Caravan mover

Return to: Caravans, Motorhomes & Trailers

Come chat with us in the forum. Click here to register an account or if you are already registered click here to log in.

  • Profile Photo

    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.

  • Profile Photo
    Fyko on

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Corrosion of the Powder Coated Parts.</p>
    Possibly due to being permanently located at the coast I’m experiencing quite a bit of corrosion penetrating the powder coating on my movers. When I was in manufacturing I could never find a powder coating operation that was prepared (or able) to apply a zinc powder coat primer under the finishing coat, with the result that anything I sent to the coast started peeling within a few months. Eventually I just stopped sending stuff to the coast.

    I had a word with Kyle Warburg about this and from their side they are working on various improved corrosion protections as well.

    What I do with anything powder coated at the coast is wait 6 months for a layer of rust to form on the metal under the finish, strip the detaching plastic layer off with a sharp putty knife, and then paint it over with Spanjaard 95% zinc spray. Lasts quite well but not forever.

    The transverse square tube is completely rusr-resistant, so you won’t need to take that out.

    I’d be interested to hear what other chaps do about this condition.

    Fortunately the motors take only a few minutes to remove and strip, so it’s a very quick and simple repair, and a good opportunity to grease the planetary gearbox as well. (Don’t take the back cap off the motor because you’ll need to make a special tool to reassemble the brushes).



    Profile Photo
    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    It’s not just South African powder coating that shells off. I have a Honda 350 ATV at the coast with a black powder coated chassis. One day about 80% of the powder coating layer fell off, almost in one piece, revealing a sea of rust below.

    I tried various treatments, including Rustoleum spraypaint from Builders Warehouse (the most expensive and useless remedy of them all), but eventually had to scrap the bike entirely due to rust holes in the chassis.

    I’ll give the zinc spray you mentioned a try. Whatever you do don’t paint it black, paint it some light colour, or silver that will show the brown rust stain coming through, so you can zap it some more.

    As you say, taking the motors down requires only 2 spanner sizes and 10 minutes, so doing timely maintenance is not very onerous.

    But unlike Mick Jagger you don’t want to ‘Paint It Black’.

    Profile Photo
    Jannie Louw
    Jannie Louw on

    I also have the Ewiks movers on my Gypsey Regal. As you say a bit noisy, but they work well. Mostly, I’m impressed with the after sales services. We had one of the resistors blow during our three month trip. It happened on route to the Kgalagadi we stayed for a week. I contacted, Kyle and explained my situation and also my lack of technical expertise. (Not bad actually) The problem was that there are four resistors and I wasn’t sure which one had blown. So he couriered 4 new ones to our next stop, which arrived safely. So it was a case of unplug and refit all four and were good to go. Thank you Kyle. Also, after extensive use one motors gears were playing up. So instead of taking the van to them, I took off both motors and dropped them off for repair and servicing. When collecting them there was no charge to my pleasant surprise as my movers were still under guarantee. They also wrapped the motors with a rubber blanket for protection on dirt roads at no charge. Service and after sales service is big thing in my life and boy you don’t get any better than from Ewiks. By the way I don’t have any affiliation to them, they don’t even know who I am.

    Hope this is of help.

    Profile Photo
    Fyko on

    Ek het vroer genoem dat ek Afrikaanse teks in my afstand beheer vir die ewiks woonwa skuiwer aangebring:

    Toe begin ek eers rondkyk en kom ek agter daars amper nie ‘n foon op aarde wat die Afrikaanse taalpaket besit nie. Maar na ‘n bietjie navorsing kan ek nou vertel dat die hele nuwe Nokia reeks wel Afrikaans-magtig is.

    Volgens my het eenige foon met 3GB of meer RAM genoeg in die broek om die werk te doen. Dit behels alles opwaards vanaf Nokia 5.1 Plus. Vergeet van die kameras, die RAM is waar die apps gestoor word, en 3GB is genoeg om ‘n goeie spoed te verseker.

