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Alko 1300 Question


bob1982
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Hi all.

 

I was talking to a caravan dealer the other day about a scare I had with my Alko 1300 stabiliser. At the time I was worried I had unwound the handwheel too far which if you read online can cause the handwheel to jam.

 

As it turned out all was fine but the dealer said to me that if that ever did happen it is not the end of the world as you can still tow safely. ... but the stablising effect would not be apparrent so to be careful. ... but just to get home it should be ok.

 

I have looked at the manual for the alko 1300 and it does seem to say that "if the aks 1300 is not correctly coupled to the tow ball then the caravan can become detatched from the towing vehicle".

 

I am a little confused. Clearly the best thing is not to unwind the handwheel too far. ... but if I was onsite and did it by mistake can I or can I not tow home safely as long as the two green indicators are showing. Logically I think you could but you would loose the stabilising effect until it was home and fixed.

 

Just wondering if in this situation whether I could get myself home safely.

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I'm not familiar with the 1300 but when I have coupled up my AL-KO hitch and pressed the locking lever down, as well as checking that the green indicator is visible I also try and lift the hitch head off the towball by winding the jockey wheel down until it lifts the rear of the car - only slightly though in order to avoid any damage to either the car or the caravan.

Edit: Before anyone shrieks at my method, it was shown to me by the instructor on a Caravan Club towing and manoeuvering course.

Edited by onewheelonmywagon

Land Rover is now back towing.

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Thats a good point I do that too. ... its a fairly common method from what I can gather so I dont think anyone will shreek. I suppose if the car and van rise slightly as normal it is on as it should be. .... unless someone knows something specific that I am missing.

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I'm not familiar with the 1300 but when I have coupled up my AL-KO hitch and pressed the locking lever down, as well as checking that the green indicator is visible I also try and lift the hitch head off the towball by winding the jockey wheel down until it lifts the rear of the car - only slightly though in order to avoid any damage to either the car or the caravan.

Edit: Before anyone shrieks at my method, it was shown to me by the instructor on a Caravan Club towing and manoeuvering course.

 

I've got to shriek that he's offering good advice ;)

Paul B

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

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I presume you mean the jockey wheel when you say screwed the handwheel too far. Even if you do you should still be able to lift the jockey wheel clear by slackening the side clamp and pulling the assembly upwards.

If the jockey wheel is touching the ground or could touch the ground while towing then DON'T, tow that is. The caravan chassis is not designed as a three wheeler and the noise from the jockey wheel will deafen you, as well as being totally destroyed during the tow

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Quote " I presume you mean the jockey wheel when you say you screwed the handwheel too far"

 

No, he means the handwheel on the AKS1300 .

 

The AKS1300 is secured to the towball by the operation of the locking tongue as you lower the hitch onto the ball, then the green indicators should show and the central handle snaps down.

The stabilising effect is achieved by tightening the friction pads onto the ball by the handheel on the side of the hitch.

 

If you unwind it too far it can cause the friction pads to be drawn out of their locking circlip and not apply the correct friction to the ball.

It should NOT have any detrimental effect to the security of the hitch to ball.

 

Raising the hitch when connected to the car to check is OK as long as you do NOT try and lift the car and van, just enough pressure to confirm the two are securely attached.

Too much pressure and you WILL shear the handle pin and leave yourself with either a lowered jockey wheel or one that will not come down.

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Thanks for that. ... u seem to be confirming my thoughts and that of the dealer. Will be very careful when lowering the jockey wheel to test the connection. ... just a slight test plus the green indicators should do it.

 

I usually stop as soon as I see the car start to move.

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I had a 1300 too. People dont realise its a bit different. You connect the ball and socket then the handwheel is used to pre load the friction pads before final tighrning to provide the correct level of resistance. If the handwheel is not correctly set the system doesnt work.

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Thank you for the lesson!

 

Quote " I presume you mean the jockey wheel when you say you screwed the handwheel too far"

 

No, he means the handwhe

el on the AKS1300 .

 

The AKS1300 is secured to the towball by the operation of the locking tongue as you lower the hitch onto the ball, then the green indicators should show and the central handle snaps down.

The stabilising effect is achieved by tightening the friction pads onto the ball by the handheel on the side of the hitch.

 

If you unwind it too far it can cause the friction pads to be drawn out of their locking circlip and not apply the correct friction to the ball.

It should NOT have any detrimental effect to the security of the hitch to ball.

 

Raising the hitch when connected to the car to check is OK as long as you do NOT try and lift the car and van, just enough pressure to confirm the two are securely attached.

Too much pressure and you WILL shear the handle pin and leave yourself with either a lowered jockey wheel or one that will not come down.

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AL-KO AKS 1300.jpg

This is the Al-ko 1300 hitch, and while unscrewing the friction adjustment on the side will affect the stabilising affect, the hitch cannot become detached because of this so long as the engagement button is indicating green, as the locking mechanism is operated by the silver handle on the top.

Gordon

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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Quote " Thank you for the lesson! "

 

The "lesson" was an informative posting for bob1982 to help him understand his hitch setup, which he stated that he was unfamiliar with, and save him from being left in a position where he could have faced problems which are avoidable.

 

You, on the other hand were talking about an entirely different part of the caravan equipment, which had no bearing whatsoever on the original posting.

 

If you have learnt anything, all well and good, as obviously you have never had to deal with a AKS1300 hitch system.

 

If, however, the quote above was some kind of sarcastic comment, it was probably best not posted as it would be totally unnecessary.

Edited by Brecon
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Can I also just reiterate my thanks as well as the information given is very helpful for me and answered my question. Thank you for everybodies help. ... I am grateful for the advice and pleased to know that if I do muck up the hand wheel one day it does not stop me from safely getting home. ... allbeit with a reduced stabilising effect.

 

thanks again for the help.

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I had a 1300 too. People dont realise its a bit different. You connect the ball and socket then the handwheel is used to pre load the friction pads before final tighrning to provide the correct level of resistance. If the handwheel is not correctly set the system doesnt work.

 

I had the 1300 & seem to remember having problems removing it if we weren't on the flat, we had to have the caravan & car level. Did you have any problems? (from memory I think we gave it a sharp tap)

 

 

When I exchanged the caravan I put it on my little trailer so I didn't get grease on the car towball

Paul B

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

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Oh dont tell me that. ... more to worry about. .... hehe.

I aint noticed that yet but only been out once so far. Had a bit of trouble first time I hitched but I am sure I hadnt wound the hand wheel out enough that time when we tried to hitch up. Live and learn.

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Bob, just a thought but have you got a standard tow-ball or the extended neck AlKo towball (or a swan neck), having the wrong towball can cause damage to the AlKo hitch or possible detachment

Paul B

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

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The only difficulty is when the hitch has some load on it, say when you pull up and compress the hitch damper with the load of the van- then it tends to not want to detatch cleanly. The answer is to push the van bacward or forward as reqired then its easy. Mind you this applies to all vans and trailers when detatching

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Thats a good tip. Just to clarify then if I pull the van forward to a stop are you saying back up a little before trying to unhitch. .... and if you reverse the van to a stop are you saying pull it forward slightly before trying to unhitch?

 

if so by how much?

 

If you can follow that wierdness.

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I've rarely had a problem detaching the hitch and usually after reversing the van, so I try to remember to pull the car forward a touch, but memory often fails.

Land Rover is now back towing.

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If you had reversed onto a pitch,say, just pull forward a couple of inches. If you go too far you will get it stuck the other way! Dont worry too much about it. Its really not a problem

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