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    Blazer
    Participant

    Hi All
    I am contemplating the fitment of a caravan mover to my caravan. I have done some research and it seems that there is not a lot of variety in our market. Can anyone tell me if it is worth the money to install a caravan mover? If you have a mover on your van what is the issues that you experience with the mover? Any guidance will be appreciated.

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    HAppy Camper
    HAppy Camper on

    @francois Huysamen

    Perhaps your magazine can trial 5 of the best caravan movers in SA?

    maybe have EXPO camper there too as the judge 😉

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    One shouldn’t obsess to deeply over the concept of ‘pulses’. Machine generated pulses are generally more accurate and often shorter than man-made ones. What, for instance, is the shortest time you can push a button or flip a toggle switch for? What is then the latency of the relays and contactors? How much latency is there in the mechanism?

    The maximum unimpeded rate of movement for ewiks is claimed to be 5 metres per minute, but often the van doesn’t move for the first second or two, sometimes it does. As the OP says sometimes it just blows a fuse.

    Using a mechanical mover when 20mm away from doing damage is, I would say, a little bit reckless. I would definitely do it a safer way.

    And parking on the edge of a cliff can have an undesired outcome, for a variety of reasons.

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    EXPO CAMPER
    EXPO CAMPER on

    It happened in practice and it will surely happen again. There are very tight spaces in which caravans sometimes need to move and you have to be accurate and safe. As soon as you pulse that motor the caravan jumps, I guess I will be quicker with my toggle switch than with an app keeping pulses going requiring 2 actions.. A definite on and a definite cancel. Toggle switch currently is press and the moment you release it stops definitely….

    Other caravan movers work like that with their remotes. As soon as you press the button and hold, it starts slowly and then gradually picks up speed. So even with their remotes you can basically pulse it even with its slow start and get MUCH more accurate movement.

    I never said a cliff, but go to a stand that is 7m x 10m and move a fleetline in there while the back of the stand is a wall and the rest are trees.. You have to know where and what and how.. We basically had times where the caravan almost touched the wall and had to think twice what my next move would be. Unfortunately not all stands are perfect.. If I did not have the mover, I wouldnt be able to get in there anyways..

    Point is, programmer of the app, suggestion from my side, take it as some advice and not taking you on.. I believe it will work brilliantly if you program it to work like other movers are programmed with their remotes. Surely a bit of programming is nothing to change it and get it right? Then even I will be interested

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    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    No, I don’t particularly favour ewiks. In fact I didn’t even choose ewiks, the previous owner did that for me, I just  articulate positives when I see them –  a little unusual maybe in a world where sneering cynicism is so common.

    If you stall an electric motor it immediately forms a virtual short-circuit path to ground, and if you don’t protect the motor with a fuse it will most certainly burn out in a very short time.  Why does the motor stall? Because it’s simply not powerful  enough to lift a 1000kg caravan out of a hole. You can imagine a 300 Amp motor like a starter-motor doing a better job, but this would require a flywheel-type ring gear on the hub, and a whole different class of equipment to feed it power.

    It’s easy enough to see a jockey wheel that’s mired in soft sand or deep grass and letting it ride on a plank or board to reduce drag. What is less obvious is the main wheel that has pressed itself a semi-circular depression over a couple of weeks of standing in one place while inflated to 3.5 bar, which allows no load-spreading  flat-spot where it contacts the earth.  If you keep the current flowing for more than a second  without the motor being able to turn the fuse will most definitely blow to protect the motor from overheating.

    30 Amp blade fuses cost very little, and you should certainly keep a good supply on hand, but they’re a hassle to get to for replacement, and it is preferable avoid blowing them in the first place. How? By not leaving the caravan standing with its full weight on its wheels on a soft surface for an extended period of time. Use the jacks to carry the weight  when parking and inspect around each wheel for subsidence before engaging the motors.

    Today everything is made in China – the good, the bad, and the in-between. Even my beloved ARB compressor is made in China (to the highest quality, I might add), so Chinese origin by itself is not condemnatory, you need to look at underlying quality. And this mostly is coupled to price.

    And with a remote control, one that normally lives in your shirt pocket anyway,  you can move unimpeded from left wheel to right wheel  to jockey wheel, and monitor all aspects of the operation close-up. Beautiful. I can’t wait to go out again.

    Best regards,

    Simon Tasman.

     

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    EXPO CAMPER
    EXPO CAMPER on

    Simon the fuses blow because of a little slope.. Not because I started using them, the caravan was running at the campsite towards the space I wanted it and a slight slope blew the fuse.. Replaced fuse and ran 8 seconds and blew again.. It also blew on the same day I left the other campsite. So when the last fuse blew, I was stuck (not in a hole, I got out of the hole without blowing the fuses). The caravan was standing half in the way and I had to rush to a place to get fuses to move the caravan to avoid being an irritation to everyone else.

    That said, I wouldnt be able to move the caravan anyways without the mover, but I do think there is room for improvements..

    The motors never stalled, the fuses just blew and yes it is better than burning out the motor

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    EXPO CAMPER
    EXPO CAMPER on

    The videos somewhere show a fortuner being pulled with a caravan up a slight slope.. I cant even pull my caravan on a slope.

