Would you buy a caravan with a unusable alko wheel

Mar 2, 2018
36
10
10,535
Visit site
Hi all
The used caravan we are buying has an Alko wheel lock receiver fitted. However, there is apparently a bolt in the receiver that cannot be removed making the alko unusable. The dealer has said there is nothing they can do. I just want to check that this wont be a problem in the future. Cant we just use an alternative wheel lock or wheel clamp?

Been total beginners I just want to be sure we wont have a problem down the line
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,630
6,389
50,935
Visit site
Yes you can use an alternative wheel clamp/lock. There are some really heavy ones more suitable for home storage, (Bulldog Titan, Milenco with concrete in its legs) and lighter ones more suited for touring. Surprised that your dealer can’t remove the Alko bolt as without doubt Alko are very good. Strange that the bolt is there on its own as the normal bolt pushes through the Alko and into the receiver on the chassis. But if it pushed all the way through the clamp would just come off the wheel. Perhaps someone put a non standard bolt in just to stop dirt going into the receiver and it has corroded. Penetrating oil and patience combined with a good spanner might get it out.
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
AnastieByte said:
Hi all
The used caravan we are buying has an Alko wheel lock receiver fitted. However, there is apparently a bolt in the receiver that cannot be removed making the alko unusable. The dealer has said there is nothing they can do. I just want to check that this wont be a problem in the future. Cant we just use an alternative wheel lock or wheel clamp?

Been total beginners I just want to be sure we wont have a problem down the line

Saying there’s “a bolt in the receiver that cannot be removed” sounds like a rather strange thing for them to say ...

If it’s a complete bolt, with the head intact, then I wouldn’t be too concerned about the van itself, and would suggest that after removing the wheel, anyone with even the most basic of mechanical skills could remove it.

Are you sure it isn’t the case that that there’s only the shank of a bolt in the receiver ? - If so, this really would ring alarm bells for me, as the bolt would not have sheared, but must have been cut off. If it had been cut with an oxy-acetylene torch, then it may also have damaged the receiver, hence them telling you that “it cannot be removed”.

Sorry to perhaps be the bearer of bad news Anastie, but if there is only the shank remaining, unless someone was able to convince me otherwise, I would be of the opinion that it would be safe to say that this is a stolen, recovered van. Again, if it’s a complete bolt, then not such a concern. If removal of the bolt is not something you’d be confident undertaking yourself, I would just take it to a local, reputable garage.

Best of luck either way,

Ic.
 
Sep 29, 2016
1,805
214
19,935
Visit site
Like Icaru5 I am suspicious as to why this might be.

If selling the caravan depended on the receiver being removedreplaced then I am pretty sure that the dealer would be motivated to rectify the problem.

Is the OP getting the other parts relating to the fitted Alko wheel lock, if not then why not.

I think I would be asking for the receiver to be made good, and checking the history of the caravan.

Hope it works out AnastieByte
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
Anseo said:
Like Icaru5 I am suspicious as to why this might be.

If selling the caravan depended on the receiver being removedreplaced then I am pretty sure that the dealer would be motivated to rectify the problem.

Is the OP getting the other parts relating to the fitted Alko wheel lock, if not then why not.

I think I would be asking for the receiver to be made good, and checking the history of the caravan.

Hope it works out AnastieByte

If the dealer can’t remove a complete, intact bolt, then I would have serious concerns over the ability of their workshop team. Even if the head was rounded and it meant swilling out the centre of the bolt enough to get a stud extractor in there, again, it can be removed.

It may be the case that they haven’t even tried, or worse still, there’s part of the shank of another bolt in there, and they’ve cut and inserted part of a new bolt to disguise this, and say “It cant be removed”

Before collecting the van, I really would recommend that you investigate this further.
 
Mar 2, 2018
36
10
10,535
Visit site
Thanks all for the responses. Im buying it from a dealer in Mansfield. Sadly that's 180 miles from me so cant just pop along. They said they contacted the previous owner who had no idea there was a nut in it (apols I said bolt)
I will paste dealer reply below

"I have spoken to the previous owner of the caravan and he isn't aware of the nut in the wheel lock so we have no other way of getting this out."
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
AnastieByte said:
Thanks all for the responses. Im buying it from a dealer in Mansfield. Sadly that's 180 miles from me so cant just pop along. They said they contacted the previous owner who had no idea there was a nut in it (apols I said bolt)
I will paste dealer reply below

"I have spoken to the previous owner of the caravan and he isn't aware of the nut in the wheel lock so we have no other way of getting this out."

Sorry Anastie, but even that doesn’t make sense. They are saying that based on the fact that the previous owner was allegedly unaware of the issue, they “have no other way of getting this out” ? Surely the question of whether or not the previous owner was aware of this, bears no relevance to their ability to remove it.

