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April/May 2020 Caravan Clinic


Readers’ problems solved. Our experts answer your technical questions & give camping advice.

The winning letter:


In 2017 we had much drama with our Chev Captiva 2.0l automatic. Many readers offered advice as to what to do, so, to cut a long story short, on 9/1/2018 we traded in the Captiva and replaced it with an Isuzu 3.0l double-cab manual. All I can say is what a wonderful vehicle this is. I am not a heavy-footed driver and usually cruise at 100-110km/h and sometimes 120 when it warrants it. At this speed, I record the most incredible fuel consumption figures – always between 7.53-7.82 and 8.58l/100km/h and 10.14l/100km when towing from Maritzburg to Scottburgh and back, a distance of about 264km – plus some running about. The salesman at Key Chev Pietermaritzburg has often tried to convince me to buy the Isuzu D Max. But why sell a good vehicle that gives us good service? They often tell me I have angel feet with the consumption I get. We are on caravan number 9 now, a Gypsey Romany, and often go to Scottburgh Caravan Park and the return journey gives us between 10.14 and 11.18litres per 100km. This Isuzu is a real workhorse with plenty of power when needed. The best buy of any of the vehicles we have had in the past. Many thanks for the wonderful magazine each month.- Peter and Heather Field

Our Answer: 

Our long-termer, the blue Isuzu D-Max, is seeing duty at both this magazine and sister publication SA4x4. It’s coming up to 20 000km and has not missed a beat.


More Caravan Clinic Questions:


I noticed that Invader trailers come with two jockey wheels, one either side of the A-frame. Are they that heavy in nose weight? – Kenny Jordaan

Our Answer: 

Not at all, we noticed the second jockey wheel mounting point while on a tour of their factory recently and put this very same question to them. Their reasoning is that when using one jockey wheel on one side of the A-frame the trailer tends to tilt towards the opposite side, especially if the trailer is being used for accommodation at the time. To overcome this they provide a jockey wheel mounting point on both sides of the A-frame to provide greater stability when their Duo or Quattro models are sited.


With regards to your article published in Caravan & Outdoor Life, page 58, March 2009, about the Jockey Wheel Fix: where can one obtain an original locking plate for the Jockey wheel as per your article? Your assistance in this matter is appreciated. – Michael Weston

Our Answer: 

Wow, I am impressed you still have a 2009 magazine, that issue is 11 years old and proves the life of printed matter. You should be able to get the part from any caravan dealership or they should be able to order this from Al-Ko on your behalf. This plate applies wide pressure to the jockey wheel stem. Without it, the hand screw will cause indentations to the stem and may prevent the winding mechanism from working.


For more Caravan Clinic letters, turn to page 60 of the April/May 2020 issue. 

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