Up or down jockey wheel. Again!

Jun 20, 2005
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Another caravan forum are having a heated debate on Up or Down. A Buccaneer owner uses his self levelling steadies so leaves his JW up. He says his chassis and floor are not reinforced. He also says JW down overloads the Al-ko chassis!
Always been a downer 👍. Anymore thoughts?
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Another caravan forum are having a heated debate on Up or Down. A Buccaneer owner uses his self levelling steadies so leaves his JW up. He says his chassis and floor are not reinforced. He also says JW down overloads the Al-ko chassis!
Always been a downer 👍. Anymore thoughts?
We have ours up on the Buccaneer most times however on occasions when I do remember I just drop it down and tighten it. I don't turn the handle.
Most caravans are designed to take the weight of people in front with the jockey wheel up. I have never read in any owner's manual that you need to ensure that it is down and the manufacturer always knows best!
However when packing up and before I lift the steadies I make sure that the jockey wheel is down so almost level with the hitch when I reverse.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Just read it up in my Coachman handbook, 2013, it states on page27, level the caravan lateraly then apply handbrake and chock the wheels, then lower the jockey wheel , unhitch the car, level the caravan longitudally and lower the 4 steadys.
So I read it as leave jockey wheel down.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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Not having an auto leveller, I use the JW for front to rear levelling. After that, it just stays there all ready for when we depart.

John
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Just read it up in my Coachman handbook, 2013, it states on page27, level the caravan lateraly then apply handbrake and chock the wheels, then lower the jockey wheel , unhitch the car, level the caravan longitudally and lower the 4 steadys.
So I read it as leave jockey wheel down.
I read it that in order to level the caravan longitudinally you need the jockey wheel down. How else would you do it?
There is no requirement for it to be left down once the caravan is level and doubt if this is stated in any manual?
 
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May 2, 2020
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We use jockey wheel level before lowering steadys and it stays down as it holds the base of our flag pole mount
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I read it that in order to level the caravan longitudinally you need the jockey wheel down. How else would you do it?
There is no requirement for it to be left down once the caravan is level and doubt if this is stated in any manual?
It also doesn't say lift the jockey wheel after lowering the steadies.
Thats what they are Steadies.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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If using the jockey wheel for load bearing overloads the chassis then what the 'hell' does using the tow ball and towing head do to the chassis?
Gabs has made a very valid point. During the reality of towing there are many different forces that try to move the caravan around, and some will cause considerable extra pressure on the A frame, It is designed to take it, and it also means the structure of the caravan should also be strong enough to resist them during normal towing.

If you look at the layout of the caravan chassis, it is much stronger at the front than the rear. There is no question about the rear being strong enough just using the main wheels and the steadies, so the front should be even more capable.

No harm will arise jockey wheel up or down.
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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Surly the JW is redundant once the van has been levelled. Mine is usually down on site, because that's where it needs to be after I've levelled van.

Van is fixed to a hitching post on my drive, steadies down, JW not down. Makes not a jot of difference.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Not having an auto leveller, I use the JW for front to rear levelling. After that, it just stays there all ready for when we depart.

John
In that lies the pertinent point, you have not "auto levelling", so you use the JW to level the van, so it is still in the right position even after the steadies are set.

There can be a whole different situation with auto levelling, where unless you first level the van with the JW before, using the Auto levelling the JW could end up dangling in space or left carrying the bulk of the front load with the van unnecessarily up on stilts. The JW is dictating the van height if left too extended.

With Auto levelling its best to lower the nose before you implement auto levelling, that way the van will not totter on over extended steadies just to live with where the JW had been.

I have the verbal capable, steady deployment system, only deployed after I set the and pass off the levelling as adequate .;)
That way, by default the JW is down, because that was where it needed to be to level the van.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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It also doesn't say lift the jockey wheel after lowering the steadies.
Thats what they are Steadies.
True and by the same token it doesn't say leave it down. LOL! This debate could go on forever.
IMHO as the caravan belongs to the individual it is up to them to decide which is best and should be of no concern to anyone else. :D
 
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May 24, 2014
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Right from day one in the caravanning world

level your caravan side to side
level your caravan fore and aft using the jockey wheel
drop your steadies

Dont see why anyone would do any different. Perhaps auto levellers are a different thing, but at Dornafield a couple of years back, we watched two old couples trying to level the caravan using steadies alone, jockey wheel up, and it took them an absolute age to get it right. The steadies as has been mentioned a million times on here are steadies, nothing more.

