caravan motor mover

What you need to know about caravan motor movers

A motor mover uses remotely-controlled electric motor which gives a large amount of power to precisely move a caravan over a short period, such as when sitting or parking on a tight driveway. It's an expensive purchase but can make life so much easier.


Types


Most motors today are mounted on the chassis, with the power used to rotate rollers, which in turn manoeuvre the individual caravan wheels. You can choose between models which automatically engage with the wheel or those which you have to manually move into place (which requires some physical dexterity.) If you get an automatic version, make sure you check the instructions so you know how to manually release the rollers if there's an electrical problem while they are engaged.


For twin-axle caravans you'll need a special model due to extra weight and resistance.


A more basic variant is placed on the hitch. These models can be cheaper but are often less powerful and only suited to flat, even surfaces. The controls are usually mounted on the motor itself, rather than on a remote control, so positioning may become a two-person job and are difficult to store


Size and weight


While the weight of a mover might not seem the most important factor at first glance, it can be make or break. You're usually looking at somewhere between 35kg and 70kg, and that range can make a real difference to the total weight and remaining payload of the caravan. Even if that doesn't affect your legal limit and insurance conditions, the costs of reduced fuel efficiency can add up.

You also need to take into account the resulting reduction in ground clearance, usually 30 to 60 millimetres. Manufacturers will be able to tell you how far below the chassis the mover will lie once fitted, though how this affects ground clearance depends on your wheel size.
 


Battery


The motor is powered by the caravan's leisure battery, so you'll usually see a minimum battery rating.


Warranties


Given the cost of motor movers and the fact that any serious expense related to a touring caravan is inherently a long-term investment, it's well worth paying attention to warranty details. You need to take into account the duration of the warranty; whether or not it's included in the price or is an extra cost; and whether an insurance company is involved, which can mean more loopholes or delays. Generally five years is the longest you'll find in a warranty.


Cost considerations


If you're looking to stick to a budget with a motor mover, a good principle is to compromise on features but not on quality. Certainly look for cheaper models that leave out extras you don't need, such as automatic roller engagement. However, when comparing like-for-like models, bear in mind the possibility that the cheaper option may be more likely to corrode quickly or use low-quality components. The availability of long-term warranties (even if you choose not to take them) may be a clue that the manufacturer has put together a resilient model.