Checklist for mounting the rear bike carrier

18. November 2023 um 16:27

Rear bike carrierOf course, rear bike carriers are particularly suitable for transporting your bikes. What you should consider when driving with a rear bike carrier in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, can already be read in our blog post. Today we are putting together a checklist for you to assemble and set up your rear bike rack.

This is how you mount your rear bike carrier

The rear bike carriers from our shop are all mounted on the ball rod. You use a practical lever system for this: If the lever for attaching the rear bicycle carrier is moved upwards, the carrier’s mouth opens. So you can easily put the carrier on the ball bar. By lowering the lever on the rear bike carrier, you close the lock, which then grips the ball bar and secures the carrier to it.

Many rear bike carriers have additional security in the form of a lock so that the lever system can no longer be opened when locked. You can tell whether the carrier is securely mounted by the fact that the rear bicycle carrier cannot be moved to the left and right.

Important: Make sure you have a third number plate ready for the rear bike carrier.

The best way to load the rear bike carrier

Loading the rear bike rack can be cumbersome, especially e-bikes are often very heavy and unwieldy. You can make loading easier with loading ramps, these allow you not to have to lift the bike, but to be able to slide it onto the rack. You should then first attach the bike frame to the middle attachment point of the rear bike carrier. This attachment point provides the most stability and allows you to have your hands free to attach the tires. With all attachment points, make sure that the contact surface of the attachments is as large as possible and that the bike is as straight as possible.

If you always transport the same bikes, you can of course leave the settings of the attachments as they are after the first ride and save yourself the effort for the next few times.

Safety first

It will of course be easier if there are two people to load the bikes. Then one person can hold the bike on the carrier, the second person can align and fasten everything. In any case, make sure that you tighten all fasteners well and align any pre-installed protection against scratching the wheel. With many rear bike carriers, the attachments are also lockable, so you can make sure that nothing can come loose while driving.

 

A red license plate for the trailer

10. September 2023 um 15:29

A red license plateAfter we introduced you to the green number plate for your trailer a few weeks ago, of course we don’t want to withhold the red license plate from you either. What can it be used for, which characteristics can be distinguished and which advantages or disadvantages are relevant?

The use of the red license plate

Red number plates can only be used for a limited or recurring operational use, they are so-called transfer number plates. So if you only want to use a vehicle or trailer for a short, limited period of time (to allow it, for example), the red license plate is an option for you. However, you can only get the license plate from the local registration authority if you are a car manufacturer, car parts manufacturer, a car dealer or a workshop. Then the license plate is not tied to a vehicle or a trailer.

Different license plates

This license plate is characterized by the fact that red lettering is used on a white background. It consists of a distinguishing character followed by an identification number. This consists exclusively of numbers and begins with the “06” in Germany.

There are also license plates with a white background, red lettering, distinguishing signs and an identification number that begins with „07“. This is intended for vintage cars. In the case of classic cars, for example, a red license plate is relevant for participation in events. A big difference to the aforementioned license plate: The license plate for classic cars can also be issued to private individuals.

The pros and cons of the red license plate

A major advantage of the license plate is that it is not tied to a specific vehicle. It can be very practical, especially for car dealerships and workshops, to have such a license plate „at hand“ when, for example, test drives or transfers have to be made.

The disadvantage is that the license plate does not meet the requirements of the 1968 International Convention on Road Traffic. Therefore it may only be used nationally and not internationally.

In the case of vintage cars, you must also ensure that the vehicle meets the general conditions for a vintage car. Otherwise, the specific license plate cannot be awarded either.

Our new MVG shops for Belgium and the Netherlands

10. August 2023 um 11:05

MVG shops for Belgium and the NetherlandsWe are pleased to present our new shops for the neighboring German countries of Belgium and the Netherlands to you: The two shops have now been available for a few weeks and offer our customers from the two countries an individual service. The shops are aimed exclusively at customers in the respective countries. Thanks to the language adaptations of the shops, we guarantee customers from Belgium and the Netherlands an individual shopping experience for our products designed and made in Germany.

