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Levelling using steadies!


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10 hours ago, Ern said:

I think winding steadies is quite nice excersize which gives me a moment to think about the next job, or imagine the cold beer I will enjoy in a few moments. I used to use a drill but stopped bothering with that as its just one more item of paraphenalia to be remembered - must be charged, must be put in car boot, must be put away at the end of a trip. We have simplified our caravanning and enjoy the gentle excersize as well as the relaxation.  Rushing around doing things with a noisy machine? Nah!

well said!  and I have never yet had a winding handle go flat on me.

For me a battery drill is just over egging the pudding          Don't need it

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It isn't a case of "need"! Why do it the hard way when there is a tool available? Or should I get rid of my aquarolls and carry gerricans instead?

Experience is often the greatest Teacher in life, especially to the hard-of-listening.

I have a robot lawn mover, automatic car, smart light switches and bulbs, and other Alexa related items. I use the motor mover to move the caravan and use a drill (on the torque setting) to wind the s

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Personally, I use a battery drill for my corner steadies.

 

The drill lives in the front locker, and needs charging once a year.

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I have a robot lawn mover, automatic car, smart light switches and bulbs, and other Alexa related items. I use the motor mover to move the caravan and use a drill (on the torque setting) to wind the steadies and screw in the awning pegs.  Maybe I am really lazy! 

 

That said I am 47 years old get up at 5am every other morning to run 5 miles, work full time running an electronics company, have 3 boys under the age of 9 and plenty of other things to do with my precious time rather than waste it on manual tasks that can be made easier with modern fan dangled things like battery drills. 

 

To imply someone is lazy for using a battery screwdriver/drill to wind down the steadies on a caravan is a bit harsh. I would never judge anyone for making a task easier, I would be more likely to kick myself for not thinking of it. 

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28 minutes ago, Harmans said:

I have a robot lawn mover, automatic car, smart light switches and bulbs, and other Alexa related items. I use the motor mover to move the caravan and use a drill (on the torque setting) to wind the steadies and screw in the awning pegs.  Maybe I am really lazy! 

 

That said I am 47 years old get up at 5am every other morning to run 5 miles, work full time running an electronics company, have 3 boys under the age of 9 and plenty of other things to do with my precious time rather than waste it on manual tasks that can be made easier with modern fan dangled things like battery drills. 

 

To imply someone is lazy for using a battery screwdriver/drill to wind down the steadies on a caravan is a bit harsh. I would never judge anyone for making a task easier, I would be more likely to kick myself for not thinking of it. 

Agree 100% with this. On my first weekend caravanning an old know-it-all watched me using my motor mover to get into the pitch and said " next time try using your car" so I replied "why have a dog and bark?" Wiped the smug look off his face. Unfortunately this hobby is rife with the "You don't want to do it like that" brigade. Take extension mirrors for example, yes I use them but don't really need to. My Jag mirrors show me the full length of the van on each side without them. How many people actually tow with them? Roughly half I would say. Has anyone been prosecuted by Plod? Not very likely I'd guess. As for using steadies - I use the jockey wheel for front back and then adjust sideways using steadies - never had a problem in all the years I've been caravanning - another urban myth.

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17 hours ago, SilverSurfer said:

Always use my de Walt for the corner steadies set on torque, probably saves around five minutes,  that's 15 minutes a trip,  about 4 hours a year for me, a good saving of time.....unless you enjoy manual winding :)

and what do you do with all that extra time you've saved, no no , let me guess.....charge up your drill.   If you have set it on torque, do you get the winder out for uneven ground?

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12 minutes ago, joanie said:

and what do you do with all that extra time you've saved, no no , let me guess.....charge up your drill.   If you have set it on torque, do you get the winder out for uneven ground?

What difference does uneven ground make?

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17 minutes ago, joanie said:

and what do you do with all that extra time you've saved, no no , let me guess.....charge up your drill.   If you have set it on torque, do you get the winder out for uneven ground?

I am a bit lost here, you only have to plug the battery into the charger, which takes 30 seconds every few weeks (depending how often you use your drill/screwdriver), you do not have to stand and watch the battery charge? So to suggest that charging the drill is a bigger chore than winding the steadies by hand is a bit silly.

 

It is not just about time saving, it is about making a task easier. An automatic car does not get you to your destination any quicker, however, it is easier. 

