When towing

Aug 17, 2019
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i was wondering when i tow my caravan on long trips useully stop off a few times what is the legal issue with towing with the alko hitch cover still on the hitch when coupled up to the caravan it only covers the handle so will there be an issue if pulled up
 
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Jul 30, 2007
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I only use my hitch lock when caravan is parked.
If I leave it on when driving,I'm unable to push the stabiliser handle down.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There will be no specific offence of driving with a hitch cover in place, unless it interferes with the correct operation of the hitch.

Check with the manufacturers instructions to see if its specifically advised or not.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I only use my hitch lock when caravan is parked.
If I leave it on when driving,I'm unable to push the stabiliser handle down.
We have since people towing with the hitch lock on and the lever not psuhed down due to the hitchlock not being ALKO. I wonder if they realise that they have no ATC and may be invalidating insurance on caravan if ATC was mentioned in the quote?
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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The Alko hitchlock is specifically designed to be left on while towing - it's one of these issues that divides caravanners with no right or wrong but I'm not aware that Fire & Rescue Services make any recommendation.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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We have since people towing with the hitch lock on and the lever not psuhed down due to the hitchlock not being ALKO. I wonder if they realise that they have no ATC and may be invalidating insurance on caravan if ATC was mentioned in the quote?
The friction pad loading lever has no influence on the ATC, that is purely powered and armed via the sustained 12 volt pins in the 13 pin electrical socket.
The lever just applies the side pads of the friction damping "stabiliser", it has no effect on anything electrical like the ATC.

The friction damper just "damps" down the magnitude of the inevitable minor swaying a towed van encounters, best thought of as making towing somewhat less fatiguing.
 
May 7, 2012
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There is no legal problem but as others have said the emergency services do not like it as it makes getting the caravan off the car far more difficult in an emergency situation, or after an accident.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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... as others have said the emergency services do not like it ...
Is that true? I seem to recall a retired fire officer saying it made no difference as their hydraulic cutters would soon separate them if necessary.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Is that true? I seem to recall a retired fire officer saying it made no difference as their hydraulic cutters would soon separate them if necessary.
Yes the equipment they have today, will make short work of almost anything. In a car fire, it maybe possible to unhitch well before the fire brigade arrived. Getting the gas bottles out of the way.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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I read this somewhere it said
You also have to consider what would happen in a emergency situation if the caravan needed to be separated from car
The emergency services have apparently commented in some cases requesting hitchlocks are not fitted during transit , therefore i think that the advice to follow.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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From the Camping & Caravanning Club:-

Can I tow with a hitchlock in place?

Historically the Club’s advice was not to tow with a hitchlock on, based on discussions with the emergency services. In the unlikely event of an incident on the road it’s just one more thing inhibiting recovery. More recent conversations have revealed that the fire and rescue services carry equipment that can deal with such locks as necessary.

Not all hitchlocks are designed in a way that makes towing feasible so you must satisfy yourself the security device does not interfere with the correct function of the hitch and overrun, which could reduce the effectiveness of the brakes. Also make sure the lock does not touch the handbrake lever when the overrun is compressed. If you have any doubts leave the hitchlock off when towing your trailer.


My bold.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I would have had zero doubt the fire and rescue services could deal with the hitch lock or the chassis very effectively.
Nevertheless, there could be situations where uncoupling is desirable and where they are not there to do so, nor you able to do so, or being able to find somebody your key.

I simply can't see on a journey, hitch locking offering any advantage, whilst it possibly becomes a safety or obstruction issue, better not being there.
No more complex than that IMO, then we don't lock all the car doors in transit, just in case we might need someone to help us, one day.
 
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Aug 17, 2019
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Thanks for all the replys i think the jist is not to use it while towing i will only use it when we pull off somewhere like the services then put it on for added security
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Thanks for all the replys i think the jist is not to use it while towing i will only use it when we pull off somewhere like the services then put it on for added security
It is always better that someone stays witht eh vehicle as it takes them less than a minute to prior off the majority of hitchlocks. The only exception I know of is the ALKO Premium Secure lock.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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If the towball is a two bolt job. or some of the detachable type, then even a £160 hitch lock does little to help; then it is rope around hitch and the vans away. Oh and it needs high vis vest or boiler suit to look legit!
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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If the towball is a two bolt job. or some of the detachable type, then even a £160 hitch lock does little to help; then it is rope around hitch and the vans away. Oh and it needs high vis vest or boiler suit to look legit!
I think you are looking at reasons not to buy rather than the better security the ALKO Premium offers. Doubt very much if that would happen on a services car park due to time constraints.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I think you are looking at reasons not to buy rather than the better security the ALKO Premium offers. Doubt very much if that would happen on a services car park due to time constraints.
We don't need a reason not to buy one, for all we need our AL-KO Secure and our insurance suffices.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I would prefer to make it as difficult as possible for them to steal our unit. We do have a detachable towbar which is locked on the car so cannot be removed to the best of my knowledge. However we never leave the caravan unattended on a services car park so never bother with the hitchlock. Must be a real faf and pain to fit the ALKO Secure every time you stop on a services car park?
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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We never leave the van unattended at services either, absolute folly IMO.

I do fit the Secure, doing that's a doddle I find, when I have to leave the unit in our lane if access back to our property is temporarily obstructed by a parked vehicle. A not infrequent, but still a very rare, occurrence. I suspect there, fewer ne'er-do-wells are waiting for an unattended van. Plus there is the assurance that my insurer covers the van with the Secure in use.

I would not kid myself a locked detachable "cannot be removed", hence my earlier comment.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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We also have a detachable towbar and locked to the car and cannot be removed.
At service stations when we park up we put the hitch lock on .
There always one of us stop with the car & caravan i go to the Facilities and then my wife goes .
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Do you know if they had a hitchlock fitted with reference to my post. No hitchlock or no wheel clamp is asking for trouble especially newbies to caravans.
The replies in that tweet indicate there was no security.

Pre-covid, we would take it in turns to go to the services building, not leaving it unattended. Now we use the caravan.
 

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