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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Detached Caravans



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 06:42 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
George Hendry
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 67
Default Detached Caravans

Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.

There has been a large increase recently of caravans coming off the tow
hook. This has been significant enough for the NCC to issue an advice
leaflet for caravan owners.

The CC has also noted this trend.

It is significant to note that the increase in incidents seems to
coincide with the fitting of stabiliser hitches (Alko and Winterhoff
type) as standard on new caravans

This has recently happened to me, an experienced caravanner for almost
30 years. And I would like to make the following observations.

I have a 2004 carvan fitted with an Alko hitch. When correctly hitched
this shows a Green indicator on the hitch head. Both my wife and myself
noted that the green indicator was showing when the caravan was hitched
and before the stabiliser handle was depressed.

I had travelled about 12 miles on a steep downhill twisting road in
North Wales before entering a village which was congested at a set of
traffic lights. Just through the lights and on a slight uphill section
the caravan detached and the breakaway cable applied the brakes. (For
the benefit of the other thread - you could certainly hear and feel the
caravan detach).
My speed at the time was not much more than walking pace but the
momentum of the detached caravan caused it to move to the opposite side
of the road, fortunately in about the only space clear of vehicles.
There was no damage to either the car or caravan with the exception of
the breakaway cable and with help from c couple of friendly caravanners
in the traffic I was able to hitch up again and continue my journey.

My observations are these: ( assuming human error meant that I hadn't
hitched the van up correctly as is the standard manufacturers answer to
the CC)

1) It is apparently possible to have the caravan hitch located enough to
show the green band without the hitch being fully located.

2) The stabiliser part of the hitch can mask the fact that the hitch is
not located correctly therefore giving a false sense of security.

When I hitched up the caravan was not in perfect line with the car and
this may have been a contributory factor.

In addition, once the breakaway cable has been utilised, you are faced
with continuing the journey without this 'safety net', at a time when
nerves are already strained.

Anyone else with any similar experience or genuine observations.


--
George Hendry
Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 06:59 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Peter A Forbes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default Detached Caravans

On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 18:42:00 +0000 (UTC), George Hendry
wrote:

Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.


snipped

Anyone else with any similar experience or genuine observations.


As I am drawing up a new trailer for the engines and hay haulage, I was
interested to see what George has written.

We have not used stabilisers at all over the years, and that is with a wide
range of trailers and caravans, and towing vehicles. I don't think it was pure
luck that we had no detachments in that time, just that the devices we used were
not able to be used if not correctly hooked up or it was obvious that a proper
linkage was not in place. I did do a spell with a caravan company in Surrey back
in the 1960's and remember the 2" and 50mm accidents quite well...

In the case of the detachment that George experienced, I am leaning towards the
view that safety chain(s) are possibly a better solution (and are required by
law if no brake application cable is fitted) than the breakaway cable,
especially as once you have used it you no longer have the protection of it
until you replace it, as George has pointed out.

The use of chains is widespread in a lot of countries but we don't seem to see
their use in the UK much. I don't have a view about if we should or shouldn't
legislate, but until towbar makers provide a decent anchor point or two, it is
not easy to provide a decent chain anchorage.

The current trailer is 2600kg gross, two axle, the new one is a lightweight 2
axle unbraked to go inside the van when not in use to prevent the need for tacho
and lane restrictions on empty return trips. Capacity is only 750kg gross, but
for most trips that is fine for us. The drawbar is removeable, so we have a
trailer body length of nearly 3m and an overall length of just over 4m.

Saves a lot of money on ferry trips as well! :-))

Peter
--
Peter & Rita Forbes
Email Address:

Web Pages for Engine Preservation:
http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 06:59 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Peter A Forbes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default Detached Caravans

On Thu, 14 Oct 2004 18:42:00 +0000 (UTC), George Hendry
wrote:

Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.


snipped

Anyone else with any similar experience or genuine observations.


As I am drawing up a new trailer for the engines and hay haulage, I was
interested to see what George has written.

We have not used stabilisers at all over the years, and that is with a wide
range of trailers and caravans, and towing vehicles. I don't think it was pure
luck that we had no detachments in that time, just that the devices we used were
not able to be used if not correctly hooked up or it was obvious that a proper
linkage was not in place. I did do a spell with a caravan company in Surrey back
in the 1960's and remember the 2" and 50mm accidents quite well...

In the case of the detachment that George experienced, I am leaning towards the
view that safety chain(s) are possibly a better solution (and are required by
law if no brake application cable is fitted) than the breakaway cable,
especially as once you have used it you no longer have the protection of it
until you replace it, as George has pointed out.

The use of chains is widespread in a lot of countries but we don't seem to see
their use in the UK much. I don't have a view about if we should or shouldn't
legislate, but until towbar makers provide a decent anchor point or two, it is
not easy to provide a decent chain anchorage.

