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Found 18 results

  1. I am trying to find out and share details of the problem and outcome from anyone who has suffered problems with an Alko chassis, particularly on a Bailey caravan. We currently have such a problem and are battling it out with Bailey I think that there is a problem which should be covered under warranty, but am being blamed for causing the problem. We were due to pick up our 2 year old Bailey Unicorn Vigo from its service last week. They called us to say it was ready, then called us 10 minutes later to say that it was unfit to drive!!!!! The word 'axle' was mentioned, as were the words 'overload' and 'probably your fault and not covered under warranty' although we had to wait for an Alko engineer to confirm that the arms on the axle are bent to double the angle that they should be, causing the suspension to sink. The good news is that they have discovered the cause of the caravan flooding when we towed in the rain. There is a huge hole in the wheel box caused by the tyre rubbing against it. A huge hole that they didn't find when they went over the caravan with a fine toothcomb to look for the source of the leak at the end of last year! Holes in the wheelbox caused by tyres rubbing is a problem that I found in a 10 minute web search that others have suffered. The dealer said they had never come accross it before. We stand accused of overloading the caravan. Funny, because we tow with a van to carry all the heavy items for the exact reason that we don't want to overload the caravan! But we also weighed every item, even teaspoons, and have a spreadsheet (I know!) which tells us the total weight of everything we originally put the caravan. We were very confident that it was not overloaded! Alko accused us of a 98kg overload. We have been back to the caravan today, emptied it and weighed every single item in it. Unsurprisingly, the payload was under the 1500kg permitted, but the dealer doesn't accept that our scales are accurate enough to account for the nearly 100kg discrepancy between what Alko weighed (caravan + contents) and our contents weight. My husband was formerly a senior fleet manager for an international haulage company and knows a thing or two about loading. It is worth noting that the margin of error on portable weighbridges is plus or minus 100kg! There is also a lot of red tape involved in the calibration of the area where they are used. We have asked for all the supporting documentation. One of Baileys own advertising photos shows a Bailey caravan with a car and a man standing on the roof, claiming a load of 1600kg. I know that the caravan is stationary and not being towed, but there must be a tolerance on the axle that means that it won't collapse if you pop in an extra teaspoon while you are towing! We spoke to an independent engineer who has dealt with several similar cases and he said that it was insulting to our intelligence to suggest that an overload of 98kg would cause the axle to collapse (even though we are now satisfied that it was NOT overloaded!) He suggested that we pursue it through the small claims court - the same advice that we got when we took some legal advice through our insurers. We are starting a warranty claim against Bailey. I believe that there is a problem with the axles that is being avoided by the manufacturer. From the research that I have done on the web, axle problems are not uncommon or unknown, but Bailey and Alko don't want to know. The only way to make them take responsibility is to prove that these are not isolated incidents caused by lots of irresponsible owners overloading their vans. My worst fear is that we will have the repair and be in the same position and accused of overloading this time next year.
  2. An example why dealers get a bad name by shooting themselves in the foot. Just had my Unicorn Valencia serviced. 4 years old. No issues so set price service at a not inconsiderable sum of money. Received a call from the dealers to say the friction pads in the Alko hitch needed replacement. No problem with that. I asked for a quote and was told £63 in addition to the service charge. Now discounting the exorbitant cost of the pads themselves (approx £28 inc Vat., which they claim back ) I know that it takes just 5 mins to change them so essentially they wanted about £38 for five minutes labour in addition to the service charges. Needless to say I refused and did them myself in about 5 mins. Over the years we have spent well over £100k with them. What a wonderful way to reward customer loyalty.
  3. A word of warning to the majority of caravaners who think their caravan is safe with its Alko wheel and hitch lock fitted. It's not. My friends had their Unicorn S3 Valencia stolen from a site last Wed with the above protection fitted and it's standard tracker system. The whole episode was filmed by the CCTV system in HD night vision. From entering the site at 1. 35am it took 17 whole minutes to defeat both devices and leave the site. Three masked men, taped over registration plate and a portable flame cutter. Clearly not casual criminals. If that was not bad enough the next bit may surprise you even more. The " Tracker" supplied as standard is not actually " a tracker" it cannot display its location. It simple emittes a radio signal that may or may not be picked up by police if they happen to be near the device. Of course the theft was reported but the reaction of the North Wales police suggests they won't be seeing their caravan anytime soon. At first they said they had no equipment that could track this device. Later they admitted " some " police cars were fitted with a device that might pick it up. They said it was the second van stolen that week. They suggested that the van would already be in Southern Ireland via Holyhead. This is a sad story for those deprived of their pride and joy and a wake up call for the rest of us.
  4. I took out the Al-ok hitch pads to clean them, I eventually got one back in. My hands do not seem to be strong enough to get the other pad locked in. Is there a method or a tool to do this? Have to move tomorrow so help great fully received. Perhaps I should have lived with the squeak until I got home!
  5. Does anybody use the Bulldg 400q stabiliser rather than the usual alko style hitch stabiliser? Was looking at something that damped pitching as well as the snaking movement. Have an AKS1300 at the moment and was wondering if the bulldog would offer any advantages
  6. Just purchase a new caravan (2009 bailey pageant Bretagne) and it's got a wheel lock but putting a ALKO Secure No 20 makes a big difference to insurance. Any one got one up for sale?