I really don’t what to pour rain on what should, and I’m sure ultimately will be a great day, but I would still investigate this further before collecting the van and handing any (more ?) money over.
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,630
6,389
50,935
Visit site
Cannot see how a nut would be relevant. If something is blocking the receiver hole on the chassis it can’t be a nut. Perhaps they could mail you some photos and you could post them on this forum. But as described now I do wonder if your dealer had a clue as to what the real problem is.
You can check with CRIS to check the legitimacy of this van and whether it has been subject to a relevant insurance claim and whether it’s been “released’ by the previous owner. If it’s CRIS credentials look suspicious be prepared to have stern words with the dealer in sorting it out, or walking away if they can’t fully satisfy you on its legitimacy.
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,663
2,978
40,935
Visit site
The Alko wheel lock system bolts on through the axle unit so , if the bolt is stuck in and cannot be removed the complete unit can be removed and a new Alko unit purchased and fitted. .
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
otherclive said:
Cannot see how a nut would be relevant. If something is blocking the receiver hole on the chassis it can’t be a nut. Perhaps they could mail you some photos and you could post them on this forum. But as described now I do wonder if your dealer had a clue as to what the real problem is.
You can check with CRIS to check the legitimacy of this van and whether it has been subject to a relevant insurance claim and whether it’s been “released’ by the previous owner. If it’s CRIS credentials look suspicious be prepared to have stern words with the dealer in sorting it out, or walking away if they can’t fully satisfy you on its legitimacy.

Exactly. For a heaxagonal nut to become firmly stuck inside a blind, tapped sleeve, first of all, it’s largest external dimension (distance between opposite corners) must be just slightly larger than that of the internal thread, and then it must have been driven in with significant force, which will also have undoubtedly scored the internal thread.

Strange ... I’m not a caravan delaer, and have no intention of ever becoming one, but if I was, and took a used van into stock, I would have resolved this before even presenting the van for sale. For the sake of my reputation if nothing else.

Again, I’m not wishing to scaremonger here, as there could be a legitimate reason for whatever the issue actually is, but until you’re fully satisfied about this, I don’t think I’d be alone in suggesting that you err on the side of caution.

Again, very best of luck.
 
Mar 2, 2018
36
10
10,535
Visit site
Icaru5 said:
otherclive said:
Cannot see how a nut would be relevant. If something is blocking the receiver hole on the chassis it can’t be a nut. Perhaps they could mail you some photos and you could post them on this forum. But as described now I do wonder if your dealer had a clue as to what the real problem is.
You can check with CRIS to check the legitimacy of this van and whether it has been subject to a relevant insurance claim and whether it’s been “released’ by the previous owner. If it’s CRIS credentials look suspicious be prepared to have stern words with the dealer in sorting it out, or walking away if they can’t fully satisfy you on its legitimacy.

Exactly. For a heaxagonal nut to become firmly stuck inside a blind, tapped sleeve, first of all, it’s largest external dimension (distance between opposite corners) must be just slightly larger than that of the internal thread, and then it must have been driven in with significant force, which will also have undoubtedly scored the internal thread.

Strange ... I’m not a caravan delaer, and have no intention of ever becoming one, but if I was, and took a used van into stock, I would have resolved this before even presenting the van for sale. For the sake of my reputation if nothing else.

Again, I’m not wishing to scaremonger here, as there could be a legitimate reason for whatever the issue actually is, but until you’re fully satisfied about this, I don’t think I’d be alone in suggesting that you err on the side of caution.

Again, very best of luck.
Yes, this is causing me to be concerned. To the extent of considering cancelling the order and asking for my deposit back.
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
AnastieByte said:
Icaru5 said:
otherclive said:
Cannot see how a nut would be relevant. If something is blocking the receiver hole on the chassis it can’t be a nut. Perhaps they could mail you some photos and you could post them on this forum. But as described now I do wonder if your dealer had a clue as to what the real problem is.
You can check with CRIS to check the legitimacy of this van and whether it has been subject to a relevant insurance claim and whether it’s been “released’ by the previous owner. If it’s CRIS credentials look suspicious be prepared to have stern words with the dealer in sorting it out, or walking away if they can’t fully satisfy you on its legitimacy.

Exactly. For a heaxagonal nut to become firmly stuck inside a blind, tapped sleeve, first of all, it’s largest external dimension (distance between opposite corners) must be just slightly larger than that of the internal thread, and then it must have been driven in with significant force, which will also have undoubtedly scored the internal thread.

Strange ... I’m not a caravan delaer, and have no intention of ever becoming one, but if I was, and took a used van into stock, I would have resolved this before even presenting the van for sale. For the sake of my reputation if nothing else.

Again, I’m not wishing to scaremonger here, as there could be a legitimate reason for whatever the issue actually is, but until you’re fully satisfied about this, I don’t think I’d be alone in suggesting that you err on the side of caution.