 

If someone wants to wind their steadies by hand, man handle their caravan by hand, cut their lawn with a push mower etc., that is their business. My problem is people judging  those who choose to make their lives a bit easier by using a tool as lazy.

Edited by Harmans
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Once I have used it to wind down the steadies  I use the extra time to use my drill to wind in my threaded awning pegs :D

If the ground is really rocky (just got back from Devon and under 2 inches of  gravel were boulders) I use my drill to drill a pilot hole for any pegs that hit "bedrock" :D

When we leave the same drill also winds the pegs out easily, no matter how tight :D

Given the bent pegs abandoned on our pitch I suspect that the previous occupants struggled with their high inertia manual impact tool!

With a 6Ah battery (one for you "boys with their toys") charging is not going to be required :D

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5 minutes ago, Ukzero said:

Once I have used it to wind down the steadies  I use the extra time to use my drill to wind in my threaded awning pegs :D

If the ground is really rocky (just got back from Devon and under 2 inches of  gravel were boulders) I use my drill to drill a pilot hole for any pegs that hit "bedrock" :D

When we leave the same drill also winds the pegs out easily, no matter how tight :D

Given the bent pegs abandoned on our pitch I suspect that the previous occupants struggled with their high inertia manual impact tool!

With a 6Ah battery (one for you "boys with their toys") charging is not going to be required :D

Show off ;-P

 

If you are worried about battery life, you could use this.

 

drill.jpg

I am of course joking!

 

Threaded pegs are great, as you say saves many a bent peg.

 

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15 minutes ago, Harmans said:

I am a bit lost here, you only have to plug the battery into the charger, which takes 30 seconds every few weeks (depending how often you use your drill/screwdriver), you do not have to stand and watch the battery charge? So to suggest that charging the drill is a bigger chore than winding the steadies by hand is a bit silly.

 

It is not just about time saving, it is about making a task easier. An automatic car does not get you to your destination any quicker, however, it is easier. 

 

If someone wants to wind their steadies by hand, man handle their caravan by hand, cut their lawn with a push mower etc., that is their business. My problem is people judging  those who choose to make their lives a bit easier by using a tool as lazy.

as I was answering Silversurfer's post which had a smiley face , it was not meant to be taken too seriously.  Perhaps I should also have put a smiley face on my post.   BTW   I  do know that I don't have to stand and watch a battery  being charged.  

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13 minutes ago, Ukzero said:

Once I have used it to wind down the steadies  I use the extra time to use my drill to wind in my threaded awning pegs :D

If the ground is really rocky (just got back from Devon and under 2 inches of  gravel were boulders) I use my drill to drill a pilot hole for any pegs that hit "bedrock" :D

When we leave the same drill also winds the pegs out easily, no matter how tight :D

Given the bent pegs abandoned on our pitch I suspect that the previous occupants struggled with their high inertia manual impact tool!

 

 

exactly! I needed the masonry drill last holiday too.

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13 minutes ago, Harmans said:

Show off ;-P

 

If you are worried about battery life, you could use this.

 

drill.jpg

I am of course joking!

 

Threaded pegs are great, as you say saves many a bent peg.

 

 

I just don't have the co-ordination to turn it while simultaneously hitting the end rapidly!!!!

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I am just glad we have E&P levelling so don't have to get into this discussion .Now that is a time saver. Hides under the parapet as he gets shot down in flames but practical c mag did a challenge and it won! And no weight, cost not really an issue. It came with the van.

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The general consensus seems to be that putting the full weight of the van on the steadies is potentially going to do considerable damage.  Yet I'm still mystified about what technique is used on those pitches where a substantial front to back slope cannot be accommodated by adjusting the jockey wheel alone and blocks need to be inserted under the front steadies and jockey wheel to raise to the correct height.  My assumption is that the van's weight must be taken on the front two steadies, albeit temporarily, whilst the jockey wheel clamp is adjusted and blocks placed under the wheel.  I've never experienced such a pitch yet but have seen plenty of examples on sites we have stayed at.

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12 minutes ago, Jezzerb said:

I am just glad we have E&P levelling so don't have to get into this discussion .Now that is a time saver. Hides under the parapet as he gets shot down in flames but practical c mag did a challenge and it won! And no weight, cost not really an issue. It came with the van.

