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Why Do So Many People Leave The Handbrake On


Arkimediz
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I only use the handbrake as a short term stop while I put the steadies down and, if necessary, chock the wheels.

 

Leaving the brake on for long periods will stretch the cable and in cold weather there is the danger of the brake shoes freezing in the on position.

Bessacarr 645 towed by a BMW X5 Sport (Diesel 23mpg towing 35mpg solo) - I also have a Diesel Toyota Yaris Automatic in an attempt to be a bit green - it's doing over 70mpg on a good run. Shame it won't tow the caravan!!

Happy Caravanning! (& Happy Rallying too!)

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I only use the handbrake as a short term stop while I put the steadies down and, if necessary, chock the wheels.

 

Leaving the brake on for long periods will stretch the cable and in cold weather there is the danger of the brake shoes freezing in the on position.

 

It's easier to replace a handbrake cable than chase a run-a-way caravan across a site! I use mine on site, never ever thought about not using it! :huh: :D

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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No caravan is going to run away on a flat site or even a sloping one if the steadies are down and it is chocked properly.

 

Manufacturers have to fit brakes for the road - they add a handbrake lever to hold the caravan while you unhitch and set up.

Bessacarr 645 towed by a BMW X5 Sport (Diesel 23mpg towing 35mpg solo) - I also have a Diesel Toyota Yaris Automatic in an attempt to be a bit green - it's doing over 70mpg on a good run. Shame it won't tow the caravan!!

Happy Caravanning! (& Happy Rallying too!)

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No caravan is going to run away on a flat site or even a sloping one if the steadies are down and it is chocked properly.

 

Manufacturers have to fit brakes for the road - they add a handbrake lever to hold the caravan while you unhitch and set up.

 

 

Properly being the operative word!

 

I expect lots of people don't chock or level the 'van properly,and i'll bet that the handbrake has saved a lot of blushes and money. It's not just a decoration or a way of using up some extra metal at the factory.

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I always lift the handbrake on a sloping site but dont usually have it on in a flat site. I dont store my van with the handbrake on, but if the storage yard was sloping then i probably would.

 

The problem with sloping sites is the slope is not constant. Therefore you may have put yur steadies down etc but if you have not chocked the wheels correctly then the van may head off down the hill.

 

This would be a good topic for a poll!!

 

Regards

Lee

Please note that my opinions stated are those of an enthusiast not an expert and humble at that

 

2006 Hyundai Sante Fe towing a Coachman Vision 580/5

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I do not use hand brake when I park Caravan in my garden as I have had brakes lock on when used for long periods.

 

But I must say that I always use it when on site when being used. I agree that there in not much of a chance Van rolling away with legs down ( but just in case )

 

Happy Caravaning

 

Monty

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Having had the handbrake stick on after leaving for the winter I always chock the wheels and release the handbrake

I had to drag the van down the drive for about 5 metres to free the brakes

As has been said they could also freeze on

With the Alko wheelclamp that has to be attached and lined up first there is no danger of the van going anywhere but I still chock the wheels on both sides

I got into a tricky situation yesterday when unhitching on our sloping drive

The van was pointing up the drive attached to the car and I omitted to engage the mover by mistake but had chocked one wheel

The drive is very wide (car + caravan) and for once the hitch didn't need need jiggling with the mover to free it

It released from the ball and the van started to roll back so I fully applied the handbrake

The chock then acted as a pivot point and the van started to twist with the handbrake inoperative in reverse

Fortunately the front locker was open and I was on the downhill side of the slope hanging on

I was able to reach a chock from inside the locker and at the seccond attempt chock the jockey wheel by which time the van had pivotted through 90 deg and was across the drive

As soon as I engaged the mover and tried to move the van forward the handbrake locked on

So chocks, Alko wheelclamp and handbrake off for me every time when parked

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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The hand brake mechanism has adjustment so any stretching of the cable will be taken care of.

 

Do you also leave your car hand brake off, which I believe is an offence?

Swift Challenger 490

Sorento + Fabia to help the Sorento up hills!

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The hand brake mechanism has adjustment so any stretching of the cable will be taken care of.

 

Do you also leave your car hand brake off, which I believe is an offence?

 

I don't leave the car handbrake off but I do leave the car in gear and park with the front wheels slightly turned into the kerb (as highway code!) when parked on a steep slope such as by our side gate ;)

 

The car doesn't have 4 steadies and a wheel clamp when parked but really its down to what people are happy with

Once you have had a stuck on brake you don't leave the handbrake on again and have chocks available

In some countries its a legal requirement to use chocks with caravans I believe

 

Some interesting points in this Googled article(page 2)

 

http://www. guildofmotorendurance. co. uk/Ger. ..ally%20tips. pdf

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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Hi,

Regarding the car I have no choice as the car applies it for me :D . The caravan one is applied if pitched on a slope and left off if on the level, which it always is when stored on the drive,

Regards,

Ian.

Bailey Unicorn Vigo and a 2017 Ford S Max and a Mercedes SLK AMG Sport 9 speed, my mid life crisis solver.

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Hi

I never leave the handbrake on for any length of time because of the likelyhood of it siezing on.

Like John G I chock the wheels and use Al-Ko wheel lock when stored at home. The motor mover does a nice job of holding it when hitching/unhitching on site I then chock the wheels and release the handbrake if it is safe to do so :D

 

I have seen problems when the brakes lock on and can do without that amount of hassle thanks ;)

Alan J

Bailey Pageant S6 Bordeaux Tow Car BMW X5 3. 0D

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Properly being the operative word!

 

I expect lots of people don't chock or level the 'van properly,and i'll bet that the handbrake has saved a lot of blushes and money. It's not just a decoration or a way of using up some extra metal at the factory.

