What are the Best Caravan Motor Movers in 2019?


Hi, I’m Chris, I run Horton Common along with my father Robert.

A significant number of our visitors to Horton Common now have motor movers fitted to their caravans. Instead of trying to reverse their caravans on to their fully serviced pitch, they avoid potential clutch wear and use their motor movers.

Over the years I’ve seen a wide range of motormover fitted to the caravans that arrive at our site. I’ve also heard about the various challenges and issues that some have experienced with certain motor movers. Therefore I thought I would write a post about what are the best motor movers currently available for caravans.

Caravan Motor Mover
Many caravanners today see motor movers as an essential feature.

Now, this is a pretty long post, so if you do want to skip to any particular sections you can do so through the links on the Table of Contents below:

Jockey Wheel or Axle Mounted Motor Movers?

Now, I must admit, since we opened Horton Common in 2014 I’ve only ever had one guest with a jockey wheel motormover. Today, the only motor movers I see fitted to caravans are those mounted to the caravan’s axle. However, products such as Mr Shifta and motorised jockey wheels were the first such products to hit the market. While still available for purchase and significantly cheaper than axel mounted motor movers there are some issues with these products.

Mr Shifta Caravan Motor Mover
The Mr Shifta caravan motor mover was one of the first such products. Only really suitable for moving your caravan at home: Image – C&CC

Only One (Small) Driving Wheel

So the first problem when you think about it is that you are only powering one small wheel to push and pull the caravan. The axle mounted systems are driving each wheel on the caravan (other than the jockey wheel). To the point where on a twin axle caravan there are normally four motor movers fitted. So when you think about it, with a motorised jockey wheel there is significantly less point contact with the ground. Not only because you are only driving one wheel, but because that wheel is so small.

A fairly typical jockey wheel motor mover: Image – Amazon

What about Ground Conditions?

So if we think about ground conditions for a second. If you are on a hard road surface that’s flat I’m sure a motorised jockey wheel can perform a respectable job. This is why you will see them still used in caravan sales yards. As one motorised jockey wheel can be fitted and removed from a caravan once its in position. This is typically where a Mr Shifta would be used. However, on a caravan site, you may be on a sloping grass pitch. Add in a bit of wet weather to produce soft ground conditions and a motorised jockey wheel is going to struggle.

Therefore with this post on the best motor movers available, I’m not going to focus on motorised jockey wheels. They are not a product I see my guests using, therefore I think that’s a likely reflection of most caravaners. While motorised jockey wheels may still have some uses, I don’t believe they are the solution suitable for most people.

We need to talk about your Caravan’s Weight

So before we start to explore the best motor movers on the market for your caravan, you need to understand the impact on your caravan’s weight. You see, once fitted the motor mover will be deducted from your caravans user payload. Therefore, the weight of the motor mover you choose can have significant implications on how much you can store in your caravan.

Below I will provide details on the weights of the different motor moves, however, generally, a motor mover will be around 27kg +. Therefore you need to first check what your caravans user payload is. You then need to evaluate if you can still store all your belongings for your trip and be within the caravans weight limit. Remember, breaching your caravans user payload if you had an accident could have implications on your insurance payout, its also not legal to tow.

Fitting a caravan motor mover can have impacts on weight distribution and reducing your user payload – Image: RAC

Impact on your Caravans Nose Weight

Normally an axle mounted caravan mover is mounted forward of the axle, therefore between the wheels and tow hitch. This means the motormover is adding additional nose weight to your caravan. Depending on your car, you could have a nose weight limit of just 70kg. Getting the nose weight under that limit can be a significant challenge depending on the amount of stuff you want to store in the caravan. Therefore once a motor mover is added to the equation it can make meeting the caravan noseweight limit even harder. Therefore, you need to be confident before adding a motor mover to your caravan it is not going to lead you to exceed your cars noise weight limit. It’s worth noting that some motor mover manufacturers such as AL-KO recommend fitting the motor mover forward of the axle to avoid damage from stone chips etc if placed behind the axle.

Caravan Nose Weight
Fitting a motor mover can increase the nose weight of a caravan: Image – outandaboutlive.co.uk

What about Ground Clearance?

