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Subject Topic: Unhitched Caravan accident in Colchester
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Message posted by Webmaster on 21/10/2013 at 3:10pm
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Drivers were forced to swerve out of the way of an out of control caravan after it became unhitched from a car, just before 11.30am today (Mon day 21st October) in Colchester.

Motorists travelling along the Avenue of Remembrance were confronted with the caravan heading straight towards them. The caravan eventually struck a contractor’s white van which was forced off the road and collided with a casualty reduction sign marked “no excuse for poor driving”.



Nobody was hurt although the driver of the silver Ford Focus which was towing the caravan was shaken up.

Officers at the scene believe the caravan had just left the nearby Colchester Camping & Caravan Park. It was towed straight on at the Spring Lane roundabout and as the car began speeding up on the Avenue of Remembrance the caravan made its escape.

Crash investigators are still working out exactly what happened during the crash

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Message posted by robin54 on 21/10/2013 at 4:21pm
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Pleased nobody was hurt.

Message posted by Webmaster on 21/10/2013 at 4:25pm
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Unfortunate choice of sign to hit!

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Message posted by beanpark on 21/10/2013 at 4:37pm
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Could I ask Where Oh! Where was the safety chain. This has twice saved us from separation, once where my late brother in law hitched our Esteral the same as his and it should not of been. The main road between Oban (we just left) and Inverness, going just slightly uphill and we came adrift. The chain pulled the brake on and it just dropped to the road and made a deep rut in the tarmac. It only travelled about 10-15 feet running downhill.

The second time was where the jockey wheel dropped down and the brickwork across the gate way at Woodhall Spa site and again the safety chain kicked in. No damage to anything or anyone.

Don't people renew these if they have broken one or even hitch it into use it is well worth the safety factor as we well know twice.




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Chrissie

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Message posted by Jack+Jon on 21/10/2013 at 5:03pm
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Its difficult to see how a hitch properly seated on ball & checked by normal method of winding jockey wheel onto ground so hitch/ball visibly rises could detatch itself as described, so one can only speculate as to actual cause.

If was lack of knowledge as to how to hitch up that resulted in them driving off with hitch perched on top of ball its unlikely they would even have known what the breakaway cable was for.

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Regards, Jack+Jon.

Message posted by fife-bloke on 21/10/2013 at 7:45pm
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Possibly alko hitch with noirmal tow ball?

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Message posted by Rob2011 on 21/10/2013 at 11:57pm
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Could be as fife bloke suggests as this happend to us kn our 1st trip out as novices, hitched up did the jockey wheel check everything secure set off very excited an 10 mins into journey we went left the caravan went right!! Straight into a wall, total write off! We were thankful no one was hurt, we replaced the van an the tow ball but knocked our confidence an the kids so were now seasonal, if i were to tow again i think i would do one of the clubs towing courses which i wish i had done in the 1st place! However a very experienced caravan friend of ours helped us with everything so we took his advice an thought we had done it all right!

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Message posted by ChrisPolly+Oscar on 22/10/2013 at 1:19pm
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I have stopped an 'older' fella before with a black Volvo S60 & a German van in a rush to leave pre 12:00 at Edinburgh CC site from doing leaving van away from car.

 My other half was doing her usual people watching when they were setting off, and spotted that it just didnt look right hitched up. I nipped out to tell him just as the inevitable happened; he set off like a stabbed rat, van tumbled off the ball, crunch into the tarmac.

He had put the hitch just onto the ball, then clamped down the stabiliser handle (BPW style hitch) without realising it wasnt on properly. From the tethered & tatty state of the breakaway cable, not the first time.

I went to go and help him, was rudely informed he knew exactly what he was doing and to F off. Then proceeded to rant at his wife, hitch up, and tear off again. Only numberplate light was lit; both sidelights out.

Hopefully, he made it home this time. I appreciate some people have terrible tempers, particularly aggravated when in a rush, but seriously, come on, to be that unsafe for a few mins saved???



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Regards
Chris
Caravanning for 22 years
1997 Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0TD & 2004 Avondale Mayfair 510-5L
Previous towcars:
2002 Nissan Primera - sold
2002 Ford Galaxy - Died & scrapped. Good riddance.
1998 BMW 525TDS SE - PEx
1998 VW Passat SE - Crashed into & scrapped
1997 Peugeot 406 GLX - PEx

Message posted by Jax365 on 22/10/2013 at 1:35pm
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Hopefully, he made it home this time. I appreciate some people have terrible tempers, particularly aggravated when in a rush, but seriously, come on, to be that unsafe for a few mins saved???

Chris, you are a lot more forgiving than I would have been... manners cost nothing.

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Message posted by arcticfox on 23/10/2013 at 7:55am
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I would have ripped his head of if he told me to F off if I was trying to help.

Message posted by gazmister123 on 24/10/2013 at 5:43pm
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Had to smile at the irony or the sign that was hit.
Hope everyone was okay

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Message posted by nora on 24/10/2013 at 6:20pm
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We collected our caravan today from being repaired. They hitched it on I put the break cable on and we plugged in the electrics . I insisted on testing lights before moving off. I was towing . As we drove out of the parking area and turned the corner towards the road , there was a loud bang the caravan was not on the car. I couldn't believe it. I moved the car because the caravan was still moving slowly. I thought it was going to run into the back of my car.
I was so annoyed. The breakaway cable had completely snapped. A fitter was behind us in his van and stopped to assist asking who had hitched the van. . Well they did. I don't know if he was a youngster just doing an apprenticeship . He did not have the experience to be hitching a caravan . But I blame ourselves for not re checking. I will never let any one else hitch up for us again. We may be old and sometimes over cautious . But this could have been very nasty had we got as far as the main road. Another lesson learned . I was more worried that there would have been some damage underneath when the van dropped. My OH was quite shaken .

Message posted by beanpark on 24/10/2013 at 8:36pm
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Your right Nora since we had this happen to us way back in 1997 we have always done our own as it will be our fault entirely.

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. But if what is written stops others from doing the same it is well worth mentioning, that way the learning curve goes onward.

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Chrissie

Be Strong-Think positive.

Message posted by bnmuk on 25/10/2013 at 5:06am
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If my son in law is with us he always tries to help when coupling up, but I always tell him (nicely) to let me do it myself, its to easy to not put the cable on or not let it drop on the ball correctly if two do it,

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alan

Message posted by clever on 25/10/2013 at 10:25am
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alan, I agree, it's best to do it on your own.

We used to do it between us, but after we managed to drive away with the jockey wheel not put all the way up I have found it safer if one person does the whole hitching up job.

No damage was done as we stopped after the wheel hit the ground over a bump, but I was stunned that neither of us had remembered it or even noticed it! Since then we haven't had any problems, but I still always wind the jockey wheel down and make sure it lifts the back of the car, before securing the wheel.



Message posted by jayc001 on 25/10/2013 at 10:54am
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I've towed lots of American trailers and often wondered why many don't have break away cables. Instead they have heavy duty chains that should the trailer become unhitched the trailer still has a secondary fixing to the vehicle. Should it come unhitched I suspect the trailer makes a mess of the rear of the vehicle.

Some do have breakway cables though but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

That said American trailers are far superior to Euro spec's one in most ways.

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