Motorised jockey wheel for single axle caravan

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 09:47
ThreadID: 119210 Views:4701 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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We have recently purchased a 16'6" Evernew offroad van with a single axle, tare 1860kg and have a relatively tight situation for parking which involves a moderate slope.

Have looked online at Purpleline and Parkit 360 and wondered if anyone had experience of either of these or any other suggestions. Cheers, Alex
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Reply By: Keir & Marg - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:17

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:17
Hi Alex,
We have a Jayco Penguin Outback (1368kg GTM) and have a ratchet style manual jockey wheel for manoeuvering the van in tight spaces. However, on a grass or gravel surface, or on anything other than an almost level concrete surface, the jockey wheel has not enough traction and the wheel will spin. We have a towball download of about 150kg (depending on van load distribution).

Therefore, if you have a moderate slope, a motorised jockey wheel may not work. You might need to consider the alternative system which has motors which contact the main wheels of the van. Much more expensive, but there's no loss of traction.
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:18

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:18
Just another thought. Have you considered getting a towball fitted to the front of the car??? Might be much cheaper if you already have a bullbar.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:33

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:33
This subject has come up on the forum occasionally, Alex, and most opinions echo what Keir & Marg have said. Might be worth doing a search, if you haven't already.

The front tow ball mount is good value, and makes anyone into a master 'van locater. Just so much easier when you are eyeballing the 'van, rather than craning your neck, or checking mirrors, where everything is back to front.

A ride-on mower might make a good tow tractor too?


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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:35

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:35
Yeah, I found lack of traction a problem too. Did wonder about asking the missus to volunteer to sit on the towbar but ended up mastering the back-in routine with the help of a good reversing camera.

A light portable 12v winch may also be an option. The winch does the heavy work while you do the steering.
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:05

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:05
I purchased one of the mini movers off Ebay, it moves my VistaRv around the garage ok but I haven't as yet tried it on the drive way slope, the Vista is around 1250Kg.

Moving the Vista around the garage is not mean feat as I have to put the smallest wheels and low profile tyres I can on it to get it in the garage. This means with the weight of the Vista on the small lower profile tyres it is not easy to move and I have great difficulty trying to get it to move though I'm not big built. Both me and the missus generally have to push it to get it to move.

With a normal small Van with standard wheels it would have no problems moving it and I would imagine it would handle a "slight" incline ok.

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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:07

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:07
Just checked on Ebay they show the maximum trailer weight as 1800Kg

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Reply By: Trevor&Verna - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 17:11

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 17:11
I use a standard (manual) boat winch to manoeuvre my Vista up a small slope on dirt. Not easy, but doable and cheap, and I have set ups different anchor points (where I attach the winch) to get different pull angles.
Was thinking of an electric ATV winch as an easier alternative - maybe one day!
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 19:25

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015 at 19:25
when I bought my Goldstream Vacationer last year I quickly determined that my manual dual wheeled mover wasn't going to cut the mustard.
I spat the dummy one Saturday morning and dropped everything, jumped into the vehicle, drove to my Caravan Dealership and invested in this wee jobby:

Not cheap, but it certainly keeps me calm and at less risk of a heart attack when moving the van out of my carport. (now "vanport")


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Follow Up By: bruce bb1 - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 14:22

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 14:22
Love the look of this gadget, but just wondering, how it performs on wet grass. the look of the caterpiller like tracks makes me think that this is not a problem? And the lack of a major dummy spit in front of an audience, got to be worth the price.
cheers - bb
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 15:16

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 15:16
Hi Bruce,

Wet grass in a straight line not a problem.
When steering however, some minor damage can be done to a lawn, as steering is achieved by one track moving in the opposite to the other.
Only a "problem" when steering an acute angle and the lawn, or grass soon recovers.
My wife loves the mover as well because I am no longer swearing profusely just before Dummy Spit stage and embarrassing us from neighbours sensitive hearing.
Kool, calm and collective I am now:-)

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Reply By: xray tango - Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 15:30

Thursday, Jun 18, 2015 at 15:30
I have had a Purpleline E-go for about four years. Fitted by myself (i.e. bolted, not welded to the chassis) to a 2 tonne, single axle Nova Revivor and has been fantastic in moving the caravan about 30 metres backwards under absolute control through a very tight 90 degree turn and simultaneously up about a 7 degree slope on what are often wet and slippery clay brick pavers. I very precisely reverse the caravan up the slope parallel and within two centimeters of a brick wall. I have also used it on beach sand and loose gravel with good performance. It is also absolutely excellent when inching the caravan down a sleep slope to connect to the Pajero tow ball.

About 12 months ago I added a Purpleline electric engager, which works quite well, except that when negotiating the 90 degree turn and going up the slope (which effectively means that only one wheel is driving) the drive motors sometimes need to be moved in tighter against the tyres using a wheel brace. Before getting the engager, I used a cheap Ozito battery drill to engage the drive rollers which was quite satisfactory, but somewhat slower.

I have measured the under-load drive current at about 47 amps, so the 10 minutes or so driving that I do with the E-go nowhere flattens the 100 Ah house battery.

Before I installed the E-go I tried using a single wheel Maco Mule type device which not only was hard work, and stressed the jockey wheel attachment point, but did not have sufficient traction up the slope on the pavers. I then purchased a 12 volt winch attached to a steel loop in the top of the driveway which was barely satisfactory because of issues with winching around a corner and having to disconnect and roll-out the tow cable several times as the winch roller filled up. The winching was also painfully slow

The only problems that I have had with the E-go are the loss of one of the plastic motor covers, which Purpleline replaced free of charge (great customer service) and just a few weeks ago I ran over a large kangaroo carcass (there were 100s of them) north of Bourke which bent an engager drive rod - the engager kept on working and the bent rod was easily straightened after I got home.

AnswerID: 556110

Reply By: Meridith D - Friday, Jun 19, 2015 at 20:19

Friday, Jun 19, 2015 at 20:19
We use the Purpleline quick key. We used it on our last van which was a dual axle Roma 19'6. We used to take off the rear wheels and chained up the "bits" and put the purpleline on the front wheels to spin our van around 180 degrees. We have a very tight section of our driveway and we also have a slope. We can now drive down front ways and spin the van around (not really possible with all 4 wheels on the ground). We are awaiting delivery of our new 17' single axle independent suspension Evernew in August and will use it on the Evernew. We only put the movers on when using it in the driveway - they lie pretty low and we'd worry about wrecking them while traveling.
It is a brilliant bit of gear, well worth the money if you have a tight spot. We did have a "mule" jockey wheel when we had a Jayco camper and it was dangerous on any sort of slope. You really didn't have any braking capability, whereas the Purpleline brakes by default.
AnswerID: 556151

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