    Omdat ek nou nie nog ‘n foon wil gaan koop nie sou ek dit baie waardeer as iemand met ‘n Nokia (eenige model) my Woonwas Skuiwer app sou installer en toets. Ek is redelik seker dit gaan werk, maar 100% is altyd beter as 99%.

    Baie dankie.

    Profile Photo
    george wetselaar
    george wetselaar on

    everything expo camper says above is very true, ewiks x4 on my fully packed exclusive on a campsite that is sandy don’t work to good, I resorted to fitting a towbar at the front of my vechile , just so much easier to get the big van on the spot on a sandy site. driving it into my carport on a concrete surface , they are then perfect.

    Profile Photo
    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    I’ve also had some corrosion problems with the powder coating flaking off.

    I consulted with a few specialists in this field and they seem to agree that the most cost-effective way of protecting these steel components is with a high zinc-content spray such as Spanjaard.

    This spray-paint adheres best to surface rust so you shouldn’t sand-blast or grind the surface clean – just remove the loose material from the surface and paint it over.

    Don’t worry about the bits of powder coat that still stick – they will separate in time and you can treat those areas in a year’s time.

    So far it’s worked well for me, and it’s a very low-cost solution for extending the life of my motors indefinitely.

    Profile Photo
    Barry Mollett
    Barry Mollett on

    Using a second hand 3 ton winch and smallish pneumatic (Treaded, bigger and wider than a standard jockey wheel, which I think is half the problem moving a van on anything but flat concrete or tarred surfaces) wheel, I made a mover which mounts in seconds onto a bracket on the A frame (Not the tow hitch) and runs off a deep cycle battery in the van. It works great on level grass and paved surfaces with good maneuverabilty forward and backwards. I have still to test it on slopes or deep sand. I use the winch hand control which enables me to stand to either side of the van and steer it safely. It cost me just under R550.00 in material,(Excluding battery) and about 4-5 hours actual labour (Lots of other hours thinking and cursing)  It is also not excessively noisy and stores comfortably in the car boot when not in use. There are a fair number of used 4×4 type 12 volt winches around and can be sized to suit your caravan. Generally they are, due to their design purpose, weather resistant, strong and reliable. Anyone with a welder and basic mechanical skills should be able to make one at a reasonable cost, definitely saved the back a few aches!

    Profile Photo
    Deon Jacobs
    Deon Jacobs on


    It’s a pity I only find this thread now, after I’ve encountered all the issues it addresses. It seems all caravan owners sooner or later have similar experiences. When the kids were young and strong (and with us) getting the caravan positioned was a family affair, though not without its disagreements. Now it has become a huge pain. Literally.

    I tried the tow-bar mounted on the front bumper and found it useful for parking the van at home, but not much else. In camp you still need lots and lots of space in front of the A-frame for the vehicle, so it doesn’t really change anything, other than protecting the front of the bakkie from people that can’t parallel park in the street very well. Quite often I find suspicious pieces of plastic littering the area around my front tow hitch when I return to the bakkie from some errand.

    I’ve tried various jockey wheel options, even the hand-cranked one, but they’re all defeated by the same thing – when the going gets tough the jockey wheel either stalls or loses  traction and just digs itself a hole.  Also there’s a lot of unpacking and mounting to be done before you’re actually ready to do some caravan moving. It works for some maybe but certainly not for me.

    Soon after I retired I bought myself a set of Ewiks movers because a childhood leg injury started playing up and without the kids around I just couldn’t position the Penta anymore. I’ve seen imported movers at work on occasion and they may have one or two minor advantages over Ewiks but the price for me is just totally prohibitive. And when I see the kind of cabling they need to carry those currents of 100Amps and more, never mind the switchgear, I can see where some of the money goes. The battery I had at the time, though good enough for the little loads around the caravan, was not up to driving the motors, and had to be replaced.

