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Caravan mover

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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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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    Screenshot of my ewiks motors turning backwards. The left one is working really hard and is close to auto disconnect to prevent the circuit breaker from tripping. Once disconnected it will again respond to a command button on the mobile phone after a short delay, but immediately disconnect again if the motor remains jammed. Manual intervention is then required to free the wheel or, more likely, the jockey wheel.

    Never having to replace fuses again is huge relief.

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

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    Wilsur
    Wilsur on

    Blazer

    I could not find what caravan do you have ?

    For the single axel caravan I would go for the local make as it is cheaper than any other imported make.

    But for the double axel caravan it is a different story as the local product is not designed for that.  I have done lots of searching before I made my choice in the Powrtouch mover.  On this model I only use one mover per side.

    Do yourself a favour and look at this web site https://www.caravanmoversonline.co.uk/pages/compare-movers.html

    Kampgroete

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    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    Anybody that wants to move a caravan to a spot that the tow vehicle cannot take it wants a caravan mover. Is it worth it? Once you reach a certain age it is no longer fun to heave on caravan handles, and extraction is nearly always more difficult than insertion. Whether it’s worth it depends on what you have to do without should you purchase a caravan mover – in other words it depends on you. I certainly would never want to be without a mover on my very heavy single axle van.

    Most owners will have experience only on a single brand of mover – the one they have fitted, and are not in a position to comment on other brands. Several contributors have suggested that this magazine runs a comparative article on the various types available but the editor has so far failed to respond to this request.

    On this thread the discussion has mostly been about ewiks, the local product and for many owners the only brand they could reasonably afford.  Much of the discussion has been about the ability of the motors to overcome heavy, and often abnormal, resistance and the blowing of motor fuses when the motors are overloaded.

    Looking at the UK online comparison chart that the link given on a previous post takes you to you will see that those motors draw currents of up to 100 Amps, while ewiks has fuses that blow at only 30 Amps. Clearly the UK devices are more powerful and more capable. They also cost more than twice the price, and the backup is 11,000km away.

    As an ewiks user myself I recognise the limitations of their offering and plan accordingly. I ensure that the wheels do not have to climb out of a hole, I place a board under the jockey wheel if the surface is soft, and I clear obstructions from the path of the main wheels in good time.

    Despite this I have in the past gone through an irritatingly large number of fuses, and wasted valuable minutes replacing them. In the last couple of weeks I’ve implemented the circuit breaker and current limiter upgrade to the mobile phone remote control also covered on this forum, and that has solved this problem for me. No more fuses to change, and the circuit breakers never trip because the current sensors disconnect the motors when they start to overload. The total price of this entire kit is still less than half of what I would have spent in the UK, and I get friendly and effective backup to boot.

    I don’t think there’s any question that you want or need a caravan mover – the question is How much are you able and prepared to spend? And the older you get the longer your back muscles need to recover from their version of overload, which increasingly skews the decision towards caravan mover with every month that passes.

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    Fyko
    Fyko on

    It is diffucult to estimate the practical losses through heat and friction between the motor and the caravan wheels so we have to assume these to be up to 50%. But even at that figure the effective combined horzontal thrust from ewiks movers must be in excess of 4000 Newtons, or 400kgf. Maybe as high as 600kgf.

    The published UK comparison table seems focused on the steepness of gradient that the motors can overcome, which makes little sense to me since most people won’t want to camp on a 1 in 4 incline.

    Since many campers seek level sites covered with lush grass it would be more appropriate to do practical evaluations with the heaviest caravans on similar surfaces with a variety of motor systems.  The hill-climbing ability is of interest only to those that live on hillsides ands want to park using their movers only.

    In my experience the most critical phase is the first one, where the caravan must be budged from the place where the wheels have depressed a hollow over the time they have been immobile, requiring the movers to lift the caravan almost vertically. After that it all goes much easier.

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    Pieter Kalis
    Pieter Kalis on

    Very happy with my Ewiks and the service from Wimpie Struwig. Installed mine at my house for R15600.00. 0823333833. Joburg.

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    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    There should be more freelance installers of caravan movers around.

    The older I get the more I need a caravan mover but the less inclined I am to crawl underneath to do the installation.

    Over Easter at Richards Bay I could have sold a dozen movers to the old codgers that were developing hernias wrestling their caravans into those awkward but very pretty sites.

