Jockey Wheel or Caravan Mover

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 15:27
ThreadID: 106680 Views:8264 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Picking up an off road van in a couple of weeks
23.5 feet, about 3000kg but loaded and water will be 3500kg
need to get it down a long narrow driveway
not sure my reversing capabilities are that good so I was thinking of an electric jockey wheel- I really don't want to put something on the van wheels as they sit low down

I have seen manual ratchet type jockey wheels- eg manutec that will do a draw bar weight of 900kg (not tow ball weight) - seem well priced at $430
However I have also seen some electric jockey wheels- don't think they would handle the weight.
I have also seen some caravan movers attached to tow ball- eg parkit 360, travellerwa- seem to be able to handle the weights ok but a bit exy

anyone any ideas or comments

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Reply By: Member - evaredy - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 16:05

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 16:05
Well for what it's worth, I have looked at a few of them and have come to the conclusion that none of these portable types are capable.

I have a camper trailer, not a van, it weighs 1500kg and the four units I tried failed miserably. These were the type that attaches to the draw bar or coupling.

The first was camper trolley, both of their models which included the new Dual Axle mover, the second was a locally made mover Traveller, that was capable of moving 3500 kg's and again even their biggest mover failed.

Ok, so why did they fail when they only had to move 1500kgs. They are great as long as it is FLAT, they soon run out of steam if they have to move slightly uphill. The ground has to be really good as well or they will just lose traction and go no where.

I wanted to move my camper from the concrete driveway onto the lawn, across to some slabs. Because there was a small lip (2") on the edge of the drive and the lawn, the movers failed to get over it and just sat there spinning.

There are also the types that attach o the body and clamp against the tires, they may have more power, not sure, haven't tried them. But I didn't want he added weight or have them permanently attached to the camper.

AnswerID: 528253

Reply By: sweetwill - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 16:33

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 16:33
Have you thought of a tow ball attachment on the front of your car,cheaper,easier, cheers Bill.
AnswerID: 528254

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 19:01

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 19:01
Here is a second vote for a front tow bar.

A mate has one and he can maneuver his van into a fairly tight spot with total control and more maneuverability than if it was hooked on the rear.

Besides that, you need something very heavy on the front of that van going up that steep driveway you speak of. Hope you have a fairly heavy vehicle to tow it with.

Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 22:31

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 22:31
That will be very interesting to watch the suspension at the front end! An extra 300-350 kilos will get it close to the ground. Even for a short distance not something I would like on my car.

Learn to properly reverse and get accustomed to it is just as important as going forwards with practice and avoid the rollovers that are being seen all too frequently.
FollowupID: 810776

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 12:12

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 12:12
Any vehicle which can tow 3.5 tonne can accommodate a front towbar with ease for the van in question here. There is no problem, I know because I have seen the mate doing it with his cruiser. There are no issues to worry about.

Given that the OP has to reverse up a hill for 120 metres and around 2 bends I cannot see a problem using the method I described and reversing up hill in the manner described would be a test for the best of us.

Cheers, Bruce.

At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 13:47

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 13:47
Can you see where you are going pushing a 23.5ft caravan forward? At least reversing you can see both rear corners of the van with your side mirrors. I would brush up on reversing skills, just watch a good truckie and see where they can reverse a B double or a semi.

FollowupID: 810825

Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 14:07

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 14:07
TTTSA, quite right. Usually a symptom of not learning to drive. You can even parallel park a caravan if you get a space a few metres longer than the combined length.

Reverse in low range is a good way to start as you have enough time to make gradual adjustments. Seen lots of embarrasses people come to watch me reverse into a narrow space or with their cars right beside I am reversing. Practice. I do have a camera at the rear, but much prefer the mirrors, with the camera useful to be aware for something behind.
FollowupID: 810828

Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 16:41

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 16:41
From what I've seen the surface has to be flat , even and solid.
The problem with jockey wheel type movers is that there is only about 10% of the van weight on them, in your case 350kg. So trying to move 3500kg with only 350kg traction would be a bit of a struggle and conversely going down hill it would be an equal struggle to stop the van.
AnswerID: 528256

Reply By: Slow one - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 17:14

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 17:14

I gotta agree with Rod N, I have a pig of a place to put my van into and tried a manual mover. It just didn't do the job, it would spin the wheel and rip sections of thread off. I now just back it in with much tooing and frooing.

You mention down a drive, with the problem of the van getting away from you. It maybe better to install a portable remote controlled 240v winch. I am sure you may find a suitable one on ebay. Just remember you have to be able stop the van if things go pear shaped.

If it is a straight run down the drive. Have someone with you when you are backing, watching and advising. You will get better and better at it and maybe you are worrying over nothing. Practise backing somewhere away from people. Try to find somewhere that has lines on the ground as a guide. You will get better and better. Just make sure you are in low range when backing down the drive. That way if you get a little out of sorts you can pull the van foreword easily.

All the best.

AnswerID: 528259

Reply By: Meridith D - Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 17:16

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014 at 17:16
We also have an issue with a narrow part of the driveway down past the house. We have been backing the Jayco Eagle down with lots of care but we have just bought a full sized van (19'6 Roma). We did manage to back it down with lots of sweating, trimming of trees and took out some fence panels (we have caravan friendly neighbours).

We did buy a ratchet type jockey wheel for the Jayco but there is a slight slope on the drive and the drive is concrete pavers (rough). The jockey wheel, couldn't hold the Jayco (bit scary) even though it's braked so we won't even try it on the Roma.

We are planning on changing the slope on the drive to give us a flat pad about 7m deep outside the front of the garage and buying or making some wheel dollies for the van so we can drive the van down front ways, disconnect the van, put the dollies on and spinning it around. A big job yes, but we aren't intending on moving and we want the van in the backyard and off the street.
AnswerID: 528260

Reply By: Zacy o - Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 10:22

Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 10:22

i have a similar situation where i have a long narrow drive way approx 25mtrs in length which also has a grade of about 8 percent, at the top of the drive way i have a 90 degree turn. i have a jayco pop top expanda which the ATM is 2440kg. my issue i had was i couldnt use my vehicle to do the 90 degree turn at the top of the drive with the caravan connected because i have fences on either side going up the drive way with about a gap of 20cm on either side so no room for turning. i found my only way to get the van to where i wanted to house it was to disconnect it from the car and try to push it back which i found out it couldnt be done even if you were Arnold Schrwazzneger. my next big idea was i headed down to Repco and bought a ratchett jockey wheel. When i hooked this up it done the job but all the rubber fell of the wheel once i started to turn the van and i found it pretty tough going, i took it back to Repco and got a refund so dont waste your time. i had been researching the motorised movers for a long time but found them all to be very pricey but i kind of had no choice but to source a product that will put my van away with very minimal effort. i purchased recently the PARK IT 360XL, and upgraded the tyres to the 6.5 Turf tyre and added a brake controller, total price $3040 delivered. I had to buy a deep marine cycle battery from battery world for $300. end result, ONE VERY HAPPY CUSTOMER, the parkit moves my van very easily, tight turns are no issue, going up and down the drive way no issue and most of all very easy to use. money well spent. my van isnt as heavy as yours but this particular machine is capable of pushing around 4989kg and i believe this will push or pull it with ease.
AnswerID: 528380

Follow Up By: Member - OzBadDude - Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 00:38

Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 00:38
I bet Arnold could have done it.
FollowupID: 811947

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