There is always someone who has to go one better :D. Now you have me looking and thinking how can I explain why I bought another gadget and how much it cost to my wiser and better half, although as most of the setting up is my thing, she might never notice :ph34r:

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Can't post a smiley as it says I've done too many today but you made me chuckle. It's swmbo she goes for it! :):):):D

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36 minutes ago, Stockcroft said:

The general consensus seems to be that putting the full weight of the van on the steadies is potentially going to do considerable damage.  Yet I'm still mystified about what technique is used on those pitches where a substantial front to back slope cannot be accommodated by adjusting the jockey wheel alone and blocks need to be inserted under the front steadies and jockey wheel to raise to the correct height.  My assumption is that the van's weight must be taken on the front two steadies, albeit temporarily, whilst the jockey wheel clamp is adjusted and blocks placed under the wheel.  I've never experienced such a pitch yet but have seen plenty of examples on sites we have stayed at.

 

Taking into account distance from fulcrum (wheel centres) and average caravan noseweights the weight on each steady should not be much more than 100Kg (with nobody inside) if both steadies are correctly and fully deployed.

On very sloped pitches I have deployed the steadies, then loosened the nosewheel clamp and slid the nosewheel down or up and retightened, but this is usually just for a few seconds and only very occasionally needed.

Damage can occur if you try and lift the caravan in any way that will twist it or reduce weight on the axle.

A common one I have seen is overtightening the steadies (front or back) to try and increase stability.

It is surprising how a little overtightening can ramp up the load massively.

 

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Stockcroft said:

 

My assumption is that the van's weight must be taken on the front two steadies, albeit temporarily, whilst the jockey wheel clamp is adjusted and blocks placed under the wheel.  I've never experienced such a pitch yet but have seen plenty of examples on sites we have stayed at.

 

Of course the steadies take some of the weight of the caravan when doing that. Ask yourself how much weight. Most caravans have a nose weight in the region of 75-100kg So, if the steadies take half of that you are looking at a maximum on each of 50kg for only a few minutes, and that’s no real issue. 

 

What is an issue is if the van is levelled, and the jockey wheel wound up those corner steadies will be bearing that same 50kg plus any of the weight of the occupants seated in the front. If you have one at around the 75kg mark and another around the 100-120kg mark that’s close on 200 additional kg’s or an extra 100 Kg per steady. Add that to the “original” 50kg (half the nose weight) you are at a pretty high number and that could cause the floor to flex because the weight isn’t then being borne by the chassis but by the floor. That’s why it’s a good idea to leave the jockey wheel taking most of the weight and use the corner steadies to do just that, steady not lift  the corners. If it does flex what’s that going to do to the (sealed) joints between floor and walls?  In addition there is one caravan (can’t think of the make [Swift?] but there’s a thread all about it) where the floor isn’t in one piece but two and the front is the small bit. That bit flexes and the sidewalls are coming apart from the flooring! 

 

 

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Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

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17 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Of course the steadies take some of the weight of the caravan when doing that. Ask yourself how much weight. Most caravans have a nose weight in the region of 75-100kg So, if the steadies take half of that you are looking at a maximum on each of 50kg for only a few minutes, and that’s no real issue. 

 

What is an issue is if the van is levelled, and the jockey wheel wound up those corner steadies will be bearing that same 50kg plus any of the weight of the occupants seated in the front. If you have one at around the 75kg mark and another around the 100-120kg mark that’s close on 200 additional kg’s or an extra 100 Kg per steady. Add that to the “original” 50kg (half the nose weight) you are at a pretty high number and that could cause the floor to flex because the weight isn’t then being borne by the chassis but by the floor. That’s why it’s a good idea to leave the jockey wheel taking most of the weight and use the corner steadies to do just that, steady not lift  the corners. If it does flex what’s that going to do to the (sealed) joints between floor and walls?  In addition there is one caravan (can’t think of the make [Swift?] but there’s a thread all about it) where the floor isn’t in one piece but two and the front is the small bit. That bit flexes and the sidewalls are coming apart from the flooring! 

 

We contacted Swift Group Technical a few years ago and asked the very same question to get a definitive answer.

 

The wheels take the whole of the weight of the caravan, the steadies remove the fulcrum action around the centre mounted wheels, each steady is rated at 500Kg and is more than capable of supporting the additional weight imposed on the outer parts of the floor by the occupier.

