February 9, 2011

Peter W Jones MInstP


See my blog:-

www.westmidlandspoliceauthority.wordpress.com as my enquiries have now revealed a serious scientific educational deficiency in the training of Police Road Traffic Accident Investigators.


As the above is so frequently not available I have copied some of the work in to

www.itai2005reportpart2.wordpress.com      and



Aerodynamics of Trailers; Introduction

December 13, 2010

see  my blog


Caravan,Trailer and HGV Accidents

July 7, 2009

Information on the safe towing of Caravans,School/University mini bus trailers and HGV Trailers and a possible explanation of why the media is so deficient in reporting on this matter.



see my blog:-


Previous Post

March 15, 2008

Peter W Jones MInstP

 The most recent entries to my blogs are at

www.improvingroadsafety.wordpress.com      and


See also




Advice for Physics and Maths teachers (GCSE and GCE “A” level)

see    www.schoolminibusaccidents.wordpress.com    and


 in this blog

Para 100

Flying with the RAF helped with Caravan research

Para 101

2007 Problems with T&T.com

Para 102

Details of some towing Experience.

Connection between sailing and caravanning


Para 103

Caravan Club Technical Advice


Para 104

Further details of towing experience

Para 105

2003 advice for CC and CCC members

A recent upgrade has been given to:-



March 9, 2008

Paragraph 100


Peter W Jones MInstP

February 4, 2008


                                  Peter W Jones  AMInstP

The above depicts a Tiger Moth Biplane of the same type that I was a passenger in many years ago. I recalled this event in 2003 and remembered that the plane had a take off speed of about 60 mph. If I had not made this connection and the possible comparability with the critical air speed for a small caravan, I doubt whether I could have made a minor contribution to road safety by writing these blogs.

A much greater contribution to our Health and Well Being was made by  the WW2 RAF trainee pilots who did their initial flying training in these air craft at the Wolverhampton ( Pendeford) Airport.  My parents’ house was fairly close to the air field and as a child the RAF caused me more anxiety than the Germans (even though I never actually saw a “trainee” pilot plane crash into a house). The Germans, failing  to discover that we had (in proportion) as many vital targets as Birmingham and Coventry,   kept well away.

I would like to pay tribute to the many RAF pilots who trained at Wolverhampton, but did not survive the war. 

There is a further note concerning Tiger Moth Bi Planes at the end of  the section 18b on  HGV Trailers.


See also  www.aerodynamicsoftrailers.wordpress.com

January 19, 2008

Paragraph 101



Peter W Jones MInstP..

New Revised Edition..

I have previously written about the considerable input to this debate by responders to the information I sent to “touringandtenting.com”. According to T&T .com there were over 5000 viewers of the forums I instituted and a vast number of replies far too numerous for me to be absolutely certain that I have answered all valid objections.The most important hole that a number of responders thought they had blown in my reports was the fact that there is still doubt in the caravan industry concerning the legality of electric brakes for trailers in the UK, in spite of the fact that in the USA and Australia these brakes have been in successful use for over 30 years.I have always been troubled by the inability of the Caravan Club to take a view of controversial items that opposed the caravan industry. I only realised a few months ago ( due to reading an item on the CC’s private www site for members), that the CC and the Camping and Caravanning Club have had a formal agreement since about 1998 with the National Caravan Council (the caravan industry) concerning the supervision of the quality of the work in a large number of the Caravan/trailer workshops in the UK. The fact that the CC the CCC and the NCC will be in touch on a regular basis with Jones Vening Ltd who run this supervisory service indicates that there is a well organised cooperative system.The reason we still have around 95% of trailers/caravans in the class 750kg to 3500kg operating with over run brakes, and those below 750kg not being required to have brakes, is because for reasons I have yet to discover it suits the clubs and the caravan industry. Faced with such a united front I would not expect either the EU or the UK authorities to change anything. As I see matters the “law” concerning the braking system is in effect made by the caravan industry.Similarly the Road Haulage Industry have virtually unopposed access to Government (UK and EU) concerning aerofoils/electronic brakes for HGV trailers because Trade Unions are ineffective due possibly to low membership in this sector.The other most objected to part of the information I sent to T&T .com was my test for friction based stabilisers. Caravanners and trailer towing campers were mortally offended that I had told them that the devices they had relied on for years were most probably of no use whatsoever.If any one has reported on the results of carrying out my test for stabilisers, I must have missed the item.

