Caravan security should be an important consideration for any caravanner. At Horton Common, we have a word lock to gain access to the caravan site. However, some guests do also bring wheel clamps, caravan hitch locks and leg locks for additional peace of mind. In many cases, our guests fit caravan wheel clamps to comply with their insurance terms and conditions. Some insurers provide discounts if a caravan wheel lock is fitted.
With this post, I thought I would run through some of the most popular caravan wheel clamps I see fitted to our guest’s caravans. I’ll also discuss some of the drawbacks of some caravan wheel locks. First, we will discuss a caravan wheel clamp that may already be fitted to your caravan and you didn’t even know it. However, you can also use the Table of Contents below to skip to specific sections of this post.
This is quite a long post on caravan wheel clamps and locks, therefore please feel free to use the Table of Contents below to skip to any particular products.
AL-KO Compact Secure Wheel Clamp
Many caravans today are based on an AL-KO chassis. If your caravan was made after 2005 and based on an AL-KO chassis the AL-KO caravan wheel clamp will probably fit. Many new caravans sold today actually come with an AL-KO wheel clamp fitted. So before you go out and buy a new caravan wheel clamp, check that an AL-KO wheel clamp has not already been installed.
You can easily check by looking behind the caravan wheels. If see a yellow cap cover between the wheel spokes this is the entry point for the AL-KO wheel lock. In fact, if you look again at the image at the start of this post of the aftermarket wheel clamp, that caravan actually has the AL-KO system mounted to the chassis.
The AL-KO Wheel Clamp and Caravan Insurance
Some caravan insurers will have mandatory policy requirements that certain security features are fitted. This can include wheel clamps, hitch locks, alarms and trackers. Some insurers do not have mandatory requirements but provide discounts for the more security features fitted. Therefore it’s worth discussing caravan wheel clamps with your insurer to understand their terms and conditions.
IMPORTANT: I have heard from some of my guests that when it comes to the AL-KO wheel clamp and insurance there can be a specific requirement to fit the lock to BOTH wheels. Therefore again, this just serves as another example of why you need to be absolutely confident what the terms of your insurance are.
Sold Secure Diamond Standard
The AL-KO caravan wheel clamp is currently the only product on the market that I’m aware of rated to the Diamond standard by Sold Secure. Sold Secure was established by the Northumbria and Essex police service in 1992 to test security products for their effectiveness. While Sold Secure is no longer a part of the police service, they work closely with various constabularies and insurers.
AL-KO Caravan Wheel Clamp Features
- Diamond Standard as rated by Sold Secure
- 2 Year warranty
- Wheel fitment: Alloy wheel specific, various models are available to suit 14″ & 15″ alloy wheels
- Weight: 3.55kg
Fitting the AL-KO Wheel Clamp
Below is the official video from AL-KO on how a caravanner should fit the wheel clamp. It shows the process for both single and double axle caravans. There are also a few tips on aliment and maintenance.
So, as you will have noticed the video shows that for a double axle caravan there is a requirement to use a caravan jack. The reason being that while it’s possible to move the fist wheel into aliment on the ground, the lock will probably not line up with the gap in the spokes on the second wheel. Therefore once the first lock has been installed the caravan needs to be jacked off the ground to rotate and align the wheel on the second axle.
The practically of jacking up a caravan depends on the age and ability of each caravaner. Furthermore, it also depends on ground conditions. While our guests manage fine with our hard standing fully serviced pitches if your on a grass pitch at another site there could be issues. There is also another issue with the AL-KO caravan wheel clamp which I discuss below.
Levelling a Caravan and the AL-KO Wheel Clamp
When it comes to levelling a caravan you are going to have to drive one side of the caravan up onto a levelling ramp. You can either use your tow car or your caravan motor mover if fitted. You will move the caravan up onto the ramp until the axel is level. However, this can lead to a problem fitting the AL-KO wheel clamp lock.
The problem is, your axle being level will almost never line up perfectively with the gap in the wheel spokes to fit the AL-KO wheel clamp. I’ve observed many guests fit their AL-KO wheel clamps, and trust me if it’s not perfectly in line you not be able to fit the security bolt. Therefore, you are back you having to use a jack to lift the van and position the wheel to fit the wheel clamp. However, here you can sometimes run into the second issue. Depending on the physical size of the levelling ramp and the required position, it can be tricky to get it into position while the jack is holding up the caravan.
Lock n Level and the AL-KO Wheel Clamp
There is a company that has observed the issue of levelling a caravan with an AL-KO wheel clamp fitted and developed a product to address the issue. The company is called Lock n Level. It’s essentially an airbag system that can be used to raise and level both single and twin axle caravans fitted with an AL-KO wheel clamp. Outandaboutlive last year did quite a detailed post on their experiences using the Lock n Level system. There is also the video below from Dan of Meet the Trudgians.
