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Stabiliser ?


photowhizz

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i have a leafspring type stabiliser which works well and keep it adjusted correctly but been offered a alko hitch type one at a reasonable price anybody changed before ? is it worth the extra money?

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We swapped from a leaf type to an AKS 2000. The biggest benefit is the convenience of it - they both work well. It also allowed the fitting of a detachable towball on the X-Trail.

 

Mike

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We had a blade type stabiliser on our first van and replaced the hitch on our second to an AK1300 unit. The difference was not that noticeable but the convenience value of the AKS was great. Also less likely to catch your shin on the AKS which if you have ever done on a blade type unit is worth the money to upgrade every time!!!

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We had a blade type stabiliser on our first van and replaced the hitch on our second to an AK1300 unit. The difference was not that noticeable but the convenience value of the AKS was great. Also less likely to catch your shin on the AKS which if you have ever done on a blade type unit is worth the money to upgrade every time!!!

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. ..also removes the possibility (correction high probability) or reversing the car with the leaf spring still in place and ploughing a nice furrow in the ground as you park the car onto the pitch next to the van!

 

Before anyone asks. .. yes I did!

 

Si.

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If you go for the Alko, is it the right size for your van (they go on weight).

 

You will also need a Alko type towball, and keep it grease free.

 

I changed to an alko 1300 with my last van and didn't notice a lot of difference except it was more convenient.

 

The Alko 1300 has two pressure pads one at each side,

if you get the wintorhouf (I bought one for the new caravan) or the Alko for heavier types then they are very impressive, the wintorhouf (not sure of spelling)is what they fit to the new Elddis as standard.

 

Paul

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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If you go for the Alko, is it the right size for your van (they go on weight).

 

You will also need a Alko type towball, and keep it grease free.

 

I changed to an alko 1300 with my last van and didn't notice a lot of difference except it was more convenient.

 

The Alko 1300 has two pressure pads one at each side,

if you get the wintorhouf  (I bought one for the new caravan) or the Alko for heavier types then they are very impressive, the wintorhouf (not sure of spelling)is what they fit to the new Elddis as standard.

 

Paul

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I changed to Alko about three years ago - it is much much easier to get the stabiliser on - and as I caravan alone I find it much easier to hitch up and unhitch - the bar type one I could never lift enough to put it on or take it off. Also I find when actually towing the van in steadier than it was with the old type hitch.

 

Margaret

Margaret

 

I don't do technical !!!

Just me and my showdogs!!

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The AKS2004 is the best one to get as it has 4 pads so it reduces vertical pitching as well as horizontal. This is good for caravans up to 2000Kg, which covers most.

 

You only need to change the towball if you have a bolt on type. A bolt on one suitable for the Al-Ko stabiliser comes with the kit.

 

Extract from Al-Ko website

 

http://www. al-ko. co. uk/index. htm

 

The AKS 2004 can be used on continental 'swan-neck' type detachable or fixed towballs. If used with a standard 'bolt-on' type towball, you must use the special towball provided with the stabiliser kit (Type A50-X). This towball has a standard diameter of 50 mm, but the length of the towball neck is longer than standard, this allows the stabiliser to articulate to the required degree, ensuring correct operation. The AL-KO towball is fully approved under EC 94/20 towbar/towball regulations.

 

Brian

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The AKS2004 is the best one to get as it has 4 pads so it reduces vertical pitching as well as horizontal. This is good for caravans up to 2000Kg, which covers most.

 

How much are they?? Are they easy to Fit?? If not how much does it cost to get them fitted??

 

Sorry!!!

 

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, I assume Bulldog do a hotchlock for them as I understand that tehstandars one is next to useless acording to Practical Caravan's grouptest!!

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Hi Audiman,

 

Prices are on the Al-Ko website for mail order direct from Al-Ko, which is probably a bit cheaper than a caravan dealer.

 

Mine came fitted so I have not actaully fitted one, but it is basically a nut and bolt job. You might get it fitted free, or cheap, at a dealer if you combine it with a a service.

 

Al-Ko also do a hitchlock to suit.

 

Brian

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Guest Hobbybod
i have a leafspring type stabiliser which works well and keep it adjusted correctly but been offered a alko hitch type one at a reasonable price anybody changed before ? is it worth the extra money?