  7. 2011 Bailey Valencia, fully serviced, last time in February. Since towed about 650 miles. 200 miles into France we lost a wheel at about 50. Tell tales where fitted and checked as OK before the trip. Assistance have condemned the wheel and the axle. They want to give me a price to fit a new one but I have no confidence in their ability as they used the steadies to put the spare wheel on and it bounced so much on the back of the transporter that a weld was fractured on the jockey wheel, they also pulled a bumper off when trying to get it sited. We have had the van sited waiting desisions, on a nice quiet municipal costing 10:60 Euros per night, but there is nothing to see or do in the area. Anyway I feel it needs specialist kit to change so we are planning to cut very short our first ever long holiday and have the van brought back to Alko in Warwickshire to be done properly. We have European breakdown with CSMA CC insurance and holiday insurance but I think that's just medical. Just to add to our troubles the charger failed today. Yes people will say its a Bailey, what can you expect. But the chassis is Alko and the charger will be made by a third party. Thinking of taking legal advice on return to UK. Any thoughts or advice greatfully received. John
  8. I have an Alko Atc on my Bailey van, and on occasion it doesn't engage when I connect the van electrics to the car. If I try repeatedly, it does engage, sometimes at the third or fourth attempt. My worry is that one day - probably in heavy rain an hour before the ferry sails - it will refuse to engage. Should that happen, would I damage anything if I drove on with the red Atc light showing, or would I simply be driving without the benefit of Atc?
  9. Though this is about a Bailey I have put it here because it might be true for other ALKO chassis. Due to my present misfortunes, see here: http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/96160-wheel-detachment/ I have discovered that on a 1600kg ALKO chassis, the hubs, although they have the same ID number are much different in the French version. English has 12 mm bolts. French has 14 mm with much wider spacing. Why do the French get a stronger and safer job? Are the laws of physics different in France? Who makes the decision ALKO or the van manufacturers? I phoned ALKO UK recently to be told it was a joint decision, he then went decidedly cagey and would not answer any more questions. John
  10. Hi, We have a new van with an alko hitch, coupling with a witter detachable. I have removed all paint from the tow hitch and sanded it off with emery paper. Both time out the hitch has creaked and groaned, cleaned it with halfords brake cleaner - as per other posts - and the noise is no better. In fact, it's worse, bangs and groans when going around corners slowly. Checked the hitch is alko compatible, which it says it is. Rubbed the pads in the alko with a clean cloth and got some grey dust off, wondering if this came off the emery paper? Seems some people wet the hitch before hooking up, others don't and say not to! I will have another go at cleaning it, and take the pads out to do a proper job, but a bit puzzled by the whole thing to be honest. Given the pads are new and the tow hitch was cleaned of paint before I first towed the van, I am wondering why the noise is getting worse. Any help greatly appreciated as I am completely new to this! Thanks. Chris Should also say, fitted Alko red shocks tonight. Took about 1/2 hour, no need to remove the wheels. Looking forward to the next trip to see if they make a difference, as I have found the van a little 'skippy' over bumpy roads - even after slowing down. .. ;-) New to towing so lacking a point of reference to know how smooth the tow should be over bumps. Cheers
  11. I have an Alko tow ball on my caravan, anyone know if it's ok to tow my horse box with it which has a non Alko hitch ?
  12. Hi I have just bought a caravan (learning a lot). I then bought an alko wheel lock no. 20 (correct one for my caravan). Last night I attempted to fit it. I took that patent sticker off the fitting on the caravan and found a locking nut already in place (see photo). Does the mean that someone has fitting a locking nut and left it there? And I need to get it removed? Thanks for looking
  13. No doubt done to death, but starting a new thread on the safety aspect of fitting 2 Alko locks . Pulled up to a green field site positioned one lock, happy with levels, so how does the van owner fit the second? Do you leave it off and risk an insurance failure if the van was pinched Jack it up with Alko lift,bottle jack, trolley jack. Alko only provide the winding jack, so even with boards my fear is releasing the handbrake to rotate the wheel to position and despite choking the offside wheels there is a risk of the van skewing off the jack . Possibly dangerous? Do you fit an alternative gold standard lock on the second wheel,which doesn't need the wheel aligned for the Alko ? Anyone with experience of this I would appreciate comments
  14. Hello, I wonder if a fellow lunar owner can help/advise I have a dilemma I have just been under the van to fit the Al-Ko side lift jack brackets, however when the van was built some bright spark though it would be a good idea to put the hot air heater pipework right by the holes on the Chassis. is this a common problem on Lunars with blown air heating? As I dont want to be moving pipes or drilling holes on a brand new van do we take this up with Dealer or Lunar ?? Thanks Simon
  15. Hi. Just got a secondhand alko 1300 hitch and hitchlock only to find iam missing a couple of halfmoon washers needed to fit the hitchlock. I have looked everywhere for replacments but they seem to be sold only with a new hitchlock. Any ideas on where to get them. Thanks.
  16. Hi. I have just fitted a Alko hitchlock to a Alko AKS1300 hitch. Included in the box were two half moon washers but there wasnt any space to fit them,will it be ok to leave them out as it seems to fit fine. Thanks.
  17. Anyone know how to remove the Alko pads to check them - and fit them back in again ?! Also, if needed, where to get replacements? My 'van snaked a bit too much recently and it wasn't windy, and the 'van was sensibly loaded. I suspect that the stabiliser is not working as effectively as it should. Thanks from someone who wishes to stay safe - any suggestions gratefully received.
  18. Hi, I need to jack up the caravan wheel & rotate to fit the Alko wheel lock . I always lift the stabilisers on the opposite side - Is this necessary as the wheel will be raised enough to clear the ground and rotate the wheel
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