Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • 0

AL-KO Euro Hitch

Question

Posted

Our new van is coming with an AL-KO 2004 Euro tow hitch, I was wondering if I need a special AL-KO tow-ball for this or will a normal 50mm ball be OK. Also if I do need a special AL-KO tow-ball, will I then be able to use this to tow the boat that has a normal hitch?

It?s very confusing out there.

Cheers,

Robin,

:smoke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23 answers to this question

Posted

Manxie, due to the length of the casting & internal mechanism in the hitch-head an extended shaft ALKO ball is required in order to negate any interferance between the 2 items.

Presumably it's the same with a Winterhoff, however I use the Dixon-Bate 'Pinball-Wizard'. That's the combined ball/jaw type (B99*).

All I did was cut the chain retaining the pin (I keep that inside) as it's possible that the hardened steel pin might grind the soft alloy head casting.

I find the 'Pinball-Wizard' useful, as it allows the use of a recovery rope/strap with no danger of it slipping off the ball, plus I sometimes borrow a large flat-bed trailer with a 40mm eye hitch.

As an as ide;

DO NOT use the tow-hitches that have a combined ball/pin that are machined into the same shaft. These are just (normally) held into the hitch itself with a 'R-clip' or O-spring-ring (B77*)

It doesn't take too much imagination to see what will happen if the clip breaks -'Bye, bye trailer!'

Needless to say these hitches will not work correctly with a hitch-replacement stabiliser.

*Part numbers for illustration/comparison purposes from;

http://www.towsure.com

And, yes. You will be able to use the new ball for your boat trailer, as it's only the shaft that is longer - no differance in the ball itself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

::D: Hi Robin Your dealer who supplied your caravan should supply you and fit a new tow ball for you. unless you tow ball is the swan neck type which is ok for the aks 2004. You will be able tow trailers with other types of hitch but make sure that it is grease free

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks to both of you for your help. I will get a new AL-KO tow-ball fitted before I collect the new van as I like to secure the 2x M16's with additional Nyloc nuts.

Thanks,

Robin,

:smoke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Just to emphasize Windrush's point about making sure the ball is truly grease-free after using your boat trailer.

You really need a proper degreasing agent (got mine in Germany!) to remove ALL the grease and so prevent contamination of the 2004's friction pads.

Petrol, Turps, paraffin etc. aren't really good enough. You could try swopping towballs (as I have done) so that the Alko one NEVER gets grease on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Robin,

If your tow hitch takes the type of tow ball that fits on with two M16 bolts don't buy a new one. I have two new AlKo towballs in the shed still in plastic wrapping. Mine is a swan neck type so I don't need them. I live three minutes drive from your dealer. When you collet your caravan I could meet you in the public car park next to them and you could swop it there. This is entirely up to you. Just let me know.

Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your very kind offer, I will send you an email.

Cheers,

Robin,

:smoke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Robin,

you don't say what type of van you've got but I believe that the AlKo 2004 cannot be used with BPW chassis that have a gas strut assisted handbrake (i.e. like mine) as it is possible for the handle on the AlKo 2004 to contact the end of the handbrake and cause it (the handbrake) to come on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

As an additional point to this -- how often should the Pads in the hitch be renewed - and how do you know if they need renewing??

:blush::secret:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

In answer to your question Fibre: The 2004 hitch has arrow indicators molded into the body and handle, and the relationship of these two arrows indicates pad wear. There is a spare set of pads supplied with the new hitch and handbook explains the procedure for changing them.

I have read in CC magazine that there has been problems with some gas strut assisted handbrakes. Also the tension of the breakaway cable needs to be considered as any pulling on this could initiate full handbrake application.

Life's never straight forward is it......

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

When I got my van (with an Alko 2004) the supplier gave me the relevant tow ball. I'd already put one on 'cos I'd read i needed the longer necked toeball to allow movement on the hitch. So you could check with the dealer to avoid having a surplus od balls!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Bob - The van is an Abbey Spectrum 540 (2004 model) that has a lightweight AL-KO chassis so I am not anticipating any problems with the AL-KO 2004 tow-hitch not being compatible.