Like all our shops, the MVG shops for Belgium and the Netherlands also offer towbars and electrical kits for a wide variety of vehicles from Alfa Romeo to VW in the usual MVG quality. Our range includes towbars for passenger cars, off-road and commercial vehicles. In addition, we also offer rear bike carriers in the shops, as well as accessories and spare parts for trailer hitches, electrical kits and rear bike carriers.

Personal customer service and individual approach in the MVG shops in Belgium and the Netherlands

„We are pleased to be able to offer good and above all personal customer service for these countries with the new shops and to be able to establish even more direct contact with our customers,“ says Michael Pütz, Managing Director of MVG. We offer the shop for our customers in Belgium in Dutch and German in order to be able to address the German-speaking community in Belgium directly. For our Dutch customers, the MVG shop is available in Dutch and English.

Green license plate for the trailer

10. Juni 2023 um 14:43

Green license plateIf you register your trailer in Germany, you usually also specify the license plate number. You have various options for your trailer – just like for your vehicle. We have summarized all information about the green license plate for you, for example under which circumstances you can get such a license plate for your trailer and what advantages you have from it.

When can you get a green license plate?

If you only want to use your trailer for a specific purpose, then the green license plate offers an advantage. A specific purpose would be, for example, if you as a farmer use a trailer for transporting animals, or if you have a trailer only for transporting sports equipment, such as a trailer for a boat or canoe. Due to the specific purposes, you can get the green license plate and the trailer is exempt from vehicle tax. You still need liability insurance for your trailer.

When choosing the green license plate, however, it is important that you are really only allowed to use the trailer for the specified and designated purpose. You are not allowed to use the trailer from our example (approved for transporting sports equipment) for a move, unless you are only transporting the sports equipment mentioned before when moving. If you use your trailer for another purpose and disregard the conditions, then you are committing tax evasion, since the trailer with the green license plate is tax-exempt. If you want to use the trailer for another purpose, you must register the trailer with a normal, black number plate, as trailers with a black number plate are subject to tax and insurance.

This is how you get your license plate

In order to get the green number plate for your trailer, you first have to be exempted from vehicle tax at the tax office or customs for this purpose. You must also take out liability insurance for the trailer. If you have these documents including the confirmation of the tax exemption, then you must present these documents to the responsible registration authority and will receive your green license plate there.

Important: Make sure that you need a few other documents for your visit at the registration authority. You should bring your identity card or passport, your confirmation of registration, the vehicle registration document and vehicle title and also have the eVB number ready as valid insurance confirmation. You may also need proof of the main inspection. If the trailer has been registered before, you must also bring the black number plates with you.

Find out more about our products in our other shops:

www.mvg-ahk.at
www.mvg-ahk.ch
www.mvg-ahk.lu
www.mvg-ahk.be
www.mvg-ahk.nl

Camping with caravans in Germany – pay attention to these points

14. Oktober 2022 um 13:52

CaravanCamping with a caravan is becoming increasingly popular, as is traveling in your own country. But what is actually important and allowed, what should you pay attention to when camping with a caravan in Germany?

Where camping with caravans is allowed in Germany

Camping is of course always allowed on campsites in Germany. These are often highly sought after and fully booked weeks in advance, especially during the travel season and during the holidays. So if you are planning a tour, then find out early on whether there is still a parking space available for you at the campsite of your choice. You can also stay overnight outside of campsites, but this is not allowed everywhere and sometimes only allowed to a limited extent. On streets and parking lots, for example, it is permitted with restrictions for one night, provided that the overnight stay serves to restore the ability to drive. Real camping is not allowed. Be sure to pay attention to regional and local differences and restrictions, and above all to nature conservation, forest and dike laws. Staying overnight on streets and parking lots in Germany is prohibited for several nights. Overnight stays on private property are also permitted to a limited extent, here too it is important to pay attention to regional regulations and laws on nature conservation, etc. You can sometimes even camp for several nights on private property, this is permitted with restrictions and follows the same rules as camping for one night on private property.

