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macdaf

Hitch lock while towing

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9 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

Advice from the C&CC …

 Some hitch locks can lock the caravan to the car towball and this is useful when stopping at a service station en route to a campsite. Even if designed to do so we do not recommend leaving the hitch lock fitted while in transit, it may hinder the Emergency Services.

John

Well as someone who has dealt with many more incidents than the caravan club I disagree.  

Just ask yourself when your caravan is most at risk from theft. When it’s attached to your car and unattended. Consider the following scenario.

You don’t fit your hitch lock because you are going to a location you know well and don’t intend to stop on route. Whilst on route you experience “gastric issues” so pull into a motorway service area to make urgent use of the facilities. Theiving toe-rag  sees you no this so pulls up alongside your rig with his pick up, his mate sticks his number plate over yours whilst the other unhitches your caravan, drops it onto his tow ball and drives off. Total time taken will be less than a minute!  I am aware of several incidents where exactly that has happened. Before anyone says they will be able to alert the police quickly, which is true, but when was the last time you saw a police patrol on an arterial road! It doesn’t take long to get to the next exit and disappear does it?

In all my years of road policing I have NEVER come across an incident where urgent detaching of a caravan  has been necessary.  Unless both are on their wheels it’s simply impossible anyway! 

Some will say “What if the caravan or car catches fire” To which I would say

“In the highly unlikely event of that happening to my outfit the very LAST place I would want to be is anywhere near either highly flammable unit. I pay insurance, the caravan and car are replaceable, I am not, so let it burn!’  

If it’s on fire the Fire service will NOT go near them and neither will they attempt to separate them as it’s simply too dangerous.

Each to his own but I always apply my Alko hitch lock, that way the one alongside me that ISNT secured to the tow car will get nicked rather than mine.  

For all of the above reasons I always fit a hitch lock.  

Andy

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4 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

Well as someone who has dealt with many more incidents than the caravan club I disagree.  

Just ask yourself when your caravan is most at risk from theft. When it’s attached to your car and unattended. Consider the following scenario.

You don’t fit your hitch lock because you are going to a location you know well and don’t intend to stop on route. Whilst on route you experience “gastric issues” so pull into a motorway service area to make urgent use of the facilities. Theiving toe-rag  sees you no this so pulls up alongside your rig with his pick up, his mate sticks his number plate over yours whilst the other unhitches your caravan, drops it onto his tow ball and drives off. Total time taken will be less than a minute!  I am aware of several incidents where exactly that has happened. Before anyone says they will be able to alert the police quickly, which is true, but when was the last time you saw a police patrol on an arterial road! It doesn’t take long to get to the next exit and disappear does it?

In all my years of road policing I have NEVER come across an incident where urgent detaching of a caravan  has been necessary.  Unless both are on their wheels it’s simply impossible anyway! 

Some will say “What if the caravan or car catches fire” To which I would say

“In the highly unlikely event of that happening to my outfit the very LAST place I would want to be is anywhere near either highly flammable unit. I pay insurance, the caravan and car are replaceable, I am not, so let it burn!’  

If it’s on fire the Fire service will NOT go near them and neither will they attempt to separate them as it’s simply too dangerous.

Each to his own but I always apply my Alko hitch lock, that way the one alongside me that ISNT secured to the tow car will get nicked rather than mine.  

For all of the above reasons I always fit a hitch lock.  

Andy

In balance & as someone who has also delt with many more incidents than the caravan club I would disagree & I never fit my hitch lock while in transit,

as a recovery operator working on police contacts I have attended & cleared up the mess from many over turned Caravans,

the most common I have found is that the caravan is on its side & the car on its wheels & hanging in the air by the now twisted hitch (although I have seen it the other way around) 

When the pressure is on to get the highway cleared believe me the last thing I want to see is a hitch lock!

I have also experienced on more than one occasion that the occupants have left the scene (ambulance or otherwise) & taken all the keys with them! 

(I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve attended an RTC where the occupants have had a nr death experience but still managed to remove the keys & lock their totalled car before going off in an ambulance) 

makes the job a bit more interesting I suppose! 😁

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Fair point Towman !!

Having said that the FIRST thing that has to be done is to get the caravan back on its wheels, once that’s been achieved then I can see there could be an issue with a hitch lock. Most can be drilled out fairly easily at that point ,( but that’s really not the point is it?? ) 

I can also vouch for the fact that mortally injured car drivers will always take their car keys with them in the ambulance! (Can anyone explain why?) 

