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A jockey wheel often comes standard with your caravan or trailer. The ‘A’ frame or draw bar will have a jockey wheel clamp. The shaft of the jockey wheel can come in different lifting heights eg: 35 mm, 42 mm, 48 mm, 60 mm etc.
There are different types of jockey wheels such as standard solid wheels or those with inflatable (pneumatic) tyres. Some jockey wheels can be permanently attached to the ‘A’ frame or draw bar and pivot from a vertical position when in use to a horizontal position when towing.
When the caravan or trailer is parked you can use a jockey wheel stabiliser to eliminate sideways movement.
It is a good idea to service and re-grease your jockey wheel at least once every twelve months.
To assist a single person park or manoeuvre an RV there are the ratchet operated jockey wheels. A handle can be used to operate the ratchet. The single wheel ratchet jockey wheel can be used for the single axel boat trailer, camper trailer and caravan and the two (or dual) wheel ratchet type for the tandem (two) axels caravans and trailers or if greater traction is required.
ratchet jockey wheel
HitchDrive is also another device available for single axle caravans and trailers up to 1,200 kg loaded (Safe Working Load 2,000 kg). The manufacturer claims it will handle gradients of up to 1:7 and manoeuvre the caravan or trailer through a complete 360 degree.
The power mover is a device that operates on 12V DC power from a battery usually mounted in your caravan or trailer but a battery box can be fitted to the top of the unit itself.
One such power mover, Aussie Wheel, has three models and the manufacturer claims the capacity ranges from 1,500 kg to 3,500 kg and the power output 124NM to 295 NM. There is an option for a ball hitch or jockey post to be able to connect your caravan or trailer to the power mover device.
Another manufacturer of a power mover is Powrtouch. It is British designed caravan or trailer mover operating on two 12V motors with reduction gearboxes. The manufacturer claims no matter what size and weight your caravan is they have a Powrtouch to suit.
Powrtouch Jockey Wheel Caravan Mover The Powrtouch device clamps onto the chassis of the caravan or trailer and comprises drive rollers that can be positioned on and off the tyres. The caravan or trailer tyres are driven by a locking CAM system and operated by a remote control handset which enables the caravan or trailer to be moved in all directions.
The Powracturator system kit can be fitted to the Powrtouch. It is a 12V linear actuator which replaces the over-lock CAM system for disengaging and engaging the rollers to the tyres.
The Powrwheel is a device that fits onto the jockey wheel of your caravan or tailer. The manufacturer claims it will pull loads up to 1,500 kg and will give you a 5 year guarantee.
The Powrhitch is a similar device but the manufacturer claims this will pull loads up to 3,500 kg.
Truma UK also has a product called the Mover SE suitable for most single axle caravan or trailer chassis with a gross weight up to 1,800 kg. At the push of a button on the remote handset the drive rollers are engaged and disengaged. The manufacturer claims the ‘Smooth Start’ drive feature provides jerk-free starting and stopping.
Purple Line Limited UK also has a 12V power mover called enduro with lightweight alloy rollers. The manufacturer claims the 12V motors will supply enough torque for operation on a 1:4 gradient.
All of these power movers are designed for manoeuvrability and to take the physical strain out of moving your caravan or trailer.
Trailer Drive Systems
If you wish to investigate, there are trailer drive systems available from the USA. The ProJack trailer drive system operates on 12V and includes a wireless remote and not only drives and steers your RV without being hitched to the tow vehicle but also raises and lowers the RV . The manufacturer claims it has a lifting capacity of 1,000 lbs and a moving capacity of 10,000 lbs
Other Ideas For Manoeuvring Your RV
The jockey wheel will operate best on a flat surface so if you need to move your caravan or trailer on uneven ground or up an incline then you may be better off installing an electric winch say at the end of your driveway and hooking it to a properly fitted winch point on your RV and use the jockey wheel to steer the direction of the RV.
Another idea for manoeuvring your RV is to have a front tow bar (with a tow ball) or push bar fitted to the tow vehicle. Get a qualified person to do the fitting especially if your tow vehicle is fitted with air bags as any bumps to the front of the vehicle may cause the air bags to activate. This device will enable you to face your caravan or trailer with your RV hitched to the front of your tow vehicle and make parking or manoeuvring of your RV just that much easier. There may be legal requirements for the tow ball not to protrude past the front bumper of your tow vehicle and for you to remove the coupling/tow ball from the front of your tow vehicle when not in use.