bald tyre if they see one and ticket you (rightly so).

If you weld the channel on you have modified the bodywork.  If you bolt it on you have not.  (No one will care I am sure).

If you build a trailer from scratch it needs IVA and you will need to comply with the requirements.  All the components such as lights and reflectors need E Approval and you need to supply the certificates.  The responsibility lies with the person that puts the trailer on the road not the one that builds it, so the ebay kits make you wrong and the seller is OK.  Do not buy them unless you want the hassle. 

A new bike trailer is not expensive.  A lot of the camping type goods trailers get their strength from the box and are not really suited to conversion.  Older better made ones are ideal.  In my experience a secondhand trailer is nearly always well overpriced and a bad buy.  By the time you have repaired one you might as well buy a new one.

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If anyone is interested it is possible to buy the pre-made channels for bikes.  We import the French ones for Franc trailers:

https://www.code-remorques.fr/rampes-et-rails-porte-moto/31-rail-porte-moto-avec-fourche-franc-tr800818.html

Sadly trailers and parts are much cheaper in France and this would be nearer £80 retail in the UK.  Any Franc dealer should be able to get you one.

If we are ever allowed to go there you could pick one up with some cheap booze.  X-Trial in November....  If you don't mind the extra ferry fare trailers cheap there too....

https://www.feuvert.fr/remorque/feu-vert-porte-motos-feu-vert--2-vehicules/p562688.html

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8 hours ago, ChrisCH said:

If anyone is interested it is possible to buy the pre-made channels for bikes.  We import the French ones for Franc trailers:

https://www.code-remorques.fr/rampes-et-rails-porte-moto/31-rail-porte-moto-avec-fourche-franc-tr800818.html

Sadly trailers and parts are much cheaper in France and this would be nearer £80 retail in the UK.  Any Franc dealer should be able to get you one.

If we are ever allowed to go there you could pick one up with some cheap booze.  X-Trial in November....  If you don't mind the extra ferry fare trailers cheap there too....

https://www.feuvert.fr/remorque/feu-vert-porte-motos-feu-vert--2-vehicules/p562688.html

thank you for you information? 

do you sell a complete trailer?

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13 hours ago, ralph1 said:

thank you for you information? 

do you sell a complete trailer?

We are a wholesale distributor for Franc in Southern England.  They do both a single bike and two bike trailer.  Our trade customer Dave Cooper does a range of his own aimed at trials bikes as well as the rear mounted bike racks he is well known for.  http://www.davecooper.co.uk/trailers/trailers-for-bikes

Stocks of all French trailers are low at the minute as France has been shut down the same as we have.  (Dave has had problems getting suspension units to make trailers as the UK manufacturer of them has been shut down).  I think things are getting better quickly though.    Some of our retailers will have stock of two bike units, we have only singles in the warehouse.  Erdé do a single bike trailer as well and I think there are plenty of them about.  They are imported by Wilstow who sell them direct as well as wholesale to smaller dealers.  https://www.erde.co.uk/product-category/erde-classic/erde-motorcycle-trailers/

Sadly Franc do not list their UK dealers - their support is not that great in terms of marketing for some reason.  I can point you in the right direction for the South Coast and London areas if you want.

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