The fact that I have already written items on the 1994 Bath University report on stabilisers that the CC failed to inform their members or the CCC about was of course over looked.
In addition I have now noticed that Bath University have a report on the WWW which contains test results on the type of ALKO friction based stabiliser which in the past has come as standard equipment on a large number of new caravans. The report is very long, but the relevant conclusion is crystal clear.
I found same by putting “Caravan and HGV trailer snaking  accidents” in to the Google Search engine. Almost top of the list that Google produces is a much shorter report by myself headed:-
“House of Commons-Transport-Minutes of Evidence”
The Bath University report is well down the list.
Edit May 2012
If one inserts “The Dynamics of Towed Vehicles Killer CJ” in to Google,  the Bath University MEng project report can be viewed and down loaded …..  all 67 pages of same!
I have copied several relevant extracts, graphs and photographs in to my blogs. 

In view of  the Caravan Club having advertising on T&T.com (and the CC also clearly supported this “independent” site when it opened, according to the owners) I was pleased to note that a considerable number of respondents to my forum articles did concede that caravans needed better brakes, and the replies were initally left on view.

In addition, another feature of a number of  “slightly abusive” replies was that they finished with a plea for better brakes.

At a large CC meeting held at the Thistle Hotel, East Midlands Air Port, in February 2004, I challenged the fact that the CC had sponsored a great deal of research at Bath University but had never had anything done concerning the over run brake actuating mechanism. In reply an official conceeded my point and said that perhaps they should now take up this investigation. I have not heard anything about this being followed up.

 (To see a short article on “The Case Against Over Run Brakes” go to


and go to Paragraph 10ci of the main report.)

I shall not be altering the blogging  item concerning the possible editing of my work on T&T.com by the site owners. I am only responsible for work appearing in my blogs.

Addendum 29-1-08

I mentioned above a list that can be seen on Google. Also on the first page of this list is “Evidence from Snaking Tyre Marks – Touring and Tenting.”  If you click on this you will go to T&T.com and see an edited version of the items from my forums that they have chosen to leave on public display.

I was pleased to see that items attributed to myself were accurate, but readers will find difficulty finding them due to vast quantities of silly remarks and pseudo scientific comment.

I wrote to this cyber tabloid in the first place because in 2003 the Guardian did not publish the article I sent them. Had they done so the fitting of electronic brakes to HGV trailers would be more extensive and a start would have been made on electric brakes for caravans.

Overall I did not waste my time writing to T&T.com as in spite of their failure to allow me to use the facility of


giving readers ease of connection to my blogs without typing in the lengthy address, my www addresses have had a substantial increase in those reading same for more than 15 mins at any one time.

Addendum 25-02-08

The following are the Introductory sentences of the 1999 McDonald Bath University MPhil thesis, mainly on Moisture Ingress to Caravan Structures, the results of which the Caravan Club put to very good use. It is only the writer’s opinion, but I think this is a good time to reveal same as it reveals every thing about members of the caravan industry who seem reluctant to raise safety levels to those more commensurate with the speed at which it is legal for caravans to travel on a motor way to day:-

“The manufacture of touring caravan trailers is essentially a cottage industry. Its conceptual evolution since the horse-drawn-cart has been primarily aesthetic compared to that of the motor industry.”

I previously wrote concerning the failure of the Guardian Newspaper to print my article in 2003. I have checked with “Guardian On Line” today and note my blogs are on their list and that I now have a “Technorati” rating. By putting “caravan snaking accidents” into the “Guardian on line” search engine you will not only reveal my blogs but


the on line newspaper started by my brother about 12 months ago. He wrote last week about the Selby Rail Disaster. One of my daughters (see  “archives for April 2007” section 3a of

www.caravanaccidents2.wordpress.com ) sent me an e mail a few days ago. She had confused T&T.com’s blog with mine as the latter have so prominently displayed my name on Google. My daughter wished to know why I had not just deleted all the “silly” comments so that the objective ones could be seen.

It can be seen by accessing T&T.com via Google, as mentioned above, that the site owners have increased their attempts to discredit my efforts and avoid any  mention of the Bath University research or the evidence I have quoted from caravan snaking accidents.

There are now 67 comments which are trivial and 16 spurious.

20 commentators, with Logiclee as their  leader, are objective on aerofoils for caravans, but fail to mention the Bath University relevant result, or the evidence from the snaking caravan accidents.

