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Talk about the different aspects of your tow car and tow advice.

Hitching up - are we becoming complacent?

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18 Apr 2016 @ 09:00:59 am
DR DRAKE GP not a Doctor nor a GP
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On leaving Koppisol yesterday a thought struck me after seeing another caravan without a safety chain unhitch itself, in the resort after about 400m.

The guy was fortunate and did not seem to have any damage - caravan veered off to the right and damaged the wall and needed a bit of assistance to get it off. Imagine if this happened on the open road at speed ......

The other thing that brings further thought to mind - what if the caravan had a safety chain?

I am of the impression that the caravan will drop so low that it will dig into the ground with unknown/unexpected consequences. Somewhere somebody said I should give the safety chain a twist to shorten it - I have never seen anyone else do this and thought to share.

Do we all still do proper saftey checks before towing? (Hopefully - YES!

 

DR DRAKE GP

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18 Apr 2016 @ 09:36:30 am
Elleebee
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how did the van become unhitched? faulty equipment or not hitched properly in the first place? when using the trapezium the safety chain is not used - merely hooked under the trapezium to keep it out the way.
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18 Apr 2016 @ 09:49:10 am
DR DRAKE GP not a Doctor nor a GP
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Hi Lindsay,

We suspect was not latched properly - no trapesium - was one of those teardrop shapes that I had previously only seen pictures of. The guy said it was his first caravan outing , previously camped in a tent and possibly may not have known better and if so, now learned with a fright.

 

 

DR DRAKE GP

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18 Apr 2016 @ 10:18:33 am
Jan Meyer
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David we camped at Salt Rock the weekend and when I hooked did the chain thing and all but then could not get the jockey wheel to fit inside the frame because of a hump . Had to unhitch and turn the jockey wheel straight and hooked up again. I did pulled on the handle 3/4 times to make sure it did latched.  I did not fit the yellow blade as I had to make a couple of sharp turns and told Elmarie I will fit it just outside the park. As I stopped outside the park the safety chain were not on. Won't easy forget that feeling ........... 

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18 Apr 2016 @ 10:48:32 am
Back Packer
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I mentioned on a previous string, that my bushtrailer came unhitched this past December. Fortunately I did have the safety chain hocked on. This was at the start of our holiday.

Yip David we sometimes do become complacent. My son hitched us up, I did not walk around and do a check before pulling out of the yard.

"Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
-James Baldwin-
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18 Apr 2016 @ 11:07:27 am
Hurricane
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Good practice is to walk around the van at each stop to feel temperature of wheels (especially the rims which if they are very hot indicate either a binding brake or bearing problem), also pull the A-frame upwards just to check the hitch is still properly in place. As a rule we always but always pull off at the nearest roadside services after about 10-20 km and do the above. thereafter I can put my paranoia away and enjoy the drive until the next fuel/biological stop. (And of course always check the chain is still hooked over the car's tow hitch and the electrical cable plug is also still properly in place). Sounds like a bit of a schlep but this becomes a normal part of your towing routine quickly.
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18 Apr 2016 @ 11:27:27 am
*****
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I have often wondered (feared) what would happen if one travels at 100km p.h. on the open road and the caravan becomes unhitched,   Not a nice thought, you cannot be careful enough.  May it never happen to any of us.    

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18 Apr 2016 @ 11:32:57 am
DR DRAKE GP not a Doctor nor a GP
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Hi Jan,

That makes me think of another worry I have had - where there is a safety cable, I understand this just hooks and pulls, activating the caravan brake should the caravan unhitch.

I still don't know which is better, but old habits die hard - I prefer the chain.

DR DRAKE GP

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18 Apr 2016 @ 11:49:48 am
Hornet
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Call me paranoid but because I am reltively inexperienced at towing a caravan, I drew up a final checklist that I go through before I get in and drive off. I do feel a bit stupid whilst walking around the rig with the paper in my hand but rather safe than sorry!
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18 Apr 2016 @ 12:08:57 pm
It'l dodat
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On leaving Koppisol yesterday a thought struck me after seeing another caravan without a safety chain unhitch itself, in the resort after about 400m.

The guy was fortunate and did not seem to have any damage - caravan veered off to the right and damaged the wall and needed a bit of assistance to get it off. Imagine if this happened on the open road at speed ......

The other thing that brings further thought to mind - what if the caravan had a safety chain?

I am of the impression that the caravan will drop so low that it will dig into the ground with unknown/unexpected consequences. Somewhere somebody said I should give the safety chain a twist to shorten it - I have never seen anyone else do this and thought to share.

Do we all still do proper saftey checks before towing? (Hopefully - YES!

 

Yip it was me I don't have a photo anymore, and it depends on if the chain is long enough.

Giving the chain a twist will do 2 things. One it will pull tight round the hitch under the ball and two it creates a "nest" that the un-hitched coupling will rest on, preventing the jockey wheel from running on the road.

Personally, if the safety chain was too short to twist, I would lengthen it with a new chain of the correct length using small bow shackles on both sides and wiring the shackle pins so that they cannot turn out... But use the proper shackles... Bow shackles not D shackles (like you get at Midas ETC.

I do a check when I hitch, then 50 or so Km's down the road (when I have my first boiled egg) I check again...

Learnt my lesson when I nearly lost my rubber duck off the trailer when the turn-buckle on the bow-eye worked loose and I saw the front of the duck lifting and dropping...

 

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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18 Apr 2016 @ 12:10:04 pm
It'l dodat
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Call me paranoid but because I am reltively inexperienced at towing a caravan, I drew up a final checklist that I go through before I get in and drive off. I do feel a bit stupid whilst walking around the rig with the paper in my hand but rather safe than sorry!

