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Subject Topic: Buying an Elddis caravan new hitch advice
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Message posted by Paul_B on 04/11/2017 at 7:40pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Fortyfoot on 04/11/2017
This is what I am expecting to put on my car when I decide on my van.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Towball-Tow-Ball-Kit-for-ALKO-AKS-Stabiliser-Hitches-with-Cover-Long-Reach/130474083004?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

Fortyfoot



That will do fine on either hitches so long as you clean off all the paint from the ball.

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Message posted by Paul_B on 04/11/2017 at 7:54pm
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Whether you need a stabiliser or not can be grouped with seatbelts, life jackets, parachutes etc non of them are needed until there's an accident or mishap.

A stabiliser isn't essential but its certainly handy when things go wrong, it doesn't stop a snake but can help to control one and nowadays its easier to find a caravan with one than without.
I've never had a snake in around 40 years of towing but I've always had a stabiliser of some sorts when towing a caravan.
They aren't compulsory so do what you considers the best for you and family.

Message posted by Fortyfoot on 04/11/2017 at 8:33pm
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I have only had one slight snake in over 40 years of towing, we pulled over and moved the awning from the middle of the van over the axle to the front, no more problems. I have never used a stabiliser.

Fortyfoot

Message posted by Colin21 on 04/11/2017 at 8:40pm
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All a matter of personal preference I suppose, Paul B. I too have been towing for over 40 years, including box trailers, flat-bed trailers, car transporter trailers, boat trailers, and caravans. I too have never had anything but a minor snake that was easily controlled.

I used lifejackets on my boat, I wear seatbelts when I drive my car, but not when I drove buses and coaches, and I wouldn't jump out of any serviceable aircraft so I don't need a parachute. I have never used a stabiliser on any trailer I have ever towed, but that is only my own personal choice. I fully accept that others may think differently.

I must admit I am a bit wary of stabilisers, as they can mask a badly-loaded trailer. Until something goes wrong.

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Message posted by CyberCynth on 04/11/2017 at 10:34pm
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Thanks for your comments folks. Perhaps I ought to explain why I feel I need a stabiliser. Although, before buying the Whirlwind I went onto two different outfit matching websites which both came up with a 'Good combination' verdict for my proposed unit, the first time I towed the Elddis it snaked quite a lot. Not to any alarming degree but frequently enough for it to become a bit tiresome! On my way back home from that first outing I packed the caravan much more carefully, ensuring anything remotely weighty was packed around the wheel arches and along the line of the axle. No awning carried, by the way. Not so much snaking on the homeward journey until the speed rose above 55mph. I'm wondering whether the noseweight of the caravan is too much for the car so now have just one gas bottle in the front locker, the EHU cable and the spare tyre. Never had any snaking with my previous caravan: a Gobur Carousel folding caravan.
Thanks again for your thoughts.

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Message posted by Opensauce on 05/11/2017 at 7:37am
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As pointed out stabiliser should not be used to correct a snaking caravan. You need to weigh caravan hitch in road trim on level ground to ascertain nosewight. For a caravan weighing around a tonne 60-70kg is ideal but obviously towcar must allow this much weight on towbar. If towcar allows it then you can go up to 80-90kg it will only improve stability.

Good example is my caravan. '95 2berth Abbey. When I got it it felt slightly twitchy. Despite a gas bottle & spare wheel in front locker noseweight was below 50kg. So I added a second gas bottle & a can of water to get weight up to 70kg & it tows straight as a die.

Message posted by Paul_B on 05/11/2017 at 10:36am
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Quote: Originally posted by CyberCynth on 04/11/2017
Thanks for your comments folks. Perhaps I ought to explain why I feel I need a stabiliser. Although, before buying the Whirlwind I went onto two different outfit matching websites which both came up with a 'Good combination' verdict for my proposed unit, the first time I towed the Elddis it snaked quite a lot. Not to any alarming degree but frequently enough for it to become a bit tiresome! On my way back home from that first outing I packed the caravan much more carefully, ensuring anything remotely weighty was packed around the wheel arches and along the line of the axle. No awning carried, by the way. Not so much snaking on the homeward journey until the speed rose above 55mph. I'm wondering whether the noseweight of the caravan is too much for the car so now have just one gas bottle in the front locker, the EHU cable and the spare tyre. Never had any snaking with my previous caravan: a Gobur Carousel folding caravan.
Thanks again for your thoughts.



