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I've never yet done it myself, but if you stop on your journey for a quick cuppa and a bacon butty in the van before carrying on to your destination. Is it advisable to lower the steadies or is the fact that its hitched to the car enough to support the van? :mellow:

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I always lower the steadies, whilst hitched, as it stops the caravan from rocking about, especially if parked in a layby with passing HGV's. It is not essential though.

 

Brian

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I always lower at least one of the front and back legs as my theory is that it cant do the cars suspension much good with people walking around in sideand especially if you are having a cupa sat down at the front of the van that is extra weight on the car. I dont raise the front of the van as the tow hitch isnt designed to lift the car. I just simply keep the van in the position I stopped in.

Just dont forget to put the legs back up again before you travel! :o

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Before I got a van I always thought I would be able to do that. ..but never had. If I was to open the door I would have to climb over the awning, dog crate, awning chairs etc. .....Oh and me spare wheel. Apart from anything else I have to use the loading to counterbalance the nose weight(its one of those vans that has a higher nose weight when empty than when loaded)...and if there is not enough loading over the axle it seems to bounce around too much.

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I agree with Brian on this,plus our agents service manager was quite adamant that if you are in the van,put at least the rear steadies down. He reckoned that it did not matter with the old full perimetrer chassis but the modern lighweight chassis are not designed to have people walking around without the extra support. As a structrural test engineer it makes sense to me. :)

Frank

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Before I got a van I  always thought I would be able to do that. ..but never had. If I was to open the door I would have to climb over the awning, dog crate, awning chairs etc. .....Oh and me spare wheel. Apart from anything else I have to use the loading to counterbalance the nose weight(its one of those vans that has a higher nose weight when empty than when loaded)...and if there is not enough loading over the axle it seems to bounce around too much.

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We used to do that but we got an Alko spare wheel carrier, put the awning in the boot and put the chairs in a roof box. We travelled down to the Vendee and so needed an overnight stop. The dogs live in a cage in the car.

 

Agreed on the principle of winding down the legs. Without it has the potential to stress the un-supported floor.

 

Mike

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Frank,

 

That makes sense to lower the rear steadies. If you look underneath your caravan there is very little chassis at the rear. However, I doubt if the stresses encountered when stationary are as much as the transient stresses when towing.

 

I forgot to add that I also lower the jockey wheel at the front just to take the weight at whatever angle the caravan is at. This, with the rear steadies, makes it rigid.

 

Brian

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Frank,

 

That makes sense to lower the rear steadies. If you look underneath your caravan there is very little chassis at the rear. However, I doubt if the stresses encountered when stationary are as much as the transient stresses when towing.

 

I forgot to add that I also lower the jockey wheel at the front just to take the weight at whatever angle the caravan is at. This, with the rear steadies, makes it rigid.

 

Brian

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Would agree with that. If you load the van so that the nose weight is near maximum, which gives best stability and then a couple of people go in front of the axle, what would be the likely weight bearing down on the rear of the car? What is the likelihood of damage to rear suspension? Cheaper to wind down the steadies or jockey wheel i reckon.

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thanks for that, I would assume then that the majority of advice is to lower the jockey wheel and the rear steadies. the other question I wanted to ask the experts is how do you stop the 'pogo stick effect' when the van goes over a bump and goes up and down taking the rear of the car with it (makes the wife sea sick).

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I stop for a break in a French motorway area as we had taken the overnight ferry something I will never do again as my health makes me tablet Dependant and travelling overnight is not a good idea as my body clock shocked to pieces. :blink:

 

I accidentally started to pull away with my steadies down :blink: but almost instantly remembered them plus a nice French vanners shouted to stop me too! :o

 

It may well have ruined our 7 week holiday in Spain because of this error :rolleyes:

 

I was lucky B)

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thanks for that, I would assume then that the majority of advice is to lower the jockey wheel and the rear steadies.   the other question I wanted to ask the experts is how do you stop the 'pogo stick effect' when the van goes over a bump and goes up and down taking the rear of the car with it (makes the wife sea sick).

