Caravan wheel loss precautions
Whilst the exact cause of a caravan wheel loss may be difficult to determine, the problem is by no means an uncommon one for caravan owners. Each year, wheel detachments account for a number of claims made by Shield Total Insurance customers. Only those with a comprehensive touring caravan insurance policy are adequately protected against the costly damage this kind of problem can cause.
When a caravan is sold or serviced the wheel nuts should be tightened to the correct torque and many service centres will insist on you being present when this job is undertaken.
How often should I check the caravan wheel nuts?
To check the wheel nuts on your caravan once a year is not enough. Caravan wheel nuts should be checked every time you are going to tow your caravan. It’s a simple and easy task and will only take a few minutes.
Get yourself a decent torque wrench, it’s a worthwhile investment as it will give you years of good service and could prevent you from having an accident. They cost from between £25 at Machine Mart (http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/cht141-1-2in-drive-torque-wrench) to £55 at Screw Fix (http://www.screwfix.com/p/teng-tools-drive-torque-wrench/22796).
What torque setting?
A torque wrench with a range of at least 110 Nm is an essential tool for any caravanner as this is the most common torque setting for wheel nuts on caravans with alloy wheels.
Steel wheeled models often have a torque setting of 88 Nm. Check your owner manual or consult your dealer or service centre for the correct settings for your tourer.
Remember to return the torque setting on your torque wrench back to zero after you have finished checking your vehicle. If you leave it set on 110 Nm it can lose its accuracy.
Check the settings before you go on holiday in your caravan and take the wrench with you so you can check them before leaving the campsite and travelling home. If adjustment is required, tighten the wheel nuts in sequence until they are correct.
You should also check the wheel nuts in between servicing or after a caravan wheel has been changed.
Be careful not to over tighten your wheel nuts. It is easy to assume that ‘more is better’ but over tightening can stretch the studs, which reduces (not increases) their clamping force.