You ain't stupid at all BELIEVE THAT!

 

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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18 Apr 2016 @ 12:10:14 pm
gellies
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After reading all the comments above I feel better for being "paranoid" about hitching up. It is also the first time towing a caravan, although have done a lot of towing a trailer etc. To me it makes sense to always ensure that the chain is in place and that the electrical cable does not get snagged anywhere. I do have a question though, the caravan I bought (2weeks ago now) has a cable that is connected to the braking system, as far as I can see, but i do not understand the mechanics of it? Should the caravan become unhitched for some reason (presuming the chain also fails) what will this cable do, and where is the proper place to hook the cable to? Apologies for the ignorance :-)
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18 Apr 2016 @ 12:19:21 pm
DR DRAKE GP not a Doctor nor a GP
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Agree with Warren. Nothing paranoid or wrong in asking - I am sure others have the same questions.

I understand the on the caravan detaching, the cable is supposed pull and activate the brakes similarly to the handbrake. But, if it comes off, possibly from something like a bump in the road lifting it, obviously cannot serve that purpose.

 

DR DRAKE GP

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18 Apr 2016 @ 12:37:07 pm
OOM JEEP
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Die e clusives en elegances het die kabel wat oor die towball haak. As die koppeling los gaan trek die kabel styf, die remme word tot die maximum op getrek en die kabel breek af.
Die wn sal dan op n stilstand kom.
Al wanneer dit dus nie kan werk nie is as die towball se bal afbreek.... en ek glo die kanse is maar baie skraal. In die meer as 100000 kilos wat ons die afgelope ses jaar getrek het , het ek nooit so n situasie waargeneem nie. Vele karavane gekry wat se wiele los gekom het en die boute afgeshear het, wheelbearings wat gecease het, bande wat gebars het.
By almal was daar baaaaaaie skade.
Toevallig, weet nie seker nie, almal linkerwiele. Waarskynlik uitgetrapte padskouers. Slepers ry mos gewoonlik so ver moontlik links.
I love camping all year round
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18 Apr 2016 @ 15:32:26 pm
Duncan
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Learnt the hard way.....had a little Hartley Craft as a teenager for fishing off Fish Hoek beach after school.

Friend and I towing it over the railway line to launch when it unhitched right on the tracks. Friend mentioned in a calm voice, " the boats not behind us". Replied in my best fisherman language and only looked into the mirror a minute later..........

Luckily there was no train passing by to Simonstown as the boat was smack bang in the middle of the tracks. Welded a chain onto the hitch and have double checked ever since !!

ps. Our town only had one "Speedcop" who disappeared after lunch most days.....?cool

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18 Apr 2016 @ 15:33:55 pm
Grumpy/Hannes
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I do not like this new tow balls on new model trailers. The ones that feels and look "blikkerig" You never know when they hook on properly.

At last !!!!
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18 Apr 2016 @ 17:10:29 pm
Fred
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I too have a caravan vith the shear cable. With my previous caravan, with safety cable, I never experienced an accidental un(dis?)hitch, but I always wondered what would happen if it did happen. Without a shear cable I think it would be the last of the caravan, but even with one- I wonder. It looks as if the jockey wheel protrudes enough to stop the bar from nose diving into the road, I think, but will the caravan really survive the catastrophy? I hope never to get a definite answer. I think at least with a shear cable, the tow car would be safe in case the caravan happens to overturn.
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18 Apr 2016 @ 18:16:01 pm
Chris Boucher
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Good practice is to walk around the van at each stop to feel temperature of wheels (especially the rims which if they are very hot indicate either a binding brake or bearing problem), also pull the A-frame upwards just to check the hitch is still properly in place. As a rule we always but always pull off at the nearest roadside services after about 10-20 km and do the above. thereafter I can put my paranoia away and enjoy the drive until the next fuel/biological stop. (And of course always check the chain is still hooked over the car's tow hitch and the electrical cable plug is also still properly in place). Sounds like a bit of a schlep but this becomes a normal part of your towing routine quickly.


I do exactly what you do Hurricane. After every stop I first check that the van is still properly hooked and the lights are all still working. For the first 400 km after a service, I also check the wheel nuts every 100 km (advised by the agents).
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18 Apr 2016 @ 19:06:39 pm
Anonymous

Hier is lysie wat ek nagaan, net voor ek ry. Dit sommer op Word gedoen en gelammineur, dan word dit oor en oor gebruik.

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18 Apr 2016 @ 19:14:25 pm
Permanently Gone
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We also stop after the first 20km of the trip to recheck everything. I also peep into the van to make sure that everything is still in place and that nothing has fallen from the beds.

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19 Apr 2016 @ 05:51:31 am
It'l dodat
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Found this to explain crossing the chain over

I'm old..... So I'm old school... My Avon LT had a break-away cable....

Ditched that and put on a chain..... In Auzzie-land only chains are legal & I got's respect for them blokes

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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19 Apr 2016 @ 09:40:53 am
Kito
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Ek hou baie van jou draad wat jy op die ligte se swart draad het. Ek het die selfde met my boot se kragdraad gedoen.
Het nog die hele tyd gesoek en gekyk na die karavaan se draad en nie geweet waar om die draad te sit nie.
Dankie vir die foto.

Het al karavaane gesien wat los gekom het. Glad nie 'n mooi prentjie nie.
Kyk En kyk weer. Soos waneer jy 'n stuk hou saag. Meet en meet weer.
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19 Apr 2016 @ 17:24:19 pm
Chuck Norris
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Warren jou plan werk 100%
As jy wil he jou drome moet waar word, moet jy eers wakker word.

Die jonge Fransmannetjie. (Parys - Frankryk)
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