From Love To Hate
We’ve had a single axle caravan for years and we’ve used an Alko Wheel Lock. The sort that has an attachment to the chassis and the lock bolts onto it, effectively stopping the wheel from turning, or indeed being taken off.
It worked very well for years, well, apart from the dealer giving us the wrong one to start with and the bolt wouldn’t fit in the whole that it’s meant to be inserted into. That was a stressful Saturday afternoon. I even called the dealer, who transferred me to a mechanic, who went about explaining how I put a bolt into a hole. I of course, politely explained I knew how to do this sort of thing and that I knew when a round piece of metal is too large to fit into a hole.
I was sent the correct one and we used it for years. It was always a bit of a task lining the hole up with the bolt, but we had a motor mover so it only took a minute.
Fast forward a little while and we’re proud owners of a twin axle and were initially pleased it came with Alko Wheel Locks, not one, but two, these are expensive things, what a great deal we’ve got in getting them for free (included in the price).
My joy was short lived after I realised that although lining one wheel up, by going backwards and forwards with the motor mover is easy, two aren’t so easy. How could I have not thought this was going to be an issue? I’ll tell you how, because I was in silly adult mode, getting a new caravan, my brain was disengaged and I was using only my heart. My brain told my heart that the heart was, in fact, unable to write cheques, but the very fact I have a twin axle sitting on the drive with TWO Alko Wheel Locks proves otherwise 🙂
I would like to work out what the odds are for both wheels to line up perfectly. Oh wait, I’ve done the maths; 200 gazillion to 1, they are the odds. There’s more chance of dying, or indeed winning the lottery and if I’d won the lottery I’d replace them! Whilst I’m at it I’d add another 2 motor movers so I had all wheel drive. Anyway, thats not the subject of this rant!
Just Jack It Up
Of course, fitting both locks is easy. “You just jack the side of the caravan up” OK, clever clogs, you try doing that when you’ve just driven for 6 hours and it’s dark, pissing down with rain plus, your drive is a gravel drive that’s also on a slope. I mean Bailey even supplied my with a jack. How thoughtful, I thought, until I tried to use it. The first time was OK, the second time the jack slipped on the gravel and got wedged under the caravan. “Put a piece of wood under it to stop it slipping”. I’m not the sort of person that has a piece of wood lying around, why does everything have to involve some gizmo that someone has created in their shed?
Problem With A Slope
We’re very fortunate to be able to keep our caravan on our drive, which just about fits, length wise. The problem is the drive is on a slope. When I put the ALKO Locks on the caravan will naturally shift backwards a bit, down the slope. This causes the wheels to move and to tighten the lock to the wheel.This of course means it would never get stolen, NO ONE would be able to remove them, this includes me and I have the key! When undoing the bolt, it never gets easier. Normally undoing a bolt it’s gets easier as it loosens. Well these never loosen and it’s a battle that the locks always win!
More Advice Than I Can Handle
I’m good at taking advice, I’m good at listening to people I can learn from. But really, everyone has an opinion about Alko locks on a twin axle.
“What’s wrong with you, use a trolley jack!” Well, no one said use that before, so I go out and buy a trolley jack, oh yes I’ve done my research and get a “low profile” one, as in my opinion a trolley jack is a trolley jack, I just buy one from Halfords. “Dont jack it up on the chassis, use a bit of wood between the jack and the chassis, only jack up on the mounting point” Do what? I just want to fit a sodding wheel lock and go to bed!
“Lower the front of the caravan”, “Raise the front of the caravan”, “Make sure the caravan is level”
When anyone starts a sentence with “All you’ve got to do is…” or “It’s dead easy” I switch off.
BTW I had to buy a trolley jack because, as mentioned earlier, my ALKO jack slipped, wedged itself under the caravan, so I used the trolley jack to free the ALKO jack. Come on, caravanning is meant to be fun. It’s not like I’m a newbie, I’ve been at it for 13 years. I know, you’d expect me to be good at this stuff by now right?
Alternatives To Alko
If you have a twin axle and you’re looking to find an easier way of putting on Alko Wheel Locks, good luck. I know that isn’t very helpful, but I’m in a dark place with these locks 🙂
Lock’n’Level is a system that allows you to use air bags to raise the caravan up, put on a lock, then raise the other one and put that one on. It seems to work well, and I really like this system, just because it’s so blooming clever, but is a bit pricey….
Other Wheel Locks
This is the route I took out of the cul-de-sac of Alko Wheel locks. As part of my research I have created other posts on this site which you’ll find below.
In the end I bought the Nemesis Ultra, which we review in the article below.