New BOS 370 Jockey Wheel Fitted to Olaf

There’s one thing that has always annoyed me about our caravans and campers; the jockey wheel.

I have not been able to find a system that I have completely happy with. The camper’s we’ve had used the swing away variety but I’ve found the pivot mechanism to be a weak point resulting in bending of the wheel. Both caravans have had the removable unit that is attached using 2 screw clamps positioned in the middle of the A frame. These are awkward to get to and the clamps are damn fiddly. Then you have the problem of where to store the jockey wheel when you’re on the road. I never really found a good spot to store it where it wasn’t in the way of other stuff. What I wanted was a jockey wheel that I could leave in the holder but could retract it so it was is out of the way when travelling. Well I’m glad to report I have found such a device.

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It’s called the BOS 370 Jockey Wheel and it is absolutely brilliant. It uses a geared winding mechanism to raise and lower the shaft. The ends are interchangeable depending on what unit you buy. I went with the straight base plate instead of the traditional wheel as the team at BOS advised that it is not really useful for a huge van like ours. You can also attach extensions to the base plate in order to cater for uneven sites. The mechanism can be operated by either the hand winder or using an ordinary clutched battery drill, the later make raising and lowering your caravan a breeze.

Best of all, once the base plate and any extensions have been removed using the quick release cotter pins, the shaft can be fully retracted sufficiently to allow the unit to remain in place. No need to remove it from the clamps. To me, this is the best part of the system.

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We’ll be giving the BOS unit a good workout shortly on our up and coming trip to Stradbroke Island so we’ll do a complete review later. For now, if you’re a bit frustrated with your existing jockey wheel, the BOS370 may be worth a look.

Safe Travels

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The Dangers of Facebook and Forum Electrical Advice

burnt power point
Overload an electrical socket and this could be the result.

Having a keen interest in all things caravanning and camping, I spend a bit of my spare time scrolling through various facebook groups and caravanning forums. More often than not, they are a great source of information as well as ideas for this blog. Recently I have noticed a troubling increase in the number of posts that advocate for completely unsafe practices particularly when it comes to 240v mains power. The old argument about plugging a caravan into a domestic 240v 10 amp power supply is the most common. Others are about the use of generators and inverters. These topics seem to start off innocently enough with the original poster having a genuine question to ask but many of the replies that follow just defy belief. It is incredible the number of people who suggest that making up your own power lead with a 10 amp point at one end and a 15 amp plug at the other and try to justify its safety and legality. I have even read a post from one person, whose son was supposedly a qualified electrician, claim it was a totally legal thing to do. I cannot imagine any self-respecting electrician making such a claim especially when the laws about this are so clear.

safety switch
The Amp Fibian has an RCD that cuts the power if it exceeds 10 amps.

Other troubling advice I have read suggests to grind down plugs so that they fit the smaller outlets. Others suggest that drilling out the power point to accept the larger plugs is also acceptable. Fortunately, many forum and facebook group administrators have recognised the issue and are now deleting these posts. Apart from the fact that people posting such advice are actually incriminating themselves on a public forum, the possibility that someone could actually think this advice is correct and act accordingly means lives are put at risk. The question of liability in such an event would be very interesting indeed.

There is another troubling side-track that has also emerged from these posts. That being the behaviour of some caravan park managers and their blatant disregard for electrical safety. Some allegedly have been handing out illegal power cords and instructing their tenants to use 10 amp outlets for their RVs. Worse is the tenants have actually been using them…! Truly staggering behaviour.

honda generator
Generators should be treated with respect.

It is so important that we are all aware of the laws and have a clear understanding of what is safe and what is unsafe. This is especially true for the novice and the experienced caravanner alike. We have an article on electrical safety with pictures of the sort of things to look out for as well as a summary of the laws in question.

power safety button

In essence though, the advice is very clear and simple. No one should be doing any work beyond changing a fuse or light bulb on anything 240v related unless they are a qualified electrician. Any electrical work must be accompanied with a certificate of electrical safety. Don’t listen to the trolls on forums and facebook groups. Only use electrical products purchased from reputable retail outlets.

If in doubt, talk to a reputable and licenced electrician.  It really is that simple.

Safe travels everyone.

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