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Subject Topic: MY CARAVAN FELL OFF!
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Message posted by Paul_B02/5/2020 at 8:36am
Outfit:  Car & Caravan     Location:  Yorkshire
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Quote: Originally posted by tango55 on 01/5/2020
Quote: Originally posted by richardandjo2010 on 01/5/2020
I don't know if this applies to your hitch but with the Alko ones some towballs are too shallow to enable the hitch to sit fully home, these are usually the bolt on type of balls, if you don't have the swan neck type on your car maybe this is the reason why it fell off.



The type of towball you are referring to is called a flange towball which is mounted via 2 x 16mm. nuts and bolts which is the same as mine but strictly has to be an AL-KO type flange towball to allow the greater distance from the bumper plus it has a deeper undercut directly under the ball to accommodate the stabiliser hitch so it doesn't have to be a swan neck type by any means. However, it's a valid point that you raise because if the OP is using a standard type flange towball with a stabiliser hitch then the caravan WILL definitely disengage when it starts to pivot.





The Winterhoff can be used with a standard flanged ball provided theres clearance from the bumper, an alloy spacer is supplied by the fitter if necesery

Message posted by philip 2202/5/2020 at 9:35am
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Welcome to the forum Stuart


Message posted by Bramidan02/5/2020 at 8:38pm
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Well I've learnt something about lowering the jockey wheel to see if tow vehicle lifts.
Thanks all!

Message posted by sooty via mobile 05/5/2020 at 12:33am
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We had it happen to us twice. After the first time we took it to a caravan repair centre. They checked it and said it was ok. My husband looked around on th e internet and found that our tow ball wa the rong one it should have been the swan neck and ours was too shallow. We changed it and have not had a problem since

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* * Sue * *

Message posted by Paul_B05/5/2020 at 7:16am
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You must have an AlKo compatible towball with a AlKo stabiliser and the ball must have all the protective paint or coatings cleaned off before use, cleaning the ball is important with any hitch stabiliser.

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Message posted by sandgrounder5206/5/2020 at 1:54pm
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Hi Stuart,
Have the insurance company said they won’t pay out unless it is a fault?

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Mrs Pooter

Message posted by stu1969 via mobile 12/5/2020 at 5:35pm
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Useful information there, thank you.

Message posted by stu1969 via mobile 12/5/2020 at 5:38pm
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Quote: Originally posted by tango55 on 30/4/2020
The best solution is to obtain a towball and insert it into the caravan hitch socket and see if the locking/release mechanism works okay when it engages on the ball. If it works effectively the ball should lock solid without any movement. This is how to test the internal friction pads as well because if the towball spins at the slightest movement then the pads need replacing. However, even if the pads have worn it should be impossible for the towball hitch to disengage once it has locked.
When you connect the caravan hitch to the car in future, it is best to wind the jockey wheel down to the ground then as you continue to wind the rear of the towing vehicle should lift as proof that the locking mechanism is properly engaged. This is the only thing you can do as proof that the hitch is in proper working order.



Thank you for the useful information 👍

Message posted by stu1969 via mobile 12/5/2020 at 5:42pm
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Quote: Originally posted by morepints on 30/4/2020
Hi Stuart, and welcome to the forum. Has your caravan been serviced recently, by a certified caravan engineer? In which case you will have been issued with a report, which I believe should include a report on the state of the hitch, and any anti- snake device. If not, it would be worth getting it done for your own peace of mind at the least; you will also have evidence from a ‘competent person’ to present to your insurer.

You can find a mobile engineer here https://www.mobilecaravanengineers.co.uk/find-an-engineer/



Thank you for the welcome. I will check when the caravan was served, good advice.

Message posted by stu1969 via mobile 12/5/2020 at 5:49pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Paul_B on 01/5/2020
I've never known a Winterhoff handle close without it being on the ball properly, I know the AlKo can but not a winterhoff, was the towball new or could it be secondhand and badly worn. I consider the Winterhoff as the better choice in stabilisers.

I should add that its always good practice to wind the jockey wheel down and check that the hitch is connected properly by lifting the car slightly, even with a Winterhoff where the handle drops to the close position when fitted properly, prior to locking down.

Post last edited on 01/05/2020 08:28:56



Thank you Paul for your reply.

The hitch I imagine is around the same age of the caravan, around sixteen years old.

I too thought it impossible to get the 'locking hand' to the closed position without being properly attached unless there was a (possibly temporary) fault with it.

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Message posted by stu1969 via mobile 12/5/2020 at 6:06pm
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Quote: Originally posted by birdman101 on 01/5/2020
Last post good tip. When on wind jockey wheel down if it lifts motor you know it is securely locked on.



Indeed!

Message posted by stu196912/5/2020 at 6:11pm
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Quote: Originally posted by philip 22 on 02/5/2020
Welcome to the forum Stuart





Thank you

Message posted by stu1969 via mobile 12/5/2020 at 6:19pm
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Quote: Originally posted by sandgrounder52 on 06/5/2020
Hi Stuart,
Have the insurance company said they won’t pay out unless it is a fault?



Well, when the caravan came off it rolled down my drive, across my neighbour's drive an almost demolished his porch. He has been brilliant about it all but it's his building's insurer that is trying to recover the money they have paid out.

The insurer say unless I can prove the hitch was faulty then they consider I am liable for the costs on the grounds that I was negligent.


Post last edited on 12/05/2020 18:25:24

Message posted by stu196912/5/2020 at 6:31pm
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Paul B

Do you mind if I ask if you are a caravan engineer?

Thank you
Stuart.

Message posted by billy12/5/2020 at 7:19pm
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Hi Stu. Is your caravan insured? If it is then contact them because caravan insurance includes public liability so your caravan insurance will cover it. If you have not insured your caravan then contact your home insurance because that also includes public liability insurance that may cover it.

Finally all you can do is get a caravan repair man to check your hitch. If he finds it in good working order then unfortunately it would appear you failed to hitch caravan correctly as described in other posts. In the situation described where hitch ends up sitting on top of ball & not on it then it is indeed possible to close hitch handle without being coupled.

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Every day should be a holiday!

Message posted by billy12/5/2020 at 7:24pm
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I should also add that even if your caravan is not insured it is still covered for third party risks when hitched to your car as your car insurance covers this. If this happened as you moved off with car & caravan then I would have thought your car insurance would cover it. In fact your caravan insurance will state that third party liability passes from caravan insurer to car insurer when hitched to car.

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Every day should be a holiday!


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