A stabiliser could help but they made them to help control a snake not to stop one, first I'd try packing the caravan differently, caravans with end kitchens aren't the best thing to tow at anytime. We always took the pots and pans and anything heavy from the kitchen and kept them in boxes over the axel when towing.

Get your nose weight up to the highest that the towbar or caravan allows but not above the lowest of the two.
Make sure you take it steady on downhill parts of the road where a snake is most likely to happen and would be at its worst.

Message posted by Colin21 on 05/11/2017 at 7:41pm
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When towing our latest caravan home from the dealers where we bought it I just hitched it up, checked the lights, and drove home. It was only about 8 miles. On the way home I felt that the caravan was a bit twitchy compared with our previous one, but once we had loaded it up with all our normal bits and pieces and set off a couple of weeks later for a week away, what a difference! Loaded properly with the right noseweight for the car it towed like a dream.

I always load for the maximum noseweight my car is designed to take, and it always tows beautifully with no sign of a snake.

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Colin D.

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Message posted by CyberCynth on 06/11/2017 at 8:45pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Paul_B on 05/11/2017
Quote: Originally posted by CyberCynth on 04/11/2017
Thanks for your comments folks. Perhaps I ought to explain why I feel I need a stabiliser. Although, before buying the Whirlwind I went onto two different outfit matching websites which both came up with a 'Good combination' verdict for my proposed unit, the first time I towed the Elddis it snaked quite a lot. Not to any alarming degree but frequently enough for it to become a bit tiresome! On my way back home from that first outing I packed the caravan much more carefully, ensuring anything remotely weighty was packed around the wheel arches and along the line of the axle. No awning carried, by the way. Not so much snaking on the homeward journey until the speed rose above 55mph. I'm wondering whether the noseweight of the caravan is too much for the car so now have just one gas bottle in the front locker, the EHU cable and the spare tyre. Never had any snaking with my previous caravan: a Gobur Carousel folding caravan.
Thanks again for your thoughts.



A stabiliser could help but they made them to help control a snake not to stop one, first I'd try packing the caravan differently, caravans with end kitchens aren't the best thing to tow at anytime. We always took the pots and pans and anything heavy from the kitchen and kept them in boxes over the axel when towing.

Get your nose weight up to the highest that the towbar or caravan allows but not above the lowest of the two.
Make sure you take it steady on downhill parts of the road where a snake is most likely to happen and would be at its worst.



Two problems here I think. The weight limit on towbar of the car is very low: 50kg. The other one is the end kitchen in the Whirlwind and the fact that is has a full oven, which must make quite a difference to the weight of the back end of the 'van compared to the Wisp - same sort of 'van but only a grill and hob. Not much more I can do to make the back end lighter, I had already emptied the pan cupboard for the journey home on my maiden voyage. Despite the 'good combination' verdict of the towing websites I think I might have to bite the bullet and change the car for something a bit heavier and with a better towbar weight limit.


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Message posted by Skoda Bob on 07/11/2017 at 12:26am
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Did you pump your rear tyres up to the correct pressure for towing??
Is your vehicle an xtrail, ?? if so your lowball max will be in the log book

Message posted by CyberCynth on 08/11/2017 at 10:10pm
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Yes, and no.

The car is a Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSi DSG. The towball max is 50kg. I don't know the weight from the hitch on the Whirlwind. It's an oldie and had no manuals with it when I bought it.   I daresay I could find the figure online if I troubled to look. Max towing weight for the Skoda is 1000kg and the Elddis MTPLM is 850kg.

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Life without dogs? I don't think so!


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