I’ve not as yet had any guests with the Lock n Level product. While I do think it’s a clever way to address the issue, there is one obvious question your probably thinking, will it leak? In other words, once you have levelled your caravan how long will it hold that air pressure for? I cannot find a FAQ section on the Lock n Level website so I’m not sure on their response to such a question. However, I do know when it comes to air awnings for instance, how long they hold air pressure for can be a concern to caravanners.
Conclusions on the AL-KO Wheel Clamp
Arguably there is no better caravan wheel clamp on the market than the AL-KO product. Furthermore, if it already comes fitted to your caravan your insurer may have a mandatory requirement that you fit it. However, if the above issues around levelling your caravan with the AL-KO wheel lock fitted concern you, it’s worth asking your insurer if they will also approve the use of other caravan wheel clamps. Therefore, below we’ll look at what other products you can consider.
Other Caravan Wheel Clamp Options
One of the key benefits of the AL-KO wheel lock is how little space (and weight) it actually takes up in the caravan. The two relatively small red metal inserts don’t take up much space at all. Therefore when looking at other aftermarket wheel clamps for your caravan how bulky they are and how heavy they are need to be considered. Remember, its important that you know the weight of your caravan, and you don’t go over its weight allowance.
Purple Line Nemesis Ultra Caravan Wheel Clamp
I’ve had quite a few guests now who have chosen to go with the Nemesis Ultra clamp and I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback. The Nemesis Ultra is very similar in appearance to the AL-KO clamp however, it does not suffer from the aliment issue. As you can see from the Purple Line promotional video below they like to emphasis the aliment issue. They state other manufacturers products suffer from ‘fiddley aliment’ which the Nemesis Ultra does not.
The Nemesis Ultra is a light and compact product, reportedly able to be fitted to the caravan wheel with one hand.
Purple Line Nemesis Ultra Security Rating
The Nemesis Ultra caravan wheel clamp is a Thatcham Approval ‘category 3’ approved protect which is recognised by several insurance companies. The Nemesis Ultra features a toughened steel bar which passes through the wheel and stops wheel rotation as the bar will come in contact with the caravan chassis. The lock is resistant to picking, drilling and even gas freezing and shattering.
Purple Line Nemesis Ultra Features
- Thatcham Approval ‘category 3’
- 5 Year warranty
- Suits most 13″, 14″ & 15″ alloy wheels
- Fitment through the wheel
- Weight 3kg
Purple Line Fullstop Excalibur
An alternative product offered by Purple Line is the Fullsop Excalibur. Compared to the Nemesis Ultra this is more of a wrap-around product, going behind and underneath the wheel. However, as you can see from the image below, the Excalibur can also be fitted directly to the AL-KO security bolt receiver on the chassis (if fitted).
Purple Line Fullstop Excalibur Features
- Sold Secure Gold Standard
- Fits most caravan with alloy wheels after 2005
- Easier to fit and align than the AL-KO lock
- Warranty 5 years
- Weight 3.9kg
Purple Line Fullstop Excalibur Conclusions
I’ve never actually seen the Purple Line Excalibur fitted to a guests caravan, despite often seeing the Nemesis lock which is interesting. Something which is worth pointing out is the Sold Secure Gold rating. This is obviously not as high as the Diamond rating of the AL-KO lock. So while it is easier to fit than the AL-KO lock, it does not provide the same level of protection. Price-wise, it is more expensive than the Nemesis last time I checked.
Maypole Stronghold Caravan Alloy Wheel Lock
Another alternative product which is very similar to the Nemesis Ultra is the Maypole Stronghold wheel lock. I’ve seen a couple of guests with this Maypole wheel lock, however not as many as the Nemesis Ultra. The Maypole Stronghold is a slightly cheaper product, however, there are also some notable differences to the Nemesis Ultra.
Maypole Stronghold Features
- Sold Secure Gold Approved
- Easily fitted in around 10 seconds
- Suits most 13″, 14″ & 15″ alloy wheels
- Fitment through the wheel
- Weight under 3.5kg
Conclusions on the Maypole Stronghold
So you may have noticed the Maypole Stronghold is Sold Secure Gold Approved. If you recall earlier in the post where we discussed the AL-KO wheel lock, that product is Sold Secure Diamond Approved. Looking at the design of the Maypole the likely reason is how exposed the steel bar is that fits through the wheel. While toughened its not impossible that a cutter could get through this. Hence the likely reason for the lower rating of the Maypole Stronghold when compared to the AL-KO wheel lock.
However, the Maypole Stronghold still provides a high level of security protection and is a recognised product by several insurance companies. Also, its a lot easier to fit than the AL-KO lock. The question then becomes, would you choose the Maypole Stronghold over the Nemesis Ultra for the small difference in price?
