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Stabilisers


Audiman

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Hi All

 

Great break, caravan was all that we expected and more. Only problem. .....when lorries passed, I learnt the colour of adrenalin!!!

 

I suppose the slight swaying is something that you do get used to . ...in time!!

 

Was just wondering, we have a snaemaster stabiliser and wondered if it was perhaps not really up to the job with a 1300 Kg caravan. Should we go for a Bulldog 200Q or spend a little more and get a 2004 Alko jobby? or is the snakemaster fine and should just stay as we are?

 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

 

Cheers

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I used a snakemaster with my current caravan, a 1300kg Elddis and it worked fine. Nevertheless, I did fiddle about getting the tension right on the thing. I have since switched to an Alko and it's a very neat setup. However, I'm not convinced that its stabilising abilities are significantly better than the snakemaster.

Saab 9-3 Vector Sportwagon/Abbey Aventura 320

 

It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop. — Wisdom of Confucius

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Hi,

I was just wondering are you ready for new friction pads or do they need cleaning?

 

Is it tensioned correctly,

 

just a thought before you go spending a lot of money,

 

(although I was glad when I got my Winterhoff)

 

Paul

Paul B

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

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If the discs on you Snakemaster were OK and the tension nut was adjusted correctly, there's no reason why it wouldn't work just as well as a more modern Alko type. For thirtyeight years I've used a Scott stabilizer, from which other leaf types were copied, and I can't say that it was any less effective than the Alko 1300 which I now use. As it happens, my present van was already fitted with the Alko, but had it not been, I would have been happy to continue with my Scott.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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I also had a Scott Replica for many years, the Alko 1300 was on my last caravan when I bought it, and like John didn't find much difference. Convenience the Alko, performance, probably the Scott

 

I fitted the Alko to my new caravan, but as it was up to its limit, I replaced it with a Winterhoff.

Now I am impressed with the Winterhoff! and use the Al-Ko on my trailer. :)

 

Paul

Paul B

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

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I may be stating the obvious, but is it worth checking that the caravan is loaded properly. Any stabiliser will struggle to cope with truckwash if the van is poorly loaded.

Anything that is complex is not useful and anything that is useful is simple

Михаи́л Тимофе́евич Кала́шников

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Hi All

 

Thanks for the replies!

 

It looks like there is no real difference then.

 

DOes anybody run an alko hitch type plus a scott type together?

 

Cheers

18740[/snapback]

 

I don't think this is recommended nor do I believe it necessary. I am with the very knowledgeable John Douglas and Paul. ..the correctly adjusted blade stabiliser will always be somewhat more effective than the likes of Alko which only score higher with convenience.

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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Hi

 

I would suggest getting the bathroom scales out and see how much pressure is required to move the end of the blade. It's usually around 60 - 65 lbs of force.

 

Mick

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I have towed the same caravan (Bailey Bordeaux) with the same towcar using both blade type stabaliser and Alko. Although I had no major sway problems with the blade type, I certainly find that the Alko 'feels' a nicer tow and I am less fatigued even after 450-500 mile tow.

Enjoy yourself, whatever you're doing

RAV4 Pegasus 534

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the correctly adjusted blade stabiliser will always be somewhat more effective than the likes of Alko which only score higher with convenience.

18922[/snapback]

 

I agree! A blade stabilizer not only controls lateral movement, but fore and aft pitching as well. The Alko only dampens lateral movement. It's possible to test this by placing a spare 50mm ball in an Alko coupling.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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The Alko 1300 has two pads one each side of the ball. :(

 

The Winterhoff 3000 the pads are at the front and back of the ball, and dampens all movement. :rolleyes:

 

When I swapped from the Alko 1300 to the Winterhoff 3000 their was a marked improvement, and would recommend it. B)

 

They are now fitted as standard on the explorer group

 

Paul

Paul B

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

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Like several others, I too started with a Scott (blade-type stabiliser). That dampens sideways movement The springiness of the leaf-spring can ease pitching but doesn't dampen it. It can also raise the loaded tow-hitch slightly further off the road too in some cases.

 

I then bought and fitted an Alko. Brilliant. So easy in use and clean !!! But no assitance with pitching at all originally.

 

2 Years ago my new van came with the Winterhoff.

Best yet. Ecstatic!! Dampens everything.

This van has a MTPLM of 1550kg and it tows like a dream. I experience no sway at all, except in very strong cross winds with gusts - but I would get that in the car anyway!

 

However, during my towing years I have learned a little about the importance of loading and noseweight, so it is not a simple answer to your 'swaying' question.

 

I know some friends who have a different make of van that is equally heavy and they tow with a 4x4 and Alko hitch . ........... they have sway all the time. It's driving them nuts travelling at 45 mph on motorways, just in case something passes them.

 

If your loading is OK, your noseweight within limits, your speed is appropriate for the road, then you should not get sway. If you do I think there is something inherently unstable about the outfit. It can happen.

 

Try changing one thing at a time and look for differences in towing characteristics.

 

Cheers

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Like several others, I too started with a Scott (blade-type stabiliser).  That dampens sideways movement The springiness of the leaf-spring can ease pitching but doesn't dampen it.   It can also raise the loaded tow-hitch slightly further off the road too in some cases.

 

I then bought and fitted an Alko.   Brilliant.   So easy in use and clean !!!  But no assitance with pitching at all originally.

 

2 Years ago my new van came with the Winterhoff.  

  Best yet.   Ecstatic!!  Dampens everything.  

This van has a MTPLM of 1550kg and it tows like a dream.   I experience no sway at all, except in very strong cross winds with gusts  -  but I would get that in the car anyway!