Yes, ground clearance is another important consideration. Some caravans have different wheel sizes fitted which can impact ground clearance. For instance, older second-hand caravans may be fitted with smaller 13″ wheels. Furthermore, how the motor mover is fitted to the caravan chassis can influence the remaining ground clearance. The minimum industry standard for ground clearance is 150mm. Therefore if your chosen motor mover reduces your ground clearance below 150mm, this could lead to problems. That problem could be smashing your new expensive motor mover against a speed bump for instance 🙁 .

Caravan Ground Clearance
You need to make sure a motor mover still gives your caravan sufficient ground clearance: Image C&CC

How Easy are Motor Movers to Use?

With all axle mounted motor movers, you are provided with a remote control. Therefore the actual operation of the motor mover is very easy. However, where some motor movers differ is in how easy they are to engage and disengage. The motor mover drive cylinder is not in constant contact with the caravan axle wheels. You only engage the motor mover just before you want to move the caravan. As you can imagine, it needs to be well compressed against the caravan tyre to provide good traction and avoid slipping. Slipping will either cause the caravan to jerk, not turn properly or potentially not move at all.

Caravan motor mover remote
A typical example of a caravan motor mover remote.

Top Tip: If you have a motormover fitted, make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. Under-inflated tyres can be a reason for slippage when using a motor mover.

Manually Engaged Motor Movers

Manual Engagement Motor Mover
The Powrtouch Classic is one of the most common manual engagement motor movers currently fitted to caravans.

The majority of our visitors have manually engaged caravan motor movers. In most instances its a spring-loaded arm that is calibrated to provide sufficient pressure against the tyre. The other form of manual engagement is that of the winding system. In some cases, the user has to use the lever to engage each motor mover. However, in other cases, a single (cross-actuation) bar is fitted which engages both motor movers. My father actually has this system fitted to his caravan. Something to bear in mind, it takes quite a bit of effort to move the lever to get the mover into position. Therefore, if you are concerned you will not have the ability to engage the motor movers manually, an automatic engagement system is probably for you.

Automatic Engaging Motor Movers

The other option to the manual systems is to pay a bit more for the motorised automatic engagement motor movers. There are more buttons on the remote control which engage the motor movers against the caravan tyres. However, with any motor mover system its important to remember to disengage the motor mover before you set off again. You would probably notice, as it would feel like towing the caravan with the handbrake on. It would probably also make quite a strange noise. However, if you didn’t notice it would lead to some very rapid tyre wear and potential damage to the motor movers and caravan leisure battery.

Ideally Chose a Soft Start Caravan Motor Mover

Some of the older caravan motor movers and some of the current budget offerings don’t have soft start motors. With basic on/off motors its very tricky to accurately control and position the caravan. Without soft start motors, the caravan tends to jerk when the motors start to move. Therefore, ideally, try and choose a caravan motor mover which has the soft start feature. It comes in very handy when you’re trying to fit the caravan into a tight space.

What’s the Amp Rating and Condition of your Caravan Leisure Battery?

Each caravan motor mover manufacturer provides specifics on what amp rating of leisure battery their equipment requires. As a general rule of thumb, a good quality 85Ah leisure battery fully charged in good condition should be sufficient. The number of volts the battery is producing is important. I remember when we once tried to use the motor mover on my father’s caravan. We turned on the system and all we got was a beep and no movement. When we looked at the condition of the battery it was ever so slightly below 12V. However, being just under 12V was sufficient for the motor mover to decide that’s just not enough power.

Leisure Battery for Caravan Motor Mover

You normally need at least an 85Ah leisure battery for a motor mover to work properly: Image – Amazon

Caravan Motor Movers Currently Available

Below I’ll provide details on the main caravan motor movers currently on the market and some of the highlighted features of each unit.

Powrtouch Classic

Probably the most common motor mover I see fitted to caravans which visit Horton Common is the Powrtouch Classic. This is also the motor mover which is fitted to my father’s caravan. While a bit underpowered by today’s standards (only suitable for vans up to 1500kg) its been a reliable motor mover for my father and many of our caravan site guests.

