Reversing the caravan into a tight spot is one of the most notoriously stressful aspects of the Big Lap for many, many grey nomads.
It can send blood pressures soaring, make rock solid relationships rocky, and end up in expensive damage to vans, walls, trees, fences, bushes or power outlets. Even the ‘gifted’ reversers among the grey nomad fraternity occasionally have to admit defeat, jump out of the ‘tug’, and attempt to manually guide a van into that ultra snug site.
This is where hernias and muscle pulls take over from frayed nerves and wounded pride as the most likely negative consequence of the van parking attempt.
However, the march of technology and the arrival of a wide variety of increasingly affordable caravan movers and power jockey wheels has made life a breeze for many grateful vanners.
While there are manual movers with a ratchet mechanism on the market that can lighten the load, many grey nomads are opting for motorised versions.
These can be broadly divided into two main types. The sort that moves the van by driving the primary caravan wheels tend to be permanent fixtures attached to the chassis.
For those looking for a more ‘detachable’ caravan moving option, there are other devices that effectively replace the traditional jockey wheel in one way or another. There are a great number of variations on this theme with some movers having their own batteries while others draw power from the caravan battery.
Caravan movers offer incredible manoeuvrability, allowing vans to turn on a sixpence. There are options that will work on both single and dual axle vans and many will guide vans over fairly rough terrain and on inclines. They can either be steered by the use of an extended ‘rudder’ or by the use of a remote control. Suddenly, parking the van is fun!
However, turning the caravan reversing ‘nightmare’ into a potentially enjoyable experience does come at a cost. The motorised models can cost several thousand dollars … but that’s not likely to stop an increasing number of travellers deciding it is money very well spent.
Reports from the road suggest that the various caravan mover options are taking one of the very few stresses out of life on the road for many. Who said life couldn’t get any better?