How would/could a caravan move on a flat pitch with the corner steadies down??? never leave my brake on unless on a slope - not since i had the problem (many years ago) of it seizing up.

Bessacarr Cameo 525 towed by SsangYong Rexton 2.2 auto in Brown.

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Having had the handbrake stick on after leaving for the winter I always chock the wheels and release the handbrake

I had to drag the van down the drive for about 5 metres to free the brakes

As has been said they could also freeze on

With the Alko wheelclamp that has to be attached and lined up first there is no danger of the van going anywhere but I still chock the wheels on both sides

I got into a tricky situation yesterday when unhitching on our sloping drive

The van was pointing up the drive attached to the car and I omitted to engage the mover by mistake but had chocked one wheel

The drive is very wide (car + caravan) and for once the hitch didn't need need jiggling with the mover to free it

It released from the ball and the van started to roll back so I fully applied the handbrake

The chock then acted as a pivot point and the van started to twist with the handbrake inoperative in reverse

Fortunately the front locker was open and I was on the downhill side of the slope hanging on

I was able to reach a chock from inside the locker and at the seccond attempt chock the jockey wheel by which time the van had pivotted through 90 deg and was across the drive

As soon as I engaged the mover and tried to move the van forward the handbrake locked on

So chocks, Alko wheelclamp and handbrake off for me every time when parked

 

You won't do that again will you?

Did you think to yourself as you started to unhitch. ..this could go wrong. .... should I have chocked both sides? And afterwards. ....***** hell, I was lucky? Been there, done that.

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If your handbrake is "inoperative" in reverse then you need to get the brake adjustment checked.

 

The van should only move a very short distance as the auto-reverse mechanism operates before the handbrake locks on.

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If your handbrake is "inoperative" in reverse then you need to get the brake adjustment checked.

 

The van should only move a very short distance as the auto-reverse mechanism operates before the handbrake locks on.

Thanks for the comments/advice

Yes I've been to the dealer today and discussed it

The problem was that it pivotted around the wheel chock and that wheel didn't rotate

Quite how the reverse mechanism is affected I don't know but you would expect the wheel that moved backwards in an arc through 90deg to have activated that brake as the lever was in the on position

I have been asked to try it in reverse (with help) and see if it works OK when both wheels are rotating and if that fails take in for adjustment

It was only serviced in January and has done less the 250 miles since and a new axle/brakes was fitted last year.

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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Thanks for the comments/advice

I have been asked to try it in reverse (with help) and see if it works OK when both wheels are rotating and if that fails take in for adjustment

 

Hi,

How can you check a reverse enable system? Its suppposed to release when you reverse.

 

I admit to not being able to get my head round this system. But surely, if the slope is steep enough to match the force of a car reversing, then the mechanism will let the caravan roll.

 

602

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You can check the auto reverse operation quite easily by using a ratchet strap to compress the over-run mechanism.

 

Jack up the van so both wheels are freely rotating.

 

Gradually compress the over-run (as the van would under braking) and you will feel the resistance whilst rotating the wheels in a forwards direction.

 

When there is suficient resistance that you can only just move the wheel, turn it backwards and continue compressing the over-run.

 

If working properly there will come a point when the resistance diminishes and the over-run will be fully compressed. This is the normal situation for reversing.

 

To check the handbrake follow the same proceedure with the hand brake lever instead of compressing the over-run (if you have a gas strut assisted hand brake you will need to use the ratchet strap to prevent the hand brake from fully applying).

 

As the braking force increases whilst rotating the wheels forward, reverse rotation until you feel the auto-reverse operate - then apply the hand brake fully and both wheels should be locked.

 

Bit "Heath-Robinson" but it works if you are patient.

 

Necessity being the mother of invention.

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Thanks for the comments/advice

I have been asked to try it in reverse (with help) and see if it works OK when both wheels are rotating and if that fails take in for adjustment

 

Hi,

How can you check a reverse enable system? Its suppposed to release when you reverse.

 

I admit to not being able to get my head round this system. But surely, if the slope is steep enough to match the force of a car reversing, then the mechanism will let the caravan roll.

 

602

Its testing the handbrake operation when the van has been reversed unhitched

The hand brake lever on my type is supposed to go into a more vertical position when the van is facing up a slope (ie rolling back)

The way that the dealer tests if the handbrake is working is to roll the caravan along with a person on each corner and then put the brake on to see if it stops straight

He recommended trying this in reverse(ie van going backwards) and then applying the handbrake

As stated help would be needed :blink:

Otherwise they would be happy to test it for me and make any adjustments needed

It may be a blessing in disguise if adjustment is needed due to bedding in :D

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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I have a friend who worked abroad for a year & left his car on his driveway with the handbrake on. When he returned & used his car he found that upon braking the car vibrated. He ended up taking it to his local garage & was told that his discs had rusted everywhere except where the brakepads had been touching the discs. This resulted in a high spot on his discs & meant he had to have new discs. A good reason for leaving the handbrake off if the van is not being used for a lengthy spell.

Jesus may love you, but everyone else thinks you're a weirdo.

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I leave the hand brake off when it's stored and always have it on when on a pitch, for the main reason the caravan doesn't rock as much from movement with in the caravan with the brake on ;):blush::blush:

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I have a friend who worked abroad for a year & left his car on his driveway with the handbrake on. When he returned & used his car he found that upon braking the car vibrated. He ended up taking it to his local garage & was told that his discs had rusted everywhere except where the brakepads had been touching the discs. This resulted in a high spot on his discs & meant he had to have new discs. A good reason for leaving the handbrake off if the van is not being used for a lengthy spell.

 

but your van uses a drum brake. ;)

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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