Zebedee - Dave is kindly posting me ONE of his spare AL-KO tow-balls so that I can fit it before I turn up at the dealer. I would rather take my time fitting the new tow-ball including additional Nylock nuts etc before I arrive at the dealer to collect the van. As I am returning to caravanning after 15-years, I want to spend as much time as possible familiarising myself with the new van rather than worrying if someone has fitted the new tow-ball properly as I head off down the M6. Our last caravan had gas lights and a porta-potti, things have moved on somewhat since then.

Cheers,

Robin

:smoke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Manxie, I know how you feel - I did the same thing a couple of years ago and wanted to be sure that everything was ship shape and Bristol fashion. After a couple of outings it'll feel like you've never been way from it. But have the 'vans changed, or what!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Manxie I have just been to barrons this afternoon to pick my van which has an alko stabiliser fitted and it only take about 10 minutes to change the tow ball if you want to fit nylock bolt just takr it with you and it can be fitted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

In answer to your question Fibre:  The 2004 hitch has arrow indicators molded into the body and handle,

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Just been searching the net and found this link regarding the saftey of the AKS2004

I think it is saying that you MUST have the AlKo tow ball fitted or it wont work :no:

http://mipsweb.martex.uk.com/alko/releases...ategory=vehicle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Fibre, Sorry about this, I've only just read your post.

The green plunger is on the hitch coupler not the stabilizer.

On the 2004 stabilizer head, as you look from the front, on the top right edge near the arm pivot, is an embossed arrow head. When you engage the stabilizer arm, there is an arrow head embossed into the arm that nearly aligns with the one on the head, hence giving an indiction of wear ajudged by the relative positions of the arrow heads.

If you like I can scan the relevent section on the instruction pamphlet and PM it to you.

My head is'nt aligned today as I've had a terrible migraine. I hope the explanation is understandable.

BTW Robin, cheque arrived OK. Glad to be able to help.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It is absolutly imperative that the Alko type ball is the only one that is ever, ever used with any Alko hitch. within the last month we have seen two vans that have parted company with the tow vehicle. Alko hitch / standard ball. One van came adrift in the campsite, while the second also came away in the camp site, it was then again hitched on only to unhitch itself along a country lane and nose dive into a ditch, becoming a complete write-off. I have no idea why the dealers allow people to take their vans away without fitting them up with a complete kit. Alko sell these hitches as after market products and offer them as a triple pack, surely then although it may not be law to fit a new customer with the correct tow ball the knowledge that the maker of the chassis strongly recommends it's fitment should place the initiative on the seller to fit one and not on the buyer to purchase one, who maybe a complete novice and is totaly in the hands of the dealer.

Regards Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You will need a new hitchlock!

Get the AL-KO one arourd ?59 can be us while towing, great when you take a quick pitstop as van secured to car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread especially Dave for the tow-ball. Hopefully see you all at a rally sometime this year.

Cheers,

Robin,

:smoke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You will need a new hitchlock!

Get the AL-KO one arourd ?59 can be us while towing, great when you take a quick pitstop as van secured to car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

If you go to the site ::D:

http://www.alko.co.uk/mailorder/pdf/stabiliser_aks2500.pdf

You can download all the parts lists for all of the alco hitches by typing in the hitch number ie 2700 -2500 -2004 -1300 etc

The AKS2500 is exactly the same as the AKS 2700 all the part numbers are the same.. :green:

the .pdf file shows a complete brake-down of the hitches and how to do the pads :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It is far safer to tow without the lock applied, in the case of an accident the police or fire service can unhitch if speed in doing so is essential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

With all due respect to Dave E. - if the police were more proactive in stopping the theft of our possesions then advice to keep the unit locked on in transit would not be needed or offered.

It's because we can virtually guarantee that, if left unlocked, the van will be taken that people say keep it locked because the odds on theft are one hell of a lot higher than of being in an accident of such severity that a fast unhitch would be needed..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Click this banner for a Motorhome and Touring Caravan insurance quote from Caravan Guard