Maypole Scimitar Wheel Clamp
There is a huge range of wheel clamps offered by Maypole. However, I only really want to discuss their products which are aimed specifically at caravaners. I’ve never actually seen their alternative product the Scimitar fitted to a guests caravan. However, it is another caravan wheel clamp potentially worth considering.
Maypole Scimitar Features
- For 13-15 inch wheels with 165mm to 205mm tyres and a spoke gap of at least 50mm
- Fitting time less than 30 seconds
- Sold Secure Gold Standard
- Weight 8.6kg
Maypole Scimitar Conclusions
The Scimitar with its large bright yellow disc does serve as a good visual deterrent. However, if we compare the Scimitar to the other Maypole product the Stronghold or the Nemesis Ultra, it does struggle to compete. First, it’s bulkier and heavier (8.6kg compared to less than 4kg). It also takes longer to fit (30 seconds compared to 10 seconds).
Now, I personally don’t put too much emphasis on the fitting time. Seriously, who thinks a 20 seconds difference is significant? However, it does not actually provide any additional security protection according to Sold Secure who gave the Scimitar a Gold rating. Price-wise its a little bit cheaper than the Stronghold or the Nemesis Ultra. However, does that makeup for the additional weight an bulk?
Milenco Wraith Caravan Wheel Clamp
Milenco is probably a brand you will recognise as a caravanner, they produce a wide range of caravan accessories. Currently, their premium caravan wheel clamp is the Wraith. Very similar in appearance to the Nemesis Ultra, apart from being bright yellow apposed to bright orange.
Milenco Wraith Features
- Fits Steel (some) and Alloy Wheels
- 5 Year Lock Warranty
- Designed to be simple to fit
- Highly visible security deterrent
- Sold Secure Gold Standard
- Weight 4.1kg
Milenco Wraith Conclusions
The Wraith is very similar in construction and appearance to the Nemesis Ultra. The Wraith is rated as Gold Standard by Sold Secure. Unfortunately, at this point in time, the Nemesis Ultra is not rated by Sold Secure, so it’s not possible to do a direct comparison. It would be interesting to see if the Nemesis Ultra could achieve the Diamond Sold Secure standard.
However, based on the information available the Wraith and Nemesis Ultra are very closely matched. There is only a 1kg weight advantage to the Nemesis Ultra. As the Wraith is a relatively new product from Milenco I’ve as yet to see any guests with one fitted. When it comes to the price difference between the Wraith and the Nemesis Ultra there is very little difference. When I last checked it was just a few pounds.
Milenco Compact Wheel Clamp
The last product I wanted to reference is the Milenco Compact Wheel Clamp. The reason being most of the clamps reference above can only be fitted to caravans with alloy wheels that have large enough gaps between the spokes. While practically all modern caravans today come with alloy wheels, there also needs to be security solutions for older caravans. One of the best solutions in my opinion for older caravans with steel wheels is the Milenco Compact Wheel Clamp.
Milenco Compact Wheel Clamp Features
- Suitable for both Steel and Alloy Wheels
- 12″ to 16″ Wheels
- Tyre sizes 145 up to 225
- Weight 3.88kg
Milenco Compact Wheel Clamp Conclusions
While the Milenco Compact wheel clamp can be fitted to steel wheels making it a very flexible solution, there is a notable omission. Milenco provides no information on the security standard the compact wheel clamp is rated to. Therefore if you do choose to go with this product check with your insurer first on potential discounts. Even if your insurer will not provide a discount it will still provide some protection. Furthermore, with security products its often as much about the visual deterrent. Thieves are looking for easy targets, therefore any wheel clamp is better than no wheel clamp.
Conclusions on the Best Caravan Wheel Clamps
There is a huge range of wheel clamps available for caravans. With this post, I just wanted to focus on products I see my guests using which they have provided positive feedback on. When it comes to any caravan security product, your first question should be ‘What about my insurance?’. The type and standard of wheel clamp you choose can either reduce your insurance or invalidate it. Therefore, it’s extremely important to know where you stand on wheel clamps when it comes to your insurance policy.
When it comes to feeback I’ve received from our guests many of them have swapped from large bulky clamps to the lighter more compact wheel locks. If you can get used to fitting the AL-KO lock, that is often seen by insurers as the most secure option. And this is further reinforced by the Sold Secure Diamond Standard. However, the AL-KO lock can be very frustrating to fit, especially while levelling a caravan. Also, the AL-KO lock is more fiddly to fit when at short stops at motorway service stations for instance.
Anyway, I’m sure the above information on caravan wheel clamps has given you a lot to think about. I hope you also think about visiting us here at Horton Common in the future to experience our hard standing fully serviced pitches. 🙂