Peter Treasure, owner of website www.geistowners.com has had the BPW/Winterhoff 3000 series trailer coupling put through testing for compliance to ADR 62/02 with overwhelming success. The coupling was utilised on most Geist caravans that came out to Australia from 2005 to 2009 and is also used extensively by some other Euro caravans coming in second hand to Australia. Editors Note please hold your cursor over images to enlarge them.
It was believed that the compliance had been achieved by the once importer of Geist caravans Oakhurst International Caravans in 2005 but no evidence could be found for this in Department of Road and Transports archives. BPW Transpec declined to do the Australian testing as they were not the importers of the product originally and are focused on the Australian truck market not the RV industry. It was important that the Geist owners in Australia took up the baton to have this testing done to secure their investment in their caravans, Peter Treasure said.
Test Rig 1
In many owners and certainly in Peter Treasures mind, there was never any safety issue with the coupling; the problem is found in the markings attached to the coupling, which do not adhere to the limitations set by the Australian Design Rules.
Now that we have created a correctiveID plate and had the testing done we can now not only make sure each coupling is compliant, but also track where these couplings are being used and on what trailers. Any corrective recall action that may be required in the future can be easily done. Its a win win for the owners and the regulators, he said.
The coupling has had excellent reviews by many magazines and online experts over the years and it seems the technical hiccup that threatened the use of the Winterhoff 3000 series coupling is over.
This coupling now offers a solid alternative to the over-run coupling user needing an alternative to electric brakes and minimal or no anti-sway devices. Any new or used hitch will need the new AustralianID compliance plate attached in the appropriate area. This is available through the www.geistowners.com website.
From the www.geistowners.com website.
It has come to the attention of www.geistowners.com that the BPW/Winterhoff 3000 coupling used predominately on the Geist caravan in Australia has not had the correct compliance. ADR 62/02 calls for such components to meet Australian Standard AS 4177.3-2004 Coupling Bodies for Ball Couplings.
Test Rig 2
The standard requires for the coupling to display correctly the approved towing capacity of the coupling that meets the ADRs (Australian Design Rules). For this type of coupling 2000kgs is the maximum permissible. The BPW/Winterhoff 3000 Caravan/ Trailer coupling states an incorrect rating of 2800-3000kgs and an ambiguous rating of 3000kgs under the handle.
To correct this issue full testing was carried out under controlled conditions at Department of Infrastructure Test Facility No: T2857. As a result the BPW/Winterhoff 3000 Caravan/ Trailer Coupling met the requirements of ADR 62/02.
To correct the incorrect stamping of the coupling all BPW/Winterhoff 3000 Caravan/ Trailer couplings or derivatives of this model MUST have attached in the correct manner, an approved identification plate ensuring correct towing capacity of the coupling. In addition the VIN number of the applied trailer/caravan and batch or serial number of the coupling is to be shown on this plate. It is important an approval number also be registered on the plate that will identify back with the original testing.
www.geistowners.com commissioned the testing of the BPW/Winterhoff 3000 Caravan/ Trailer coupling and will issue an identification plate on a fee per plate basis. A database of known caravan/trailer VIN numbers will be made available to the Department of Transport and Roads for distribution to State Transport Authorities.
Failure to place an appropriate identification plate may lead to corrective compliance being requested by State Transport authorities at great cost and risk of insurance defaulting on any accident that may occur.
A summary of the testing report is sent with the identification plate to verify the testing procedure to any appropriate authority.
Test Rig 3
Peter Treasure said: A big thank you to the www.geistowners.com members who pre-ordered theirID plates to enable the commissioning of this compliance test to occur. Without our members none of this could have occurred and it would have meant every user of this coupling would have had to replace their coupling with a new one of lesser quality at an estimated price of $900-$1300 including fitment. Unfortunately there is still a cost to fix this issue but it guarantees some certainty in the coupling that as users, we believe to be one of the best in the world.
A link to order the correctiveID plate and approval number can be found on the www.geistowners.com website.
The full test report along with photos is being sent to the federal body, Department of Transport and Roads for full approval.
For further information contact Peter Treasure 0427 878 645.
Editors note: here are a series of Geist and European design related free Information Articles from the GoSee library. We include general towing information. A Multi-Search of the the GoSee public forums using the search box at the top right of the Home Page and forums as the criteria will show the antiquity and extent of this debate over the BPW-Winterhoff hitch.
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