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Well it all depends, . . . . . . . . .

 

As others have indicated, the convenience of hitching an Alko hitch type is much greater than the blade type, BUT . . . . .

 

There are no 'restorative' anti-pitching or anti-snaking capabilities in such friction based hitch stabilisers.

 

If you have a front-wheel drive towcar and somewhat highish noseweight then I'd stick with the blade type as this does ameliorate such problems where the Alko hitch type doesn't. It's the main reason I invested in a double blade Tunesi stabiliser many years ago (No longer made).

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Oh yes, I nearly forgot, I assume Bulldog do a hotchlock for them as I understand that tehstandars one is next to useless acording to Practical Caravan's grouptest!!

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The Alko lock tested was the AKS2000 fitted to the 1300. My 2004 appears to come with a slightly different lock, so maybe things have changed??

 

The lock itself lasted 2m58 but thei main complaint was that it was breached quietly in that time.

 

I have to use a wheel clamp as well for the insurance, so I'm not 100% reliant on the Alko lock anyway.

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i have a leafspring type stabiliser which works well and keep it adjusted correctly but been offered a alko hitch type one at a reasonable price anybody changed before ? is it worth the extra money?

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Well it all depends, . . . . . . . . .

 

As others have indicated, the convenience of hitching an Alko hitch type is much greater than the blade type, BUT . . . . .

 

There are no 'restorative' anti-pitching or anti-snaking capabilities in such friction based hitch stabilisers.

 

If you have a front-wheel drive towcar and somewhat highish noseweight then I'd stick with the blade type as this does ameliorate such problems where the Alko hitch type doesn't. It's the main reason I invested in a double blade Tunesi stabiliser many years ago (No longer made).

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Exactly how will a blade type friction stabiliser ameliorate a high noseweight? The blade does put a load on the hitch/caravan connection but I cannot see how this reduces noseweight or pitching.

 

A 4-friction pad hitch stabiliser will dampen movement in both planes. The only stabiliser, as far as I am aware, that has a positive effect on yaw is the Rollsafe Straightliner which puts a force on the van when it is not in a straight line.

Mike

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i have a leafspring type stabiliser which works well and keep it adjusted correctly but been offered a alko hitch type one at a reasonable price anybody changed before ? is it worth the extra money?

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Hi if the leafspring is working ok why change it, ok the the alko is fitted more quickly but if theres little difference in performance, i wouldn't spend the extra money on having it converted, i use a bull dog type bar stabilizer it seems to do the job ok but iv'e never tried towing with a van fitted with a alko stabilizer so i can't compare the two.

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Guest Hobbybod

Exactly how will a blade type friction stabiliser ameliorate a high noseweight?  The blade does put a load on the hitch/caravan connection but I cannot see how this reduces noseweight or pitching.  

 

A 4-friction pad hitch stabiliser will dampen movement in both planes.   The only stabiliser, as far as I am aware, that has a positive effect on yaw is the Rollsafe Straightliner which puts a force on the van when it is not in a straight line.

Mike

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Right Mike, I don't wish to go into a great rigmarole about the physics of stabilisers, or damping, (I can do if you really wish!!) but the application of a force, through the sprung blade(s), between the caravan A-frame and the car, causes a redistribution of the load applied by the noseweight, such that the load on the rear of the car is lessened, with a consequential increase in load at the front of the car.

 

In 'dialling in' an increasing force on the sprung blades of a Tunesi stabiliser you can actually see, and measure, the increase in height of the hitch/towball from the ground; I've done it. The instructions suggest that you do not 'dial out' all the towball depression caused by the noseweight of the 'van.

This 'levelling' effect also operates when driving along undulating roads, thus reducing pitching, and giving a much more comfortable ride. This doesn't happen with the 'friction at the hitch' stabilisers.

 

You are correct about the Straightliner and it is one of only two stabilisers, AFAIK, to dynamically apply restorative forces to diminish yaw (snaking).

 

Here is a quote from an old posting I made on stabilisers, some time ago.

 

There is one major difference in operation between 'friction at the hitch' (e. g Alko, AKS, Westfalia, SSK, Winterhoff etc) and spring blade stabilisers (e. g. Scott, Bulldog, Tunesi, Copilote etc).  Namely, in the generation of restoring forces (by the blade types) which act to restore the equilibrium of the outfit.