I have no doubt that all 103 commentators referred to above know who Logiclee is. As he claims a  HND in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering he must be well up  the “pecking order” of the Caravan Industry. I did think at one time he may even be the MD of the Swift Caravan Group, but then I remembered that when the accountant who had held this post for many years retired, the Caravan Club Magazine announced that the replacement had a string of impressive qualifications after his name, including a CEng. 


January 18, 2008

Paragraph 102





 The above photograph shows my current Swift Challenger 4oo SE Small Touring Caravan which I have owned for about 14 years and the current Land Rover Discovery which I have owned for 11 years. 

 I previously towed the Swift with a Rover 3500 SDI SE V8. Although I followed the CC’s advice this van (the Rover 3500 should have been an excellent tow car)  started snaking on the motor way as soon as I was over taken by anything fairly large.  I always countered by slowing down until the oscillations died away. Most people do not realise that slight oscillations are potentially very dangerous; if a following large vehicle with a bow wave in phase with the previous oscillations over takes before the snaking  has subsided, a catastrophic snake could immediately take place.

Addendum 25-1-08

I should have reported above that my Discovery is a better tow car; I was reminded of this by another respondent to T&T.com. The aerodynamic factors are very different when towing a caravan with a car than they are when towing with a mini bus or 4×4. These factors should be quantified so that clear advice can be given to the public.

I also started a Forum on www.practicalcaravan.com  (the Practical Caravan Magazine) and  had a reply from the Editor of the PC Mag suggesting that aerofoils on caravans needed to be over the axles. I would add to this that the aerofoils need to be just forward of the axles to ensure that there is a chance of the correct weight on the towing hitch being maintained as speed increases.

 Another reply to the Forum welcomed the new editor (it seemed to me that this was a response representative of the Caravan Industry). The above item then disappeared.

I intend to appeal for assistance from owners of large sailing cruisers (with weights comparable to HGV trailers).  I feel that HGV drivers need to be advised of the area of sail that these large boats use in a gale force wind (about 44mph) to push them along  in smooth sheltered water comparable with a road. I am sure that the relevant sail area will be much less than the side area of most HGV trailers and would  remind drivers of the fact that although exposed stretches of road get closed to high sided vehicles by the police in Storm Force winds,  gale force winds will most probably cause some HGV trailers to snake.


The above photographs show the Bradwell 18 Sailing Cruiser that I owned between 1976 and 1988. In making these reports I am heavily relying on my towing experience aswell as my knowledge of Physics.

At various times I towed the Bradwell 18 with a Vauxhall Victor 101  1600cc; a Morris Marina 1800cc; an Austin Princess   6 cylinder 2200cc and a  BL Ambassador 2000cc which was a development of the Princess. 

In addition my deductions concerning the air speed at which a caravan is likely to become subject to snaking depend not only on my towing experience but on a knowledge of the effect of the wind on sails of roughly the same area as the side of my current small touring caravan.

October 15, 2007


The above displays a copy of the brochure cover that was produced when the Jaguar 21 was first introduced in 1980.

I show this as I do not have a similar photograph of the boat with either of the two cars I have used for towing. ( A Land Rover Discovery and a Rover  SDI  3500 SE V8).



                Paragraph  103

I have now deleted this paragraph as it has been seriously distorted by hackers.
It is now in
 Addendum on strong winds.


I note that in the January 2009 issue of the Camping and Caravanning Club Magazine there is a reference to a Highways Agency Report claiming that 50% of road users would continue with a road journey despite hearing a severe weather warning of fog, ice, snow, rain or strong wind.

Concerning the “strong winds” forecast the Camping and Caravanning Club is partly to blame for the above lack of respect for road safety as it always follows the Caravan Club in such matters and it can be seen from the above that advice on strong winds needs to be much improved.

The new edition of the CC handbook is due out soon. It is to be hoped that this matter will have been rectified.


 PARAGRAPGH 104   TOWING EXPERIENCE ace-bradwell.jpg 
The above shows another view of the Bradwell 18 plus the Ace Pioneer caravan that I owned from 1982 to 1994. Aswell as the Austin/Morris Princess shown I also towed the Ace with a Marina 1800cc and the Rover SDI at various times.
I had a very serious snake when towing the Bradwell 18 with a Vauxhall Victor 101 1600cc. I only escaped disaster, potentially caused  by an over taking HGV, by the narrowest of margins. If a serious snake is established one is powerless to do anything other than slow down and hope for the best as over run brakes are of no use in  this situation. HGV drivers and trailer towers with electric brakes are better off as they can safely apply their brakes when snaking takes place.
I also had a serious snake (caused by a rather small over taking lorry) when towing the Ace with a Marina 1800cc on the then new M40 just south of oxford. With the same out fit on another date I had a tyre blow out on the M5 motorway near Birmingham at 50 mph. These events are covered in more detail further on in these blogs.

