On more than a few occasions when I’ve gone to meet our guests after arriving here at Horton Common I’ve come across them trying to fit an AL-KO wheel lock to their caravan and I’ve heard various expletives. Its fair to say that many caravanners (understandably) find fitting their AL-KO wheel lock a pretty significant challenge. The more variables that are in play, the harder it can be to fit an AL-KO wheel lock. For instance, if the caravan needs to be levelled and if its a twin axle caravan with dual-motor movers fitted these variables can all make the process even more difficult. So with this post, I want to discuss the various methods of how to fit AL-KO wheel locks and why you may need to fit them over other makes of wheel locks.
If you have found this post because you are struggling to fit your AL-KO wheel lock after reading my opening paragraph above stating many caravanners also struggle you may be wondering ‘why not just use an alternative wheel lock?’ As you will find from reading my post on caravan wheel locks there are many alternatives available. However, not all wheels locks are rated to the same security standard, especially by caravan insurance companies. Hence, before you give up on your AL-KO wheel locks for an alternative security device, check the terms of your insurance and talk to your caravan insurance provider. Typically an insurance provider will require you to fit a wheel lock any time the caravan is stationary. Hence, not only when you are visiting a caravan site, but also while the caravan is in winter storage at a storage yard or on your driveway. Its also very important to check with your insurer if they require you to fit wheel locks to the wheels on both sides of the caravan.
Introduction on How to Fit AL-KO Wheel Locks
Most caravans produced in the UK and Europe today are based on a lightweight/galvanised AL-KO chassis. As a result, many caravans come fitted as standard with the receiver behind the caravan brake drums for the AL-KO wheel lock. Many caravan manufactures/dealers will therefore often supply the caravan with AL-KO locks, though they may be an additional cost option. The first video below I want to share with you is a demonstration video of how the AL-KO wheel lock is fitted. I’m not referencing this video of what its like to fit the lock in a ‘real world’ scenario. We’ll discuss fitted the AL-KO wheel locks in real-world scenarios below.
As you will notice the AL-KO wheel lock fits between the spokes of the alloy wheel. Therefore, this brings up an important point if you need to purchase new or replacement AL-KO wheel locks. Not all AL-KO wheel locks fit all types of wheels. Each AL-KO Secure lock has a number embossed into the metal casting, that number reflects the specific version to fit a specific type of wheel. If you need a new AL-KO Secure lock the easiest way to avoid making a mistake is to visit the AL-KO Will It Fit page. Also, be very careful where you purchase an AL-KO secure lock from. There are apparently replicas floating around. A new AL-KO Secure wheel lock should come with a registration card so you can register it with AL-KO through their website. More details on the AL-KO FAQ page.
If you purchase an AL-KO Secure wheel lock and it doesnt come with a registration card send it back, as it may not be a legitimate AL-KO product: Image – Amazon
How to Fit AL-KO Wheel Locks to Single and Twin Axle Caravans
Ok, we can now start to get into the real ‘fun and games’ and the main purpose of this post. How to actually fit AL-KO wheel locks in the real world on single and twin axle caravans. If you do own a twin axle caravan as you have probably guessed already if you have tried to fit your AL-KO wheel locks its more of a challenge compared to a single axle caravan. It can be made even more difficult if your twin axle caravan has dual-motor movers fitted. The second video below should be very helpful as it goes through various methods of how to fit AL-KO wheel locks. The video mainly focuses on a twin axle caravan as that’s the most challenging scenario. The same principles of how to fit the AL-KO locks are applicable to a single axle caravan.
As the video above shows and as many of our guests can attest to, the most challenging aspect of fitting the AL-KO wheel locks is when you also have to level the caravan. Just placing down some levelling ramps and hoping the wheel will line up to receive the lock at the right height is unlikely to work out, especially on a twin axle caravan. The video above covers a couple of different methods which I’ll discuss below. However, there is also another method I’ve seen our guests using which you may wish to consider. One method which I won’t be referring below is hydraulic caravan self-levelling systems. We have had a few guests with these systems. However, they are very expensive, hence not something that can be recommended as a general solution to aid fitting AL-KO wheel locks while levelling a caravan.
The Various Methods for Jacking Up a Caravan to Fit AL-KO Wheel Locks
I have a separate post on how to safely jack up a caravan, therefore I’m not going to go into that topic in too much detail in this post. I’ll just be running through a summary of the different options and the do’s and dont’s. For instance, don’t even consider trying to use the corner steadies to jack up the caravan, that will end in tears. Secondly, when using either of the methods referenced below to jack up a caravan, ideally you still want to be hitched up to the tow car. If that’s not possible then a decent set of wheel chocks should be used on either side of the wheels on the opposite side of the caravan.
