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APRIL 2020
     

 


   Avoiding potentially lethal accidents

Council offers some wheely
good uplifting advice on jacks

   Have your say

THE Caravan Council of Australia believes now is the ideal time to highlight potentially lethal problems being encountered by some RV owners when replacing wheels.

With so many RVs out of action due to the coronavirus crisis many owners have been turning their attention to a little maintenance often involving jacking up their vehicles.

And council general manager Colin Young said there had recently been complaints regarding caravan jacks, with some suppliers reportedly not providing one as standard equipment.

"Some are offering a general-purpose jack as an optional extra for 'vans that do not have proper jacking points on the underside of the chassis rails," he warned.

"In order to prevent embarrassing and potentially-lethal accidents, it is imperative that mechanical means of positively preventing the top of a jack from slipping in any horizontal direction are provided on the caravan."

Mr Young stressed it was essential the jacking system was able to raise a caravan so that any wheel could can be removed and replaced with a fully-inflated tyre.

"The jack must have sufficient force and sufficient travel in relation to the type of suspension fitted hence the amount of 'droop' occurring when the caravan is raised along with the longitudinal position of the jacking point from the coupling.

"It is certainly reasonable to believe that a caravan manufacturer or supplier should realise that their caravans would most likely, at some time, have a punctured or worn tyre that needed to be replaced."

Mr Young said an owner may reasonably believe that all equipment needed to conveniently replace a wheel would be provided with their caravan.

"This would include a tool to loosen and tighten the wheel nuts and a jacking system to enable the fully-loaded caravan to be safely raised to a sufficient height and then safely lowered.

"Rather than scratching your head in the middle of the outback and trying to work out how to use the jack, it is most advisable that a trial run is conducted ... before you set off on a trip."

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