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Dandy Hitches

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MrsG

Posts : 287
Join date : 2011-11-03
Age : 35
Location : Dandy Land

Dandy Hitches

Post by MrsG on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 9:17 pm

So......Ben & I arrived at Blackmore on Thursday evening and were a little shocked to find out our hitch had become loose from the Dandy. Luckily, it was still secured via an internal bolt, however, the hitch was still able to move all ways and thus was unsafe! Shocked Shocked

We called out a local gentleman recommended by Blackmore Campsite called Gary (trading as Gazavan) he was incredibly knowledgeable and was able to tell us exactly the problem. As Ben's parents hadn't used Delilah for a number of years before we took her on, she was not serviced. This meant the front plastic bush (the part that holds the hitch in place) failed. Part of mechanism are two 'grease nipples' which due to not being serviced were not greased and were dry as a bone!

We will now have to replace the whole hitch as this has done irreparable damage at a cost of around £300, best case scenario. It was scary to think something so minor could possible have caused so much devastation. My advice to all Dandy owners, get it serviced! It might just save you a lot of heartache. Lesson well and truly LEARNED.
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Nick
Dandy Owner

Posts : 570
Join date : 2011-06-12
Age : 42
Location : Tyne and Wear

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by Nick on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 9:27 pm

thankfully dandy stayed attached and no harm done except to the pocket.We do service ours every year and grease the nipples at least twice between services.
You can also knacker hitches with over greasing.
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bgarston

Posts : 111
Join date : 2011-11-03
Age : 38
Location : Bristol

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by bgarston on Mon 04 Jun 2012, 9:38 pm

I'd like to echo Lucie's comments about keeping our Dandy's serviced. I can also highly recommend Gary/Gazavan (http://www.gazavan.co.uk/). He arrived on time as arranged, was upfront and open about his charges. Upon inspection he told me how he was going to try to resolve the issue. Once the work was complete Gary showed me what he had done and reassured me that my unit was once again safe to tow home. Over a mug of coffee Gary explained that we'd soon need a new hitch and proceeded to find out the Alko part number I'd need.

If anyone is in Malverns area and you prearrange it Gary can service your Dandy on the campsite when it's up.....he quoted us a price of £95 for a basic service which I don't think is too bad. His work carries a guarantee and is backed by the Approved Workshop Scheme (http://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk).

Ben
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ShaunJUK

Posts : 590
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 37
Location : Grimsby

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by ShaunJUK on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 8:28 am

Is servicing something that can be done yourself?

Can someone create a guide or is it just best to take it somewhere?

Shaun
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mike
Dandy Owner

Posts : 5172
Join date : 2011-06-12
Age : 68
Location : north east lincs

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by mike on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 9:35 am

ShaunJUK wrote:Is servicing something that can be done yourself?

Can someone create a guide or is it just best to take it somewhere?

Shaun

I think kevin was going to but he has had a lot on lately
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Nick
Dandy Owner

Posts : 570
Join date : 2011-06-12
Age : 42
Location : Tyne and Wear

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by Nick on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 11:05 am

its easy enough if you have reasonable mobility and the space time tools and know how.We used a local mobile caravan mechanic last year who was great as he had a well stocked workshop on wheels.
It cost us £50 for a 2hour brake and hitch service.I have degreased and repacked bearings last week also adjusted brakes and checked hitch over,apart from wheel bearings starting to show very slight signs of wear all is well.Bearings and races are due to be replaced within the next week or two.
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 5:39 pm

mike wrote:
ShaunJUK wrote:Is servicing something that can be done yourself?

Can someone create a guide or is it just best to take it somewhere?

Shaun

I think kevin was going to but he has had a lot on lately


Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa

Mike is more than generous, or perhaps forgiving in his terms we mentioned something ages ago and I've done bugger all.

One issue is that I do procrastinate terribly the other is that I wanted to have done all of the procedures I didn't just want to be re hashing someone else's words. If pictures were to be used then the good people at Indespension might not be so good if I just used the photos from their manual so the jobs needed doing to take the photos. The final part being I hadn't quite got my head around the function of the energy store. This is one piece of equipment that is unique to caravans and light trailers but try and find a description of its function rather than just a guide of how to set it? Also the current setting guides show differing energy stores so I have one or two i's and t's to be dotted there.
I have no pretensions about having the capabilities of a technical writer but should I get myself into gear enough to write anything it wont end in that well worn phrase of Haynes manuals "Assembly is a reversal of the above proceedure"

Investing £5.00 into Indespension's The Trailer Manual is more tthan paid back far more use than the Haynes tome on trailers.

