Moving out: Invest in a caravan motor mover and you can make life that little bit easier!
1997 – That’s when the first caravan motor mover as we know today was launched and – although not quite a revolution – it certainly meant caravan manoeuvring for the masses.
It was brought to us by Carver, the British engineering company that was also responsible for caravan heaters and more, which went on to be swallowed up by Truma, which announced its version in 1999.
This followed the launch of the first motorised jockey wheel – Powrwheel – in 1991.
Today, there’s a great choice of caravan motor movers out there, with models for all types of tourers.
Powered via your caravan’s leisure battery, a motor mover works by engaging rollers (manually or electrically) to your caravan wheels – meaning you can then manoeuvre your unit remotely, via a handset, over short distances – ideal for pitching or parking up in storage where gaps are tight and you want to move to the nearest millimetre!
Movers are designed to cope with most terrains. However, do check with your supplier if you have any specific queries and be sure to do your research.
All the manufacturers mentioned in our guide offer twin-axle variants of their models. Plus, keep an eye out for special offers too – they do come up regularly.
Fitting a caravan motor mover?
Some movers are designed for DIY fitting (although do check the warranty conditions). Otherwise, budget for around £100 for fitting by an authorised specialist. Or, ask your local caravan workshop about fitting next time your ‘van is booked in for any servicing or repair work.
Top tips for buying a motor mover
- You’re going to need at least an 80ah battery on board your caravan to power any mover and several models recommend over 100ah batteries. Of course, your mover is only as good as its power supply. Check your battery is in a good condition.
- Check you can still use your wheel clamp with your choice of mover.
- Hold on to your handset. They’re easy to lose – not so easy to replace immediately!
- For models that engage the rollers manually, a wrench is supplied. A good idea is to leave the wrench on the driver’s seat of your car when the mover’s rollers are engaged – hopefully, it means you won’t drive off and cause any damage.
- If you’ve just bought a mover, practise with it in an open space.
- Planning on using your mover on softer ground, or any surface offering less grip? Consider replacing your caravan’s jockey wheel with a pneumatic type.
- Don’t forget to release your handbrake when using your mover.
- Always check for possible obstructions (including embedded stones etc) before you engage the rollers.
- Mover maintenance is relatively straightforward, but always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Silicone spray or similar is handy for any sliding parts. It is not recommended you use a power washer to clean your mover.
Please see our star players below to compare caravan motor movers.
Star Player Number 1
This starter model in the Powrtouch range has the potential to move a 1,500kg caravan up a one in four slope.
Designed to fit caravans with shock absorbers, the Classic features soft start and instant stop as soon as the handset buttons are released. Plus, there’s automatic shut-down after 20 minutes.
Approximate weight is 37kg (the new generation Evolution models (see below) are some 10kg less).
The Powrbar option allows you to engage or disengage the rollers from both sides at the same time – ideal if you don’t have easy access to one side. For example, if your caravan is parked up tight by the side of your house.
Key features include five-year inclusive warranty, two-button safety control, aluminium rollers, low battery indicator.
Expect to pay £599
Star Player Number 2
Top of the range model that will push any weight of caravan up a one in four (25 per cent) slope. This system is offered with manual or automatic roller engagement, with the latter adding around £100 .
Using lightweight alloy materials, it weighs around 27kg in single axle guise. An innovative roller system optimises grip on your caravan tyres, making slippage almost unheard of. Its smooth gearbox minimises creep to allow for easy levelling. Like its less expensive stablemate, the Classic’, it also has a 20-minute automatic shutdown. Powrtouch recommends a 100aH leisure battery is used with the Evolution.
Key features As per the Powrtouch Classic but with enhanced grip and drive. The Evolution is also more capable of pushing heavier caravans, with three models available including a single axle, standard twin axle and an all wheel drive version that powers all four wheels of a twin axle, plus of course, automatic or manual roller engagement options available on each model. Five year guarantee.
Expect to pay from £850 (single axle, manual) £950 (auto roller engage option)
Star Player Number 3
Launched for the 2014 season, but this German-made flagship model can trace its roots back to the very first caravan mover. Suitable for caravans up to 2,300kg, there’s a power draw of 20amps for anything up to 1,700kg, but it weighs only 28kg in total. The XT uses powerful efficient brushless motors that need just a 38ah charging capacity.
There’s electronic engagement of the brushless motors, and movement is stepless, with separate steering and acceleration controls.