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If you mean fore and aft pitching, then a friction type stabiliser such as Al-Ko or Winteroff will significantly reduce it.

Brian

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If you mean fore and aft pitching, then a friction type stabiliser such as Al-Ko or Winteroff will significantly reduce it.

Brian

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I would allways wind the steadies down otherwise there is the potential damage to the tow bar and fittings, as we all make sure to get the correct noseweight when travelling, otherwise we could overload the tow ball/hitch safety margin, well how many people out there weigh nothing? because get two of you having a cuppa at the front then the potential stress would not be worth thinking about.

 

Regards

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

It all depends where the seating is,obviously sitting as far forward as possible is not a good idea without the front steadies down.

The towbar and attachments are stressed to much higher loads than the maximum permitted 'static' noseweight to withstand any increases in loading while travelling due to pitching. The same must apply to caravan drawbar download limits which are as low as 100kgs 'static' on some vans.

Still better safe than sorry. :)

 

Frank

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Hi Mark,

      It all depends where the seating is,obviously sitting as far forward as possible is not a good idea without the front steadies down.

      The towbar and attachments are stressed to much higher loads than the maximum permitted 'static' noseweight to withstand any increases in loading while travelling due to pitching. The same must apply to caravan drawbar download limits which are as low as 100kgs 'static' on some vans.

          Still better safe than sorry. :)

 

Frank

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In reality, two 100kg persons sitting at the front of a van for a cuppa isn't going to load the towball anything like the vertical loading under braking. Even at a steady speed a 50kg noseweight can increase to more than double, due to the wind pressures.

 

Mike

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In reality, two 100kg persons sitting at the front of a van for a cuppa isn't going to load the towball anything like the vertical loading under braking.   Even at a steady speed a 50kg noseweight can increase to more than double, due to the wind pressures.

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

I think you will find that the vertical loading on a towball varies little under braking,due to the moment arm involved,the main forces being longitudinal. Also airflow over the upper suface of the van actually creates a certain amount of lift, due to the profile being a crude aerofoil.

 

Having an extra 200kgs two thirds of the way between axle and towball is about an extra 130kgs at the hitch. This is like increasing noseweight to 200kgs on the average car. Definitely not agood idea. :(

 

Frank

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Noseweight actually decreases with increase in speed. I have seen a figure of 10Kg per 10mph quoted but not seen any proof of that. That is why it is important to have the correct (i. e. sufficient) noseweight to start with. As well as the aerofoil effect, there is a wind pressure loading on the front, a partial vacuum loading on the rear, both of which add together creating a moment around the axle reducing the noseweight.

 

Brian

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So I suppose that is why with insufficient nose weight the rear can appear to lift and reduce grip on the rear wheels?

So as you drive along with the humps and bumps and uphills and downhills is there a great deal of variation in the loading on the tow ball?

Reading this makes me glad that I inserted the spring assistors into my rear suspension.

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Yes there is a transient load imposed on the towbar due to the humps and bumps in the road surface. This can be significantly higher than the dead load and at times may be even negative, hence the reason for the coupling clips under ball. Fitting spring assistors will reduce suspension sag but will increase the transient forces on the towbar as a stiffer suspension will not absorb as much wheel movement. However this should not be considered detrimental.

 

Transient loads are taken into account in the design of towbars and brackets.

 

Brian

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Hi Geoff,

      Yes that is so, and as Brian mentioned earlier using an Al-ko or Winterhoff stabiliser reduces any pitching and hence reduces the vertical load changes seen at the hitch. :)

Frank

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Only AKS 2004/3004. The rest only have lateral friction.

 

Mike

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Only AKS 2004/3004.   The rest only have lateral friction.

 

Mike

8340[/snapback]

Ah well even though I have an old van I had one of those fitted. Everyone said how good they were and I have seen too many upturned caravans.

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SBS,

Perhaps you should take a closer look at the Winterhoff.

8464[/snapback]

 

You're quite right, I should have included the Winterhoff along with the Alko 2004/3004. We have an AKS 2000 and it is excellent. Much more convenient than the blade stabiliser.

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