WORDS: MAX TAYLOR
WE PUT THE OPTITEC
CONTROL WHEEL TO
THE TEST ON A
About 18 months ago, I had the chance to
test the Optitec Wireless Remote Control
Jockey Wheel V2+. This caravan mover
contains a powerful motor and special
rubber tyre on an alloy wheel that allows the
user to carefully manoeuvre their van onto
the tightest of caravan park sites.
That test, however, was conducted on my
personal van that weighed around 1800kg.
I’ve since wondered how it would perform on
a much larger, tandem-axle rig.
The release of the Optitec V3, which
introduces a special lug that allows the owner
to lock the jockey wheel to prevent theft, was
the perfect excuse to set up another test.
I arrived at one of my favourite caravan repair
shops, The RV Repair Centre in Bayswater,
Vic, where a 2521kg Coronet with an unladen
ball weight of 108kg was waiting for me.
When being used to move heavy vans, the
Optitec requires a special U-shaped bracket
with integrated jockey wheel-style clamp to
be bolted to the drawbar. These brackets are
available for 4in and 6in drawbars and can be
removed whenever necessary.
When conducting my original test with my
comparatively light caravan, I used its
exisiting jockey wheel clamps to mount the
Optitec and found them to be suitable.
However, a week before securing it to the
Coronet, I tried the Optitec on a fully-laden
3500kg monster with a ball weight of more
than 300kg without the special bracket/
clamps – the Optitec was secured via the
factory jockey wheel clamps only.
While the Optitec moved this heavy rig without
struggle, there was some flex at the jockey
wheel clamps. I did not have the special
mounting brackets for heavy vans in my
possession at the time, so I abandoned the test.