 

The Alko chassis hitch has a maximum static load of 100Kg, which is the maximum load that can be applied to the jockey wheel.

 

As to whether it should be left up or down, the recommendation is once you have your caravan level and steadies down, you should unwind the jockey wheel half a turn to remove the load, however there is nothing wrong in removing it completely if you so wish. Also as the caravan settles on soft ground the chassis and steadies will flex to accommodate this, the force applied to the jockey wheel is a vertical load and will put additional stress on the extremities of the chassis.

 

GPS

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24 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

What is an issue is if the van is levelled, and the jockey wheel wound up those corner steadies will be bearing that same 50kg plus any of the weight of the occupants seated in the front.

 

 

Is that an actual reported issue or just your opinion?

 

I have never heard of anyone having issues because their jokey wheel wasn't wound down when occupied. In fact i have seen a lot of caravans with the jokey wheel completely removed and replaced with a TV aerial of flag pole etc.

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12 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

We contacted Swift Group Technical a few years ago and asked the very same question to get a definitive answer.

 

The wheels take the whole of the weight of the caravan, the steadies remove the fulcrum action around the centre mounted wheels, each steady is rated at 500Kg and is more than capable of supporting the additional weight imposed on the outer parts of the floor by the occupier.

 

The Alko chassis hitch has a maximum static load of 100Kg, which is the maximum load that can be applied to the jockey wheel.

 

As to whether it should be left up or down, the recommendation is once you have your caravan level and steadies down, you should unwind the jockey wheel half a turn to remove the load, however there is nothing wrong in removing it completely if you so wish. Also as the caravan settles on soft ground the chassis and steadies will flex to accommodate this, the force applied to the jockey wheel is a vertical load and will put additional stress on the extremities of the chassis.

 

GPS

 

I've seen that advice too, possibly on the CMC website.  Some folk remove the jockey wheel completely and use the fixing for an external aerial or rotary drying line.

 

I can understand some being nervous about doing that though, especially if your front steadies are only fixed to the floor with no reinforcement!:D

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Ooh, has it become a ‘jockey wheel up or down?’ topic now? 
 

Here we go again, it’s 🍿 time. Can anyone make a connection to the 85% ‘rule’ just to add to the fun? 

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3 hours ago, Harmans said:

I have a robot lawn mover, automatic car, smart light switches and bulbs, and other Alexa related items. I use the motor mover to move the caravan and use a drill (on the torque setting) to wind the steadies and screw in the awning pegs.  Maybe I am really lazy! 

 

That said I am 47 years old get up at 5am every other morning to run 5 miles, work full time running an electronics company, have 3 boys under the age of 9 and plenty of other things to do with my precious time rather than waste it on manual tasks that can be made easier with modern fan dangled things like battery drills. 

 

To imply someone is lazy for using a battery screwdriver/drill to wind down the steadies on a caravan is a bit harsh. I would never judge anyone for making a task easier, I would be more likely to kick myself for not thinking of it. 

I didnt know anyone had said that people using a battery powered drill was lazy. I dont think lazy is an appropriate word at all. 

I used to have lawn mowers but now dont know what one looks like. I also have an auto car, flashy lights and curtains, Alexa on the first floor, Google on the ground floor, motor mover on the caravan, ran (my half of) an engineering  business for 40 years, had 2 heart attcks running it and couldnt really use a steady winder for a while, have 3 boys, a shed load of grand children, like caravanning and Im 30 years older than you. So what else did you say you have ? An electric drill? 

 

Ern

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It is the road wheels which support the main weight of your van, and the issue here is lifting those off the floor with the corner steadies. Doing so is likely to stress the chassis causing it to crack. Leveling the van should never involve lifting wheels clear of the ground, always run them up a ramp or lift them with a winding or hydraulic device. However you do it the main mass of the van is always through the road wheels.

 

I've always been firmly in the leave the jockey wheel down camp. If you look under your van you will find on most that the rear steadies, where there is no jockey wheel are attached to the chassis rails. The front usually attach to the composite floor. It has always been my belief that the difference is down to the presence of the jockey wheel protecting the front steadies from excessive load. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

 

Here we go again, it’s 🍿 time. Can anyone make a connection to the 85% ‘rule’ just to add to the fun? 

 

“The jockey wheel should only take 85% of the weight when pitched up” A Good enough link??? B)

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