Runaway BT ...Potential Fix

Submitted: Saturday, Oct 30, 2004 at 19:51
ThreadID: 121548 Views:3226 Replies:1 FollowUps:0
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I mentioned this way back on the old forum and might just bring it up again for the newer owners.

At Copeton my BT was on a fair slope of ground which meant plenty of timber under the a-frame plate and the BT jacked up well on one side. With wheel chocks and handbrake on it was very safe but you never know ??? If something failed and it took off ...3 tonnes has a fairly large inertia. A few of us discussed the peg down method !! My a-frame at Copeton was almost waist height.

One other safety against the BT moving too far is to tie the breakaway switch to the ground via a strong tent peg. If the BT moves off its boards or gets away, it only travels a foot or two and the brakes will be applied with full power.

You need ...

A good strong tent peg ... two small "U" shackles ... strong rope or preferably the same plastic covered metal wire rope on the breakaway now.... small piece of hose.

Place a U shackle on the loop at the breakaway plug the wire/rope over the front edge of the a-frame plate and down to the ground ... bang in a large tent peg and attach wire/rope to it with other U shackle. Place a piece of split garden hose or vehicle heater hose etc over front edge of a-frame plate so the sharp edge doesnt just cut wire/rope as tension is applied if it takes off. You can use the existing wire on pin but it usually ties to the chain with zip clips ..either way.

If the van moves even a small distance the breakaway pin is pulled and full brakes are applied.

Obviously it doesnt need to be on every time but if ever in a suspect site or facing down a reasonable hill for a week or two it would give a bit of peace of mind.

If the situation means the BT can go either way bang the peg in vertical a foot or two out. If its slightly down hill it cant go uphill so bang the peg in on an angle away from the direction of the pull ...if that makes sense ??

Maybe an overkill (handbrake has to fail or not work, chocks have to be overcome as well) and is certainly not needed every time but is simple, cheap and very effective ....

Another thing to remember .... if the BT ever gets away whilst hitching or when ever just pull the breakaway wire and all stops .... This will never happen of course because I just burnt three incense sticks to the caravan Budda !!! (smile)


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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Oct 30, 2004 at 21:22

Saturday, Oct 30, 2004 at 21:22
Your suggestions are no as silly as some people might think.
Last year when our van was parked on the top of a hill, I pulled the hand brake on reasonably hard and the hand brake cable snapped. The van then sluewed around sharply causing damage to the jockey wheel as it was pulled sideways, and then fortuneately for us the van stopped against a safety chain that was still attached.
I examined the cable and found that on my older style hand brake set up 3mm cable had been used, and the older style hand brake assembly units were constructed in such a way that the 3mm cable was able to jump off the pulley and in my case it got jammed between the pulley and assembly. This caused excessive pressure on one side of the cable and it broke.

I then replaced the hand brake assembly and cable with 4mm diameter cable that BTi have been fitting now for the last 2 to 3 years, and we haven't had any similar problems with the cable jamming between pulley and assembly.

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