    The little bit of grinding noise from the Ewiks doesn’t worry me in the slightest – it tells me when the motors are turning.  The powder coating started shelling off the profile-cut parts within 6 months of moving to the coast but that’s easily remedied by any number of coatings or paints. At the coast they have plenty of experience with rust, and what to do about it. Oddly the motors, gearboxes, and drive drums don’t rust at all – obviously made by someone who knows how to protect against corrosion. I also changed all the M8 fasteners to stainless steel.

    A little bit more worrying is seeing evidence of the planetary gears failing on high-time units.  The gearbox is easy enough to change, though I’m not so sure about pulling the pinion gear off the motor spindle. Maybe one should keep a spare of the entire motor/gearbox unit if the movers have worked hard.

    My neighbour put me onto the mobile phone remote control, which is not well advertised (though I see some links to the website on this thread), but worth its weight nevertheless. I was worried about the usual computer-type situation where nothing works without a protracted struggle, but this installed on my phone in less than 2 minutes, and the control box took less than half an hour to get working at the first attempt – the online info is very comprehensive and caters for those like me that grew up before the technology was invented.  The increased mobility that the phone provides is wonderful, and the neighbour, who is serious about his language and culture now has it all in Afrikaans, which makes him doubly happy. I did have one or two problems with the battery discharging too far for the remote control, so I put in the gel-cell, which cured that perfectly.

    I read a lot about fuses blowing and the frustration it causes. Maybe because the Penta is not terribly heavy I that was never a major issue for me, though I was always careful to have a good supply on hand. Now with the circuit breakers and current limiter of the  remote control that’s completely a thing of the past. I can watch the amperages on my phone, which tells me how hard I’m milking the battery, and when they get to 30A the motors start to pulse, which tells me to clear some obstruction – normally the jockey wheel digging in or being blocked by something.

    So far I’ve spent a little under R14K (in today’s money) to get the whole thing working to my satisfaction, which is about half of what the imports seem to be going for, so I’ve got nothing to complain about. I just wish I’d found this thread sooner and saved myself taking a few wrong turns.

    Profile Photo
    Fyko on

    Hi Pieter,

    Ek het toevallig hierdie in ‘n nuusbrief ontvang van Netram in Kaapstad (

    Van hierdie kan jy ‘n afstand beheer bou wat nie ‘n selfoon bevat nie. Dit soek onder andere ‘n omhulsel en ‘n grendeling wat verhoud dat voor en agteruit relais terseldetyd gesluit word. Anders lyk dit asof dit kan werk.

    Ek hoop dit help jou.



    Profile Photo
    Fyko on

    Starting at V 1.4 of the Caravan Mover and Winch Control apps I have added ‘Inch Mode’ as a feature.

    When the INCH MODE button is held down any press of the motor buttons sends a single power pulse to the selected motors. The actual effective length of the pulse depends partly on the delay and dwell times of the contactors, but will be between 300 and 500mS. The power pulse will only be repeated with the next press of the motor button.

    This is quite a useful feature when stowing the winch cable, or finely positioning the caravan, and minimal amounts of movement are required. V 1.4 is compatible with all previous versions of the app.



    Profile Photo
    Franz Reichhart
    Franz Reichhart on

    I had an ALKO-MAMUT fitted to my Fendt 465 when new 7 years ago. Yes, it was expensive but as others mentioned, my Caravaning days would have ended a long time ago if it wasn’t for the Mover. I am now 70 and enjoy once a month a midweek outing. The Mover has never slipped even uphill at Warmwaterberg near Montagu. From the first to the 3rd terrace. Just need to have a spare set of 3 AAA batteries for the remote.

    Profile Photo
    Brian Britz
    Brian Britz on

    Hi Franz I too have the Alko-Mammut installed on our Dethleffs 7 years ago. Also had very good backup service from AKLO South Africa.

Come chat with us in the forum. Click here to register an account or if you are already registered click here to log in.

Viewing 12 replies - 61 through 72 (of 72 total)

Come chat with us in the forum. Click here to register an account or if you are already registered click here to log in.