Again, very best of luck.
Yes, this is causing me to be concerned. To the extent of considering cancelling the order and asking for my deposit back.

I wouldn’t panic, or do anything drastic Anastie, again, there may well be a genuine reason for this issue, but like others, I’m just recommending that you look further into this. Otherclive’s suggestion of asking them for close-up pictures of the receiver that you can post on here was a good one, and his reccomendation to run a check with CRiS was an even better one.
 
May 24, 2014
3,687
763
20,935
Visit site
Not only do I find it strange that a nut has been driven into a tapped (threaded) hole, but I would have to ask why. There is a specific size of bolt and thread for the AlKo wheel lock, and that must recess into the wheel lock itself allowing the lock to be fitted. My first thoughts were that they had used a non standard bolt,, but surely then that would not have been lockable, so one would have to ask "whats the point". Are you sure its a nut and not a broken off piece of the original bolt, or even a "cut off". If that were the case the alarm bells would be ringing. Is the caravan stolen, or has it been stolen and recovered?

Am I right in thinking this particular dealer only deals in used vans and doesnt have a brand agency?? Does he have an approved workshop? If he has, he should be able to sort the problem easily.

Best advice, be careful on this one.

The following link will show you the way the AlKo wheel lock fits together, including the reveiver. Its a long link, apologies.
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=alko+wheel+lock+and+receiver&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiNzqeSu_bZAhVqLsAKHRO0BnwQ_AUICygC&biw=1920&bih=959#imgrc=dgB7vhi-ABgUGM:
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,663
2,978
40,935
Visit site
As thing shows , Maybe some one has lost the Yellow "blank " that would be used to keep the road dirt out. And fitted a non standard blank .. I would not worry to much just use a different type of wheel lock, the Alkos are a pain in the Bum anyway.
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
EH52ARH said:
As thing shows , Maybe some one has lost the Yellow "blank " that would be used to keep the road dirt out. And fitted a non standard blank .. I would not worry to much just use a different type of wheel lock, the Alkos are a pain in the Bum anyway.

The OP’s now saying that the object stuck in the receiver is a “nut”, and not a threaded blank.

Unfortunately, with all due respect, despite what the dealer is referring to the foreign object as, I’m reserving judgement on what it is until we see the pics, or here more from Anastie.
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,663
2,978
40,935
Visit site
Icaru5 said:
EH52ARH said:
As thing shows , Maybe some one has lost the Yellow "blank " that would be used to keep the road dirt out. And fitted a non standard blank .. I would not worry to much just use a different type of wheel lock, the Alkos are a pain in the Bum anyway.

The OP’s now saying that the object stuck in the receiver is a “nut”, and not a threaded blank.

Unfortunately, with all due respect, despite what the dealer is referring to the foreign object as, I’m reserving judgement on what it is until we see the pics, or here more from Anastie.

I would ask the dealer to remove the "nut /blank" being an engineer this is not impossible,
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
EH52ARH said:
Icaru5 said:
EH52ARH said:
As thing shows , Maybe some one has lost the Yellow "blank " that would be used to keep the road dirt out. And fitted a non standard blank .. I would not worry to much just use a different type of wheel lock, the Alkos are a pain in the Bum anyway.

The OP’s now saying that the object stuck in the receiver is a “nut”, and not a threaded blank.

Unfortunately, with all due respect, despite what the dealer is referring to the foreign object as, I’m reserving judgement on what it is until we see the pics, or here more from Anastie.

I would ask the dealer to remove the "nut /blank" being an engineer this is not impossible,

As I put in my previous posts Hutch, this is basic stuff. The fact that the vendor hasn’t removed prior to advertising for sale is in itself somewhat concerning.
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,663
2,978
40,935
Visit site
Icaru an Anasti, as we have seen on other threads about dealers, they might wish "Not to remove it " the Mechanics and engineers in the dealership probably can, but the sales person, might not be bothered to ask. They think they are above them, I have seen this before, we wear the suits and sell the caravans , you guys just service them.
Ok ready for incoming. .
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,801
3,197
50,935
Visit site
AnastieByte said:
Hi all
The used caravan we are buying has an Alko wheel lock receiver fitted. However, there is apparently a bolt in the receiver that cannot be removed making the alko unusable. The dealer has said there is nothing they can do. I just want to check that this wont be a problem in the future. Cant we just use an alternative wheel lock or wheel clamp?

Been total beginners I just want to be sure we wont have a problem down the line

Hello ANB.

Please read the instructions for the lock,

http://www.al-ko.co.uk/edit/files/handbooks/secure-instruction-manual.pdf
So you understand how it is meant to work. On page 10 Alko clearly understand that locks can be damaged and have methods to repairing them, so even if the caravan dealer claims they can't or dont want to repair it, Alko can.

