Unhitched caravan

Aug 6, 2016
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As embarrising as this is and ive been towing for over 30 years and last year my brand new caravan became unhitched from the car and i was very lucky it came off and went into the field and the tow hitch went into the mud and came to a stop, and it came out only with the help of the mover, ive been put off by this big time as im into my 70s now,, but as the van i not yet a year old i want to use it again asap, can any one suggest a way that i can double check that the van is on the car without trying to lift the hitch off the car once its conected, its a alco tow hitch, thanks in advance,
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Very very lucky , hitch up the van to the car put everything in place lock wise then drop your jockey wheel and wind your jockey wheel down as much as you can to the ground , if the car starts to lift and then you know it is locked in place and it should not come off.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Nimrod said:
As embarrising as this is and ive been towing for over 30 years and last year my brand new caravan became unhitched from the car and i was very lucky it came off and went into the field and the tow hitch went into the mud and came to a stop, and it came out only with the help of the mover, ive been put off by this big time as im into my 70s now,, but as the van i not yet a year old i want to use it again asap, can any one suggest a way that i can double check that the van is on the car without trying to lift the hitch off the car once its conected, its a alco tow hitch, thanks in advance,

The standard approach is to lower the hitch onto the ball until the handle clicks into place and shows the green marker. Then wind nose wheel down until you see the nose wheel lift the cars suspension. On soft ground I use a cheap plastic cutting board so that the nose wheel doesn’t sink into the soft ground.

It’s the approach recommended by the two clubs and other sources such as PC. Did you omit to do this before your departure ?
 
Mar 27, 2011
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I would of thought that as long as the breakaway cable was connected then if you lift the hitch and it were to come off, the caravan would be stopped when it hit the car or stopped when the breakaway cable reached its limit, but as previously said using the jockey wheel saves you straining to lift it yourself, I’m sure we’ve all done something weve been embarrassed about at times, so best not beat yourself up for a momentary lapse in concentration.

BP
 
May 7, 2012
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I would follow Craig's suggestion, but at the same time make sure the green ring on the hitch button is visible. Possibly write out a procedure and check it as you go along.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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To pass the B+E trailer test, I had to follow this process during the hitching section:

Visually inspect trailer/tyres
Check hand brake holds trailer (shove trailer)
Check number plates match
Reverse car to trailer
Exit vehicle to ensure ball will go under hitch
Position vehicle to hitch
Attach breakaway cable first (remove last)
Wind jockey wheel and hitch up
Wind down wheel to lift rear of car
Wind back up, then down again to confirm.
Stow jockey wheel correctly.
Connect electrics
Check road lights with examiner.

While this routine is to pass a test... I always perform the double check with the jockey wheel as part of my 'due diligence' pre towing checks.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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. I "lost" a caravan once, crossing the field as a friend had hooked it up. As Raywood states , check for the green section on the forward button, also , As you push down on the Friction handle, if there is no real need to push down then the hitch is not onto the ball properly.
By the way thanks for being forward enough to face up to the snag..
 

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