Should I fit Alko ATC?

Feb 6, 2019
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Hi all,
New to Caravans; Ordered a 2019 Sprite Major 4 EB.
Should I opt for the Alko ATC at £349?
Would really appreciate some advice.
Regards
Gazbut
 
May 24, 2014
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Personally, I am highly in favour of any device that adds to safety on the road. Once fitted its a failry unobtrusive adaption and you probably wont think much of it again. and indeed you probably wont notice much when it kicks in, unless you get yourself in a rather more violent towing situation, but yeah, go for it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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A big DITTO but you should still load properly and drive as if it’s nit fitted. But anything that gives more safety margin at a reasonable price gets my vote too
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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You only need to go on you tube and look at a video of a caravan going into a snake to convince you. Absolutely get it fitted, but as others say, drive and load as if it isn’t.
Mel
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Gazbut said:
Hi all,
New to Caravans; Ordered a 2019 Sprite Major 4 EB.
Should I opt for the Alko ATC at £349?
Would really appreciate some advice.
Regards
Gazbut

From another large S/A Sprite owner: I have the 2018 Sprite Major 4 SB without ATC. I've only ever had one wobble caused by wind (see my recent post on that) which was pretty undramatic. I've done over 2000 miles of towing this year and never felt the need for the ATC. That being said, my towing ratio is 76% and the car's towbar is an OEM detachable which has it's own trailer stability programme add-on. The layout of my van means the underbed storage and main wardrobe are closer to the axle than the EB's rear bed (I wanted this layout but I'm too tall for the rear bed/mid washroom) so sensible loading is easier with weight being kept low and central .

It's your money and for your own peace of mind it's probably worth it, but it's no substitute for proper loading and conscientious towing.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Hi Gazbut
Have it fitted. I have it on mine, load van properly and you will not notice it's there, but anything to do with safety is good.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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CustardAvenger said:
Gazbut said:
Hi all,
New to Caravans; Ordered a 2019 Sprite Major 4 EB.
Should I opt for the Alko ATC at £349?
Would really appreciate some advice.
Regards
Gazbut

From another large S/A Sprite owner: I have the 2018 Sprite Major 4 SB without ATC. I've only ever had one wobble caused by wind (see my recent post on that) which was pretty undramatic. I've done over 2000 miles of towing this year and never felt the need for the ATC. That being said, my towing ratio is 76% and the car's towbar is an OEM detachable which has it's own trailer stability programme add-on. The layout of my van means the underbed storage and main wardrobe are closer to the axle than the EB's rear bed (I wanted this layout but I'm too tall for the rear bed/mid washroom) so sensible loading is easier with weight being kept low and central .

It's your money and for your own peace of mind it's probably worth it, but it's no substitute for proper loading and conscientious towing.

And from another large single axle Sprite owner but major 6, we haven't got it on ours but like other people say if you do it & load correctly you should be ok but if you can afford it get it !

We are away every 5th weekend and have never needed it .
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Yes go for it, , Passed an HGV, and got into a snake situation, the ATC worked pulled us straight, and the silence in the car was incredible. On arrival on site, I had badly loaded the van, too much stuff under the fixed side bed. . New loading procedures,.
But I suppose it depends on how many miles you tow a year, we were doing maybe 3000, to 6000 a year touring Europe.
£400 ish on a £20k to 25 k caravan. Why not.
 
Oct 20, 2015
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Sounds like a very sensible investment, i’ve Got an older van& am inexperienced at towing, sorry - not hijacking here - but has anyone had ATC retrofitted? Is it doable and what sort of cost?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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WayneS said:
Sounds like a very sensible investment, i’ve Got an older van& am inexperienced at towing, sorry - not hijacking here - but has anyone had ATC retrofitted? Is it doable and what sort of cost?

It must be fitted at an Alko authorised center or Alko UK. The company website gives details and prices.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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otherclive said:
WayneS said:
Sounds like a very sensible investment, i’ve Got an older van& am inexperienced at towing, sorry - not hijacking here - but has anyone had ATC retrofitted? Is it doable and what sort of cost?

