GORV - Digital Magazine Issue #41 | Page 44

EASY MOVER WORDS: MAX TAYLOR WE PUT THE OPTITEC WIRELESS REMOTE CONTROL WHEEL TO THE TEST ON A TANDEM-AXLE CARAVAN WEIGHING OVER 2500KG. 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.