We’ve had a play with our new toy, and enjoyed it very much, but one thing that we quickly realised that we needed was some sort of motorised assistance with getting it in and out of its parking slot.
We thought seriously about getting a proper motor mover, fitted to the main wheels of the caravan, but even the cheapest of these would be £650 fitted. Buying secondhand wouldn’t be much less. That’s quite a lot to invest in an accessory for what was intended as a “starter” caravan. So instead we’ve gone for a somewhat less capable, but much cheaper, motor assist at the jockey wheel.
Enter the Bigfoot Caravan Mover. They’re no longer made, but we found a secondhand one in really super condition through Gumtree. Sadly, the very nice and helpful previous owners had to sell their caravan because of illness, but we’ll put the Bigfoot to good use.
This morning we took a quick trip over to the caravan park to try it out. It was an ideal day for a test, since it had rained overnight and the grass was wet.
I’ll wire it up properly to the battery compartment later. Meanwhile we just took the battery out and connected it directly. The Bigfoot goes in place of the jockey wheel. You steer it with a tiller-like handle, and there’s a simple switch to make it go forwards or backwards.
… and it works beautifully. Even on wet grass it coped with the slight incline that we found so difficult by hand. And no worries about hitting the vans parked closely on either side.
Since we’re unlikely to use the caravan again until early spring, we’ve drained it down as thoroughly as we can. This gadget, called floë draindown system allows you to blow residual water back through the taps and shower to make sure that there’s nothing left to freeze. All it takes is a tyre pump and a quick round of opening and closing all the taps in turn.