FAQ

Technical

Does my A-Frame system need to be braked?
Yes. All “trailers” (tow car) with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of more than 750kg must be correctly braked. Even if the “trailer” has a MAM of <750kg the Law states that if brakes are fitted then they must work.
My towed vehicle is fitted with power assisted brakes, how do I get the brakes to operate correctly when towing?
The Department of Transport have issued a formal note regarding A-Frames. Among many Construction & Use requirements the DoT clearly state:
“If the trailer braking system has power assistance it is likely that this assistance will be required while in motion. To prevent the trailer being used illegally a remote vacuum pump could be installed to recharge the reservoir.”
This is exactly what SmartBoxDUO does –After turning the SmartboxDUO unit on and testing the system prior to towing- our system is designed so it carries a small vacuum reservoir ready and primed for the first brake application that is continually replenished by our pump. This means you can demonstrate the braking effort IF required to do so on brake rollers, Smartbox Duo provides 100% braking effort as if you were braking the car yourself while driving.
I have heard that some companies don’t want you to see their components and try to hide the workings! Will you let me see your System and demonstrate it to me before I decide to buy?

Yes, without a doubt! We are open and transparent about our System with nothing to hide. Come and see us at a Show or at Storrington and we will be happy to let you inspect and operate the full system.
We also operate a fully working demo box at every Show for you to see the full System in detail.

Regulations

What if I am stopped by Police in the EU and fined?

We have never had one of our Smart-Tow Systems stopped in Europe. We are so confident in the legality of Smart-Tow that we will work closely with you in order to redress any situation that may occur.

Some cheaper tow car companies say you don’t need to replenish the power brake vacuum and that their system meets all requirements. Is this correct?

Unfortunately there are some companies who claim their competitive system has been tested at “Government approved centres” and meet various “Standards” to which “Certificates” are provided. We do not wish to get into acrimonious discussion on this subject but please be aware that much of this is irrelevant or misleading. Please check out any claims yourself directly with the Authority to whom the competition say they have a relationship. Buyer beware!

As most modern cars feature vacuum (power) brakes, the Department For Transport (DFT) began to stop A frame users in 2017 and require the users to demonstrate that their  A frame systems make the required minimum braking effort.  The design of the mechanical braked (inertia) A Frames mean they cannot be taken to brake testing rollers to be tested.  The inertia design requires the Tow car to  compress the hitch against the motorhome to apply the brakes – meaning you cannot demonstrate the braking effort  of the Tow car on its own, the department For Transport have placed prohibition order in some circumstances on inertia braked units where the  vehicle features power brakes (most modern cars have power brakes) but no vacuum present in the A frame braking system.

We would prefer you to refer directly to the Department of Transport formal position on the matter of braking requirements. If you require any further information regarding the regulations covered by this DfT fact sheet,

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-frames-and-dollies/a-frames-and-dollies

Please contact the DfT at the address below:-
Department for Transport, Transport Technology and Standards 3
Zone 2/04, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR
Telephone: 020 7944 2078 – Email: TTS.enquiries@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Does your System apply the brakes using the power assistance as the manufacturer designed and homologated the vehicle?
Yes, absolutely! We are the only company in Europe fitting a dual sensing electronic vacuum pump, as required by the DfT, that replenishes the vacuum in the brake servo resevoir so that the power brakes can be applied 100% – No compromise.
I have heard that some companies don’t want you to see their components and try to hide the workings! Will you let me see your System and demonstrate it to me before I decide to buy?
Yes, without a doubt! We are open and transparent about our System with nothing to hide. Come and see us at a Show and we will be happy to let you inspect and operate the full system. We also operate a fully working demo at every Show for you to see the full System in detail.

Supply & Warranty

Do you offer an Extended Warranty?

Yes! Tow A Frame offer the class leading 2 years (24 months) warranty as standard.

The braking system warranty may be extended to 5 years for the Smartbox DUO unit by contracting directly with the manufacturer in the USA, any and all extended warranty queries must be addressed with the manufacturer (DEMCO USA) directly after completing the requisite extended warranty form after purchase.

https://www.jotform.us/Demco_products/rv_towing_products_registration

Tow A Frame support warranty claims up to 24 months (2years) only.

Do you have somewhere close to me where I can get Smart-Tow installed in my vehicle?
Yes, we have fully trained Professional Install Centres throughout the UK who can tailor our many installation options to your individual requirements.
Give your nearest Centre a call and they will happily talk you through the entire Smart-Tow System.
If I want to fit the system myself, or have my favourite local garage fit it for me, will you supply the full kit direct to me?
Absolutely, if you prefer to purchase the install kit for self fit we are happy to supply whatever you need along with fitting instructions and telephone support.
However our Install Centres are experts in the process and will offer a very competitive service.
Can I pay using Debit or Credit Cards?
Yes, we accept all major cards.