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Jacko1

Don’t get complacent!!

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There was me thinking I’m getting pretty good at this hitching up lark!!..

Just been to get the monster from storage, absolutely no problems, got onto the motorway and thought ‘that’s a bit more wobbly than usual’ tends to be a bit lively when it’s empty. Luckily only have to do 3 miles on the motorway and no wind and nothing bigger than a transit passed me. Got home, on the drive and found had not put the big lever down!! At least it proves the stabiliser pads work..👍

Morale of the story, no matter how competent you are, check, check again and if your not sure check again, dont get complacent like this incompetant😂

 

i was lucky and hopefully not not an error I will make again, hopefully🤔

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9 minutes ago, Jacko1 said:

 

i was lucky and hopefully not not an error I will make again, hopefully🤔

Not so much "lucky" as not unlucky!
An outfit should be adequately stable without a stabiliser, with the stabiliser improving the towing and adding an extra margin of safety should something unexpected happen.

 

 

Edited by Stevan
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Jacko1,

 

Tut - tut, be like me and never make a mistake :rolleyes: :blink: :P.

 

I appreciate your honesty and worthwhile reminder.

 

Happy Holidays.

Edited by Sea&Sand
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Done that. Got 5 miles down the A55 before I pulled over in a lay-by and checked.

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All these friction based "stabilisers" can and do offer is to damp the activities, they don't increase the safety, just the comfort of towing from the multitude of minor distrubances our vans inevitably meet towing..

Therefore,  your mistake was not potentially critical, just lead to being a bit more uncomfortable and thus unnerving than it should have been.

 

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Been there done that more than once.

I've posted before about it here.

I was luckier, perhaps, in that my lack of friction stabiliser made no significant difference to stability or handling.  (Although once I'd found out it wasn't engaged it explained why I'd felt a passing lorry or van more than usual.)

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Been there - done that! Normally following a services stop when we fit the hitch lock. Remove hitch lock, failed to lower big handle and spent the next 10 miles or so wondering why we were being affected so much by passing HGVs . . .

Now devised a system where OH double checks my doings!

 

Cheers

Keith

 

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Someone taught me to hitch-up by numbers when I first started caravanning, using these 6 checks -

  1. Hitch coupled
  2. 12 N electrics
  3. 12 S electrics
  4. Breakaway cable connected
  5. Jockey wheel locked
  6. Handbrake off

The 6 later became 7 when I got a van with a stabiliser; but then back to 6 again when I got 13-pin electrics.

 

I introduced the connectivity check of lowering the jockey wheel, so was up to 7; but then I got my new van last week with ATC for the first time.

 

So now it’s “8 is great” -

  1. Hitch coupled
  2. Stabiliser connected
  3. Breakaway cable connected 
  4. Electrics connected 
  5. ATC on
  6. Raise car using jockey wheel
  7. Lock jockey wheel
  8. Handbrake off

John

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Good advice and a timely reminder for me as we going away tomorrow 👍

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Our old Avondale came with a very good card with the hitch up and unhitch procedures that you could follow. I did leave it in the caravan when we traded it in but wish I had kept it now.

I have done the same twice and it is noticeable when towing, although mine was not a problem. It is a safety point though, that damping effect does make the point at which the caravan can swing just that bit further away.

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On 20/12/2019 at 15:23, JTQ said:

they don't increase the safety,

A stabiliser may make the difference between just snaking and overturning the outfit.  How can you claim that it doesn't increase safety?  It's just like the suspension shock absorber - it damps oscillations which can lead to disaster.

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2 hours ago, kelper said:

A stabiliser may make the difference between just snaking and overturning the outfit.  How can you claim that it doesn't increase safety?  It's just like the suspension shock absorber - it damps oscillations which can lead to disaster.

Not really, the shock absorbers in a car's suspension are involved with every bump, pothole or undulation in the road surface. Without them a car becomes all but undriveable.

A stabiliser, on a properly loaded outfit has only a small impact in day to day driving, marginally improving the towing experience. Its main purpose starts when things begin to go wrong, such as the outfit beginning to sway, either because of poor loading or external influences.

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So the device that’s fitted to just about every single new caravan sold serves no useful purpose??

 

Cant imagine every manufacturer paying out to fit one if it’s a useless item.

 

Next someone will claim that ATC is a con trick! 

 

Me?? I am very grateful for any device that might  improve safety.

 

Andy

 

 

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Consider the resistive damping torque that the friction pads, probably clamped with a few hundred kg but nevertheless only working on a ball radius of 25 mm, can develop.

 

Then compare this to the torque a swaying van of circa 1500 kg when flailing near critically, but acting on over a 100 times greater lever arm of 3500 to 4000 mm radius, can develop.

 

The former is in real terms miniscule in its damping ability of the latter. Academically, it will add some damping, but of an order totally irrelevant in taming a critical frequency sway.

 

They are far from useless, it is just their role seems misunderstood, probably the word “stabiliser” infers too much?

Their role lies in what that modest ball clamping torque can achieve, not what it can't.

Some have aspirations from them that are unrealisable, the belief they “stabilise” an outfit nearing overturning, where in truth they only usefully damp low energy movements.

 

They will “damp”, i.e. reduce the amplitude, of very low energy sways, the sort of thing even the best towing units meet through minor road surface changes, passing bow waves, and standing waves from bridges etc.

In this they can make the towing experience even of an impeccably stable outfit more “comfortable”, less fatiguing a drive and less stressful.

 

I suspect those involved with overturned units might have noticed some had “stabilisers”, I have.

 

If you want stabilising that saves the high energy sways developing, so the consequences, then it comes as the complimenting device Al-KO offer, its ATC.

