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Alko Wheel Lock

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Here, grappling with the Alko wheel lock for the first time. Getting it on appears to be relatively straightforward but unlocking and remving it is something different!! Anyone have any useful/handy tips and hints that may help. Thanks in advance.

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Your van may have settled or moved slightly since you fitted it and be tight against one side of a spoke.

 

If it's feasible try releasing the brake or lift the steadies or both if safe (easy if you can engage a mover if you have one fitted) and move it fractionally forward or back if you can see which side the lock may be tight on, then it should come off easily

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Here, grappling with the Alko wheel lock for the first time. Getting it on appears to be relatively straightforward but unlocking and remving it is something different!! Anyone have any useful/handy tips and hints that may help. Thanks in advance.
I also have a new Senator and like yours came with two of these wheel locks. The best advice i have seen within caravan talk so far is to put them in the loft, or suitable storage place and leave them there.

 

If like me you are persevering then moving the van slightly is the only way to take the stress off the fitting to allow it to unwind easier. Sometimes its difficult to know which way to move it, so I find it can be quicker just to jack it up a little. However on the whole I find removing them the easy bit, and putting them on the difficult bit, as the van has to be jacked up fully to fit to both wheels.

 

Fitting on a slope is even trickier as you have to take the handbrake off to move the wheels round, which isn't the best thing to do when you are on a slope. So the wheels have to be chocked, or the wheel locks have to be fitted whilst the towcar is still attached…..all very messy

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We just use one of the locks but I have found it is much easier to use the leg winder to screw/unscrew the lock in.

 

Helen

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Helen,

I have come to the same decision as you; one lock only. Does this in anyway invalidate the insurance, do you know?

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Helen,

I have come to the same decision as you; one lock only. Does this in anyway invalidate the insurance, do you know?

If you say in your insurance you will fit a wheel lock, and one is fitted then sounds fine to me. I think if you specify its a twin axle and you will fit two wheel locks then that would be different.

 

I dont understand why two wheels locks are supplied, if they really are that good. If one is fitted surely the van is considered safe, by fitting two does it make a difference

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Alan,

 

May not invalidate it by only fitting 1, my policy just states "a proprietry wheel lock or clamp must be fitted when the caravan is left unatended" so I only fit the Milenco to the offside, no good fitting it to the nearside as it can't be readibly seen, hidden by the awning!

 

Check what your policy states, you may be in for a pleasant surpise!

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Helen,

I have come to the same decision as you; one lock only. Does this in anyway invalidate the insurance, do you know?

 

 

If you have told your insurers that you have two fitted, and you don't, then yes.

 

If you ticked a box that asked for a wheel lock, then possibly not.

 

I think it would be better to find out now rather than when its too late.

 

Reagrds

 

David

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Dear all,

 

Thank you for all your comments regarding AL-KO Secure. I'd like to take an opportunity to answer each point raised.

 

1) I believe that most insurance companies state that if you have a twin axle vehicle, then both wheels should be locked to ensure you are fully covered under the terms of the policy. It should also be noted that if you say you have an AL-KO Secure lock, some companies will offer a greater discount on your policy, but they may ask for proof of fitting.

 

2) Twin Axle caravans need both wheels locking to ensure that the vehicle is un-towable. It is possible that if only one lock is fitted to a twin axle caravan, then the locked wheel could be deflated, and the caravan be towed off on the three remaining unlocked wheels.

 

3) The correct procedure to apply and remove the AL-KO Secure is to jack the vehicle slightly to allow the wheel to freely rotate and allow the user to easily line up the receiver and the aperture on the wheel. With the caravan jacked up, it allows the wheel lock to be applied and removed with minimal stresses or loadings on the wheel, or swing arm assembly.

 

4) Unlocking the barrel lock can best be achieved by inserting the key and pushing it fully into the hole. This should enable you to freely turn and remove the lock.

 

5) Our recommendation when jacking up a caravan is to have it coupled to the towing vehicle to provide additional stability.

 

Finally, we do appreciate that it can be difficult to fit the lock depending on the type of site you are staying at or even where the caravan is stored when not inuse. This is what makes the lock the best and most secure theft deterrent available for a caravan with an AL-KO Chassis. In simple terms, the easier the lock is to fit, the easier it is to remove and for a thief to steal your caravan.

 

Once again thanks for your comments, I hope my response has answered some of the questions listed, however if you need anything further, please get in contact with me on 01926 818500.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul Jones

Marketing Manager

AL-KO Kober Limited

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Whilst I appreciate the need to make locks as secure as possible, surely that has to be balanced against useability. The most secure lock in the world will not be used if it is too difficult to fit.

I would suggest that it is unreasonable to expect to have to jack up the van every time the lock is fitted and removed. It also begs the question as to why manufacturers supply Al-ko secure locks with new vans but fail to provide a jack. They give you a lock you cannot use.

It seems that quite a few people prefer slightly less security but the ease of using a wheel clamp or a competitors product.

