Recently, I ‘road tested’ the AL-KO Power Mover and was amazed how its ratchet drive mechanism made caravan manoeuvring a cinch. It’s obviously strong enough for a single person to move a caravan even up small inclines.
I also think it would be a godsend when manoeuvring your caravan, once unhitched from the tow-tug, from the driveway into a carport etc. Or even when parking up in tight caravan sites.
Additionally, if you find it difficult connecting your vehicle to the caravan when backing up, then you can simply ‘power move’ your rig to the coupling and lower directly onto the hitch.
It also appears ideal for caravanners who lack the physical strength to manoeuvre their caravan with a standard jockey wheel or grab handles.
As seen in these images, the AL-KO Power Mover’s user-friendly operation was clearly demonstrated by the RV Repair Centre’s foreman Paul Hewat – all in only seven easy steps.
First, Paul engaged the caravan park brake, utilised a jack and chocked the rear wheels before securing the Power Mover to the drawbar.
He then lowered the Power Mover as far as possible on the 48mm diameter zinc-plated telescopic tube (around the fork of the unit), selected the directional settings on the two spring-loaded pawls, and then engaged the Power Mover traction handle.
Finally, after carefully releasing the caravan park brake, Paul raised and lowered the traction handle for controlled forward or backward movement.
The AL-KO Power Mover has a 150kg dynamic capacity and 350kg static capacity, along with three clamping positions providing a lift range of 355mm to 755mm.
This unit came with a standard AL-KO clamp, but an extra wide clamp is available if you wish to increase stability.
Weighing almost 15kg, this AL-KO Power Mover also came with a robust solid 10in tyre which has superseded the earlier pneumatic tyre version.
Important: The AL-KO Power Mover can be used to move up a slight gradient and the double pawl system will resist roll back, but the Power Mover must not be relied upon as a park brake. Particular care should be taken if the incline changes to a decline as the Power Mover will free wheel after the peak of the incline has been reached. Use the caravan/trailer brake to control any tendency to free wheel.
Should an emergency arise and you need to stop the caravan/trailer suddenly, turn the handle of the AL-KO Power Mover swiftly at right angles to the direction of movement.
NB. This product , which comes with a one-year warranty, is designed for use with single-axle caravans/trailers only. The jockey wheel should be lowered before movement is attempted as under heavy loads and extended height, damage may occur to the telescopic tube of the AL-KO Power Mover.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Even first-time RVers will find the AL-KO Power Mover simplistic to operate.
The heavy-duty Power Mover, as opposed to a standard jockey wheel, allows you to push or pull your van around with minimal effort and optimum manoeuvrability. And that’s largely courtesy of a ratchet gear built-in to the side of its solid rubber wheel for greater load capacity and torque.
You can easily move your caravan into positions impossible to achieve when connected to a tow vehicle. The double pawl system allows you to push or pull the caravan and will resist roll back to allow you to move up a slight incline.
Once you’ve engaged the traction handle, it’s as easy as raising and lowering it to effect forward or backward movement. No more back breaking effort!
The lever handle drives the ratchet which turns the wheel and pulls your van with ease – even on grass! And the Power Mover fits on your existing jockey wheel clamp.
Please remember that the strength of the telescopic tube (shaft) is greatly reduced in the extended position and could possibly bend or break during movement. Thus, lower the shaft as far as possible without limiting the wheel from pivoting before moving. Lowering the Power Mover will also make it safer and easier to manoeuvre.
MEET THE AUTHOR
With more than 30 years’ journalistic experience, Peter’s brief predominantly centres on editorial reviews for Caravan World and Camper magazines. A relative late starter to the trials and tribulations of the RV industry, Peter has been making up for lost time caravanning and camping with his family around Victoria. Initially, Gippsland was the primary stamping ground free camping in idyllic bush settings such as Dargo and Licola, beside the Wonnangatta and Macalister rivers respectively. Other favourite haunts also became ensconced on the family camping itinerary – Jamieson in Victoria’s High Country, Whitfield in the King Valley, Princetown on the Great Ocean Road, and Bright in the Ovens Valley.