The dimensions of your team of vehicle and caravan

In addition to the permissible total mass of the vehicle combination, the dimensions are also very important when driving with a caravan. Vehicles that exceed this require a special permit for their journey, which can usually be obtained from the local district and road traffic offices. A few safety measures are also required for the teams, so you have to pay attention to additional lights or mirrors, for example. However, this is not regulated nationally, but at the discretion of the responsible authorities, who also issue the special permits.

For the dimensions, however, the values ​​are fixed: Your vehicle without a trailer must not exceed a maximum width of 2.55 meters. The same applies to the caravan with drawbar. Both must also comply with a length of 12 meters. The width of the entire team is then not surprising, this may also be a maximum of 2.55 meters. The length, on the other hand, is set at 18 meters, so that neither your vehicle nor the mobile home can use the full permitted length.

Check list before driving

So before you set off with your team and explore the many beautiful corners of Germany, you should whip your team into shape. Do you have everything you could need for your trailer hitch? Are the spare keys for the detachable towbar packed? Is the tire pressure correct on the towing vehicle as well as on the trailer? Also think of your wheel chocks and, depending on the width, also of the additional mirrors for your vehicle. How about the additional power supply, so that your fridge in the caravan is supplied with power while driving? Depending on the team, there are certainly individual points that you should check a few days before departure. This leaves you enough time to organize everything in case of doubt.

The driving license B96

19. Juli 2022 um 11:47

Driving license B96If you want to be on the road with a heavy trailer, a class B driving license is not enough. With this driver’s license, trailers are only allowed up to a permissible total mass of 750 kg. Driving a heavier trailer requires a BE driving license or a B96 driving license if, for example, you are traveling with a horse trailer or caravan.

An extension for your class B driver’s license

The B96 driving license is an extension for the class B driving license and allows you to tow heavy trailers. Since B96 is not a separate driver’s license, only theoretical and practical lessons in the driving school are required. There is no test for the B96 in Germany like there is for a class BE driving licence. The B96 extension will be noted on your driver’s license with the key number 96 after you have completed the theoretical and practical part. The extension is valid throughout the EU.

These are your options with the B96 extension

For all those who want to pull more than the class B driving license allows, the B96 extension offers more leeway. You can use it with a total mass of up to 4250 kg. It is important, however, that the total mass is decisive, i.e. the combination of towing vehicle and trailer. So if your towing vehicle weighs two tons, your trailer can still weigh 2250 kg for your journey. If this is not enough for your trailer, you would have to think about a class BE driver’s license, so the trailer alone can weigh 3500 kg as the permissible total weight.

The advantages of the extension B96

If you are thinking about whether you need the B96 extension, then the advantages are probably also important to you. Since no exam has to be taken, the extension can be obtained faster than, for example, the driving license class BE. Also, the costs are lower due to the short duration and fewer hours in the driving school. In addition, the B96 extension offers you more options for towing a trailer than your class B driver’s license.

Find out more about the different driving licenses in our blog post.

Sports trailers: Special trailers for your trailer ride

18. Juni 2022 um 15:04

TrailersDepending on the purpose for which you are traveling with a trailer, you need a special model. For example, sports trailers are a special category that you can use to transport animals, motorcycles, boats or gliders. Special provisions apply to these special trailers with regard to the intended use, license plate number or insurance.

License plate and main inspection for your trailer

While it used to be no problem if you were driving a trailer without an official license plate back in the days, today you risk a fine. Since the early 1990s, all sports trailers have had to have an official license plate and therefore also have to be regularly subjected to the main inspection, which is usually due every two years. Many sports trailers have a green license plate, this is handed out if the trailer only serves a single, specific purpose. You can probably expect a green license plate for a trailer for a glider, while a black license plate is often used for horse trailers.