  In friction devices (including the anti-snaking element in blade type stabilisers) the energy associated with the destabilising forces (e. g. side-wind or undulating, rough  roads)  is dissipated as heat in the friction device.   In blade types the energy is stored in the deformation of the spring blades, which then provide a restoring force to return the outfit towards its equilibrium position.

  In others words, the spring blades actively work to 'restore' equilibrium.   Purely friction devices don't.   However you do need two 'blades'(one make is an exception) for them to work symmetrically.

(The Straightliner also produces restoring forces, but in a novel way.)

  This is why, in the only comprehensive comparative stabiliser test I have seen, (in Le Caravanier)  the blade types came out best for effectiveness but lost 'stars' for convenience and ease of use.   I would expect the Straightliner to be similar in effectiveness to the blade types.

  Blade types also actively resist pitching to give a more comfortable ride and can also provide load equalisation between the rear and front of the tow-car.   This is especially useful for front-wheel drive cars.

 

I hope this helps.

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I have read a similar description of the action of the blade stabiliser and it makes good engineering sense as well as in my opinion, at least,being a better engineering solution to yaw and pitch damping.

 

I towed for years with a blade stabiliser and unfortunately sold it with the old van,partly because a new towcar had a removable hitch.

 

By the time I bought my current towcar with standard UK hitch,my van had an Al-ko 2004. I have often thought about the large torsional loads being exerted on the neck of the towball due to the long moment arm of the van.

 

The only advantage of the ball type stabiliser,in my opinion, is the convenience of hitching/unhitching and not having to find somewhere to put the blade type when not in use.

 

In an age of convenience everything,the original solution was often the best.

 

I am very tempted to go back to a Scott or similar,but then of course due to chassis 'improvements' the caravan drawbar bracket would have to be clamped on as the chassis can't be drilled. :unsure:

 

Frank

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I prefer the blade type myself as I tow a trailer quiet alot due to my car being a saloon and hasnt got a big boot and the thought of having to clean it everytime to use a AKS hitch. I am too lazy.

 

And what are these quotes about people digging furrows with them and catching their shins on them! How did you manage to catch your shin on it? I will have to try it next time and for the furrow part is doesnt take 2 seconds to undo the nut to release the stabiliser from the car doesnt now? I thought I was lazy.

 

I am afraid it is blade type every time.

 

Another point is that a blade type is tranferable between vans so less expense for when you swap vans or tow one for a friend as in my case last week.

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I

have only ever towed two caravans and both have used the same stabilizer, when i traded in my first van i took the stabilizer off it and fitted it to my current van, i find the bulldog bar type quite good for me, as i said earlier they are not as quick to hook up as a alko stabilizer, but it takes about 5 to 10 mins more at very most, and i like how easy it is to be interchangable from van to van, and as for storage when the vans not moving its in the front locker and obviously when the vans moving its doing its job, can't say iv'e scuffed my shin on it yet though.

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I wouldn't swap my Wintorhoff for a blade type again, I am delighted with it, it was the aks 1300 that was not up to the job on my new caravan, as it was at its limit weight wise, I now use that on the trailer. :)

 

I am totally satisfied with the wintorhoff :D

 

Paul

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Another point is that a blade type is tranferable between vans so less expense for when you swap vans or tow one for a friend as in my case last week.

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The alko is also transferrable, my van wsn't fitted with a stabiliser so before we picked it up we had the 2004 fitted. We were given the original coupling so when we change vans we can either refit the standard coupling or leave the alko on, depending on what any new van would have fitted.

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Hi Audiman,

 

Prices are on the Al-Ko website for mail order direct from Al-Ko, which is probably a bit cheaper than a caravan dealer.

 

Mine came fitted so I have not actaully fitted one, but it is basically a nut and bolt job. You might get it fitted free, or cheap, at a dealer if you combine it with a a service.

 

Al-Ko also do a hitchlock to suit.

 

Brian

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having fitted an ALKO 2004 i can advise you to be careful to use the the drift bar supplied to remove the bolt holding the hitch to the van. if you just undo the nut and tap the bolt through, the hydralic damper will retract and you will be in the s**t

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