Addendum 29-1-08

Yesterday I observed  on a large caravan dealer’s display shelves a “tyron.” This is a device which ensures that a caravan tyre stays on the wheel in the event of a “blow out.” For many years serious caravan snaking was almost always blamed on burst tyres; hence the need for “tyrons.”

I did not have a “tyron” when my Ace caravan tyre burst at 50 mph.

I was able to pull on to the hard shoulder without any swaying or snaking of the caravan. As a result of the “snaking tyre marks” details I received about 17 years later from a Police RTA Investigator I have been able to show that snaking could cause burst

 tyres, but burst tyres were not the cause of the snaking. (see para 17a of my blog www.20six.co.uk/roadtrafficaccidents ).


Paragraph  105

 Caravan Clubs

This part of the blogs is specifically aimed at members of the Caravan Club (CC) and the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC). I have been a member of the CC for many years, and for the CCC I am in my fourth year of membership. The problem with both clubs is that the technical advice they offer misses out on a number of topics which members should know about to improve their safety on the road.

As the clubs and the caravan industry have been so reluctant to use electric brakes it is worth noting that the Goodrich corporation have recently announced that some Boeing 787 airliners are to be fitted with electric brakes made by the former.

  Goodrich are also the makers of the  control system for Rolls Royce engines on the Boeing  777.

If electric brakes for trailers are investigated via Google readers will discover that at current exchange rates USA electric trailer brakes are cheaper than the UK/EU over run system plus a friction based stabiliser .

 The Caravan Club now seem to accept a revised view of caravan accident statistics. They recently had a small item in the CC magazine which said that although there were few caravan accidents, there were not many caravans around. I think that the statistics  show that there are serious safety matters that the caravan industry and the Caravan Clubs must address.The CC officials also now seem to have accepted ( they also stated this in a small recent item in the CC magazine) that burst tyres can most probably be the result of caravan snaking, and not its cause. (see section 6a of my other blogs.)

It can now be seen how much important information on caravan and trailer safety has been left out of the article on page 26 of the March 2007 edition of the CC magazine, entitled, “Why Did I Crash?”

My other blogs on the same subject are:-

 www.caravanaccidents2.wordpress.com paragraphs 1a to 10c and www.20six.co.uk/roadtrafficaccidents paragraphs 10ci to 18b

and    www.caravanaccidents3.wordpress.com

A CCC Magazine Supplement, recently delivered to members.

I am pleased to note that last year’s CCC caravan safety advice has not been repeated in the latest “Tow Car Awards” Supplement. In 2008 the CCC had an item on the web ( which has now been withdrawn) stating that caravans were very safe and the accident statistics proved this.

The statistics prove the opposite if one takes into account the low number of miles covered by caravans and other recreational trailers. (Put “Caravan and HGV Trailer Snaking Accidents” in to the search engine of

The caravan club advice to Bath University (on miles covered by each member’s caravan) in connection with the 1994 Fratilla Phd thesis indicates that CC members’ vans each covered less than 1000 miles per year. As all vehicles other than caravans cover, on average, at least 10,000 miles per year, the statistics below need multiplying by at least 10 to give an indication of the risk of an accident when towing a caravan or trailer.
My risk is not so great as I am taking the precautions outlined at the start of this section (headed Paragraph 103).
The following has been copied from the internet:-
 ———————————————————————Welcome to the Highways Agency
Fit To Tow. (Video)
Text Version
 Managing, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and trunk roads.
Our Traffic Officers work to keep traffic moving and ensure your safety.


