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steve123

Removing jockey wheel whilst towing?

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hi there just changed to a Bailey Unicorn series 3 Valencia and it was suggested to remove the jockey wheel whilst towing as it appeared pretty low and liable to road humps etc - have a 2015 Kia Sorrento with detachable tow bar and it does appear low any thoughts?

or do we reduce the size of the jockey wheel and leave it on? aware of the thread re removal and if involved in an accident apprecaite your views/ideas.

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20 minutes ago, steve123 said:

hi there just changed to a Bailey Unicorn series 3 Valencia and it was suggested to remove the jockey wheel whilst towing as it appeared pretty low and liable to road humps etc - have a 2015 Kia Sorrento with detachable tow bar and it does appear low any thoughts?

or do we reduce the size of the jockey wheel and leave it on? aware of the thread re removal and if involved in an accident apprecaite your views/ideas.

thoughts on what, if it is low or removing it?  If it is low and you are concerned about it hitting the road, I'd say remove it.

I remove mine most of the time.

 

macafee2

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hi there sorry if the post was unclear yes removed it but just seemed a bit concerning doing it and was also concerned if the insurance would still be valid if it came off and nose dived - worse case scenario. Any thoughts on just changing for a smaller wheel that may help?

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Not sure why it would appear too low? After all they're all on the same chassis and same jockey wheel. There's the possibility that the jockey wheel hasn't been raised to it's fullest extent i.e snuggled up inside it's 'slot', or that the towbar is too low, but that should be fine if type approved. 

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Is the jockey wheel low in relation to the A frame, or is the caravan nose down? What is the towball height when hitched up? What is the noseweight?

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Posted (edited)

We had a Sorento and U3 Vigo, the jockey wheel could bottom on bad speed humps and you should go very slowly going on and off car ferries!

I did damage one on a particularly vicious french speed hump, despite going slowly. It bent the wheel yoke a bit, ended up replacing it. I did remove it subsequently on ferries!

Now have a Santa Fe and U4 but still take it easy.  It sits a bit higher as the Hyundai has SLS.

Speed humps are a damn nuisance.:angry:

Edited by 664DaveS

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Strangely enough I am thinking of doing the same thing. I am on a site ,and although I went very slow  down the drive the jockey wheel also bottomed and slewed to the side. Its not the first time either. My combination Honda crv and Unicorn 3 cadiz.

I cant see the insurance being affected as I cant find a mention of having to have one fitted during transit. 

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In another thread about breakaway cables and safety chains it has been suggested that any trailer must have a means of preventing the coupling contacting the road surface in the event of the trailer becoming uncoupled.  On caravans this is usually achieved by having the jockey wheel.  Small trailers are supposed to be fitted with a protective skid under the hitch.

 

This may mean that removing your jockey wheel could contravene the Construction and Use regulations.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, steve123 said:

hi there sorry if the post was unclear yes removed it but just seemed a bit concerning doing it and was also concerned if the insurance would still be valid if it came off and nose dived - worse case scenario. Any thoughts on just changing for a smaller wheel that may help?

 

I feel you have good reason to be concerned should the van come uncoupled as Al-KO have said the jockey wheel provides the "skid" feature the legislation requires on trailers, so the hitch can't "dig in". So leaving it off is not an acceptable option.

 

If it is too low the vehicle's rear end suspension is either shot or overloaded, or the towbar not to spec; that is where attention should be addressed.

 

Edit: the very point DACS has beat me to high lighting.

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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21 minutes ago, sureflow said:

Strangely enough I am thinking of doing the same thing. I am on a site ,and although I went very slow  down the drive the jockey wheel also bottomed and slewed to the side. Its not the first time either. My combination Honda crv and Unicorn 3 cadiz.

I cant see the insurance being affected as I cant find a mention of having to have one fitted during transit. 

 

It seems that all trailers are required to have a skld or jockey wheel to prevent the hitch digging in in the event of a detachment so it's technically illegal to tow without the jockey wheel.

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27 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

 

It seems that all trailers are required to have a skld or jockey wheel to prevent the hitch digging in in the event of a detachment so it's technically illegal to tow without the jockey wheel.

It is also a requirement to retain some degree of "residual steering" while the brakes bring it to a halt.

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33 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

 

It seems that all trailers are required to have a skld or jockey wheel to prevent the hitch digging in in the event of a detachment so it's technically illegal to tow without the jockey wheel.

 

My memory may be way out but did not the pre-Alko Brit A frame have a skid as well as Wheel?

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9 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

My memory may be way out but did not the pre-Alko Brit A frame have a skid as well as Wheel?

Historically there have been various regulations and solutions.

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14 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

My memory may be way out but did not the pre-Alko Brit A frame have a skid as well as Wheel?