The current trailer is 2600kg gross, two axle, the new one is a lightweight 2
axle unbraked to go inside the van when not in use to prevent the need for tacho
and lane restrictions on empty return trips. Capacity is only 750kg gross, but
for most trips that is fine for us. The drawbar is removeable, so we have a
trailer body length of nearly 3m and an overall length of just over 4m.

Saves a lot of money on ferry trips as well! :-))

Peter
--
Peter & Rita Forbes
Email Address:

Web Pages for Engine Preservation:
http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 07:49 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Hitch Lock
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 692
Default Detached Caravans

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
George Hendry wrote:

Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.
etc.


Sorry to to be flippant, but the title caused me to try to visualise caravan
sites full of semi-detached - or even terraced - caravans!g

[I think I'll stick with my detached van - as long as it is firmly
*attached* to the car when mobile].
--
Cheers,
Hitch Lock
______
Please reply to newsgroup. Reply address is invalid.


  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 07:49 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Hitch Lock
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 692
Default Detached Caravans

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
George Hendry wrote:

Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.
etc.


Sorry to to be flippant, but the title caused me to try to visualise caravan
sites full of semi-detached - or even terraced - caravans!g

[I think I'll stick with my detached van - as long as it is firmly
*attached* to the car when mobile].
--
Cheers,
Hitch Lock
______
Please reply to newsgroup. Reply address is invalid.


  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 10:31 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Richard Murphy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 39
Default Detached Caravans

Yup - very similar, but the hitch (Al-Ko again) did not have the green
indicator.

Similar thing - slowed down at some traffic lights a few miles from home on
the outward journey, lights changed, increased sped - sound of front of van
hitting ground!

My technique at the time was hitch up van, grasp hitch and lift to ensure
fully engaged, hook-up breakaway cable, then connet stabiliser (bulldog leaf
type).

never did find why it went (had been arked unattended outside hpuse for a
while while we had a cup of tea, so you never know...), but had hitch
replaced by one with the green indicator and use the indicator AND lift-up
to ensure hitched up.

Ho hum - only ever happened the once.


"George Hendry" wrote in message
...
Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.

There has been a large increase recently of caravans coming off the tow
hook. This has been significant enough for the NCC to issue an advice
leaflet for caravan owners.

The CC has also noted this trend.

It is significant to note that the increase in incidents seems to
coincide with the fitting of stabiliser hitches (Alko and Winterhoff
type) as standard on new caravans

This has recently happened to me, an experienced caravanner for almost
30 years. And I would like to make the following observations.

I have a 2004 carvan fitted with an Alko hitch. When correctly hitched
this shows a Green indicator on the hitch head. Both my wife and myself
noted that the green indicator was showing when the caravan was hitched
and before the stabiliser handle was depressed.

I had travelled about 12 miles on a steep downhill twisting road in
North Wales before entering a village which was congested at a set of
traffic lights. Just through the lights and on a slight uphill section
the caravan detached and the breakaway cable applied the brakes. (For
the benefit of the other thread - you could certainly hear and feel the
caravan detach).
My speed at the time was not much more than walking pace but the
momentum of the detached caravan caused it to move to the opposite side
of the road, fortunately in about the only space clear of vehicles.
There was no damage to either the car or caravan with the exception of
the breakaway cable and with help from c couple of friendly caravanners
in the traffic I was able to hitch up again and continue my journey.

My observations are these: ( assuming human error meant that I hadn't
hitched the van up correctly as is the standard manufacturers answer to
the CC)

1) It is apparently possible to have the caravan hitch located enough to
show the green band without the hitch being fully located.

2) The stabiliser part of the hitch can mask the fact that the hitch is
not located correctly therefore giving a false sense of security.

When I hitched up the caravan was not in perfect line with the car and
this may have been a contributory factor.

In addition, once the breakaway cable has been utilised, you are faced
with continuing the journey without this 'safety net', at a time when
nerves are already strained.

Anyone else with any similar experience or genuine observations.


--
George Hendry



  #7 (permalink)  
Old October 14th 04, 10:31 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Richard Murphy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 39
Default Detached Caravans

Yup - very similar, but the hitch (Al-Ko again) did not have the green
indicator.

Similar thing - slowed down at some traffic lights a few miles from home on
the outward journey, lights changed, increased sped - sound of front of van
hitting ground!

My technique at the time was hitch up van, grasp hitch and lift to ensure
fully engaged, hook-up breakaway cable, then connet stabiliser (bulldog leaf
type).

never did find why it went (had been arked unattended outside hpuse for a
while while we had a cup of tea, so you never know...), but had hitch
replaced by one with the green indicator and use the indicator AND lift-up
to ensure hitched up.

Ho hum - only ever happened the once.


