Category Archives: Reviews

Trail-A-Mate Review – Hydraulic Jack and Jockey Wheel – Change a Caravan Tire Easily

Trail-A-Mate is an item that all caravaners should have in their arsenal.

Its simply a BRILLIANT PRODUCT, especially if you have a few years under your belt like myself. (Old Guy Warning) haha

Trail-A-Mate Review - Caravan Flat Tire Changine Made Easy
Trail-A-Mate Review – Caravan Flat Tire Changing Made Easy

A Hydraulic Jack and Jockey wheel all in one combination.

Change your Caravans Flat Tire Easily and Safely

Two days after I made this Video above I actually got to use the Trail-A-Mate for real.
Sadly, I didn’t have a good camera with me, otherwise I would have replaced this video, with a real life demo.

Recipt for Tire bought two days after I made the Trail-A-Mate Video
Receipt for Tire bought two days after I made the Trail-A-Mate Video

I am so glad I had my Mate handy, it made changing the tire so easy.

It took me approx 1 1/2 hours all up, removing the flat tire, driving to the nearest tire center, getting a new tire fitted to the rim, returning to my trailer, and fitting it.

For those of you who have tried to use a standard car jack for your trailer or caravan, I feel your pain.

P.S. I am extremely impressed with the Trail-A-Mate. Its heavy duty steel construction gives you the confidence that it is built to last, and I thoroughly recommend it.

Trail-A-Mate Specs:

  • Minimum Height: 145mm
  • Maximum Height: 780mm
  • Working Load limit: 1,000kg

Whats inside the box:

  • 1 Hydraulic Jack
  • 1 Pair of jacking brackets (I forgot to mention in my video that these need to be securely fitted to your Caravan, trailer, etc.)
  • 1 Lifting Clamp
  • 1 Flat base plate
  • 1 Jockey wheel assembly
  • 1 Locating pin
  • 1 Extendable wheel brace (extends 200mm)
  • 1 Thin walled double ended wheel socket (19mm and 21mm)
  • 1 Promotional cap

Also a one year warranty card, to complete the package

Mine was supplied by

CaravanRVCamping.com.au

The link above will take you directly to the trail a mate page if you would like to buy one for yourself.

Caravan RV Camping actually care about you, the customer.

  • Australian Based
  • Very fast to dispatch your orders
  • Plus they have good competitive prices.

I give them a big thumbs up, and I will be happy to deal with them again.

Garry ([email protected])
www.caravanontour.com

Caravan Towing Mirrors

Caravan Towing Mirrors

What you want with any caravan towing mirrors, is ease of installation, good rear view visibility, and they MUST be Sturdy.

There is nothing more annoying, than having to pull over to the side of the road, after a semi has passed you in the opposite direction, and the force of the rushing air, has dislodged your drivers mirror.

Another gripe I have, is poor design, that allows your extended rear view mirrors, to constantly vibrate, rendering them almost useless, unless traveling really slow with no oncoming traffic.

I’m quite sure, you don’t want to ruin your travels, by constantly stopping every few kilometres, to adjust a mirror that’s moved, due to wind vibration, or bumps in the road.

Split View Towing Mirrors
Split View Towing Mirrors

The mirrors shown above Suit Nissan Patrol 1997 on-wards.

These have a standard Nissan Factory wiring harness already wired in, so basically its simply a matter of removing the original mirrors, connect the wiring harness  and bolting these new replacement towing mirrors in place.

Now you can take advantage of the extra length when pulled out to give an extra 100mm rear view visibility, plus large 200mm x 175mm flat main mirror with a 75mm X 175mm wide angle black spot  mirror below it.

Portable Washing Machine Hand Operated

Portable Washing Machine Hand Operated.

Washing Machines that are small and don’t weigh much, will pay for themselves many times over, especially, if you frequent caravan parks to do your laundry.

The Ezywash hand-operated washing machine shown below is an excellent example of an environmentally friendly washing machine, add some bio degradable detergent and a bit of elbow grease and you can do your clothes justice no matter where you are camping

Portable Hand Operated Washing Machine
Portable Hand Operated Washing Machine

.

I made the Video above demonstrating the Hand Operated Washing Machine I Own.
It works remarkably well and is easy to use, I was truly amazed at how much dirt was removed from my items of clothing I used in this demo. Make me really think about changing my socks more often haha.

Hitch Locks Help Prevent Theft of Caravans, Boat Trailers, Horse Floats

Trailer Coupling Hitch Locks.

Unfortunately, there are a few deranged people, who think nothing of stealing your hard earned Caravans, Boat Trailers, Horse Floats etc. These are easy targets for criminals, as they are often left unattended for extended periods of time.

