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What You Need To Know About Motor Movers!

car towing a caravan on the highway

You’ve practiced with the cars, the Commodore 64 joystick; then progressed to the Xbox and the drones. You’ve dreamed about the garage doors.

Caravanners – if you haven’t already got one - you need the motor mover.

Ok, but what exactly is a motor mover?

It’s an electronic device that is fitted to your caravan to allow you to manoeuvre it, using just a remote control.

It is comprised of two motor units (four for twin axles), an electronic control unit and a handheld remote control.

Motor movers are usually bolted to the caravan’s chassis and sit just above the rail, next to the wheel.

And how does it work?

The remote control is connected to the computer system by radio waves, allowing the caravan to be driven by the handset.

Typically, there are buttons with arrows on the remote control that, when pressed, ‘drive’ the caravan in the chosen direction.

The system allows the caravan’s wheels to be activated independently – which is perfect for tight turns.

12v electricity is needed from the leisure battery to power the rollers.

5 Reasons why you need a motor mover:

1. It reduces stress when trying to park/manoeuvre your caravan into a tricky spot. It also saves any embarrassment in the event of an audience.

2. It slows manoeuvres down, for precision parking. This means that you are less likely to damage the caravan.

3. Fitting your caravan with a motor mover means that it can now almost turn on its own axis. This is perfect for positioning your caravan into a tight spot - particularly one that your tow car has no chance of achieving.

4. It is great for slopes. The motor mover can save wear and tear on the tow car’s clutch, by precision manoeuvring onto levelling ramps or a simple sloping caravan pitch/driveway.

5. It increases longevity, by helping you to get the most out of your caravan as you get older - and less able to push and pull your tourer into position.

How to use the motor mover:

1. Practice. Although the motor mover is designed to be simple to use, it doesn’t hurt to practice in a large empty space before putting it to the ultimate test.

2. Make sure there is nothing in the way of the caravan before moving. The motor mover is a very powerful device and contact with a kerb, for example, can cause damage to the wheels or to the chassis.

3. Remember to take the hand brake off before activating the mover.

4. Before you disengage the rollers make sure that the hand brake is on. Unless you have put wheel chocks in place.

5. Don’t use the motor mover when you are plugged into the mains (when charging your leisure battery) as this could blow part of the circuitry and almost certainly damage the system.

What to consider before purchasing your motor mover:

1. Weight: the motor mover is a weighty item; a typical single-axle can weigh around 30kg. It is worth considering the towing capacity of your car and what adjustments that you would need to make to accommodate this.

2. Buying Second Hand: the motor mover is a relatively simple piece of equipment - so if it has been well-maintained there shouldn’t be a problem. As with any motoring purchase it is worth testing before you buy.

3. Ground Clearance: the distance from the ground to the base of the mover needs to be a minimum of 4 inches, but preferably 6-8 inches to minimise the chance of damage.

While the motor mover takes on a lot of towing responsibility, there are things that you can do to help it:

1. Avoid tyre damage: don’t leave your mover’s rollers pressing into the tyres for extended periods, as this may cause permanent damage. Make sure that the rollers are clearly away from the tyres before you begin to tow the caravan – some movers have built-in systems to ensure that this cannot happen.

2. Storage: don’t keep you motor mover inside the caravan when not in use. Make sure that it is a warm, dry place and ready for the next trip. Always keep spare batteries with it.

3. Battery Life: Fit a ‘master switch’ to your motor mover. This will avoid the battery draining when not in use. It is also worth checking the battery housing in your remote control for signs of corrosion.

4. Maintenance: Motor movers don’t require a lot of maintenance, but regularly cleaning and lubricating the actuation system and roller bearings is recommended.

5. Cabling: Keep the cables to the motors at a similar length – as coiling may result in overheating. Protect the cable running through the caravan chassis by using short lengths of trunking or tubing. Part of your annual caravan safety procedure should be to check the under-van wiring.

caravan motor mover banner by Rhyno
Buying a motor mover from Rhyno costs from £649 (this includes a 5-year warranty)

Our Fitting Options:

1. Fitting at our workshop in Coventry is FREE: Bring your caravan to our workshop and we will fit it for you, test that everything is working correctly and give you a demonstration on how to use it – completely free of charge.

2. Home Fitting: One of our engineers will come to your home (or wherever your caravan is stored), fit your motor mover and show you how to use it - for just £175. Extra charges may apply for Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. The fitting and demonstration process will take around 2 hours.

3. Free Delivery: If you are a keen ‘practical type’ and would like to fit your motor mover yourself, we can deliver it for free.

4. Self-installation: The Rhyno Mover is designed to be simple to install and we will provide you with full instructions. You should only require some basic tools: spanners, screwdrivers, a ratchet set, drill, rubber mallet, hammer, pencil and tape measure. You will also need sealant, trunking and cable ties. We are also available 7 days a week if you have any questions about this process.