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Ouch!


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I missed the event myself, but someone towing a very expensive double axle van with a big shiny Volvo XC was going over one of several 'sleeping policemen' (road humps) on his exit from the site when there was a loud bang behind him. He stopped to find caravan separated from car and the 13pin socket (which in Volvo original fits is incorporated into the tow hitch) completely smashed. I looked at the hump afterwards, while he was still stranded in a spare area of grass nearby, and there was a big stripe from a jockey wheel. It looked to me as though he had made two rookie errors; firstly not hitching fully, and secondly leaving the jockey wheel down so that it thumped into the hump and knocked the van off the hitch. He was lucky twice, though; firstly he could have been travelling at significant speed and secondly, leaving the jockey wheel down protected his van coupling from crashing onto the road. He finally left, after prolonged attention from a mobile repair van, about 6 hours after he should have. Take care out there - it's so crucial to get the whole coupling right and so easy to be distracted while doing it. I practice a final walk round to be sure - and despite that I once forgot to connect the electrics at all, and didn't realise until I wondered why at dusk the van lights had failed.

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Could have been a lot worse.  Correctly hitched, they could have parted company at speed.  Moral - always leave your jockey down!;)

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Had the jockey wheel been fully retracted then the incident might well have not happened.

 

You don’t think it might have been the lowered jockey wheel hitting the hump that caused all this?

 

Most AL-LO chassis have a skid welded under the hitch to stop the hitch head colliding with the road.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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On two occasions I have had the jockey wheel drop whilst in transit.

 

The first time I thought I probably hadn't tightened it enough so thereafter I made absolutely sure it was really tight.

 

Then it happened again!  Since then I now additionally also secure it above the bodywork of the A frame with with a large jubilee clip which is too large to drop through the hole. 

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I had this happen frequently on our first van and once after driving through Belgium on what must be Europes worst motorway surfaces. Nearly shook the van to bits. 

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2 hours ago, Grandpa Steve said:

Had the jockey wheel been fully retracted then the incident might well have not happened.

 

You don’t think it might have been the lowered jockey wheel hitting the hump that caused all this?

 

Most AL-LO chassis have a skid welded under the hitch to stop the hitch head colliding with the road.

I didn't realize this-I'm pleased to say I still learn something new every day thanks for the info.

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Always an idea to wind the jockey wheel down to the floor once hitched, if hitched correctly then the van will pull the car up on the tow bar. You can then wind the jockey wheel back up and secure if for travelling.

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22 minutes ago, Dave Capiro owner said:

Always an idea to wind the jockey wheel down to the floor once hitched, if hitched correctly then the van will pull the car up on the tow bar. You can then wind the jockey wheel back up and secure if for travelling.

Is there a section on this forum where the more experienced can post for the beginners?-like a check list?

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Is there a section on this forum where the more experienced can post for the beginners?-like a check list?

Have a look in the top tips section Charlie, there's some useful info on there.

 

https://www.caravantalk.co.uk/community/forum/10-top-tips/

 

 

Edited by Dave Capiro owner
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Just now, Dave Capiro owner said:

Have a look in the top tips section Charlie, there's some useful info on there.

 

https://www.caravantalk.co.uk/community/forum/10-top-tips/

Thanks Dave for the link-now how do WE push the newcomers in that direction??

I've only been a caravanner for 11 years so probably classed as a newbie too :-(

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6 minutes ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Thanks Dave for the link-now how do WE push the newcomers in that direction??

I've only been a caravanner for 11 years so probably classed as a newbie too :-(

I should have spotted your post count Charlie! Maybe the top tips section could be renamed top tips for newbies!

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1 minute ago, Dave Capiro owner said:

I should have spotted your post count Charlie! Maybe the top tips section could be renamed top tips for newbies!

That's a very good suggestion Dave....and please post more so you can catch up with me ;-)

I've found this forum very informative if you can keep away from debates and arguments!

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Thought I'd have a look at the top 10 tips as everyone can learn something, regardless of experience. I'm not good at reversing and unless acres of space (CMHC site) usually unhitch and use mover. However, I'm having difficulty following the reversing advice listed - 

 

When reversing start with the rig in a straight line and as you reverse watch the wing mirrors. If you want the rear of the caravan to go left simply turn the top of the steering wheel to the left and conversely for the right.

 

I had thought it would have been the opposite to this advice - presumably why I'm struggling sometimes? 

 

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12 minutes ago, Lagerorwine said:

Thought I'd have a look at the top 10 tips as everyone can learn something, regardless of experience. I'm not good at reversing and unless acres of space (CMHC site) usually unhitch and use mover. However, I'm having difficulty following the reversing advice listed - 

 

When reversing start with the rig in a straight line and as you reverse watch the wing mirrors. If you want the rear of the caravan to go left simply turn the top of the steering wheel to the left and conversely for the right.

 

I had thought it would have been the opposite to this advice - presumably why I'm struggling sometimes? 

 

 

Rear of the van to go left not as you look at it in the mirror - badly worded but correct!

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17 minutes ago, Lagerorwine said:

Thought I'd have a look at the top 10 tips as everyone can learn something, regardless of experience. I'm not good at reversing and unless acres of space (CMHC site) usually unhitch and use mover. However, I'm having difficulty following the reversing advice listed - 

 

When reversing start with the rig in a straight line and as you reverse watch the wing mirrors. If you want the rear of the caravan to go left simply turn the top of the steering wheel to the left and conversely for the right.

 

I had thought it would have been the opposite to this advice - presumably why I'm struggling sometimes? 

 

 

You are correct, if you want the caravan to turn to the left you should hold the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it in the same direction (left), that way you are putting right lock on the cars front wheels to start the turn, then gradually take the right lock off once the caravan is going in the direction you want.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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3 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

You are correct, if you want the caravan to turn to the left you should hold the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it in the same direction (left), that way you are putting right lock on the cars front wheels.

 Nope but the rest is correct! Have a butchers at my post above yours.

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6 minutes ago, SamD said:

 Nope but the rest is correct! Have a butchers at my post above yours.

 

When reversing the caravan to the left, if you are holding the top of the steering wheel you would apply right lock to get the caravan to start turning left, same as holding it at the bottom and moving  it to the left.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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1 minute ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

If you are holding the top of the steering wheel when reversing the caravan to the left you would apply right lock to get the caravan to start turning left, same as holding it at the bottom and moving  it to the left.

 

Total agreement with your procedure. Just the wording of the original quote - confusing cos looking in your mirrors is opposite L & R to the direction of the back of the caravan's movement.

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1 minute ago, SamD said:

 

Total agreement with your procedure. Just the wording of the original quote - confusing cos looking in your mirrors is opposite L & R to the direction of the back of the caravan's movement.

 

I think the confusion is whether you want to reverse to the left, or your caravan is going to the left and that is not the direction you want it to go.

 

In the latter, if reversing in a straight line and the caravan gets bigger in the left mirror you would want the car to turn left to drive the hitch to the right thus straightening the rig up, so you would turn the top of the wheel to the left to start to bring it back in line.

 

Where as if reversing and you want to turn left then the former applies.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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Possibly a good reason to use a printed check sheet to cover all the hitching and unhitching procedures. I think every one on here will have made some silly mistakes and it is often just luck as to whether you pay for it.

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