The AL-KO Winding Jack and Hydraulic Bottle Jack
Your caravan may already come with chassis jacking points and maybe even the jack its self. However, if that’s not the case, fear not, all AL-KO caravan chassis come with predrilled holes for fitting the jacking points. Its very important that you don’t drill any additional holes into the chassis of the caravan to fit a jacking point. Not only could this affect the structural integrity of the chassis but it will damage/remove galvanising on the chassis leading to future corrosion damage (rust). You must only ever jack up the caravan off a purpose-made jacking point/pad. Trying to jack the caravan up directly off the chassis could actually bend it. In the video above the AL-KO winding jack is used. However, AL-KO also produces a hydraulic bottle jack. There are third-party caravan jacks also available besides AL-KO products such as the Kojack.
This is the AL-KO hydraulic caravan jack. A jack of this size is also commonly referred to as a bottle jack: Image – Amazon
The Dual-Motor Mover Problem on Twin Axle Caravans
With a single axle caravan fitted with a motormover jacking up the caravan is not a problem. The jacking point is simply fitted to the chassis on the other side of the axle. However, most twin axle caravans, if they have motor movers fitted, will have two units fitted on either side. Hence, this will in many instances make jacking up a caravan more difficult as the jacking points are blocked. However, there is one potential solution as you can see in the image above of the AL-KO hydraulic jack. The jacking point is mounted on the internal-facing side of the chassis instead. However, this will only work when using the hydraulic jack, it won’t work with the AL-KO winding jack. Unless you fancy trying to wind up the jack from underneath the caravan. However, it should also be noted, using an internal-facing jacking point/hydraulic jack may not be a possible solution with all makes/models of motor mover.
So anyone who is considering purchasing a twin axle caravan may be wondering ‘but are two motor movers on each side really needed?’ Well from my own observations of seeing guests with single motor movers on twin axle caravans and talking to guests about it, the answer is yes. Moving a twin axle caravan across a flat surface, sure, single movers can do the job. Add in any sort of incline/rough ground conditions the movers are likely not to perform adequately. I discuss this more in my post on the best motor movers.
Caravan Lock-n-Level Air Inflation Bags
Another potential solution to the problem of being able to fit AL-KO wheel locks and level a caravan at the same time as shown in the video above is the Lock-n-Level air inflation bags. Currently, I’ve only seen one of our guests using this solution, but it was pretty impressive. I’m still curious how long these Lock-n-Level bags will last though, and how long they can hold pressure for. However, currently, I do think they are one of the best/easiest solutions to level a caravan while being able to fit AL-KO wheel locks, especially for twin axle caravans with motor movers.
Lock-n-Level air inflation bags are made from nylon reinforced polypropylene and are available for both single and twin axle caravans: Image – Amazon
The other thing I like about the Lock-n-Level system is the wide support it provides under each tyre to avoid tyre flat spots. I believe the Lock-n-Level provides support equivalent to or better than any other caravan tyre saver solutions. As discussed in my caravan safety and security advice post. Avoiding caravan tyre flat spots is very important to reduce the chances of caravan tyre blowouts while on fast A-roads or motorways.
The Milenco Aluminium Jack Leveller
Another alternative you could consider instead of using a traditional caravan jack or the Lock-n-Level system is the Milenco aluminium jack leveller. You first get the caravan into position and fit the AL-KO secure wheel lock. Then push the Milenco leveller up against the under the caravans wheel. You then use the included wrench to wind up and raise the caravan until its level. For a twin axle caravan, you would need two of these levellers. You would approach the levelling process very similar to that shown in the video above with regards to the twin axle Lock-n-Level. Fit the AL-KO lock to the first wheel and raise with the Milenco leveller. You can then rotate the second wheel to fit the second AL-KO lock. Then move the second Milenco leveller into position and raise the second axle to the correct height to level the caravan.
You could consider the Milenco Aluminum Jack Leveller as an alternative to the Lock-n-Level. However, its likely to perform poorly on soft ground: Image – Amazon
However, there is something important to note about these Milenco jack levellers, they are only really suitable for levelling a caravan while on a hardstanding surface. One of our guests who uses this type of leveller while on our hardstanding pitches told me about their experience using this leveller on a grass pitch. Unless the grass surface is literally rock hard, as you wind the leveller instead of picking up the caravan it will push itself into the ground. Now, if you have the space to take a large board of wood with you that may be a means to correct that problem. However, I think on soft ground/grass pitches the Lock-n-Level due to its wider support footprint will be a much better solution.
Conclusions on How To Fit AL-KO Wheel Locks
You may have come across this post while searching for a solution after getting frustrated trying to fit your AL-KO wheel locks and level your caravan at the same time. Its a frustration that many fellow caravanners have experienced over the years and many likely will in the years to come. If after reviewing the various solutions above none of them appeal to you or will work in your specific situation it might be worth discussing with your insurance company alternatives they will support. Several of our guests have asked their insurance companies and the Nemesis Ultra has been a supported alternative caravan lock. However, please check with your chosen insurance company before choosing a new wheel lock.
Thanks for reading, I hope my own comments above and the videos have been useful/informative. I also hope at some point in the near future you consider coming to visit us here at Horton Common caravan site to experience our hard standing fully serviced pitches and amazing views over the Staffordshire Moorlands and Peak District National Park. 🙂