 

Bob

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Its amazing that another manufacturer can produce a lock that will fit more easily into the Alo receiver than Alko can :rolleyes::rolleyes:

As to being more of a theft deterent if its hard to fit what a load of rubbish

On the subject of rubbish

Now that alloy wheels are becoming the norm isn't it time that Alko put some proper paint on the drums as they show more than with steel wheels

Since I made this posting we had a wheel come off the caravan although the bolt torque was checked the night before(twice)

I am coming round to thinking that someone may have tried to remove the wheel and clamp overnight in order to steal the caravan and left the exposed bolts loose

I remember that the clamp unscrewed very easily in the morning

So it may well be that the Alko prevented theft of the van

It may just be a coincidence but the day before we had a person at the door selling who asked if we would but from a gypsy lady

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

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Thank you for all your comments regarding AL-KO Secure. ..

 

Paul Jones

Marketing Manager

AL-KO Kober Limited

I can understand that having the caravan still hitched to the car whilst jacking up the van to fit the wheel locks makes things a lot safer especially when on a slope, and I try to do this where possible. However many of the sites I have visited recently have a road running round the site, and then you reverse your van onto the grass one way or the other. Either way leaves the tow car on the road. I suppose this stops cars getting stuck on the grass and digging up all the ground. It also gives good access to all the vans.

The problem is if I have to leave the car connected to the van whilst I mess around jacking the van up fitting locks then letting it all back down again. ..whilst all this is going on the car is still on the road and blocking access to all other users effectively shutting down the whole caravan park whilst I make my van safe.

These Alko wheel locks may be relatively effective at deterring thieves but when they were designed I am not sure they were tested by caravaners at all. So far you can't fit them at caravan sites, you cant fit them if the van is on a slope and if you do fit them and the wheels move a mm then you cant remove them either. I suppose the most suitable use for these wheel locks would be static caravans…

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Thank you for all your comments regarding AL-KO Secure. ..

 

Paul Jones

Marketing Manager

AL-KO Kober Limited

Paul,

 

you make some interesting comments here. I've just returned from 3 weeks holiday in an S6 Carolina which has a twin axle. It has taken me consderable time to fit the locks on each occassion by the alko method to the caravan; as I agree that both locks should be fitted. However I now use a quicker and easier method.

 

Firstly you state the caravan only needs to be lifted slightly! Well using the supplied ALKO jack (sorry to disappoint but it is now in the bin!) the caravan has to be lifted considerably to get even the rear axle wheel off the ground let alone the front ones. As the caravan is lifted the wheel actually rotates around the axle as if lifts free, therefore once the lock is fitted and the caravan lowered back onto the round, the same rotational force will act upon the wheel in the opposite direction therefore placing stress on the wheel assembly and could also mark the alloy wheel (if you fit the locks with the caravan raised). It also makes it impossible to remove the locks due to the strain on the wheel and axle once it is back on the ground. Therefore your method still puts strain/stress on the essembly as the wheel is lowered to the ground.

 

I found a better method was to align the front axle with the receiver, then raise the caravan to rotate the rear wheel to the set position required; with experience it becomes easier to judge just how much the rear wheel rotates as the caravan is lowered back onto the ground in order for the receiver to be aligned in the middle of one of the wheel spurs! Once lowered you now have the caravan with no stress/strain on the axles and both the receivers lined up!, and better still you don't have to jack the caravan up to take them off! - I would love to see you use your alko screw jack twice to see just what a pain in the backside it really is!

 

As for the key lock, it doesn't matter how hard you push the key into the hub, with all the sand/grit of camping the whole barrel still rotates when you twist the key. The only solution I have found is to use a screwdriver or penknife to hold the barrel as you rotate the key, what would help considerably is if the barrel had two raised edges (2-3mm) each side to be able to put a a couple of fingers on in order to stop the barrel rotating.

 

I do agree that system once in place is ideal and very secure, just a pain with a twin axle caravan. However with my method I was down to 5 mins to put them on and 2-3 mins to take them off.

 

Can i ask why ALKO chose to place the locks on the awning side? - these are a deterrent, surely the off side would have been better where everyone can see that they are fitted!

 

Regards

Steve

aka: Stamjamaar

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I recently had to put the spare wheel on the near side due to an accident

That meant that the Alko lock could not be used with the steel spare

I now have to change the wheels over from side to side in order to use the Alko lock while awaiting a new wheel

Either that or at the roadside remove the offside wheel first and then fit it to the nearside before putting the spare on the offside!

It would be more convenient if the receiver was fitted to both sides B)

They probably chose the awning side because its not the awning side on European vans

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

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While we find the locks quite easy to fit to our twin axle on site (using the mover and a trolley jack), it is impossible to fit more than one when the van is on our driveway as it is on a slope and cannot be hitched to the car or secured while jacking in any way. So we fit one alko lock and a regular wheel clamp on the other wheel.

This seems to be a scenario that Alko did not consider.

