Winding down the legs.

Jul 11, 2005
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Silly question, but I noticed that some people wind down the legs when stopping for a break en-route and others don't, when attached to the car. I always do because I carry a cordless drill and socket and it is effortless, also I once tipped a compass Echo on its end when I stepped into it.

Are the legs neccessary to prevent the chassis disstorting?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Richard,

I do not see a problem with not winding down the steadies when you stop for a roadside refreshment. The chassis should be quite capable of supporting the normal compliment of people. The stresses and strains of towing will impart much higher loads than that.

What does concern me about your statement was that you were able to tip up a caravan. This means it could not have been secured to the car properly, and would have been very dangerous to tow.

I have found that it is often more comfortable to have the rear steadies down as the caravan is buffeted less by passing vehicles when you are trying to drink your tea.
 
Mar 28, 2005
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I bought my caravan new from Barrons last year, on the day you go to pick it up all the caravans awaiting delivery on that day are parked up in bays. The procedure is that you back up into the bay hitch up and then you enter the van and are given the grand tour ( how everything works etc ) at no time are the steadies wound down which I queried with the demonstrator who informed me that as long as the van is hitched up to the car there is no need.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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You don't have to wind the steadies down if the caravan is hitched up to the car but it is rather bouncy inside if you move about. If you're making a tea or coffee during a stop, you are more likely to spill if you don't wind them down.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We also got our van from Barrons last year, the Darlington branch and things were completely different as that to Big Roy, all the steadies were down for the demonstration and we were only allowed to hitch up when everything was over right up to finalising the paper work. I never put the steadies down while hitched up, for the simple reason of me forgetting to put them back up, after all we all make mistakes.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Undoubtedly the van is more stable with rear legs down for a lunch stop. I drop the jockey wheel, then herself puts the back legs down using the rechargeable drill I kindly bought her last christmas and then we have lunch, leaving the drill in the doorway should ensure you don't forget to put the legs up again.
 
Jul 26, 2005
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Do anybody bother to lower the jockey wheel for a road side stop? It seems like common sense to me. If people are in the van, in front of the axel, surely thay are adding to the total noseweight, which will then exceed the maximum on the towbar. If you have the jockey wheel down, the noseweight is on this, not the hitch.

I lower the two rear steadies, as advised by the Caravan Club instructor on a course.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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You are of course right when you say that without dropping the jockey wheel all the extra load of people moving about inside the van is going to increase the noseload to probably more than what is specified in the book as the maximum. However, this will be an almost static load which the towbar will easily handle without damage. On the other hand, the car and towbar manufacturers have to make sure that the towbar is durable under dynamic conditions like going over speed bumps and shaking about on bad roads, etc., too. In such cases, a typical 75kg noseload can easily increase instantaneously to several times that value.
 

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