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Pau1968

Advice Needed

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Hi guys

 

Need some advice please, I've just returned from the shortest trip we've ever had, lasted about 2 hours..

 

I forgot to remove the plastic ball from the hitch of the van ... thought the van was attached to the car, when it wasn't, but it was certainly attached enough to rip the emergency cable of the car, didn't snap the cable or pull it out of anything, It actually snapped the carabiner type clamp, the hand brake did come on the van though. And it also pulled the electric hook up out the car.

 

The front of the van dropped and hit the ground, and i am really worried ive damaged the chassis maybe..

 

Although im absolutely;y fuming at myself and really embarrassed can anyone suggest what I need to do now.. In my mind

1 - Get the van checked by an engineer, im worried about the chassis as above, but also to check the electrics

2 - Get the electrics on the car fixed and tested now as the socket end smashed and the single electric wont connect properly.

 

In the end, we had to just leave the van, luckily we didnt even get it out of the bay in the storage facility.. cancel the booking and come home. 

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First forgive yourself.  Everyone makes daft and costly mistakes. No-one was hurt.

Second check if your insurance policies (car and van) make a claim viable.

Third get the checks done, as you have said.

Fourth have a nice cup of tea/can of beer/ glass of wine and plan your next trip.

nanamel

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Firstly don't panic,  you've probably not done anything too serious unless it came off at speed.

Secondly, the breakaway worked exactly as it's supposed to,  it pulled on the handbrake and then the attachment broke away allowing the caravan to stop rather than rolling away uncontrolled.

It should be a simple job to replace the socket and/or plug as necessary,  wiring instructions are widely available on line.

Then test the lights, if all works,  then good, if it doesn't,  then as the wires shorted together they will have blown a fuse, locate and replace it. 

If you're worried get an AWS approved mobile service engineer to check things over.

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There was a thread here only days ago a van fell to the ground and general thoughts were no damage would have occurred but this van was stationary.

Did you try and lift the caravan from the tow ball once you thought it was secure? 

 

macafee2

 

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Never mind the details of how you did it. Its a mistake. Put it behind you and learn from it. If you're  not great at electrics etc, get a AWS engineer to come and sort it out. He  will deal with it properly and it is unlikely to cost an "arm and a leg" so don't speak to your insurer until you know the cost of any repair.

Edited by Ern
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Ditto here with Ern.  Don't bother with insurance.  Find out the total cost, and it may not be too bad.  Get insurance companies involved, and you'll be paying for the next couple of years or so in increased premiums.  After all, they are the true bandits

 

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There is plenty of evidence on here of people doing this or similar  - and that's from those who admit it!!

And I am one of them.

I can't recall anyone damaging the chassis.  From your description, the van was hardly moving, if at all. The chassis is built to take decent loading and a singular 18 inch drop isn't huge.

The breakaway cable has done it's job. It is immaterial where it broke - that is what it is designed to do - and it worked. 

 

On the lighter side, nobody who has dropped a van off the hitch has ever done it twice! So you will be more watchful, careful or whatever the next time, and the next time etc.

Don't worry about it, just get it fixed and enjoy.

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Thanks for all the positive comments and support guys, really made me feel better and that im not alone, 

 

Spoken to the AWS fitter who has visited the storage facility for us in the past  and he says not to worry, im not the first... he has more or less reiterated the thoughts here  and is going to go out this week, fit a new break away cable, test the electrics for me, but he doesnt think there will be an issue more the damaged socket on the car.. 

 

I told him i was going to a local witter fitter, which he strongly advised against, pointing out it would cost more when the tow bar will be fine, its the socket that needs replaced, and any reputable towbar fitter would do it, and he recommended another one.. (not sponsored by them:) ) and i rang them and they will fit and test a new socket for  £45.. so im more than happy with that. 

 

As per one comment, i dont think i will be making that mistake again.. have a whole load of unknown ones to get to now :)

 

Paul

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I used to work with a couple who regularly parked their caravan at Eng. Heritage castles while doing events, so they towed it all over the country full time for months.

He admitted to me having once thought he'd hitched up,  set off up the M1,  only to pause an hour or so later at  services and find the van hitch was sitting on the ball but not clamped. Could have been far worse than what happened to you, though luckily it stayed on in his case.

Not a mistake he'd make again, either!

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We were on site about 5 years ago. A chap thought that he had hitched up to go, Drove part way across site, caravan dropped of. He wasn't going fast and stopped before the cable engaged the break. A frame ran under car and the cable then activated the break which jammed under the car, No real damage. When you hitch up it is always good practice to wind jockey wheel down until it starts to raise rear of the car just to confirm engagement

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We’ve done more or less the same . .  . . Got the damage fixed and learned from it , everyone has done something daft don’t beat yourself up about it .

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