    There must be a good business opportunity right there for someone with a few of the more common kits from ewiks doing on-the-spot sales and installations. Just drive around looking for old guys with back-ache, and sell him a kit while the pain is still fresh!

    And for me the mobile phone remote control would be a definite essential as well. Excellent mobility all around the van is just great.

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    Joe Steele
    Joe Steele on

    I agree with Dan Perkins 100%. With every year that passes I rely more on my ewiks. What was very much a luxury indulgence when I was younger has become an absolute necessity of late.

    I hear ewiks are making some ‘improvements’ to their product, like quieter motors etc., which is fine by me as long as they also stay with the old model at the old price. Since I retired money seems to get a little bit tighter every year, and I’m quite happy to put up with a bit of noise so long as I can still afford the stuff. I know there’s more powerful motors on the imported movers, but they come at more than twice the price, which puts them far out of my reach.

    My present van came with the motors already fitted but the idea of somebody calling at my house with a bakkie containing all the right tools and all the right kit, ready to complete the installation on a COD basis appeals to me greatly ( I’d be quite happy to advance a security deposit if he had a good reputation).  I’m no longer the right shape or in the right condition to go crawling under a caravan and lift heavy things into place.

    As for the remote control, I don’t see why they don’t supply that as standard equipment. Unless you’re moving in a straight line for a known distance you need to be able to move around the caravan while positioning it. That means a long trailing cable, which you will sooner or later drive over, thereby tearing it out of its connector – or a remote control.

    I received mine within 2 days and my wife downloaded the whatever into the phone inside of 3 minutes. My son installed the little control box and switch plate in the time it took me to organise the six-pack of Windhoek he demanded as payment. (When I saw later what he had done I reckon I could do a neater job in half an hour or less, and save myself a week’s supply of beer into the bargain!) It didn’t come with any instruction book but they tell me all the info is on the Internet. I suppose that’s how things are done these days.

    Now I never have to search for the remote because I know exactly where it is – it’s in my wife’s handbag – and the battery is charged, she always makes sure of that.

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    Mike Louw
    Mike Louw on

    Hi, I manufacture the OLD MAN CARAVAN MOVER. It is a 12 volt jockey wheel supplied as a complete kit with mounting brackets and cable to your battery  in the front of your caravan. Variation in cable lengths due to different battery positions can be catered for. The mover is precision built, PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN weighing in at only 14 kgs. An easy diy project. Does not replace your existing jockey wheel. Heavy duty 4ply tyre. Forward and reverse and auto braking. Suitable for use on firm surfaces as in caravan parks and at home on gradients of up to 5 degrees. Easily removable for towing or storage.  I can be contacted on 0829594145 or email oldmanafricaeng@gmail.com

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    Pieter Kalis
    Pieter Kalis on

    http://www.caravanmovers.co.za

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    Reinhard Hettasch
    Reinhard Hettasch on

    Joe, I enjoyed reading your contribution!

    Mike, when you talk about 5°, is that really what you mean? 5° is rather flat. Are you not perhaps meaning a gradient of 1:5 (one in five, meaning a unit vertical for every five units horizontal) ? That is something of real impact.

    I am wanting to have movers installed and have done some research. Ewiks still comes out top of the list when used correctly, and of course at it’s more affordable price tag. Ee want them fitted to our new Skipper (which we will probably collect quite soon), but the bracket for the Ewik apparently has to be fitted exactly where the spring’s shackle is fitted, for the reach. I was hoping that Ewik would adapt their mount bracket to suite various applications, but it is apparently not economical for them to do so. I have since spoken to someone in Centurion (we live in Pretoria) who would manufacture something to overcome this hurdle.

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    Pieter Kalis
    Pieter Kalis on

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Call Wimpie 0823333833  . He can custom fit the ewiks for you.</p>

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    Reinhard Hettasch
    Reinhard Hettasch on

    Thanks Pieter, I have taken a screen print with their details after having opened your link above a little while ago.

    Ps Do you perhaps know how to change my username? I want to add my first name. The field where the username appears seems to be inaccessible. I have phoned the contact number and left a message, but suspect that someone on the forum may be able to advise.

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    Joe Steele
    Joe Steele on

    Im afraid you’ll wait in vain for someone from the magazine to answer you. They have about the worst email manners I’ve come across for a long time. That specifically includes the editors.

    To change your user name just create a new user and abandon the old one. You can’t change the primary index field.

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    Reinhard Hettasch
    Reinhard Hettasch on

    Thanks Joe, that sounds like an executable solution!

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