The jockey wheel is an important component of any trailer, but especially a caravan. The thing is, not all jockey wheels are the same, and when it comes to caravans getting one that suits is really important – after all, the last thing you want to ruin your holiday is the jockey wheel to fail!
There are a few things you need to consider when selecting a jockey wheel for your caravan. First, the dimensions of your van, including the size, weight and drawbar height – is a huge consideration, as you’ll want to make sure that the jockey wheel you select can physically handle your van. Secondly, your tow vehicle and any accessories you may have specific to towing, such as a stone guard. For example, if you’re towing a large caravan that has off-road suspension and big tyres with a modified 4WD, the whole setup will be sitting much higher off the ground than if you’re towing with a standard ute, sedan or station wagon. Thirdly, is to consider the kind of destinations and places you’ll be towing your van. For example, if you’re looking at staying at a caravan park in town with a firm base/concrete slab to setup your van, then your requirements will be very different to someone who is looking at doing a lap of the country and setting up at rugged and remote bush sites.
Once you’ve considered your unique needs, you’ll want to look at the options available. Here are some of the options that you’ll come across and that you should be considering depending on your needs:
Standard Jockey Wheels
A standard jockey wheel, such as the Ark Economic Jockey Wheel, features a 250mm maximum height extension, a solid rubber tyre and is rated for up to 350kg. While a reliable and less expensive option, they are really only suitable for lightweight towing.
Premium Jockey Wheels
Rated up to 350kg with solid rubber tyres and Sunraysia-style powder coated rims, a premium jockey wheel such as these, are a high-quality and stylish option. They also have a few neat little features, such as the Easy-tilt swivel system clamp handle and fold-away winding handle.
Heavy Duty Jockey Wheels
For those towing a bit more weight, a Heavy Duty Jockey Wheel, such as this option, is available in either fixed or swivel options and features a high 500kg load capacity and sealed bearings that protect the wheel in an off-road environment. There are Heavy Duty Jockey Wheel options with both 8in and 10in wheels, so whether you’re looking for affordability or ease of movement, there’s an option available.
Pneumatic Jockey Wheels
This style, such as the 10″ Pneumatic Jockey Wheels, features a large 10in inflatable tyre specially designed to cope with difficult ground conditions. That makes them great for off-road use and even towing and camping on sand or other soft sites.
Ratchet Jockey Wheels
For example, the Ark Ezi-Mover Ratchet Jockey Wheels are designed to easily maneuver caravans weighing up to 2 tonnes on an even surface with minimal effort. They’re easily operated by rotating the controls and feature four functions: forward, reverse, neutral and stop/lock.
Offroad Specific Jockey Wheels
If you’re planning to explore the more remote regions of the country and expecting to camp at remote and rugged campsites that are only accessible to 4WDs and off-road caravans, then you’ll need a jockey wheel to suit. An off-road specific jockey wheel, such as the XO Series, are specifically designed to handle anything the Aussie bush can throw at it. They’re super tough, but they’re also highly versatile with multiple height options, a highly maneuverable trailing yoke design, different yoke locking positions and are available in many sizes, weight ratings and cover most of the styles mentioned above.
Where to go for more information?
Ark are the experts when it comes to jockey wheels for your caravan. They’ve been leaders in trailer parts, towing gear and 4WD accessories for over 40 years, are 100% Australian owned and independent.
Consult the experts at Ark today to find the right Jockey Wheel for your caravan!