NickB wrote:thankfully dandy stayed attached and no harm done except to the pocket.We do service ours every year and grease the nipples at least twice between services.
You can also knacker hitches with over greasing.


As said I take Indespension's guide as a bible to quote
On most couplings you will find 2 or 3 grease nipples which signify greasing points. Using a good quality grease(our recommendation is Aqualube), pack the coupling with grease using a preasure grease gun. It is impossible to over grease a coupling so err on the excessive side rather than the frugal - without going wild! {Italics T Itch}

So who told you over greasing can knacker the hitch and what did they say it can do?

MrsG wrote:So......Ben & I arrived at Blackmore on Thursday evening and were a little shocked to find out our hitch had become loose from the Dandy. Luckily, it was still secured via an internal bolt, however, the hitch was still able to move all ways and thus was unsafe! Shocked Shocked

We called out a local gentleman recommended by Blackmore Campsite called Gary (trading as Gazavan) he was incredibly knowledgeable and was able to tell us exactly the problem. As Ben's parents hadn't used Delilah for a number of years before we took her on, she was not serviced. This meant the front plastic bush (the part that holds the hitch in place) failed. Part of mechanism are two 'grease nipples' which due to not being serviced were not greased and were dry as a bone!

We will now have to replace the whole hitch as this has done irreparable damage at a cost of around £300, best case scenario. It was scary to think something so minor could possible have caused so much devastation. My advice to all Dandy owners, get it serviced! It might just save you a lot of heartache. Lesson well and truly LEARNED.
bgarston wrote:I'd like to echo Lucie's comments about keeping our Dandy's serviced. I can also highly recommend Gary/Gazavan (http://www.gazavan.co.uk/). He arrived on time as arranged, was upfront and open about his charges. Upon inspection he told me how he was going to try to resolve the issue. Once the work was complete Gary showed me what he had done and reassured me that my unit was once again safe to tow home. Over a mug of coffee Gary explained that we'd soon need a new hitch and proceeded to find out the Alko part number I'd need.

If anyone is in Malverns area and you prearrange it Gary can service your Dandy on the campsite when it's up.....he quoted us a price of £95 for a basic service which I don't think is too bad. His work carries a guarantee and is backed by the Approved Workshop Scheme (http://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk).

Ben

Bit lost at what has been done here? I gather that the coupling bushes had broken / disintegrated but I thought the additional damage had caused the demise of the draw bar in its entirety. £300 seemed a good price fitted and adjusted. (if looking at prices from Indespension remember they give LARGE discounts to trade) see price differences between [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but if you have had an entire new coupling isn't the end of the coupling (the hitch) part of it?
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jake001

Posts : 340
Join date : 2012-03-10
Age : 71
Location : Warrington

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by jake001 on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 7:31 pm

Take a look at this Mr Itch, it may help. It includes a description of the function of the energy store when applying the handbrake and in stopping auto reverse with handbrake applied
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Jake
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ShaunJUK

Posts : 590
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 37
Location : Grimsby

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by ShaunJUK on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 7:50 pm

Mike, where is god near us to get my dandy serviced?
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bgarston

Posts : 111
Join date : 2011-11-03
Age : 38
Location : Bristol

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by bgarston on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 8:00 pm

ShaunJUK wrote:Mike, where is god near us to get my dandy serviced?

Hi Shaun, For places to have your unit serviced a look here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ben
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by Tow Itch on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 8:05 pm

jake001 wrote:Take a look at this Mr Itch, it may help. It includes a description of the function of the energy store when applying the handbrake and in stopping auto reverse with handbrake applied
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Jake

Thanks Jake

Happier than i once was in the function of the energy store. I have at times posted a link to this page myself. As an illustration of what I was saying see Knott's description of "The Breakaway Cable" This is their complete explanation of what happens under breakaway conditions yet it doesn't even refer to the energy store but this is exactly the point that the energy store comes into play.
TRAILER BREAKAWAY CABLE
In the event of the trailer becoming detached from the towing vehicle the breakaway cable which must pass through a guide at
the forward end of the hitch applies a direct forward pull to the base of the handbrake lever. This applies the parking brake and
operates the brakes. The cable then snaps or the cable attachment “burst” ring opens (AS IT IS DESIGNED TO DO).
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bgarston

