Hand Brake on caravan. Mine now holds the van like it is supposed to.

Submitted: Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 18:41
ThreadID: 131930 Views:1161 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Most Bushtracker Owners would have found that the hand brake setup on their caravan is almost a waste of time as it will not hold the van on a slope, so many of us relied on an X-Chock between the wheels or other wheel chocks.

I have tried a number of things and recently tried having 2 hand brake handles and each one did one side of the van. This worked better and improved more if the cable went over a pulley instead of the welded link between the wheels.

My latest modification was to attach a cable support to the chassis between the wheels at the level that allowed the cable to go through the bracket on the rear of the brake backing plate. By having the cable going through this bracket the maximum pressure can be applied to the brake control leaver.

When I tested on a slope the van didn't move so while at the Qld Mini Muster I applied the hand brakes and tried backing and going forward. The van hand brakes prevented the vehicle moving in much the same way as edging up to a kerb and then trying to drive up it.

I am very happy with this setup and there is no way that you could drive away not knowing that the caravan hand brakes were on.

Brian
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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 10:55

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 10:55
Brian,

With your current set-up are you still using TWO hand brake handles/levers?

It certainly sounds as though you've found the "cure" and I'm keen to have a go....even though I have a pair of Xchocks winging their way from the USA as we speak.

I still haven't been given any good reason why the cable needs to go to the rear set of wheels as opposed to the front wheels. That would overcome the issue of the misalignment where the cable has to pass over the mid-way point between the wheel-sets.

It's a bit cooler here today, so I might go and have another look at my set-up.

Cheers,

Bill
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 12:23

Saturday, Mar 26, 2016 at 12:23
Yes I am using the 2 handles.
My reasoning is that if you can apply 100 pound force on a handle then with just one handle each wheel only gets 50 pounds of force but with a seperate handle for each side they get the full 100 pounds and should be held on stronger. Could be wrong but that is my thoughts.
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Reply By: Uncle Dodgy - Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 11:56

Sunday, Mar 27, 2016 at 11:56
Hi Brian & Bill
Handbrakes are not infallible. A lesson I learnt many years ago that thankfully turned out all good at the time.
I always use (in addition to the handbrake) secondary securing of either or both, wheel chocks or X-Chocks, depending on availability and situation.
My singular preference on a 4 wheel system is the X-Chocks, which also provide some extra benefit in added security for the wheels by making them much more difficult if not impossible to remove without deflating one or more tyres.
Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 11:57

Monday, Mar 28, 2016 at 11:57
I am with you John. In respect for Brian's extra hand brake, I very much prefer the X-Chocks. I am always conscious of the perpetual squeaking of the suspension. I agree on the security angle too a wheel off or the set of spanners or whatever to get them off.

On the squeaking, I remember some time in Broome where we had two BTs beside us and you could imagine the owners activity each time they walked :-0. Assuming they were waking ;-) You would need a very strong locking hand brake on all four wheels to stop that one as it is the Simplicity suspension making the noise. Truly you only heard it quietly when near by

I know you don't talk about BT suspensions squeaking in CVPs as everyone will want one
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 13:11

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 13:11
x-chocks are not infalable either. They rely on the tyres staying inflated and anyone who has woken up to find that one of their tyres is flat would have been woken early if they were on a slope and not attached to a vehicle as one side of the van would have moved.

I have x-chocks because the standard BTi fitment of Handbrake cables does NOT hold a caravan but now that I have a pair of hand brakes that do work I rarely use the x-chocks as well.

At least with a good hand brake that has a good cable the caravan cannot move without human interference.
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Follow Up By: DnGsTracker - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 17:00

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 17:00
Hi All
Airbag suspension will also cause a problem with x-chocks as the wheels move closer together or further apart depending on the air pressure in the airbags. A small leak or change in temperature can cause the pressure can change.
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Glen
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