Andy

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We apply the hitch lock on our caravan if we stop at a services but never travel with it, it takes me 30 seconds to fit then 30 seconds to take off when I come back.   When I pull up and there is a dodgy character where I park I usually leave the missus as a deterrent!!! :D

 

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27 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

I can also vouch for the fact that mortally injured car drivers will always take their car keys with them in the ambulance! (Can anyone explain why?) 

Andy

I know, I’ve attended cars still on their roofs with most of the windows smashed but the owners have still locked them up & gone off with the keys! 😄

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On 17/02/2018 at 08:37, macdaf said:

Hi, Can I tow with a hitch lock on or is it a case of fitting when ever we stop, Thanks Mac.

I had a well publicised and well known hitchlock with a name synonymous with a sea bird. Stopped overnight at Ouistreham the night before our ferry and went out for a meal with car and caravan hitched and locked together with said device. Came back to find I couldn’t release the lock, the barrel had jammed. Managed to tow onto the ferry (less than a mile) and the same on the English side to a CL.  Didn’t realise until the breakdown service came out that the caravan brakes wouldn’t have worked with the hitchlock in place!  The only solution was to cut the device off with an angle grinder, I suppose that was the good news in a funny way. Salutary lesson in many ways. .....

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3 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

I can also vouch for the fact that mortally injured car drivers will always take their car keys with them in the ambulance! (Can anyone explain why?) 

Andy

Forget why, if they're mortally injured I'm more intrigued how they take the keys with them. ..

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3 hours ago, towman said:

I have also experienced on more than one occasion that the occupants have left the scene (ambulance or otherwise) & taken all the keys with them! 

(I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve attended an RTC where the occupants have had a nr death experience but still managed to remove the keys & lock their totalled car before going off in an ambulance) 

makes the job a bit more interesting I suppose! 😁

But at least if it gets nicked they can show their insurance company that they have the keys and confirm it was left locked :)

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Who makes hitchlocks which work when trailer is yoked? I tried to buy one for my trailer which could easily be stolen when left on or off car. I mean a separate locking device and not one integrated into hitch.

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8 hours ago, blondchaser said:

Who makes hitchlocks which work when trailer is yoked? I tried to buy one for my trailer which could easily be stolen when left on or off car. I mean a separate locking device and not one integrated into hitch.

Alko for an Alko hitch http://www. al-ko. co. uk/edit/files/handbooks/aks3004handbookwhitedigital. pdf  go down to page 22 for the hitchlock to fit the AK3004 hitch

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8 hours ago, blondchaser said:

Who makes hitchlocks which work when trailer is yoked? I tried to buy one for my trailer which could easily be stolen when left on or off car. I mean a separate locking device and not one integrated into hitch.

Alko make one that fits their hitch, when attached it allows the brakes to function.

If you are looking for something to use on a small gardening type trailer then I think you might struggle! Probably your only option is to change the actual hitch itself to one that has an integral lock as all the “other” type of locks can only be fitted when the trailer ISNT attached.

Andy

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I never bother with a hitch lock when towing, if we stop at services which is exceptionally rare (I can't remember the last time) someone stays with the car and caravan at all times.  However the wheel clamp and the hitchlock are fitted when we set up on site.

I suppose someone will know of a friends friend who knows someone that has had their caravan stolen while they were driving down the road :mellow:

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37 minutes ago, Paul_B said:

I never bother with a hitch lock when towing, if we stop at services which is exceptionally rare (I can't remember the last time) someone stays with the car and caravan at all times.   

I find this extraordinary. So many people on here say the same thing, but the idea that you are so concerned about the caravan being stolen that you'd rather go to the café or toilets in shifts for the sake of the 30 seconds it takes to fit the hitchlock. ...? :rolleyes:

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14 minutes ago, Chalky9 said:

I find this extraordinary. So many people on here say the same thing, but the idea that you are so concerned about the caravan being stolen that you'd rather go to the café or toilets in shifts for the sake of the 30 seconds it takes to fit the hitchlock. ...? :rolleyes:

Our caravan has its own toilet :blink:

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19 minutes ago, Chalky9 said:

I find this extraordinary. So many people on here say the same thing, but the idea that you are so concerned about the caravan being stolen that you'd rather go to the café or toilets in shifts for the sake of the 30 seconds it takes to fit the hitchlock. ...? :rolleyes:

I can understand going in shifts if it is just a toilet break, but on a long journey we like to get out of the car, go for a short walk and sit down at a table for a reasonably relaxed meal. Just like an HGV driver is expected to do on his scheduled break.

For example, this summer we expect to be driving for 6 hours between Skegness and Dawlish, with one brief comfort break and one proper meal break.