Posts : 111
Join date : 2011-11-03
Age : 38
Location : Bristol

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by bgarston on Tue 05 Jun 2012, 8:43 pm

[quote="Tow Itch"]
mike wrote:

MrsG wrote:So......Ben & I arrived at Blackmore on Thursday evening and were a little shocked to find out our hitch had become loose from the Dandy. Luckily, it was still secured via an internal bolt, however, the hitch was still able to move all ways and thus was unsafe! Shocked Shocked

We called out a local gentleman recommended by Blackmore Campsite called Gary (trading as Gazavan) he was incredibly knowledgeable and was able to tell us exactly the problem. As Ben's parents hadn't used Delilah for a number of years before we took her on, she was not serviced. This meant the front plastic bush (the part that holds the hitch in place) failed. Part of mechanism are two 'grease nipples' which due to not being serviced were not greased and were dry as a bone!

We will now have to replace the whole hitch as this has done irreparable damage at a cost of around £300, best case scenario. It was scary to think something so minor could possible have caused so much devastation. My advice to all Dandy owners, get it serviced! It might just save you a lot of heartache. Lesson well and truly LEARNED.
bgarston wrote:I'd like to echo Lucie's comments about keeping our Dandy's serviced. I can also highly recommend Gary/Gazavan (http://www.gazavan.co.uk/). He arrived on time as arranged, was upfront and open about his charges. Upon inspection he told me how he was going to try to resolve the issue. Once the work was complete Gary showed me what he had done and reassured me that my unit was once again safe to tow home. Over a mug of coffee Gary explained that we'd soon need a new hitch and proceeded to find out the Alko part number I'd need.

If anyone is in Malverns area and you prearrange it Gary can service your Dandy on the campsite when it's up.....he quoted us a price of £95 for a basic service which I don't think is too bad. His work carries a guarantee and is backed by the Approved Workshop Scheme (http://www.approvedworkshops.co.uk).

Ben

Bit lost at what has been done here? I gather that the coupling bushes had broken / disintegrated but I thought the additional damage had caused the demise of the draw bar in its entirety. £300 seemed a good price fitted and adjusted. (if looking at prices from Indespension remember they give LARGE discounts to trade) see price differences between [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but if you have had an entire new coupling isn't the end of the coupling (the hitch) part of it?

Hi Tow Itch,


In answer to your question the front bush ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]) was ripped out of it's housing by the draw tube due to the lack of lubrication. This resulted in the draw tube having almost 5mm of play in any direction around it's circumference.

I am told that the front bush is designed to be held in place by the front grease nipple but as it was ripped out this no longer is the case and it's now only held in by the friction between the front bush and the housing it sits in. As a result of the play in the hitch mechanism the draw tube is scored and dented. The repairs that have been carried out are only temporary so we will have to either try to source the parts to replace the draw tube and front bush (which might be like trying to find hens teeth) or replace the entire hitch mechanism.

Re the servicing I could do this myself, I have the instructions and the technical ability to do this myself but the issues are that I do not have the time nor the space to do this at home. Allied to this no one of any professional standing has looked at the running gear since the day the Dandy was built in 1989 so in this respect I think I cursory service is well over due just for piece of mind.

Cheers

Ben
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Tow Itch
Dandy Expert

Posts : 3175
Join date : 2011-06-20
Location : Leigh Gtr Manchester

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by Tow Itch on Wed 06 Jun 2012, 12:41 am

The parts are available but by the time you have added up the cost of coupling bushes, drawtubes, a coupling damper (not mentioned) and a coupling head it seems sensible to renew as one unit especially if it can all come fitted for £300.
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Nick
Dandy Owner

Posts : 570
Join date : 2011-06-12
Age : 42
Location : Tyne and Wear

Re: Dandy Hitches

Post by Nick on Wed 06 Jun 2012, 7:19 am

Kevin i cannot find the info regarding overgreasing,it was something to do with damaging or forcing out seals or bushes i spent about an hour trying to search under everything i could think of to find the web page.

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