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    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    I’m really sorry to hear you’re having these problems. I too would be annoyed and despondent. My Classique will move an unlimited distance on a hard(ish) surface without blowing any fuses. The drag increases very quickly once you go onto soft stuff without deflating. The problem with deflating is you also reduce the pressure of the drive drum against the tyre.

    I had an awkward situation once when all 3 wheels were mired in soft sand and I also ran out of fuses then. Subsequently I’ve been mindful of potential extraction problems when I park, and maybe this has kept me out of trouble.

    Have you consulted Erik Warburg? I’ve found them both quite helpful though I doubt the kid has the same knowledge as the old man. No doubt he’s had many a complaint over the years.

    I wish I could suggest something more useful.

     

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    EXPO CAMPER
    EXPO CAMPER on

    Thanks Simon, what I can say is yes, Erik is always trying to help or assist. Have contacted the Pretoria agent as well but he gets annoyed quickly, maybe he thinks I am an idiot but I pretty much have covered most bases, or maybe he tries to answer too quickly without listening to what I am saying 😉 Will hopefully have a chance to go down and maybe speak to Erik directly and get assistance there….

    All in all, I chose the Ewiks for its simplicity, as other movers get issues too.. So I chose the simplest one that looked as if it can do the job. And most of the time it does. Level areas and grassy areas it works.. I am still better off that without a mover!! Having a mover is a must! That is for sure…..

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    This fuse-blowing seems to me to be a bit too much of an occurrence. There’s no doubt that the motors need protection, but I they go over-current this often you need an alternative to blowing fuses continuously. There’s only one possible reason for the over-current here and that is too little motor for too much load.

    Since the motors are bought and paid for as well as being matched to gear trains etc it’s too late to change anything in that area. You can however reduce the annoyance from having to replace blown fuses by implementing resettable circuit breakers.

    You can use domestic AC circuit breakers here which will trip under DC at nearly the same current load as they do under AC conditions. They should be mounted vertically just like they would be in a distribution box. Mounting them sideways can change the trip current value.

    Connection can be easily made into the existing fuse socket using a crimpable spade lug that you find in a hardware shop. That way you only need to add 4 wires, 4 crimp lugs, 2 30A CBs and a piece of that mounting strip to hold the CBs to the wall. Use wire of 6 sq mm, it’s stiffer to work with but you don’t want to create extra volt-drops with too thin wire.

    Best regards

    Fyko

     

     

     

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    EXPO CAMPER
    EXPO CAMPER on

    That is a possible solution, but I was thinking of a 30Amp current driver.. If it reaches 30Amp, the current stays at 30Amp.. I would like to test it… The voltage would thus fall to keep within the 30Amp load, so either the motor will stop, or the motor will just slowly turn the wheel…

    I agree that the Ewiks is for lighter caravans if I look at the whole issue.. It can move a relatively large caravan on a smooth flat surface, but generally, I believe caravans in the region of 1500kg is maybe stretched?

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    Good idea. But a stalled motor will still get very hot with 30 Amps passing through it, and my guess is it will only pass 30 Amps if stalled or turning ultra slowly. I don’t know if the motors have a thermal cutout in the stator. If not you’d need to make a plan to limit the time, or limit the temperature.

    I don’t have a vast experience with ewiks actually, I just didn’t like the trailing cable so I did the app and the remote control. I do a few other remotes as well, for winches and compressors etc, so I’m not the goto guy for that. There seem to be a few quite knowledgeable chaps on this forum so I’m watching it with interest.

    Maybe Erik and the sprog can pick up a few pointers as well about what’s happening in the field regarding their product. Maybe they should think about more potent motors for the vans over 1400 kgs. Let me know how you get on with the current limiter.

    For me a caravan mover must be acting on the main wheels, these devices that drive the jockey wheel or go under the tow bar need to be stowed somewhere so you can take them along with you to where you really need them, and that would be too much hassle for me, apart from the nose weight they need for traction, the battery cables you have to run, and then you’re bound to operate the thing from the A frame only.

    Maybe a few guys with experience with other brands could supply some info about their kit?

    Best regards

    Fyko

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    Dave Pineo
    Dave Pineo on

    My guess blew because small stones had been th8up from the gravel road and lodged between the roller and the frame of the power mover. If not noticed they then stop the motor/roller from turning and the fuse blows immediately. Learnt quickly to check both rollers for small stones before operating the power mover. Why they put the control box in such an awkward place on my Sherpa I don’t know as it makes replacing fuses a real hassle

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    This fuse blowing in ewiks installations seems to be a significant issue. Consequently I’ve produced an extension to my remote control system to address the problem. To save me typing it all over again I’ll give you the URL where you can find details on my website:

    http://www.dactyltech.co.za/caravan_mover.html#wa-anchor-jrbjpnd03wnfh4

    Sadly, the components here cannot be sourced from China, so it’s going to be a bit expensive. Details to follow.

    I’ll contact my existing users by email in due course;  existing units are upgradeable but require a firmware change, which means returning them to me, with attendant transport costs, I’m afraid.

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    EXPO CAMPER
    EXPO CAMPER on

    Yes current limiting will need some way of timing to ensure motor coils dont get too hot and burn..

    I have measured some movers using even 70Amps while moving a caravan on a straight level surface.. On my caravan 25 – 30 Amp is the going rate per motor…

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    Have you measured the currents with no load – wheel jacked up as well as drum disengaged?

    Seems like a lot of energy being lost somewhere, but the same on both wheels. Strange.

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