Alko & New Tow bar +NEWBIE+

Nov 1, 2005
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You must do this for the alko to work, otherwise you'll ruin the friction plates in no time. Don't use a wet and dry which is so course as to leave tracks in the towball, because that will end the same way. The best thing is a fine grade sanding sponge since this will mould to fit the ball's shape. Once you've done that clean it thoroughly with white spirit, and off you go.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Adrian, you will not have actually damaged anything.

what you may find is next time you tow, you may get creaking noises from the coupling.

Have a look at the coupling on the van and see if any of the paint has come off onto the friction pads, if it has, remove it with some fine sandpaper and clean with brake cleaner.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Adrian, dont let the issue of snaking spoil your every trip out.

As long as you have your van loaded correctly, with the proper noseweight, and proper distribution of heavy items (over the axles of the van)and tow at the correct speeds for the road and weather coditions, you shouldnt have any problems.
 
Mar 14, 2006
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Adrian, dont let the issue of snaking spoil your every trip out.

As long as you have your van loaded correctly, with the proper noseweight, and proper distribution of heavy items (over the axles of the van)and tow at the correct speeds for the road and weather coditions, you shouldnt have any problems.
Is there an easy way to measure the nose weight??

Will the van snake if its too light?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Is there an easy way to measure the nose weight??

Will the van snake if its too light?
Set van dead level. Either use a noseweight gauge or a suitable length of wood onto bathroom scales.

Very roughly - if you can lift the front easily, it's too light. If you hurt your back lifting it then it's too heavy. 50-60 kg takes some lifting, but it is possible without pain.

Yes, if the noseweight is too low this could be a contributory factor to snaking. But you'd also need one or more of excessive speed, crosswind, erratic steering, passing lorry etc etc.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry, pressed wrong button and it posted as a comment instead of a new message.

Set van dead level. Either use a noseweight gauge or a suitable length of wood onto bathroom scales.

Very roughly - if you can lift the front easily, it's too light. If you hurt your back lifting it then it's too heavy. 50-60 kg takes some lifting, but it is possible without pain.

Yes, if the noseweight is too low this could be a contributory factor to snaking. But you'd also need one or more of excessive speed, crosswind, erratic steering, passing lorry etc etc.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sound advice there from Mike. If I don't have bathroom scales at hand I stand over the drawbar of the caravan and straddle the coupling. Standing like that, if I can just lift the coupling without too much strain, the noseweight is about correct.

If, as you say, you're paranoid about snaking, perhaps you should take part in a towing course. Not only will they tell you what precautions you need to take to avoid a snake in the first place but also, in a good quality course, you will have opportunity of gaining some practical experience of getting a caravan back under control if the worst happens and it does actually snake. If you react correctly, a snake need not necessarily end in disaster.
 

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