Welcome to the UKWA Home Page Forums General Roadside recovery of boat trailer not covered by RAC ! Re: Re: Roadside recovery of boat trailer not covered by RAC !


I didnt particularly want to get into why the tyres failed as I’m no forensic expert and there’s plenty of threads on this forum covering this topic already but all four tyres ( two on axles and two spares ) and both hubs were checked prior to the start of the journey and all tyres were legal and pumped up correctly and visually looked correct. There was no additional load in the boat other than its anchor and the cover and as we have a 1990’s Talbot motorhome towing above 50mph is virtually impossible but we have plenty of space inside to stow stuff ( including the sails) so the trailer was not overloaded though probably does weigh approx 400-450kg. To be clear, we had one ‘proper’ blowout where the tyre completely disintegrated leaving only the sidewalls on the rim and two total and very rapid deflations where the tyre came off the rim and jammed against the trailer body. Yes we have 8 ” wheels, our trailer is made in such a way that fitting larger wheels is not possible without considerable modification. All the tyres that failed were of the same type – Deli tyres 4.00/4.80 x 8.00 4 ply rated at 265kg and all were fitted with fresh innertubes for this season. All the failed tyres were on the offside axle and failed on a relatively straight dual carriageway road (A34) so not subjected to inside turning loads or particularly bumpy conditions. The only tyre which did not fail was tubeless and I suspect this is probably the biggest clue as to the root cause !

We have towed the boat on this exact set up ( but by car ) between Kent, Norfolk and Warwickshire back and forth between home and sailing club with no problems whatsoever. I dont imagine towing with the motorhome could have made the difference; I strongly suspect the issue was the quality of the innertubes which I had figured would be a better option than tubeless as punctures could in theory be easily fixed and no can of spray goop would be needed; clearly in fact this was not a good move.

I have now purchased four new tubeless King Tyre 400×8 6 ply 71M wheels rated to 81mph at 345Kg each from Leicester Trailers – it remains to be seen if this solves the problem on our next trip planned to Fowey in a few weeks. I will also be carrying a few cans of goop just in case !

Back to the main point:

As far as I can tell having reasearched this in considerably more detail, all the main recovery companies WILL cover your trailer BUT ONLY if the fault that prevents your journey continuing is ENTIRELY on the towing vehicle, they will then recover the vehicle and trailer be it a caravan boat or camping trailer; ie your passengers and vehicle will go on the flatbed truck and your trailer attached towed along behind. However only Green flag and Brittania seem to offer a service where they will recover you if the ONLY cause of the breakdown is the trailer; ie your trailer goes on the truck and you and your passenger drive along behind in your own vehicle. As the man in the RAC said to me – we can only cover MOT’d vehicles because we know they have been maintained to a mininum standard. There are extra stipulations that Green Flag include – the trailer must be registered as yours ( though how one does that I dont know ) and a servicable spare must be carried and the breakdown must be more than a certain distance from home and the normal place it is kept and a few other minor points and it seems important to declare the trailer at the time of purchase of cover (best to read their website for the full details as I’m only paraphrasing.)

I’m not clear what happens if you are involved in an incident where your vehicle AND trailer are damaged beyond immediate use as recovery would require two recovery vehicles and I cant cant any reference to confirm if any breakdown cover issuer provides for that eventuality.

I understand the point that leaving your trailer behind and driving off to get a spare wheel etc is a possibility but the reality of abandoning your unlit boat at the side of the motorway or dual carriageway in the middle of the night is a serious hazard not to mention increased risk of vandalism/theft particularly in towns and I’m sure the Police and your insurers would have something unpleasant to say about both these aspects should the worst happen.