Before you set off with your sports trailer, you should make sure that you have the following documents with you: On the one hand, you need the trailer operating license and, on the other hand, the test report from the general inspection. The certificate from the registration office is also important and is checked during a traffic check.

Sports trailers and their use

Most sports trailers may only be used and are only approved for their originally intended purpose. Therefore, the green license plate is usually used for these trailers. An exception can be the horse trailer, for example. You have the choice and can also use a different license plate and thus expand the use. If you rent a sports trailer from someone, then be sure to check the license plate number of the trailer before driving. If you are driving with a green license plate and misuse the trailer, then you must expect the consequences in the event of an inspection.

Also pay attention to the speed at which you are traveling. Most trailers are allowed 80 km/h on German motorways, but you can apply for a 100 km/h permit. All information about the 100 km/h sticker can be found in our blog post.

On the safe side: Liability for special trailers

If you are traveling with the trailer and it is coupled to the towing vehicle, the liability insurance of the towing vehicle will usually also cover possible damage. However, if the trailer becomes detached from the towing vehicle or, for example, moves away from its parking position or slips, then the liability insurance of the towing vehicle no longer applies. It is therefore advisable to take out special liability insurance for the trailer.

Electric cars and trailers – these are the important points

17. Mai 2022 um 10:52

electric carsWhile electric cars with trailer hitches were a rarity for a long time, there are now suitable trailer hitches for more and more electric models. These are often sold ex works, but retrofitting is of course also possible. You will also find some matching towbars in our assortment.

Less towing capacity with electric vehicles

Most electric vehicles are characterized by a lighter construction. This automatically limits the towing capacity somewhat, according to the rule of thumb that the larger and heavier a car, the more load it can pull; the reverse applies as well: the smaller and lighter a vehicle, the less it can pull.

So if you are currently thinking about buying an electric vehicle and would like to tow a trailer with it, then think about the loads in advance. There are currently few electrically powered vehicles on the market that can pull a horse trailer, for example.

The range when towing a trailer with an electric car

The additional weight that the trailer puts on the towing vehicle also increases electricity consumption – or, in the case of non-electric cars, fuel consumption. In this respect, combustion engines and e-cars are initially very similar. But the increased power consumption of electric cars means that the range is reduced and more time has to be planned for recharging. It is of course much easier with the combustion engine, since you can refuel within minutes at any time.

The extent to which the range of an electric vehicle is limited by towing a trailer depends on three factors: the weight of the trailer, the wind resistance caused by the trailer and the speed. If you tow a small trailer to transport green waste for a few kilometers, the range is not much limited, if you want to take a caravan to Italy, things are of course different and you should plan many charging breaks.

Of course, the following helps as always when you are traveling with the trailer: Driving with foresight is important and can have a positive effect on consumption – regardless of whether it is fuel or electricity.

Attention: Not all electric cars are approved for driving with the trailer

Not every e-car is allowed to pull a trailer from the manufacturer and is approved as a towing vehicle. This means that the various systems of the vehicle, such as the drive system or the thermal management, are not designed for the higher load caused by the trailer and trailer towing is therefore not possible. In most cases, these vehicles then also have no mounting points for a trailer hitch.

In isolated cases, however, it may be the case that electric vehicles are not approved for trailer operation, but have entered a vertical load. In this case, a car mount can be used to attach a rear bicycle carrier. Before you make your choice on an electric car, just find out from the manufacturer and think about the requirements you place on a vehicle for everyday use.

Important traffic signs when towing a trailer (Part 3)

16. April 2022 um 9:57

Traffic signsIn the last two posts on the topic of traffic signs for towing a trailer, we have already introduced you to a few very important road signs and traffic signs that you should definitely pay attention to when towing a trailer. There are a handful of other traffic signs that we don’t want to leave out.