I also suggest you read the terms and conditions of your caravan insurance, which may include specific requirement for the security you have to apply. If that calls for the ALKO lock then if the lock is inoperative then your insurance could be voided.

My advice would be for you to tell the seller you will only proceed with the purchase if the wheel lock is fully functional.

The seller may complain, but they probably don't want to loose the sale so will somehow find a way to get the lock unblocked.
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
ProfJohnL said:
AnastieByte said:
Hi all
The used caravan we are buying has an Alko wheel lock receiver fitted. However, there is apparently a bolt in the receiver that cannot be removed making the alko unusable. The dealer has said there is nothing they can do. I just want to check that this wont be a problem in the future. Cant we just use an alternative wheel lock or wheel clamp?

Been total beginners I just want to be sure we wont have a problem down the line

Hello ANB.

Please read the instructions for the lock,

http://www.al-ko.co.uk/edit/files/handbooks/secure-instruction-manual.pdf
So you understand how it is meant to work. On page 10 Alko clearly understand that locks can be damaged and have methods to repairing them, so even if the caravan dealer claims they can't or dont want to repair it, Alko can.

I also suggest you read the terms and conditions of your caravan insurance, which may include specific requirement for the security you have to apply. If that calls for the ALKO lock then if the lock is inoperative then your insurance could be voided.

My advice would be for you to tell the seller you will only proceed with the purchase if the wheel lock is fully functional.

The seller may complain, but they probably don't want to loose the sale so will somehow find a way to get the lock unblocked.

That’s sound advice Prof, but we still haven’t established exactly what the foreign body inside the receiver actually is. If it’s part of the shank of a bolt, even if the dealer made the wheel lock fully functional, I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in wanting to know why the remnants were there in the first place !
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,904
2,399
40,935
Visit site
There's been some good advice on being cautious about this sale and on the face of it there's good reason to be very cautious.
Somebody along the line is being economical with the truth, either the original seller or the dealer, because any worthwhile dealers workshop would be able to sort out this Alko wheel lock problem.
Has this caravan got a full service history and did the previous owner register it with CRiS?
Ask the dealer about the paperwork, and if there's anysuggestion that the previous owner ''hadn't registered it'' get your deposit back and walk away!
There are plenty of good genuine caravans for sale, it's currently a buyers market so don't take any chances for the sake of a couple of weeks delay in obtaining a fully documented problem free caravan.
 
Oct 12, 2013
3,037
4
0
Visit site
I know I've come in a bit late after a lot of replies but even though we don't use the alko receiver mechanism on the wheel , I use an alternative wheel clamp , I still wouldn't accept it if your's was blocked up by a foreign object which couldn't be removed by the garage before purchasing the caravan, something a miss there .
 
Mar 8, 2009
1,851
334
19,935
Visit site
The Alko wheel lock receiver comes as part of the Alko Wheel Lock patent. Theoretically you/we are not supposed to use it unless you have purchased the lock at an exorbitant price from Alko. However the 'plugs' can be removed with a bit of ingenuity without Alko's tool. (Have I done it? -- Well you guess!) The plug looks like this:-
DSC05252.jpg


A few years ago 'Bulldog' were manufacturing a lock utilizing the receiver, however Alko took them to court to get them stopped. Bulldog were however allowed to sell the locks they had already manufactured, I have one, but they prohibited from manufacturing any more. It is now fitted to my third van, you don't need a different lock for each wheel design as you do the Alko, (a far better idea in my view, and saves £100's over the years) An improvised 'tool' can be used to remove the plug from the receiver.
DSC05254.jpg

Just get a bit of bar to knock into the end of the plug and remove!
DSC05253.jpg


(And don't say I told you!)
 
May 7, 2012
8,598
1,814
30,935
Visit site
As Parksy says you need to check out with CRIS to see if it is registered, and if not why not, and if it is not, or does not get a clear report then stay clear, as potentially something is wrong. There are plenty of used caravans for sale and personally I would buy locally where I can check it out first. You have to realise that if there are problems after you take it away, you are looking at a 360 mile journey, potentially two, to get it sorted and that can be a nightmare particularly if they are not cooperative.
I have no idea who the dealer is so cannot comment on them, but there are too many potential problems here for me to suggest other than look elsewhere.
 
May 24, 2014
3,687
763
20,935
Visit site
I have no idea who the dealer is so cannot comment on them,

I do! Obviously I can't mention them for the sake of forum rules.

Let me start by saying I have heard no bad reports about them, and nothing good. They are very much under the radar. They do have a repair service and a mobile service, neither of which is NCC approved. Accepting that this doesn't mean anything untoward, I would say that if their mobile service isn't capable of sorting out what is more of a minor inconvenience than a major problem, it would raise concerns over the capability of the fitter/mechanic. And i would still walk away from the deal.
 

TRENDING THREADS