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We've got the Bulldog Max. Much easier to fit and remove and a lot cheaper too! The fixing bolt allows you up to 1" leeway either side, depending on the distance between wheel spokes. As I understand it, the Alko doesn't allow much leeway at all. Oh, and insurers still allow discount for the Bulldog.

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We've got the Bulldog Max. Much easier to fit and remove and a lot cheaper too! The fixing bolt allows you up to 1" leeway either side, depending on the distance between wheel spokes. As I understand it, the Alko doesn't allow much leeway at all. Oh, and insurers still allow discount for the Bulldog.

 

 

True it allows zero movement either way. I tried aligning the wheel up by moving the van with the car to where I thought it was perfectly lined up, but even that wasnt accurate enough. I still had to jack the van up to turn the wheel to get it mm perfect. The design of the Alko wheel locks appear to be brilliant when drawn out on paper, lightweight small design etc etc. But clearly looking back through these posts it was never ever tested on a caravan, on any campsite, and certianly wasnt tested on a twin axle

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I have an Alko wheel lock on a single axle and also a van mover.

I therefore never have any trouble fitting the Alko wheel lock. It lines up perfectly every time and is fitted in a matter of seconds.

 

Brian

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I have an Alko wheel lock on a single axle and also a van mover.

I therefore never have any trouble fitting the Alko wheel lock. It lines up perfectly every time and is fitted in a matter of seconds.

Brian

So does mine with the same conditions

It can sometimes settle and that makes unscrewing difficult but jiggling with the mover helps

 

As I stated in my previous post it would be much more convenient to have a receiver fitted on both sides as in the event of having to level the van by using a wedge on the offside its very difficult to achieve level and position for the the receiver when they are on opposite sides

Also puncturing or worse the nearside wheel renders the insurance invalid until the alloy from the offside is fitted to the nearside

I wonder if its possible and at what cost to have a receiver fitted on the offside as well

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My last van did not have an Alko wheel lock and I enquired about getting one fitted.

This is a dealer fitted option due to the complexities of fitting the receiver.

I was quoted £240. 00p this included the lock.

So I guess a receiver would be about £135. 00p or there about.

To level the van I use a Bulldog jack that fits under the tyre so the levelling is done from either side after the wheel lock is in position.

I can see there would be a problem if wedges are used but the Bulldog jack never causes problems. The only draw back with the Bulldog is that it gets in the way of the awning skirt.

 

Brian

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3) The correct procedure to apply and remove the AL-KO Secure is to jack the vehicle slightly to allow the wheel to freely rotate and allow the user to easily line up the receiver and the aperture on the wheel. With the caravan jacked up, it allows the wheel lock to be applied and removed with minimal stresses or loadings on the wheel, or swing arm assembly.

 

5) Our recommendation when jacking up a caravan is to have it coupled to the towing vehicle to provide additional stability.

Bizarre. Completely bizarre. To manufacture, market and retail a lock together with this "aftermarket" advice!!!!!!

 

Sir, Do you caravan. ..sorry about the use as a verb! I cannot conceive that you do. Do any of the design and development team caravan? I would think not.

 

I have a single axle caravan and fortunately managed to purchase my lock second-hand hence I did not pay the £225 plus that this item retails for. My advice, already given by other contributors, is either purchase a different type of lock or if you have already purchased thje Alko then place it in the loft or back of the garage.

 

Regards

vectra

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Bizarre. Completely bizarre. To manufacture, market and retail a lock together with this "aftermarket" advice!!!!!!
Moved to a new house this week and found in the loft two ALKO wheel locks. Fitted them to my van no problem, they are brilliant.

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Its amazing that another manufacturer can produce a lock that will fit more easily into the Alo receiver than Alko can

As to being more of a theft deterent if its hard to fit what a load of rubbish

On the subject of rubbish

Now that alloy wheels are becoming the norm isn't it time that Alko put some proper paint on the drums as they show more than with steel wheels

Since I made this posting we had a wheel come off the caravan although the bolt torque was checked the night before(twice)

I am coming round to thinking that someone may have tried to remove the wheel and clamp overnight in order to steal the caravan and left the exposed bolts loose

I remember that the clamp unscrewed very easily in the morning

So it may well be that the Alko prevented theft of the van

It may just be a coincidence but the day before we had a person at the door selling who asked if we would buy from a gypsy lady

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Moved to a new house this week and found in the loft two ALKO wheel locks. Fitted them to my van no problem, they are brilliant.

 

Must be the two I left behind!

 

Whilst I concur that these locks are a good anti-theft device any such device should be reasonable easy to fit. Plainly this lock isn't. I wonder how many locks Alko would sell if they provided the advice given (jack the caravan, connected to towing vehicle etc) at the point of sale? I would imagine that sales would plummet. Mine is up for sale and will be repalced by a lock which is more suitable for the job.

 

Regards

Vectra

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Just got my van the only trouble I had was putting the puzzle key together, went on first time.

Will let you know if I have trouble getting off.

Puzzle key now got nail varnish allignment markings.

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