Camper Trailers Tech Tips

Alternative Jockey Wheel Storage





jockey wheel storage 

Our Goldstream Wing III camper was originally supplied with a standard Alko jockey wheel and also a 500kg Trail-A-Mate wind up jack that doubles as a jockey wheel. The two have a bit of weight in them together and weight, especially ball weight, is a bit of an issue. I have also added a second AGM battery weighing 30kg to the front boot area, so the ball weight was just getting out of hand at around 200kg.

I needed to adjust the electric brakes and used the supplied jack to lift the camper off the ground, finding it very hard going and as the camper is an off road version, pretty much had the jack at its full extent before the wheel lifted off the ground. We also had a couple occasions where the jockey wheel sank into the ground due to wet conditions and could not wind it high enough to drop the camper onto the DO35 hitch pin.

I decided I needed something better than this, so after some research ended up purchasing a Trail-A-Mate 1,000kg hydraulic jack/jockey wheel. It has a very long lift and capable of lifting 1000kg with little effort. The downside is it's quite large and very heavy due the cast iron hydraulic head.

After looking at possible alternative locations to store the jack/jockey wheel I decided why not clamp it to the rear bumper. This moves 10kg from the front to the back which in theory should further offset another 10kg or so from the front while freeing up some space in the front boot.

I made a trip to Bunnings to get some 200 x 50 x 5mm galvanised steel plates predrilled at the ends, galvanised steel bolts, nuts and washers, also two bolt on jockey wheel clamps from BCF. The idea was to make brackets that would allow the jockey wheel clamps to be bolted to the plates and then attached to the rear bumper.

spare wheel removed and brackets put in place



Clamps mounted on brackets. Nuts and washers were used to get the spacing right so the hydraulic jack head would clear the rear bar. Lock nuts on the ends, just in case. Over engineered, maybe, but will not break or fall off in a hurry.

jack/jockey wheel clamped in place

Its relatively easy to remove by undoing the two camps and lifting it out. A little harder to do on your own when putting it back in with the spare wheel on, due to the weight and not a lot of room to work in. Can be done though with a little practice.

I also purchased a small canvas bag to put over the head of the jack to keep the worst of the dirt and water out while travelling.

thanks to Kevin Beckwith for this article



march 2013