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Very Red Face.....


Mick n Debbs
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All packed and ready for the 80mile tow home or so I thought. I am very cautious and packed carefully, watching weight distribution and treble checking the hitching up process. I pulled away very, very gingerly as I always do (ALWAYS!, only second time out). There was such a loud thump and I noticed the caravan drop in my rear mirror.

 

I initially thought the detachable towbar had detached but on closer inspection I could see the tow hitch had detached from the ball. This really puzzled me as I had checked the red indicator had turned to green and the car had dipped with the weight.

 

I was really puzzled now but then it became obvious. The red plastic ball that comes with the Alko hitch lock had not been taken out when I hitched up. This when rested against the tow ball made the safe indicator go green and obviously the weight was resting upon the car's rear suspension causing the car to dip.

 

It's a very good job I pulled away incredibly slowly or the breakaway cable would have been tested to its limits.

 

Anyway, no idea about the nose weight but through gritted teeth and a red face I can just lift it so I guess around 70kg. And yes it would be easier to get a gauge but be beware of the Alko little red ball. ...

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:)

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

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Best thing to avoid that is once the green indicator shows, wind the jockey wheel down. When car rises you know your connected properly. I do it everytime. ... But what i forgot yesterday in a rush to get van on the drive was unclip the breakaway cable. ..

Good job got 2 spare. ...

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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In my rush the other day I forgot to put the stabiliser arm down, wondered why it felt a bit twitchy, good to know it's doing it's job when it's on though!

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The first thing I did with that red ball was to throw it in the nearest bin. ....

Ian.
2013 Freelander 2 SD4 Auto / 2005 Bailey Pageant Vendée; 1952 Norton ES2

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"The first thing I did with the red ball was chuck it in the nearest bin"

 

What a waste! Mine makes a very useful little toy for my Jack Russell, she loves it.

This is not the first time I've heard of this happening either. Thankfully no real damage done and a lesson learned.

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How come the red ball didn't fall out when you raised the handle to fix the caravam to the towball??

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How come the red ball didn't fall out when you raised the handle to fix the caravam to the towball??

It could be that the handle was not raised until the head was directly over and close to the ball. There's not a lot of weight to make the red ball come out by itself, so it just slipped down a few mm's to sit comfortably on top of the ball - and the rest was (nearly) history!

If at first you don't succeed, it may be best to give up.

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As a newbie you can forgive yourself and put it down to the learning process; bet you won't do it twice! :) Now breakaway cables are another matter, especially when you get distracted!.........managed to break 3 over the last 9 years! :blush:

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As a newbie you can forgive yourself and put it down to the learning process; bet you won't do it twice! :) Now breakaway cables are another matter, especially when you get distracted!.........managed to break 3 over the last 9 years! :blush:

I learnt many years ago to my cost (not hitched properly. .turned two corners then on the third corner the caravan went into a wall), that the best way to hitch up is with no-one talking to you. If some starts talking to me now when hitching up I just stop and restart from the beginning.

Mike Wild. Mazda CX-7 towing Lunar Clubman Saros SB.

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Hi

 

Never left the little red ball in the hitch - yet - as it is part of the early routine which includes winding down the jockey wheel and saying to SWMBO "is the car lifting?" when she confirms it is I then continue.

 

It will happen one day as we have another routine for unhitching and, after caravanning for 32 years, we got distracted mid routine last month and drove the car away with the breakaway cable still attached - DOH!!

 

Steve

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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I learnt many years ago to my cost (not hitched properly. .turned two corners then on the third corner the caravan went into a wall), that the best way to hitch up is with no-one talking to you. If some starts talking to me now when hitching up I just stop and restart from the beginning.

 

In my case Mike it was when unhitching each time; usually on rallies!

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