"George Hendry" wrote in message
...
Following on from another thread about losing a caravan/trailer when
hitched.

There has been a large increase recently of caravans coming off the tow
hook. This has been significant enough for the NCC to issue an advice
leaflet for caravan owners.

The CC has also noted this trend.

It is significant to note that the increase in incidents seems to
coincide with the fitting of stabiliser hitches (Alko and Winterhoff
type) as standard on new caravans

This has recently happened to me, an experienced caravanner for almost
30 years. And I would like to make the following observations.

I have a 2004 carvan fitted with an Alko hitch. When correctly hitched
this shows a Green indicator on the hitch head. Both my wife and myself
noted that the green indicator was showing when the caravan was hitched
and before the stabiliser handle was depressed.

I had travelled about 12 miles on a steep downhill twisting road in
North Wales before entering a village which was congested at a set of
traffic lights. Just through the lights and on a slight uphill section
the caravan detached and the breakaway cable applied the brakes. (For
the benefit of the other thread - you could certainly hear and feel the
caravan detach).
My speed at the time was not much more than walking pace but the
momentum of the detached caravan caused it to move to the opposite side
of the road, fortunately in about the only space clear of vehicles.
There was no damage to either the car or caravan with the exception of
the breakaway cable and with help from c couple of friendly caravanners
in the traffic I was able to hitch up again and continue my journey.

My observations are these: ( assuming human error meant that I hadn't
hitched the van up correctly as is the standard manufacturers answer to
the CC)

1) It is apparently possible to have the caravan hitch located enough to
show the green band without the hitch being fully located.

2) The stabiliser part of the hitch can mask the fact that the hitch is
not located correctly therefore giving a false sense of security.

When I hitched up the caravan was not in perfect line with the car and
this may have been a contributory factor.

In addition, once the breakaway cable has been utilised, you are faced
with continuing the journey without this 'safety net', at a time when
nerves are already strained.

Anyone else with any similar experience or genuine observations.


--
George Hendry



  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 15th 04, 09:04 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Christian McArdle
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 601
Default Detached Caravans

Similar thing - slowed down at some traffic lights a few miles from home
on
the outward journey, lights changed, increased sped - sound of front of

van
hitting ground!


My problem was that on my old minibus (which eventually got trashed by
joyriding *******s), you couldn't open the rear door when a trailer was
attached (by the time the joyriders finished with it, you couldn't open the
door with a sledgehammer...). This meant that when doing rubble clearances,
you'd have to detach the trailer, open the door, load the trailer and rear
with stuff for the tip, reattach the trailer and off you went.

Unfortunately, I had developed a habit of not bothering to detach the
electrics as well. It is surprising just how far the trailer can be towed
without a hitch!

The trailer still has a nice towball shaped hole in the front as a constant
reminder to detach the electrics BEFORE detaching the hitch, ALWAYS!

I've mounted the tow ball lower on my new one to allow the doors to open.

Christian.


  #9 (permalink)  
Old October 15th 04, 09:04 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Christian McArdle
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 601
Default Detached Caravans

Similar thing - slowed down at some traffic lights a few miles from home
on
the outward journey, lights changed, increased sped - sound of front of

van
hitting ground!


My problem was that on my old minibus (which eventually got trashed by
joyriding *******s), you couldn't open the rear door when a trailer was
attached (by the time the joyriders finished with it, you couldn't open the
door with a sledgehammer...). This meant that when doing rubble clearances,
you'd have to detach the trailer, open the door, load the trailer and rear
with stuff for the tip, reattach the trailer and off you went.

Unfortunately, I had developed a habit of not bothering to detach the
electrics as well. It is surprising just how far the trailer can be towed
without a hitch!

The trailer still has a nice towball shaped hole in the front as a constant
reminder to detach the electrics BEFORE detaching the hitch, ALWAYS!

I've mounted the tow ball lower on my new one to allow the doors to open.

Christian.


  #10 (permalink)  
Old October 15th 04, 09:04 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Richard Brookman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default Detached Caravans

"Richard Murphy" wrote in message ...
Yup - very similar, but the hitch (Al-Ko again) did not have the green
indicator.

Similar thing - slowed down at some traffic lights a few miles from home on
the outward journey, lights changed, increased sped - sound of front of van
hitting ground!

My technique at the time was hitch up van, grasp hitch and lift to ensure
fully engaged, hook-up breakaway cable, then connet stabiliser (bulldog leaf
type).


AIUI, the only foolproof way to ensure that the hitch is securely
connected is to attach to the towing vehicle, then wind down the
jockey wheel and try to lift the car. If the coupling will lift the
weight of the car a short distance, it's on.

Those reassuring green bands seem to get sticky with age (like the
friction pads?) and won't necessarily tell the truth. At least mine
has got less positive in its action over 2-3 years.

Rich
 



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