Carol: Of course there are rules about what you can and cannot do and there are risks too. Last year alone accidents involving towing vehicles caused nearly fourteen hundred injuries and forty-three fatalities. So, how do we make sure when we’re towing we do it right?
For further comments on the influence of Caravan Club/industry Policy on the Highways Agency video see my blog
 Tow Car Awards Supplement of the Camping and Caravanning Club Magazine.
On page 4 bottom left (of the current 2008 supplement) is an insert in blue which starts “Thanks to AL-KO for preparing the caravan ATC units for testing. …..”
We are thus being informed that this device was also part of the test;
page 51 contains a full page advertisement for the ALKO device.
(See also  www.al-koatc.co.uk )
Also on page 4 top right is a heading “AL-KO” followed by a sub heading “The Lane Change.” This paragraph starts, “The most violent of all our manoeuvres was designed to replicate an emergency lane change, …….”
Further down the same paragraph we have “ For the purposes of our test, the device (the AL-KO ATC) was disconnected from the brakes so as not to affect the outfit’s stability. …..”
It therefore follows from this assertion that the executives controlling the caravan clubs and the industry must have little confidence in the safety of the ALKO latest device.
At the bottom left of page 5 we have a heading ‘Braking and Acceleration.”
Emergency stops were carried out from 30-0 mph. I deduce from this procedure that the testers were advised not to risk doing an emergency stop from a more realistic motorway speed when towing a caravan ( even when having the benefit of the ATC) !
Judging from accounts I have read ( see my blogs) of USA electric brakes for caravans and trailers I would be prepared to do an emergency stop from 40 mph as a test with my own outfit
(the Discovery and the Swift 400 SE) if it were so equipped.
Furthermore I think the electric brake would be safe during an emergency lane change; before the value of sterling declined the electric brake hubs were cheaper than the over run brake actuating mechanism plus friction based stabiliser and conventional caravan hubs.
The electric brakes have been used in the USA and Australia for over 30 years. They use established and simple devices (electro magnets in particular). They need updating to electronic control, but at the moment they are the best solution as I can see no evidence of independent testing of the electronic element of the  ALKO system. The old friction based stabiliser which they are still relying on (it is used in conjunction with the new ATC)  has been tested by Bath University (2003) and myself (2006)
(see elsewhere in my blogs). My test found the old ALKO stabiliser of no use whatsoever, but due to the lack of understanding by Birmingham Trading Standards and the DfT Trading Standards Department of an item of GCSE Physics, my test has not yet been approved and the public continue to be at risk.
Top right on page 5 is a heading “High Speed Stability.”
The ALKO advertisement on page 51 for the ATC system shows a tow car and single axle caravan overtaking an HGV. Judging from the photograph of the MIRA test track there was plenty of room to have carried out a real test at 60 mph with an HGV as it is quite wrong to imply that a few sharp steering inputs give the equivalent of the aerodynamic effects experienced in a real over taking procedure. Also, I have found that the bow wave effect can be very considerable even when the HGV is moving slowly.
See   www.universityminibustrailers.wordpress.com
for copies of magazine articles above. These copies are after the EM relay diagram.
(See also www.caravanaccidents2.wordpress.com

Para 3a — in the archives for April 2007

(Look up also the 1999 Bath University Wind Tunnel Research results of a similar overtaking  procedure. One is inadequately recorded in the CC handbook. Others are recorded in various parts of my blogs).
Finally, the wind speed at the time and site of the test should have been recorded, with an appropriate instrument, and the results displayed in the Supplement together with the advice for particular tow cars. If the wind was above about 5mph there would be variable gusts during testing which would affect the stability of the tested cars/caravans differently in each case.
Even BBC 2 “Top Gear” uses  a wind sock to check for virtually zero wind when towing caravans at very high speed, but to protect the “macho” image they do not advertise the fact. I think that the quick view I got of the limp wind sock was shown by accident.
Addendum  19-03-09
When I wrote the above report on the ALKO ATC I did not comment on the constructional details inside their “brown box.”
I was reluctant to spend 300 pounds sterling on an item which needs much further development.
However, I later recalled that their internet account states that the device must be drawing 15amps to signify that it is safe to drive. This must mean that a strong spring holds the brakes in the “on” position and that the electro magnet compresses the spring (when the electric current flows) so that the out fit can be driven.
This means that the brakes are “on” or “off” and this is bound to lead to the trailer wheels locking when used at speed.
With the USA type of electric brake there is the possibility of being able to change the braking force being applied by altering the amount of current flowing.

The 2007 CCC “Tow Car Awards” supplement reminded members (by means of small inserts displaying accident statistics) of the above CCC incorrect safety claims on many of the pages containing advice on the best tow cars.




is  advertised. 

.Strong winds can be a factor at all times of the year and a weather check with

to see further details of this matter.

April 22, 2007

Peter W Jones

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