Hints And Tips

How to Avoid Snaking

Choosing a towbar

Fitting a Towbar

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Burnt fingers?

Camping delicacies

 

 

 

How to Avoid Snaking

Snaking occurs for various reasons - from a badly packed car and caravan to buffeting winds and aggressive driving. It can be reduced by fitting a quality stabiliser. However, a stabiliser should never be used to counteract a poor towing combination or bad driving.
A stabiliser device is not a cure for worn steering or suspension components.

Points to remember when towing:

  1. Check tyre pressures regularly. Too low a pressure at the rear of the car and caravan can be   disastrous.

  2. Reduce speed on downhills.

  3. Never overtake on a downhill

  4. Keep within the nose weight and laden weight limits of your combination.

  5. Keep an eye on overtaking vehicles -slipstream effects from large trucks and touring coaches can cause snaking. Keep well to the left of the carriageway and if possible cross over into the yellow line to allow faster moving traffic to pass unhin­dered. Crossing the yellow line is only per­missible on single lane highways. If you feel the car and caravan starting to snake, your instinctive reaction may be to brake hard or accelerate. This is not advis­able and is extremely dangerous. The proper course of action is to take your foot off the accelerator and SLOW DOWN by braking gently, and gradually, until full control is regained.

Stabiliser system

The Trapezium stabiliser is a South African design that has proven so successful that it is now sold both in Europe and the UK. The Trapezium works by transferring the towing point from the rear of the car to closer to the middle of the vehicle’s axle. Apart from sedating snaking it also takes out the sudden wind buffeting that is encountered when passing a heavy vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction.

In Europe the use of a stabiliser is considered essential. The Trapezium stabiliser is considered the best available. You can even order your caravan straight from the factory with a stabiliser fitted, as you would order a vehicle with ABS brakes fitted.

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Choosing a towbar

Towbars can be fitted by both the professional and the DIY person. If fitting yourself, ensure that all instructions are read and understood before starting. If fitting yourself, make sure all bolts are tightened to correct specifications and take extra care when connecting into the cars wiring loom.

NB: It is vital that when a car and caravan are ‘hitched’ together that the caravan has a slightly nose down attitude. A drop plate may have to be fitted to achieve this. Should the towbar obstruct the number plate, it must be removed when not towing.

Important Points:

It is very important to select a towbar which has been approved of by the motor manu­facturers for the following reasons.

  1. Fitting points are calculated to utilise the optimum strength of the vehicle and to enhance the safety aspect of a towbar. Failure in using incorrect fitting points can hinder safety when towing.

  2. Fitting points recommended by vehicle manufacturers must be used if unnecessary stresses are to be avoided on the vehicle’s chassis. Towmaster, for example, manufacture numerous towbar designs - all of which fit precisely to fitting points.

  3. You could also invalidate your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty if an ‘approved’ tow-boris not used. Towmaster towbars are sold to both vehicle dealers and aftermarket out­lets and meet with all motor industry requirements.

  4. The correct towball height for the Sprite, Gypsey, WiIk and the current Jurgens range is 400 mm from the ground to the top of the towball. Bear in mind that this height will be affected when weight - such as occupants and holiday gear - is loaded into the car. You may have to opt for a drop plate (an adaptor plate available in various sizes) to gain the correct towball height.

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Fitting a Towbar

Towbars can be fitted by do-it-yourselfers provided that all instructions are read and understood before starting. Make sure all bolts are tightened to the correct specifications and take extra care when connecting into the car’s wiring loom.

NB: It is vital that when a car and caravan are ‘hitched’ together that the caravan has a slight­ly nose down attitude. A drop-plate may have to be fitted to achieve this.

Should the towball obstruct the number plate it must be removed when not towing.

 Important Points

It is very important to select a towbar that has been approved by the motor manufacturers for the following reasons:

1) Fitting points are calculated to utilise the optimum strength of the vehicle and to enhance the safety aspect of a towbar, Failure to use the correct fitting points can hinder safety when towing.

 2) Fitting points recommended by vehicle manu­facturers must be used if unnecessary stresses are to be avoided on the vehicle’s chassis. Towmastec for example, manufacture numerous towbar designs - all of which fit precisely to fitting points.

3) You could also invalidate you vehicle manu­facturer’s warranty if an ‘approved’ towbar is not used. Towmaster towbars are sold to both vehicle dealers and aftermarket outlets and meet with all motor industry requirements.

4) The correct towbail height for the Sprite, Gypsey. Wilk and the current Jurgens range is 400 mm from the ground to the top of the towball. Bear in mind that this height will be affected when weight - such as occupants and holiday gear is loaded into the car. You may have to opt for a drop-plate (an adaptor plate available in various sizes) to gain the correct towball height.

Note:  Pins 5 and 7 are normaly bridged.  Couple the caravan onto the towball before testing as the towball is used for earthing the chassis.

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Burnt fingers?

 

Most people fit a piece of wood to the lid of their potjie pot because it gets too warm to handle.

So I thought what about the pot handle; it’s always lying on the side in the heat as well. After a few minutes of thought I came up with this idea which I found works well.

I welded a piece of 3 mm round bar to the centre of the pot handle and drilled a corresponding 5 mm hole into the wooden handle of the lid. The length of the round bar must be just the right length so that when picking up the pot the weight releases the shaft from the wooden lid handle.

This allows the lid to come off for inspection of the cooking progress, and the pot handle can now rest on the side of the pot when the lid is off and not in the heat of the fire.

Brian Dallimore
PO Box 260
Riebeeck Kasteel
7307

 

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Weld a short bar to the     handle (arrowed)


The height of the wooden lid handle is critical — it must release itself under the full weight of the pot but stay on top when the pot and lid are on tbe flre