Have You Checked Your Wheel Nuts
The recent recall of Bailey Unicorn single axle caravans, because of incidents where the wheel became detached, has highlighted a serious issue for all caravanners. If you pull out your owners manual you will see that the manufacturer of your caravan recommends that you check the torque of your wheel nuts before every trip. Now ask yourself “when did I last check my wheel nuts?”. Don’t worry you are not alone, in fact I bet you don’t even have a torque wrench much less know how to use it.
Check your wheel nuts before every trip
Most caravan owners assume that their dealer will check the torque of their wheel nuts when they have the caravan serviced. Well if you do have your caravan serviced regularly then it will almost certainly have the torque of the wheel nuts checked at the service but this is not enough. You need to get yourself a torque wrench, learn how to use it and make checking the torque of your wheel nuts part of your routine before setting out.
A torque wrench needn’t be an expensive investment, Machine Mart offer one for under £25 that is reputed to be of reasonable quality and accuracy. This includes an extension and 1/2” to 3/8” adapter. If you don’t have the correct socket to fit your wheel nuts then you will need to buy one. Machine Mart
A better quality “Teng Tools” torque wrench is available from Screw Fix for £55.
If you look after them properly these tools will give you many years service and are an excellent investment for your safety.
Learn how to set the wrench to the correct torque, this is frequently 110nm for caravan wheel nuts but check your owners manual for specific settings for your caravan. It is as dangerous to over tighten nuts as to have them too loose. Make sure that you remember to wind the wrench back to zero when you have finished using it. If you leave it set on 110nm it will soon lose its accuracy. Torque wrenches of the kind pictured here click when the correct torque is reached.
Read your owners manual
Read what your owners manual says about checking the torque of the wheel nuts and do what it says. As a general rule the nuts should be tightened in sequence as shown on this diagram but do check your owners manual for the specific recommendations for your caravan.
Check your wheel nuts before every trip, carry the torque wrench in the boot of your car and have it handy to pull out and use whenever you are going to set off on a trip, and before you leave the campsite for the return journey. It will take you about the same length of time as winding the corner steadies and is so important for the safety of yourself, your family and your lovely caravan.