Fitting hitch locks or wheel clamps, means your prized possession. should still be where you parked it.

Over the years, I have had a few different coupling Locks, and the latest being the Saracen Ultra, this is by far the best I’ve owned so far.

I am quite impressed with this Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock by Purple Line.

Using it on your Caravan, Boat, Horse Float etc, is quick and functional. Another great advantage, is you can now leave your trailer attached to your car, and drive without the need to remove the device first.

Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock by Purple Line
This photo above shows my Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock attached to my work trailer.

This Australian made Caravan and Trailer Hitch Lock, is constructed from a high strength composite metal, making it difficult to cut with any conventional hand tools.

Here is a YouTube Video Demo I made of the Saracen Ultra Trailer Hitch Lock by Purple Line

If you scroll to the 4.07 minute mark in this video, you will see a split screen on-road demo i did, showing two different viewpoints, with my car and trailer hitched while driving on the road. I also drove up and down driveways, to show the articulation of the coupling lock in action.

While nothing will stop a determined thief, this lock will make it difficult for the opportunistic ones out there.

Wheel Clamps are an Aid to Deter Thieves

Wheel Clamps to Deter Thieves

Wheel Clamps offer a visual aid to let would be thieves know its going to be rather difficult, to pinch you van.
So the brighter colour they are the better.

Hmm. I wonder if they make them with a glow in the dark paint job?

I once owned a cheap wheel clamp, similar to the one below, and I was not impressed with it at all.

Cheap Wheel Clamp
Cheap Wheel Clamp

 

My Cheap Chinese Wheel Clamp looked great, but it was constructed of a very thin metal, and was in reality, next to useless for the job at hand. (BUT it did look pretty on the van)

NOW for my Reality Call.

I forgot one day I had it clamped on the wheel of my caravan, and I started to drive off with it still attached to my van.
This cheap lock, simply crumbled, and fell apart.
So if you wanted to steal any van, or trailer using this cheap lock, you simply drive with it still attached to the wheel, and it will crumble and drop off.

You will hardly notice it was attached, apart from a small bump while driving when it drops off.

If only I had a camera at the time, I would have taken a video to show easily this cheap lock fell apart. (Don’t waste your money and buy a cheap one.)
The only good thing about this heap of junk, is it did no damage to my caravan, not a single scratch.

So needless to say, I have not bothered getting another cheap Chinese one to replace it.

I may buy a better one later, but not really sure just yet.

I do advise placing a cheap mobile phone with GPS hidden inside your van as additional security.
There are several cheap mobile plans that last for one year, and if your caravan did get stolen there is a very good chance of tracking and finding it.

Wheel Clamps are a Visual Deterrent
Wheel Clamps are a Visual Aid, to let thieves know this will be harder to steal, as well as a physical Deterrent to the process of nicking your van or trailer.

I strongly advise you based on my personal experience with a cheap wheel clamp.

Save yourself a headache in the making: pay a bit more, and get a heavy duty wheel clamp, from a reputable manufacturer.

High Pressure Tyre Pump 12volt Thumper MKII

Thumper MKII High Pressure Tyre Pump 12volt.

We all need a good High Pressure Tyre Pump, especially if you intend to go off road in your 4×4 or SUV.

My personal preference is to use 12 volt battery power, as I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for manually pumping up BIG 4×4 Tyre’s.
P.S. I have a High Pressure Hand Pump (and YES I do use it now and then to keep fit) plus an Old Foot Pump that’s long past its use-by date..

The photo below is of my own personal 12 volt high pressure pump I bought online. I also did a video showing it in action pumping up a 4×4 Tyre for those interested.

High Pressure Tyre Pump
A 12 Volt High Pressure Tyre Pump is shown in the photo above.

The Demo Video Below, is my 12v Thumper Air Compressor in action.

The Tyre I used in this video is from a Mitsubishi Pajero 4×4. (For those interested)

IMPORTANT VIDEO NOTE:
I should have had the car motor running for this video, when I was using the 12v pump, (It can drain your battery, if you pump up several Tyre’s in one session) for me, having the car motor running wasn’t necessary, as I had a second vehicle on hand, if I needed a jump start.

The 12v powered High Pressure Pumps, make life so much easier, and really aren’t that expensive to buy. I really recommend them over manual ones, any day of the week.

If you intend to do beach driving, you will need to regulate your Tyre pressures, by lowering them for the sand condition, and then re-inflating them for dirt, and normal on road use. This is a lot of hard work, if you have a hand, or foot operated pump only.