Author Topic: Jockey wheel woes  (Read 8208 times)

Offline tvan09

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Jockey wheel woes
« on: April 24, 2017, 05:33:06 PM »
Hi guys,

Is there any other Topaz Series II owners having issues deploying their jockey wheel?  I have to dig the ground at 98% of sites I stop at, even those that are level as the jockey wheel is too low to deploy.  I suspect it is because my Topaz wheels are 16" whereas others may have 17" wheels.  I would never be able to deploy on a level bitumen or concrete surface as I would not be able to dig.

In relation to this question, has anyone tried to fit a height adjustable jockey wheel to their Series II as used on most other vans? If it were possible I would consider doing so - perhaps using the Trailer-Mate as an option.

I hope I am not alone on this one and that others have had and solved this issue.

Offline Gumb

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 05:38:42 PM »
I don't have a Topaz but had a similar issue when I picked up the Tvan last month. The fitted jockey wheel was too low when attached to the Pajero and they had trouble making it go all the way down on the concrete floor in the factory which is the same issue you are having. They just grabbed a different jockey wheel which was welded lower down the shaft (making the wheel higher) and it's now fine. I imagine they have the same for the Topaz and do both high and low wheels. It's far better to have it raised a bit, even if you have to put a block under the wheel to make it reach the ground on a slight slope than worry about digging holes on level ground. Contact Track and get it swapped over.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 05:45:01 PM by Gumb »
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Offline MarkA

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 05:42:47 PM »
You could try the Arc xor jockey wheels. Height adjustable and strong as an ox.
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Offline Big Jeff

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2017, 06:09:49 PM »
Sorry but why can't you undo the jockey wheel brackets and move the wheel up and if welded grind it off and relocate and reweld
Big Jeff
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Offline Cruiser 105Tvan

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2017, 06:14:49 PM »
Or you could take the outfit to an Engineering shop. 
They could cut the barrel of the jockey wheel from the swivel plate, then re-weld it to the swivel plate at the correct height.
Problem fixed, no need to get new wheels and tyres.

Just what Big Jeff said.
Robert.
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Offline Gumb

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2017, 06:16:33 PM »
Sorry but why can't you undo the jockey wheel brackets and move the wheel up and if welded grind it off and relocate and reweld
You can but also need to cold gal the new welds. If distance from Track is an issue, then that's the next best solution.
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Offline peter_mcc

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 06:34:45 PM »
We had a similar problem and changed over to the Ark XO one - it's height adjustable.

Offline Shaker

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 07:42:07 PM »
I have the Ark XO jockey wheel on an AORC Quantum, it is fantastic! You will never dig a hole again.
Be good on a Topaz, might be a bit too heavy for a Tvan, on my Tvan I have the Alko swivel bracket with clamp & normal clamp on jockey wheel.

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Offline tvan09

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2017, 08:29:02 PM »
Thanks for your responses everyone. I'll weigh up Shakers strategy as my van is new at 7 weeks old and it should not be this difficult to deploy, especially given how much my Topaz cost. That said I do like the idea of the ARK and getting back to Bayswater is a bridge too far just now as I am on the road and my Topaz is literally home at present. I'll check out where I might be able to get a look at the ARK XO here in Tasmania.

Offline Adam

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2017, 09:56:27 PM »
At the Sydney Caravan & Camping show 3 years ago, I found the team from BOS Jockey Wheels selling what was then a fairly new product.
I bought a kit and replaced the jockey on the camper trailer I had at the time. It was so much better than the original.
I quickly became a big fan. I am, however, just a happy customer.

After recently fitting it to our new Tvan, I took some photos today to provide a customer testimonial for them, then came home and found this thread.
Nice timing huh?

The BOS unit I have fits into a standard clamp. The main unit can stay in place while travelling, with everything under the clamp being removed and stored. When you stop to unhitch, you add the lower section - wheel, foot plate, extensions - whatever you have chosen, then either wind by hand or use a cordless drill (with the clutch set correctly so as not to apply too much power when it reaches the end).

We picked up our Tvan last November.
The standard jockey on the Tvan is fantastic. It is strong, well designed, and easy to use. But it does have a limited range.
I bolted a jockey clamp on the other side of the drawbar, and fitted the BOS as a second jockey.
Most of the time, I use the Tvan jockey to hitch and unhitch. Then when camping I will add the BOS afterwards for a little more stability. (See Picture 1) I know this is not needed, but I have it there so why not use it?

Where the BOS really helps is on uneven ground (Picture 2) (Picture 3). Here the Tvan jockey could not be used without digging, or raising the rear car wheels on blocks or ramps.

Just for demonstration purposes, I then added a jack stand and removed the extension from the BOS. (Picture 4)

I have a bottle jack/jack-stand kit that stays in the Tvan. Happy to provide more details in a new thread if anyone is interested. I don’t want to hijack this thread.

Using the stand to remove the extension, I was then able to lower the drawbar all the way to the ground. In Picture 5 the drawbar is not quite touching the ground. The drawbar is actually level in this photo. I’m just a poor photographer.
You couldn’t sleep in the Tvan like this, the back is too high to deploy the deck. It’s just showing what’s possible.

I then turned around and fitted all three of my extensions to the BOS. (Picture 6)
Again, you wouldn’t camp like this. Just showing the range. And the BOS can still move down further in the clamp.

I’m not familiar with the ARK. Just offering an alternative that I am very happy with. I picked the model that works for me. BOS have heaps of options available.

Happy shopping!

Adam


Finally got a Firetail

Offline Adam

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2017, 09:58:05 PM »
Pictures 5&6
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Offline Phil G

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 10:50:15 PM »
Can you replace the 8" wheel with a 6" wheel for now and sort out a permanent solution when you get home.  Repco have the swing down 6" jockey wheels on special for $35 until the end of this month.
Phil
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Offline Frankrhona

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2017, 11:33:56 PM »
Tvan09,
Just a thought. Have you turned the towbar hitch up? I turn my hitch up for the Tvan and down for a regular box trailer with towball. The height difference is about 120mm that maybe all you are looking for?
Cheers,
Andrew
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Offline luke

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 02:21:21 PM »
Tvan09,
Just a thought. Have you turned the towbar hitch up? I turn my hitch up for the Tvan and down for a regular box trailer with towball. The height difference is about 120mm that maybe all you are looking for?
Cheers,
Andrew

Taking Andrew's comment one step further, most 4wd shops (TJM for instance) will have a range of tow bar tounge's.  You can either measure the offset you need, or just tow the topaz in and try a few different ones at the shop.

With the correct tongue, you should sit level on level ground.  This means you mightn't have to unhitch in every situation, and if you do, hopefully you've now got more clearance to get the jockey down.
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Offline jimat

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Re: Jockey wheel woes
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2017, 06:44:59 PM »
Same problem for me- got sick of digging holes so I addded an extra clamp on the other side of the drawbar and carry a trail-a-mate hydraulic jockey wheel unit. Makes levelling the van really easy, even when still connected to the Amarok , and in theory can be used as a jack to change  a wheel on the topaz
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 06:51:59 PM by jimat »
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