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Caravan Stuck (long Post; Hawkaye Ramble Warning)


hawkaye

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The first part of our last trip to France was to pitch up in sister-in-law's garden and provide some hard labour for an event she and her brother were running. I was to do some gardening and d-i-y and Mrs H was to cook, but that is by the bye.

 

On leaving the garden through the narrow gates and turning left onto the single-track road the right-hand caravan wheel sank into the verge and caused the caravan to tip towards the gatepost. Both Mrs H and s-i-l were watching me out and I stopped when s-i-l shrieked at me. As I got out of the car the verge was still crumbling and the side of the caravan looked like being punctured by the top of the iron gate post. S-i-l was pushing hard against the side of the caravan so it didn't touch. I wedged my wallet between the caravan and the gate post as some crude protection.

 

The wallet and gate post nestled comfortably on the caravan wall between the wash-room window and the awning rail. Going forwards would pull the awning rail off and reversing would take the wash-room window out. I didn't want to unhitch as I didn't think we could control the van on the slope out of the garden, and there is no mover fitted. Even if I had gone the unhitching route, I guessed that we would only have been able to move the left-hand wheel as the right-hand wheel looked pretty well stuck. Moving the left-hand wheel would have brought the van further across the road and I would have only been able to hitch up again after a 15-kilometre drive to get to the other side of the caravan, leaving the road blocked, or possibly at the mercy of helpful French passers-by. The verge had already given way under the weight of the caravan wheel so I thought trying to jack the van up and put timber under the wheel would be risky and possibly futile.

 

As luck would have it, the road outside, which hardly sees a dozen vehicles all day, filled up with the village's equivalent of gridlock. My car was across the road with one wheel on the opposite verge and the caravan almost out of the gates while a tractor waited wanting to go one way and some earth-moving truck with fat tyres waited to go the other. I asked the girls to go and distract the drivers and shortly the four of them were standing in a little group smiling, gesticulating and yelling at one another over the clatter of two big diesel engines, leaving me to figure out a solution.

 

I'm going to pause here and ask what any of you might have done and I'll pop back later and tell you what actually happened. Ask questions if you wish; if you find this tedious, just click on by to the next topic. No, I wasn't in the mood to take photos at the time.

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hawkaye, i was once on a site in cheddar and had a similiar situation with a wooden post concreted into the ground, needless to say when i eventually left the pitch the post wasnt concreted in :ph34r:, why do some site owners make it difficult to move larger vans but take the booking and your money !!!! jim

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a) Call the inland revenue. They will get the wallet out no problem.

B) Let the air out of the far side tyre may just bring it upright enough to pull it out with lots of hands pushing the sunken side.

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put a sling around the wheel on the opposite side attach to ratchet strap anchor on other gate post and ratchet the

strap up sliding the van pulling the sunken wheel out of the hole

 

or dig around the wheel on the opposite side so that sinks and levels the van

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Maybe use a couple of long poles using as a lever, either side of of the wheel under the chassis, assist perhaps if required by the steadies on that side.

 

When the wheel is clear of the ground put suitable support underneath.

 

Also cut down the gate post and widen the drive afterward?

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hawkaye, i was once on a site in cheddar and had a similiar situation with a wooden post concreted into the ground, needless to say when i eventually left the pitch the post wasnt concreted in :ph34r:, why do some site owners make it difficult to move larger vans but take the booking and your money !!!! jim

 

Yup I agree ! The gatepost has to go ! Maybe one of the big diesels can help with this. .... ?

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We had almost exactly the same problem here at LT once when someone leaving very early in the morning without their lights on turned left far too soon on leaving the site and promptly dropped their left hand side wheel straight into the ditch.

 

No matter how much pulling and shoving we did, nothing would move it so in the end we dug out the bank side far enough so we could get a trolley jack under the chassis and then jacked it up into the air and placed a large number of big stones underneath the errant wheel/tyre until it was high enough to become level with the surrounding ground and then hey ho when attached to my tractor we were able to pull it clear.

 

Is yours a similar story Hawkaye ?

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Let the air out of the far side tyre may just bring it upright enough to pull it out with lots of hands pushing the sunken side.

 

 

The would have been my first thought. The gatepost would have gone out of revenge. Regardless of the crumbling verge, would have tried the jack with a decent baulk of timber.

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I'm going to pause here and ask what any of you might have done

Got some insurance!

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Ellisfield gets the virtual box of chocs. B)

 

I felt a bit of pressure to resolve things quickly and on my own. The French bods were unknown quantities and I didn't want to leave the scene in case something untoward happened. This was the first few days of a 3-week break. Also the racket from the earth-mover's engine was hindering any sort of communication, especially my very basic French, although the women seemed to manage OK. I couldn't lay my hands any implements so I felt flattening the nearside tyre was the only option. I knew I was onto a winner when the wallet dropped, spread its wings and landed in a massive patch of nettles. Slow tow to the other side of the road and get out the Lidl footpump. Give some gloves to junior and task him with wallet retrieval.

 

Removing the gatepost wasn't an option; they only appeared this year as part of the building renovation and the garden was never supposed to have a caravan in it.

 

Thank you all for participating.

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Wow ! Well done ! Now we all know what to do in the same situation !! :unsure:

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