Like all Truma movers, there’s a five-year warranty.
Key features include remote control with LED display, monitoring via microprocessors, and automatic stop (in case of any problem). Five year warranty.
Expect to pay £1,935
Star Player Number 4
Purple Line e-go Titanium
Launched earlier this year, this has already overtaken the Enduro as Purple Line’s best selling mover. Typically, it’s some £100 more than the model it’s succeeded, but offers plenty of significant features.
Purple Line reckons this is the lightest mover you can get, at 23kg. Also available is e-go Plug & Play, a removable motor mover system that means only the crossbar remains when you don’t need your mover – a potential weight saving of 7kg.
Typical fitting price for the e-go Titanium is around £100.
Key features include alloy rollers with lifetime guarantee, dual-wheel engagement (cross actuation), anodised alloy motor housing, and manual 180 degree cam over engagement. Comes with a two-year warranty as standard which is taken up to five years if you register the product.
Expect to pay £899
Star Player Number 5
Al-KO is best known for its caravan chassis related items, so it’s no surprise to hear its claim that the Mammut is the only mover designed for its own running gear.
Look for the Al-KO chassis stamped with the letter M, which first started to appear from April 2010 onwards. Mammut weighs some 29kg.
As well as having no effect on overall ground clearance, the Mammut will smoothly manoeuvre an 1800kg caravan up a 16 per cent incline (or 28 per cent for a 1300kg unit), with a maximum operating speed of 0.5km/h.
Power consumption peaks at 120 amps, and it draws just 5 mA when dormant. Roller engagement is fully automatic by using the remote control handset. The units can be manually disengaged in the event of power loss by unwinding the drive spindle at the rear of the motor. This can be done with a 13mm Hex wrench or on later models with a flat head screw driver.
Features Soft start/stop, automatic switch-off after 100 seconds of inactivity, remote control with LED indicators and joystick, and five-year warranty – a full warranty for two years followed by a further three year parts warranty.
Expect to pay From £1,530 (including fitting)
Other key players
Reich – www.reich-web.com
Rhyno – www.rhynomovers.com
Motor mover comparison
Compare caravan motor movers using our list below.
|Make & model||Axle type||Max caravan weight (0% gradient||Hill climb ability||Device weight||Auto roller engage||Min recc. leisure battery|
|PowrTouch Classic £599||Single / Twin||2800kg||1500kg / 25% gradient||37kg||NA||85AH|
|PowrTouch Evolution £850||Single / Twin||2500kg||1800kg / 25% gradient||27kg (Single axle model)||Option (£100)||100AH|
|Truma XT £1935||Single (Twin axle model is XT2)||2350kg||2350kg / 20% gradient||28kg||Yes||85AH|
|Purpleline E-go Titanium £899||Single / Twin||2250kg||1500kg / 25%||24kg||NA||110AH|
|AL-KO AMS Mammut £1530||Single||2250kg||1800kg / 18% gradient||29kg||Yes||80AH|
Will it affect my insurance?
The most popular type of motor mover-related insurance claims have been for damage to the mover itself – after damage was caused to the underside of the caravan from hitting potholes, kerbs, the base of petrol pumps, or when wheels have become detached from the caravan. In one instance, towing a caravan over a dead animal broke a motor mover! So it’s important to be extra cautious of those hidden hazards on the roads and on your driveway.
In a couple of cases, customers forgot to apply their caravan brakes when disengaging their motor movers, meaning their caravans have rolled back and hit something. Only in one instance, did we get a claim where the customer hit something whilst manoeuvring his caravan with the motor mover remote – which goes to show how easy movers are to use!
If you accidentally hit and damage somebody else’s vehicle when using a motor mover to manoeuvre your caravan on a public highway, for instance when moving the caravan from the road on to your home driveway, Caravan Guard’s touring caravan insurance would pick up the repair bill under the public liability section of the policy.
As always, such accidents are largely unavoidable, so it goes to show the importance of making sure you have specialist caravan insurance to cover your motor mover against possible damage (or theft). To do so with Caravan Guard you need to include your motor mover’s value in your sums insured for your caravan equipment. Depending on whether you have taken out new for old cover or market value cover will determine how much you value your motor mover at.
Over to you…
As always we’re keen to hear from you if you want to share your experiences of motor movers and/or key advice with other Caravan Guard fans. Feel free to add your comments below.