 

However,  during my towing years I have learned a little about the importance of loading and noseweight,  so it is not a simple answer to your 'swaying' question.

 

I know some friends who have a different make of van that is equally heavy and they tow with a 4x4 and Alko hitch . ...........  they have sway all the time.   It's driving them nuts travelling at 45 mph on motorways, just in case something passes them.

 

If your loading is OK, your noseweight within limits, your speed is appropriate for the road,  then you should not get sway.   If you do I think there is something inherently unstable about the outfit.   It can happen.

 

Try changing one thing at a time and look for differences in towing characteristics.

 

Cheers

19271[/snapback]

 

Following on from this sound advice. ..don't forget the tow cars tyres?, problems just above 50mph can well be due to type of rear tyres or tyre pressures on the car and little or nothing to do with the van??.

Cheap or 'budget' tyres often have soft side walls and give strange feelings to the occupants as the car 'floats' about on them.

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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Hi All

 

many thanks for the replies. ......they have been very enlightening!

 

I had a further test this weekend and simply moved 2 aquarolls and one wastemaster out of the rear shower into the main floor around the axle. Can't have been anymore than about 10KG, but it did seem to make a considerable difference. ......was quite surprised really!

 

I also wondered if the fact that the rear of the car was in effect bottomed out would have a negative impact due to the fact the the rear suspension would have lost it's damping could have effected it also.

 

I am getting some spring assisters today, which I understand look like doughnuts and are easy to fit!

 

Cheers

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Guest macSpot
The Alko 1300 has two pads one each side of the ball. :(

 

The Winterhoff 3000 the pads are at the front and back of the ball, and dampens all movement. :rolleyes:

 

When I swapped from the Alko 1300 to the Winterhoff 3000 their was a marked improvement, and would recommend it. B)

 

They are now fitted as standard on the explorer group

 

Paul

19233[/snapback]

 

I believe the latest ALKO hitches have the extra pads front and back. Our Bailey has the latest and you can tell, the van is a delight to tow.

 

MacSpot

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I believe the latest ALKO hitches have the extra pads front and back. Our Bailey has the latest and you can tell, the van is a delight to tow.

 

MacSpot

19363[/snapback]

 

I do believe you are right, it's just that the new Alko 2004 can activate the gas handbrake on the caravan :(,

it being an Elddis Avante`, one of the Explorer group, this is the reason we have to have the Winterhoff

 

Paul

Paul B

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

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Hi All

 

many thanks for the replies. ......they have been very enlightening!

 

I had a further test this weekend and simply moved 2 aquarolls and one wastemaster out of the rear shower into the main floor around the axle.   Can't have been anymore than about 10KG, but it did seem to make a considerable difference. ......was quite surprised really!

 

I also wondered if the fact that the rear of the car was in effect bottomed out would have a negative impact due to the fact the the rear suspension would have lost it's damping could have effected it also.

 

I am getting some spring assisters today, which I understand look like doughnuts and are easy to fit!

 

Cheers

19290[/snapback]

 

What is your weight ratio? Audis are not very heavy cars and Coachman tend to be fairly heavy. Do you check the noseweight prior to hitching up? Increasing the noseweight usually improves the feel and stability of an outfit but it is very easy to exceed the car's maximum noseweight. Fitting spring assisters does not change this.

 

Mike

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I improved the handling of my outfit by getting a roof top box. I put this as far forward on the rails as I could and loaded some of the heavier kit up there. This made the car sit more level. I also always pump the rear tyres up to their "fully loaded" rating.

Anything that is complex is not useful and anything that is useful is simple

Михаи́л Тимофе́евич Кала́шников

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Was just wondering, we have a snaemaster stabiliser and wondered if it was perhaps not really up to the job with a 1300 Kg caravan. Should we go for a Bulldog 200Q or spend a little more and get a 2004 Alko jobby? or is the snakemaster fine and should just stay as we are?

 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

 

 

Hi all

 

I have a Bulldog 200Q, there is no problem with swaying or movement as lorries pass bye.

The caravan tows like a dream.

 

I suppose you have to look at the expense, the alko I feel is over the top in price, but as most caravans are being fitted with the Alko as standard, this will not be a factor in the future.

 

But I feel that the alko's extra expense is really not worth the price, as I have towed the Caravan with the Bulldog.

 

But as always the choice is yours.

 

 

Peter

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Hi All

 

Thanks for the replies

 

The caravan is being towed at 93%, that is before I load up the car with all its things.

 

I had also thought about getting a roof box and sticking the awning in it.

 

I saw a 2nd hand Bulldog on ebay for £35 so I might go for that and give it a go as I have just noticed that my snakemaster is actually bent upwards!!!

 

Cheers

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I had also thought about getting a roof box and sticking the awning in it.

 

 

19691[/snapback]

 

We always use one when we caravan. We manage to pack into it two chairs, a table, the awning and poles. And it's all within the weight limit.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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I have just noticed that my snakemaster is actually bent upwards!!!

 

Cheers

19691[/snapback]

 

This probably explains a lot!!!

 

Tim

Saab 9-3 Vector Sportwagon/Abbey Aventura 320

 

It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop. — Wisdom of Confucius

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I agree!  A blade stabilizer not only controls lateral movement, but fore and aft pitching as well.   The Alko only dampens lateral movement.   It's possible to test this by placing a spare 50mm ball in an Alko coupling.

19196[/snapback]

the alko 2004 does control fore and aft pitching it has 4 pads, 1 on each side to control sway and 1 on the front and 1 on the back to control fore and aft pitching

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