 

My first caravan, in '83, had an Alko pre-Euro wishbone chassis but didn't have a skid.

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Have you checked your nose weight? The Honda CRV had softish rear suspension and we changed to a XC60 because of that. I’m surprised your Sorento has a problem.

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35 minutes ago, Stevan said:

It is also a requirement to retain some degree of "residual steering" while the brakes bring it to a halt.

 

I'm not sure how this can be achieved with a side-mounted jockey wheel (as they all were at one time) as raising the wheel locks it against the side of the A frame. In addition, the slots in the housing lock the wheel into a single position whether side- or centrally-mounted.

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12 minutes ago, Black Grouse said:

My first caravan, in '83, had an Alko pre-Euro wishbone chassis but didn't have a skid.

 

I could easily be wrong but my first was a Sprite Major bought in '77-ish but no idea what year it was*!  Just seem to be able to picture a small plate under the end of the A frame.

What does the term 'wishbone chassis' mean please?

 

*Just the same today!

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I have a new Bailey Phoenix and the jockey wheel is indeed VERY close to the road surface when hitched up and as far up as is possible (and yes I DO have the correct noseweight) It’s exactly the same as my previous Bailey Olympus was. 

 

After smashing two jockey wheels  on French village “sleeping policeman” to smithereens with my last Olympus (even going very slowly over them) I now remove the jockey wheel as a matter of course. 

 

I cant say I ever came across (or was aware of)  any legislation in respect of a jockey wheel being required to be fitted. (That’s not to say it doesn’t exist of course!) 

 

If it was/is a requirement then I would expect them to be so configured that they CANNOT be fully removed from the chassis. 

 

Andy

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24 minutes ago, iansoady said:

 

I'm not sure how this can be achieved with a side-mounted jockey wheel (as they all were at one time) as raising the wheel locks it against the side of the A frame. In addition, the slots in the housing lock the wheel into a single position whether side- or centrally-mounted.

Most modern vans have the jockey wheel within the A frame and when correctly raised it is locked straight but free to rotate thus steering the van more or less straight until the brakes bring it to a halt.

Even the older clamp on ones could normally rotate (Albeit damaging the fairing) but would gradually turn the van to the right (not the best direction in the UK!).

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

I could easily be wrong but my first was a Sprite Major bought in '77-ish but no idea what year it was*!  Just seem to be able to picture a small plate under the end of the A frame.

What does the term 'wishbone chassis' mean please?

 

*Just the same today!

 

The Sprites of that age used a "heavyweight" girder chassis until the late '80s.

 

If you look at pictures of Alko chassis, they look like a wishbone - two side beams tapering in at the front and joined at the hitch - with an axle tube for torsional stiffness.

Edited by Black Grouse

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35 minutes ago, iansoady said:

 

I'm not sure how this can be achieved with a side-mounted jockey wheel (as they all were at one time) as raising the wheel locks it against the side of the A frame. In addition, the slots in the housing lock the wheel into a single position whether side- or centrally-mounted.

:goodpost:

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8 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Most modern vans have the jockey wheel within the A frame and when correctly raised it is locked straight but free to rotate thus steering the van more or less straight until the brakes bring it to a halt.

Even the older clamp on ones could normally rotate (Albeit damaging the fairing) but would gradually turn the van to the right (not the best direction in the UK!).

 

Not on mine!

 

The jockey wheel is mounted on the side of the A frame. When fully retracted the wheel itself is locked against the side of the A frame so is at an angle to straight ahead.  That’s not a concern as I always remove it anyway.

 

Andy

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Given that most vans use a standard AlKo  chassis with a standard AlKo jockey wheel, then the retracted wheel height should be the same for all. That logically suggests that any wheel that rides low is caused by other influences i.e. the height of the towball (which might be a tow bar or tow vehicle suspension issue) or problems in the suspension or noseweight of the caravan.

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4 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

Given that most vans use a standard AlKo  chassis with a standard AlKo jockey wheel, then the retracted wheel height should be the same for all. That logically suggests that any wheel that rides low is caused by other influences i.e. the height of the towball (which might be a tow bar or tow vehicle suspension issue) or problems in the suspension or noseweight of the caravan.

Seems possible that wheel forks may not be wound into the slots. That could cause the jockey wheel to protrude a couple of inches lower, in old money. :rolleyes:

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13 minutes ago, DeeTee said:

Seems possible that wheel forks may not be wound into the slots. That could cause the jockey wheel to protrude a couple of inches lower, in old money. :rolleyes:

 

Oh purleeeese!! I do know how to FULLY retract my jockey wheel :rolleyes:

 

I suspect part of the issue I have is the fairly substantial rear overhang on my car. 

 

Andy

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