+1 for down.
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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IMHO as the caravan belongs to the individual it is up to them to decide which is best and should be of no concern to anyone else. :D
Ownership in no way indicates what is "best", but I agree it should be of no concern to anyone else.
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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I haven't got auto levellers so after levelling the jockey wheel stays down.
It's ready for me to raise the steadies when we go home, but each to their own.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Looking at this chassis pic seems very clear the steadies are floor bearing. JT Q a while back wrote an excellent post on the fundamental purpose of the steadies. The guy on the other forum believes his self levelling kit is good enough to do everything. He didn’t go so far to say use them for jacking up🤪🤪. Imo I’d be concerned about over stressing the floor. However the owners manuals are silent🤔🤔🤔
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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I misinterpreted the situation, I mistakenly thought the discussion was about JW up or down after the caravan had been levelled. Obviously for manual levelling the JW is used as part of that procedure, but after its all level then it makes no difference where teh JW is, though I always left it down.

For automatic levelling the situation may be different, and you should follow the levelling systems instructions on how to use the JW. No debate necessary.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Looking at this chassis pic seems very clear the steadies are floor bearing. JT Q a while back wrote an excellent post on the fundamental purpose of the steadies. The guy on the other forum believes his self levelling kit is good enough to do everything. He didn’t go so far to say use them for jacking up🤪🤪. Imo I’d be concerned about over stressing the floor. However the owners manuals are silent🤔🤔🤔
When on side, first we jack up the nearside to fit both ALKO locks. Then lower the caravan, lower then jockey wheel and then lower the front as much as possible. At times it may almost be touching the floor.
Then hit the auto level. The centre rams go down first and level the caravan side to side. Then the front steadies lower to raise the front of the caravan more or less level. The jockey wheel is then lifted off the ground. The centre rams may active to do more side to side levelling. The rear steadies drop and between the front and the rear they obtain the best level position.
Ours is calibrated so that the nearside is very slightly up so that water can drain easily from the shower. Also from front to back very slightly raised towards rear again for shower water to run out. You would hardly notice it being very slightly off level. No need to drop JW as steadies are heavy duty steadies.
Works for us.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Then lower the caravan, lower then jockey wheel and then lower the front as much as possible.
That with auto levelling has to be important, as otherwise the auto levelling can't take the front lower than the JW as left, allows it to go.

Presumably, then if it can achieve a level, it must base this on lifting the height of the van dictated now by a datum set by the JW.
Are these systems that sophisticated to get over too high a set JW?
Clearly there are physical limits to how high they can lift the van and drop the rear steadies, to get over that too extended JW.
 
Aug 24, 2020
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Down. But for no particular reason.
mel
+ 1 for that. Although thinking about it...

If I bring the JW up after lowering the front steadies, then one day at packing up time, I'm going to forget to bring it back down, and be lowering the front of the van on the steadies. As I start to raise whichever front steady I do first, it's going to double the load on the other one. It may be OK with that, it may not...

Either way, if JW up or down makes no real difference (and Prof says it doesn't, so that's good enough for me), why add a task at each of pitch-up and pack-out?

Acknowledged that the situation may be totally different with auto levelling - I don't have it and I'm never likely to have a van posh enough to have it, so I have no knowledge of them.
 
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May 7, 2012
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I would leave it down simply because I have used it to level the caravan back to front and there is no obvious reason to alter this. The idea of moving it on a caravan with self levelling fitted might be different, particularly if it is facing uphill and the wheel needs to be moved to allow the mechanics to work. I can see no reason to assume it would harm the chassis if it was left in normal circumstances as the weight should be on the legs.
 
Oct 3, 2013
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I would leave it down simply because I have used it to level the caravan back to front and there is no obvious reason to alter this. The idea of moving it on a caravan with self levelling fitted might be different, particularly if it is facing uphill and the wheel needs to be moved to allow the mechanics to work. I can see no reason to assume it would harm the chassis if it was left in normal circumstances as the weight should be on the legs.
The original post is from 16 years ago.Why are these posts still there,surely these old posts can be deleted after a period of time Say 6 months.
 

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