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Handbrake On or Off


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We have put our caravan on a pitch from July - end September.

It is a twin axle and one side is on Lock n Level air bags, the other has 2 chocks per wheel.

The  question I have regards whether to leave the handbrake on or off? 

I have heard that they can stick and when coming to move it at end of season could be a problem.

What do other caravaners who use seasonal pitches do and what if any problems have they had.

thanks John 

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I'd not be happy leaving a van on a lock and level that long, if the air bags loose air the weight will be transferred to corner steadies and they aren't designed to carry weight.

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I do not have a seasonal pitch, but to put my view forward, if the pitch is flat end to end I would leave it off as long as the steadies are down 

Les

 

 

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I always put mine on, but it's never in one place for 3 months, as we're out every month of the year.

 

The brakes rusted on, on one of my Landrovers though. It spent 17 years in my Industrial unit, so mostly in dry-ish conditions - the hand brake didn't rust though.

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Well like many of us my caravan is stood at home most of the time and handbrake is on as it is on a slope.

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I would be worried about the possibility of the handbrake sticking on when left for 3 months.  With the steadies down and wheel chocks in place the van is unlike move so I see no problem in releasing the brake.

 

 I always release the handbrake on our unit, once set up, both on site or when stored and have never had a problem.

 

As Tenstar said I would be wary of leaving my wan on a lock n level only for that length of time and would be investigating an alternative.

 

Edited by Vanning Man
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Opinions on this will always be split and there is no right or wrong.

For short term parking I always applied the handbrake  on our caravans but for longer term parking the wheels would be chocked and the brake released.

Gordon.

 

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For over winter storage I visit my caravan every 3-4 weeks and as it is on a flat pitch wheel locked I alternate on and off to keep things moving.

 

Move it a foot or so every so often also if I think about it.

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On 15/08/2019 at 17:25, Les Medes said:

I do not have a seasonal pitch, but to put my view forward, if the pitch is flat end to end I would leave it off as long as the steadies are down 

Unfortunately the pitch is certainly not level, the jockey wheel is almost at maximum drop to achieve front & back levelling.

On 15/08/2019 at 17:24, TenStar said:

I'd not be happy leaving a van on a lock and level that long, if the air bags loose air the weight will be transferred to corner steadies and they aren't designed to carry weight.

That is a good point, I could raise the steadies when it is unoccupied in case of an air bag fail 

On 15/08/2019 at 18:05, Vanning Man said:

I would be worried about the possibility of the handbrake sticking on when left for 3 months.  With the steadies down and wheel chocks in place the van is unlike move so I see no problem in releasing the brake.

 

 I always release the handbrake on our unit, once set up, both on site or when stored and have never had a problem.

 

As Tenstar said I would be wary of leaving my wan on a lock n level only for that length of time and would be investigating an alternative.

 

As it is a twin axle and I have Alko wheel locks the  lock n level are needed to get the locks on. Can’t jack it as motor mover in the way

Edited by connorefc
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For a long term stay I use THESE. They also have the advantage of making the 'van fell much more solid. I try to divide the weight between them and the corner steadies; then I release the hand-brake. I've never bothered with chocks

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35 minutes ago, connorefc said:

Unfortunately the pitch is certainly not level, the jockey wheel is almost at maximum drop to achieve front & back levelling.

That is a good point, I could raise the steadies when it is unoccupied in case of an air bag fail 

As it is a twin axle and I have Alko wheel locks the  lock n level are needed to get the locks on. Can’t jack it as motor mover in the way

if you are going to lift the steadies and you have an alko wheel lock fitted, I think you will have to apply the handbrake. 

You wont want the caravan to twist/turn and put strain on the alko wheel lock bolt

 

macafee2

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21 hours ago, macafee2 said:

if you are going to lift the steadies and you have an alko wheel lock fitted, I think you will have to apply the handbrake. 

You wont want the caravan to twist/turn and put strain on the alko wheel lock bolt

 

macafee2

So looks like the handbrake stays on. If there is a problem at end of season with it stick, just have to deal with it then 

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  • 2 months later...

Definitely off and we'll chocked, legs down. Our horse trailer would seize handbrake if left me n for more than a couple of days. Always carried 2 pound lump hammer for emergencies!

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42 minutes ago, Percyprod said:

Definitely off and we'll chocked, legs down. Our horse trailer would seize handbrake if left me n for more than a couple of days. Always carried 2 pound lump hammer for emergencies!

Handbrake always off for me, as I have an Alko wheel lock, the application of the handbrake would be a total waste of time anyway. 

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In 19 years of leaving our caravan's handbrakes on, they have never stuck on and at times have gone 12 months between servicing without the caravan being moved. Being in storage on a slight slope if it was not used and then moved it could go in to other caravans so not something I would risk. Car drum brakes may be more at risk of sticking, we had an Astra that if it rained and was put in the garage with the handbrake on the shoes would often stick.

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