It must be fitted at an Alko authorised center or Alko UK. The company website gives details and prices.

Wayne,
This old video by the late John Wickersham goes into what's involved:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cifSzg-Z7XY
 
Nov 6, 2006
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As you have seen most people advocate having ATC. This means that at trade in time there will tend to be an expectation that such a safety device is present, therefore lower price without
 
Feb 23, 2018
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chrisn7 said:
As you have seen most people advocate having ATC. This means that at trade in time there will tend to be an expectation that such a safety device is present, therefore lower price without

As a caravan purchaser, I would only really expect to see ATC as standard on more premium vans or ones with high MTPLMs esp on the used market.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Craigyoung said:
I was surprised mine being the size of what it is and weight wise that it would have come with it , but it didn't :(

But as Custard Avenger points out it’s only the more expensive models that tended to have it. Sprites are the entry level model. I guess im time it will be fitted as routine to more models. But caravans are not like cars where a quick EU Directive can make things happen viz TPMS
 
May 7, 2012
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It depends on what price you put on your safety. The device does improve safety and is worthwhile particularly if you are new to towing. It is a dealer fit on most models and the price quoted looks about right.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I am in favour of products that do have a provable positive benefit on towing safety, and trailer stability systems like ATC and similar products are well documented as working, Notwithstanding their obvious benefits, what they are actually doing is correcting a situation that should never occur if the driver is doing his job properly.

We have seen a few reports from some contributors where, they have stated their outfit was difficult to control but having fitted one of these systems they find that can tow quicker! This is definitely not what these systems are designed to do, They are not there to correct avoidable problems like mismatched or poorly loaded outfits, or to tow beyond the speed limits set for such outfits.

It has already been stated that they should be considered to be an additional safety device like air bags and seat belts to catch the very odd occasion where things catch a driver out.

The idea has been raised of why aren't ATC's a standard EU requirement, The problem is the present EU regulations do not recognise towing of caravans as any different to other trailers, and that includes commercial units. ATC is manufacture specific solution, and could not be fitted all trailers. However that does not mean in the future (inside or outside of the EU) such devises may not become mandatory, as the evidence base grows about their effectiveness.

I know its not been mentioned so far in this thread, there has been no proven case for the fitting of tyre retaining bands to wheels. The biggest bit of hypocrisy is when some one makes big claims for the benefits of tyre bands on a trailer but they do not have them fitted to their tow vehicle! In my opinion a tyre pressure monitoring system is far more valuable and informative.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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ProfJohnL said:
I am in favour of products that do have a provable positive benefit on towing safety, and trailer stability systems like ATC and similar products are well documented as working, Notwithstanding their obvious benefits, what they are actually doing is correcting a situation that should never occur if the driver is doing his job properly.

Whilst I support this good posting I would point out there are those situations where however “proper job” one makes of loading and driving, things can still go seriously unstable.

Take the scenario of an overtaking car dumping a bike rack complete with two bikes, flaying straps and its trailer board, just in front of you, when you are travelling at near the maximum towing speed. Get the picture, it has happened.

I suggest your only option is to do an involuntary "Elk test" and swerve? The relative wisdom of ploughing over it probably not your first thought as instinct cuts in and deliberation time is somewhat limited.

The most impeccably stable towed units can't cope with that and here an ATC would be invaluable.

ATC is for where instability sets in and whilst you should and can greatly increase the odds of it not occurring, sometimes you are not in control of it.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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bertieboy1 said:
Fit it only if you want to "speed with confidence".A properly matched and loaded car and van shouldn't need any stabilisers

A properly driven car should not need ESP/ABS but would you object to something that gives more margin if the unexpected happens? No one in earlier posts has advocated ATC as a substitute for sensible loading of a well matched outfit that is driven properly. Nor has anyone supported it as something that will allow the driver to “speed”.
 
May 24, 2014
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Fit it only if you want to "speed with confidence".A properly matched and loaded car and van shouldn't need any stabilisers

Not so, even the best balanced and loaded outfit can be badly affected in high winds or by the bow wave of an artic or large fast moving panel van.
 

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