 

Edited by JTQ
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In the Bath university report on trailer stability https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/publications/an-experimental-investigation-of-car-trailer-high-speed-stability

They find that a friction stabilizer (they don't mention the make) increases the zero damping speed from 61 mps to 66 mps. They call the increase limited but I think it's pretty good for such a cheap device and that's probably why just about every new caravan have them.

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42 minutes ago, JTQ said:

Consider the resistive damping torque that the friction pads, probably clamped with a few hundred kg but nevertheless only working on a ball radius of 25 mm, can develop.

 

Then compare this to the torque a swaying van of circa 1500 kg when flailing near critically, but acting on over a 100 times greater lever arm of 3500 to 4000 mm radius, can develop.

 

The former is in real terms miniscule in its damping ability of the latter. Academically, it will add some damping, but of an order totally irrelevant in taming a critical frequency sway.

 

They are far from useless, it is just their role seems misunderstood, probably the word “stabiliser” infers too much?

Their role lies in what that modest ball clamping torque can achieve, not what it can't.

Some have aspirations from them that are unrealisable, the belief they “stabilise” an outfit nearing overturning, where in truth they only usefully damp low energy movements.

 

They will “damp”, i.e. reduce the amplitude, of very low energy sways, the sort of thing even the best towing units meet through minor road surface changes, passing bow waves, and standing waves from bridges etc.

In this they can make the towing experience even of an impeccably stable outfit more “comfortable”, less fatiguing a drive and less stressful.

 

I suspect those involved with overturned units might have noticed some had “stabilisers”, I have.

 

If you want stabilising that saves the high energy sways developing, so the consequences, then it comes as the complimenting device Al-KO offer, its ATC.

 

Agreed, what is often ignored is that the vast majority of (all?) major sway incidents start with a tiny wobble, ("very low energy sway"), if the return swing from this wobble is even minutely bigger than the initial wobble the sway becomes greater and each successive return is bigger than the one before until it is, in your words, "near criticality".

No small friction device will successfully dampen this "near criticality" but, if even a small amount of damping were applied to the earliest small wobble the subsequent return swing should be less than, rather than more than, the initial wobble, in which case the sway dies away rather than escalating.

Of course, if the stabiliser is unable to provide enough damping, due to loading, speed etc. issues, then the sway will still escalate, with the obvious consequences.

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23 hours ago, Johnaldo said:

Someone taught me to hitch-up by numbers when I first started caravanning, using these 6 checks -

  1. Hitch coupled
  2. 12 N electrics
  3. 12 S electrics
  4. Breakaway cable connected
  5. Jockey wheel locked
  6. Handbrake off

The 6 later became 7 when I got a van with a stabiliser; but then back to 6 again when I got 13-pin electrics.

 

I introduced the connectivity check of lowering the jockey wheel, so was up to 7; but then I got my new van last week with ATC for the first time.

 

So now it’s “8 is great” -

  1. Hitch coupled
  2. Stabiliser connected
  3. Breakaway cable connected 
  4. Electrics connected 
  5. ATC on
  6. Raise car using jockey wheel
  7. Lock jockey wheel
  8. Handbrake off

John

So do you have to change radio frequencies for the Air Traffic Control (ATC):D

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Just did exactly the same, on our way home a couple of days ago.

 

My wife had managed to expertly reverse the car right up to the hitch, so I did not have to go through the usual routine, with the motor mover etc., so I left all that paraphernalia in the boot, meaning I did not need to open it. All seemed fine until a coach over took us and I noticed a lot more sway than normal, when we got home and I went to open the boot, I realised I could not open it as the big lever was still up! 

 

I now have a check list in Google Notes, shared with the wife, so we can both check before we leave.

 

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After hitching up and before pulling off my wife always says to me, STEADY JOCKEY STEPS on theBRAKES.

Meaning :- Steadies up

                         Jocky wheel up

                         Steps in

                         Hand Brake off

 

But that did not stop me from leaving the motor mover engaged once !!!!!!

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26 minutes ago, Philept said:

After hitching up and before pulling off my wife always says to me, STEADY JOCKEY STEPS on theBRAKES.

Meaning :- Steadies up

                         Jocky wheel up

                         Steps in

                         Hand Brake off

 

But that did not stop me from leaving the motor mover engaged once !!!!!!

 

Tut-tut-tut, I would never do that :blush::unsure::P

 

Another good reminder, cheers for that.

 

How about STEADY JOCKEY STEPS on the BRAKES and DISENGAGES WARP DRIVE.

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Posted (edited)

We have had the jockey wheel drop when driving- just minor grinding of the tyre and the 12v cable drag on the floor-a bit of a mess we both cross check each other on everything!  If either of us goes away on our own for any reason everything is done twice.

Edited by Jezzerb

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I had a jockey wheel drop on M62 . Believe it was shape of tow vehicle (Discovery 2 ) and lorries/busses passing had unwound jockey wheel . Now have a jubilee clip on jockey post with a strap that goes to handle to stop it turning . 

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Winding the jockey wheel trunnions up into the slots on the tube is supposed to stop the possibility of unwinding.

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26 minutes ago, Fenester said:

Winding the jockey wheel trunnions up into the slots on the tube is supposed to stop the possibility of unwinding.

 

But it does not stop the handle unwinding.

To achieve that without any restraint, needs adequate tension in the jack screw to overcome the vibratory loads, and then some, so that clamping tension can never be completely lost, even momentarily.

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51 minutes ago, Fenester said:

Winding the jockey wheel trunnions up into the slots on the tube is supposed to stop the possibility of unwinding.

 

       True!  Then give the winding handle a tweak so that it will not unwind.    :D

 

         John.

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