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I always fit the AL-KO hitch lock for travelling, years ago I asked a friend who is a fireman and his advice was to do what I was comfortable with from a security aspect, his take was that unless both car and caravan are upright on even ground, the tension on the hitch would make a normal disconnect impossible, and in the event of an incident they can quickly separate a car from the caravan with their kit in less time than it would take to find the key and remove the lock.

 

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TBH, the answer is only going to be yes or no, yes for security and no for in case of an accident, though I was unaware of the different types of hitch lock.     BTW my answer is no.  

Edited by joanie

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It depends on your circumstances, if you want to stop and have a meal at the services then by all means fit the lock and do so, however as I said we prefer to travel around 4 hrs at the max and we prefer to use a layby as a comfort stop, we also prefer to eat our own food and use our own loo.  I don't think anyone is wrong :)

1 hour ago, Chalky9 said:

I find this extraordinary. So many people on here say the same thing, but the idea that you are so concerned about the caravan being stolen that you'd rather go to the café or toilets in shifts for the sake of the 30 seconds it takes to fit the hitchlock. ...? :rolleyes:

Its not how long it takes to fit a hitch lock that matters, its how long it takes a thief to open the caravan door and empty it of valuables and the damage they cause that matters :rolleyes:

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8 minutes ago, Paul_B said:

Its not how long it takes to fit a hitch lock that matters, its how long it takes a thief to open the caravan door and empty it of valuables and the damage they cause that matters :rolleyes:

Is there any published evidence to suggest that there are thieves lurking around every services nicking things out of caravans in broad daylight?

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11 minutes ago, Chalky9 said:

Is there any published evidence to suggest that there are thieves lurking around every services nicking things out of caravans in broad daylight?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/travellers-jailed-over-caravan-thefts-1918158.html

Quote

Winchester Crown Court heard the Ward-McDonaghs began stealing caravans from driveways and motorway service stations in 2004.

Quote

Detective Inspector Matt Davey, from Wiltshire Police, revealed at the end of the trial officials from the insurance industry reported a 47 per cent drop in national caravan thefts following the gang's arrest.

 

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21 minutes ago, Chalky9 said:

Is there any published evidence to suggest that there are thieves lurking around every services nicking things out of caravans in broad daylight?

Plenty on google :(

Speaking of which this link offer some good advice https://www.hampshirealert.co.uk/da/142013/Attempted_theft_of_a_Caravan_-_Up_Nately.html

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It’s all down to personal choice. There is no ‘Right or Wrong” answer so do what you are happiest with.

I most certainly HAVE dealt with incidences of caravans being stolen off the back of vehicles whilst the occupants are away for a relatively brief period, hence my view on the subject. I have NEVER  dealt with an incident where it has been necessary to remove a caravan from a car so quickly that a hitch lock has proved a hinderance.

Both points of view have been put forward by various people and I suspect there are not that many who will CHANGE their opinion as a result (but there just might be) 

Andy 

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45 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

30 minutes ago, Paul_B said:

Plenty on google :(

Speaking of which this link offer some good advice https://www. hampshirealert. co. uk/da/142013/Attempted_theft_of_a_Caravan_-_Up_Nately. html

 

28 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

I most certainly HAVE dealt with incidences of caravans being stolen off the back of vehicles whilst the occupants are away for a relatively brief period, hence my view on the subject. I have NEVER  dealt with an incident where it has been necessary to remove a caravan from a car so quickly that a hitch lock has proved a hinderance.

Andy 

You're all quoting instances of caravans being stolen, NOT contents being taken from caravans, which was the subject of my question.  

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4 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

Alko for an Alko hitch http://www. al-ko. co. uk/edit/files/handbooks/aks3004handbookwhitedigital. pdf  go down to page 22 for the hitchlock to fit the AK3004 hitch

We have this ALKO hitch lock which is more difficult to remove.   See http://www. al-ko. com/shop/uk_vt/security-device-aks-2004-3004. html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAiKrUBRD6ARIsADS2OLl6xb2zu3BDrdO8FUAuYg7vHRG_5Z9IxEpnjY2NiKH9Il6XzoUIW2AaAqXIEALw_wcB

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2 hours ago, Chalky9 said:

I find this extraordinary. So many people on here say the same thing, but the idea that you are so concerned about the caravan being stolen that you'd rather go to the café or toilets in shifts for the sake of the 30 seconds it takes to fit the hitchlock. ...? :rolleyes:

I go first while OH walks the dogs. On my return OH goes so no need to fit any hitchlock.   BTW when the caravan is connected to the car electrically you cannot arm the alarm or tracker.

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