Alko 3004 Stabilizer.

May 24, 2014
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I think I already know the answer, Im more looking for confirmation, but here goes.

we picked up the caravan yesterday, its a little over 12 months old. At slow speeds and cornering we get the usual creaking from the hitch head, which is obviously either contaminated or worn l/r friction pads. However
also at very slow speeds and with an empty caravan so no nose weight to speak of, we get a little rocking, see saw motion. When this happens there is a slight bump or knocking from the hitch.

I checked the obvious, being both the function of the damper and also checked the hitch for any vertical play or signs of the drawbar tube showing play (had this before when a drawbar assembly failed) and both damper and vertical play are as they should be, damper works fine and no play at all.

Given then that the alko 3004 needs the friction pads on l/r replacing, if the front and rear friction pads were worn, could that account for the slight bump?? I did notice that although the green indicator showed as being within range, the handle was a bit easier to push down than my old van.
 
May 24, 2014
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Yep, the creaking is the obvious one, its more the bump Im not sure about, which is why i suspect the front/back friction pads.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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It sounds like the friction pads which would be my first action. Although the van was empty it could still have a noseweight. Mine is around 90kg empty with no gas bottle but battery in place.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Towing without any or low noseweight as well as being a recipe for instability will mean the dynamic weight on the ball will fluctuate from downwards as it should always be to upwards.
So the ball when the load is upwards will not be bearing against the front and rear fixed pads, but against the locking tongue under the ball. As the load changes from positive to negative the ball will move across the clearances and generate clonking noises.
Towing with low or negative noseweight is very dangerous for reasons of instability, "snaking".
 
May 24, 2014
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Thanks JTQ, i was only towing like that as i had just collected it from the dealer. Agree with everything you say. I have spoken to the dealer and he is putting me a full set of friction pads in the post. I had a look at those on and they are definitely contaminated.
 
Sep 5, 2016
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Thingy, last year I changed all four pads and the caravan and it was a lot more stable no creaking till we went down to Dorset this year, I was about four miles from the site and going round islands I was getting a noise from the hitch but it was more like metal on metal, it was only a couple of week before that I gave the pads a clean up and I happen to notice that the screw that held in the rear pad was slightly protruding but I did not give it a second thought till I heard the noise down in Dorset, when I got on site and uncoupled there was a very slight mark on the tow ball from this screw I went underneath and got a good threequarters turn on the screw, not direct related to your problem but all the same worth a mention
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Thingy, i am with Camel and others. I change my side Alko friction damper every other year never changed the front back ones. After a service , taking van back to storage, after checking all clear behind, hit brakes hard. Big thump from van. After that done it again , no problem. Never happened again, and we tour a lot.
Edit, or used too , got old hospital and dental appointments.k
 
May 24, 2014
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I have both sets coming so i will change them all and see how we go.

Cant wait for the first trip in this van, its a big step up for us.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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..........I have never understood how these hitches work :huh:

I had engineering training (albeit agricultural).........surely an object that weighs 1-2 tons that can exert massive leverage on the towball won't be controlled by any great extent by miniature friction pads.
The cynic in me thinks the hitches are an expensive device that require regular servicing with the purchase of new pads...a nice little income for the maker who supplies the entire market :eek:hmy:

..........can you tell I am still using a simple greased hitch ;)
 
Mar 8, 2009
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Yep! -- And mistaken!
Having had a multitude of 'different ' stabilisers over the years, from naked greased ball, Witter mongoose, a friend even had the Carlight 'special' , blade stabilisers, etc. but none of them as good as the Alko, -- sorry Bill but pulling a plough in a field is a little different to a 60 mph tow on a motorway!. The 'cynic' in you has got it wrong!
 
May 24, 2014
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I too remember the lade stabilizer and admit the Alko 3004 is a vast improvement, alebit with some ongoing costs, but what price on safety.

What I can tell makes a vast difference is ATC.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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...........agreed ATC is a very good and worthwhile piece of kit and I understand the science behind it.

I don't understand the science behind the hitch ........and I was hoping someone could enlighten me.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Gafferbill said:
...........agreed ATC is a very good and worthwhile piece of kit and I understand the science behind it.

I don't understand the science behind the hitch ........and I was hoping someone could enlighten me.
Bill
I don’t know the actual psi force of the pads on the ball but can say when my pads are new quite a considerable force is needed to press down the securing lever. Years ago we had the Scott Stabiliser which did its job but did need occasional re torquing. It is only a damper, a friction one,. I’ve had this system twenty years and have no concern. :)
 

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