Traffic signs for vehicle combinations

Although the following traffic signs are relevant for towing a trailer, they only apply if the combination weighs more than 3.5 tons and the towing vehicle is neither a bus nor a car. So let’s assume that you mostly travel with a car and trailer, then these traffic signs are only important for you if your vehicle combination is particularly heavy. Again and again, drivers are unclear as to whether the following signs are relevant to them or not. In the following we summarize the most important information about the traffic signs for vehicle combinations.

The prohibition sign for trucks

The round prohibition sign shows a truck and states that a general driving ban applies to all motor vehicles with a permissible total weight of more than 3.5 tons. The sign also applies to trailers and their towing vehicles. The only exceptions are cars and buses. So if your motor vehicle is heavier, you will not be allowed to drive through after this sign.

Prohibition sign for heavy vehicles

Based on the actual mass of a motor vehicle, this round prohibition sign indicates how heavy a
vehicle may be in order to continue driving on the affected road. However, the plate refers to the actual mass (what the vehicle actually weighs), not the gross vehicle weight rating (what the vehicle is allowed to weigh). If you are traveling with a vehicle combination, for example with a trailer, then the weight of the individual vehicles is relevant, not the weight of  the combination.

The length of your vehicle on traffic signs

Traffic signsThe last traffic sign with a red frame is about the length of your vehicle. Pictured is a truck as well
an indication of its length. The sign states that you would need to consider the actual length of the entire vehicle combination. If your team is longer than indicated on the sign, then you are not allowed to drive into the street. If you continue to drive, it may for example be the case that you will not be able to turn around in an emergency or that curves are too narrow for you. As with the other signs, a fine will be imposed for disregarding the sign.

Important traffic signs when towing a trailer (Part 2)

19. März 2022 um 14:42

Traffic signsIn our second part on the subject of traffic signs, we have also put together important traffic signs that you should definitely observe when driving with the trailer in Germany. Of course, this does not mean that you can ignore other traffic signs, but the signs listed below deserve the special attention of trailer drivers and will help you to avoid dangerous situations with the trailer at an early stage.

Narrow lane when towing a trailer

As the driver of a trailer, you must keep an eye on the traffic sign for narrow lanes, especially if your trailer is wider than your towing vehicle. In this case, drive a little more carefully into the bottlenecks or danger spots, drive slowly and use your side mirrors.

In this case, caravan owners should pay particular attention to their trailer and trailer: additional side mirrors are helpful and advisable for towing a caravan, but you should always bear in mind that these change the width of the vehicle.

The traffic sign indicating traffic jam

In the event of a traffic jam, the driver of a trailer has to be particularly careful. Traffic jams harbor some pitfalls, the road narrows due to the emergency lane that is to be formed, and other road users who are not paying attention can lead to situations in which you have to react quickly. Therefore, always drive with foresight and keep calm when you are traveling with a trailer.

You also have to be particularly careful when congestion forms, as it is often necessary to brake harder for a short time. There are many factors that come together that are important to you: Your load should be well secured, you should always be vigilant and attentive in order to be able to recognize traffic jams and braking maneuvers early and to be able to react calmly but purposefully.

Special cases of traffic signs for trailer rides

There are three important road signs that specifically address the team. The first is the danger sign for caravans on inclines. Shown is a team with caravan, provided with the signature „Danger of skidding“. The sign warns of the danger of cross winds on downhill stretches on motorways. It is intended to draw your attention to possible changes in driving behavior.

A single caravan on a white background indicates parking spaces where a caravan may be parked for more than 14 days. Unhitched caravans can usually only be parked for two weeks, after which the parking lot must also be accessible to other road users – at least for a short time. Be sure to comply with this. In the event of a possible check, it is not sufficient to claim that the trailer has been moved, since the tire levels are usually noted and movement of the caravan must be clearly recognizable.

A white sign showing a car with a trailer tells you that the rules of the other signs only apply to teams. The additional sign always refers to the traffic sign that is attached directly above the additional sign.traffic signs