Powrtouch Classic Motor Mover
The Powrtouch Classic is probably the most common motor mover I see fitted to caravans which visit Horton Common.
  • Weight of 37kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,500 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 20 Amps
  • Maximum current 80 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

Powrtouch Classic Prices

The Powrtouch Classic is now a discontinued product, however, there are a few retailers who still hold stock. A new unit is around £599, and there are now second-hand units appearing on eBay. You can get hold of a second-hand unit for between £200 to £300. There are lots of parts available too, therefore if you were considering a second hand/DIY solution this could be an option.

Powrtouch Classic Reviews

I’ve had lots of comments from guests who were happy with their Powertouch Classics. While maintenance and repair are expected (changing the motor brushes), I’ve never heard any horror stories from our guests. Powrtouch currently holds a 4.8 out of 5 star review on their Google listing.

Powrtouch Freedom

The Powrtouch Classic has been replaced by the Freedom, this is their cheapest unit currently on offer with manual engagement. The Freedom can move a caravan up to 1,500 kg up a 1/4 slope. There appears to be a slight reduction in weight from the Classic of 2kg. Other than that the units appear mechanically very similar with more weather protective coverings on the Freedom. The Freedom as with the Classic is only suitable for single axle caravans.

Powrtouch Freedom Motor Mover
The Powrtouch Freedom has replaced the Classic as their entry-level manually operated caravan motor mover.
  • Weight of 35kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,500 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 20 Amps
  • Maximum current 80 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

Powrtouch Freedom Prices

A £599 price point appears to be consistent across all the retailers. Therefore the same price point as the Classic.

Powrtouch Freedom Reviews

As the Freedom is very similar mechanically to the Classic the previous reviews should be applicable. Powrtouch does also offer a 5 year ‘no quibble’ guarantee.

Powrtouch Evolution

The Evolution features an improved (more powerful) 4-pole motor over the Freedom. The Evolution is available as either a manual or with automatic engagement. Also, the Evolution is suitable for twin axle caravans, you can use two motors or a unit for each wheel for an AWD system. What is interesting is that even though a more powerful motor is fitted the Amp ratings have not changed from the Freedom. Also, the weight has been reduced considerably to just 30kg.

Powrtouch Evolution Motor Mover
The Evolution has a more powerful motor compared to the Freedom and is suitable for single or twin axle caravans.
  • Weight of 30kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,800 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 20 Amps
  • Maximum current 80 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

Powrtouch Evolution Prices

For a pair of manual Evolution units, you are looking at around £825. For an AWD (twin axle) manual system that jumps up to just over £1,500. For a pair of automatic Evolution units, it’s just under £1,000. For an AWD (twin axle) automatic system that’s going to be around £1,900.

Powrtouch Evolution Reviews

I’ve been unable to find any specific reviews for the Evolution at the moment, but if I do I’ll update the page. Powrtouch is still offering its ‘no quibble’ 5-year guarantee. I’ve seen quite a few of our guests with this motor mover fitted who originally had Classics on older vans. One guest has commented on the extra power having its advantages on steep slopes.

EM203 Emove Caravan Mover

The EM203 from Emove is a budget/entry-level product. However, it does offer quite good value for money for the feature set. While it is a manual engagement motor mover, it is easy to engage through the wind function. Furthermore, unlike spring tension systems you can account for changes in tyre tread depth and tyre pressure to provide good contact with the tyre.

Emove EM203 Caravan Motor Mover
The Emove EM203 is a budget entry-level caravan motor mover with manual wind engagement: Image – Amazon
  • Weight of 37.2kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,800 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 100 Amps
  • Maximum current 200 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

EM203 Emove Prices

Update 09/19: Aldi did sell the Emove, however, that’s currently not the case. Other retailers such as Amazon are offering the EM203 between £500 and £600.

EM203 Emove Reviews

Currently holding a 5 rating via the Aldi website and a 5-star rating for its Google Shopping listing. However, it’s important to note there are only a few reviews for the EM203. Users noted the good value for money and how relatively straight forward the EM203 was to fit to their caravan.

EM303 Emove Caravan Mover

The EM303 is the premium version of the EM203. While still a manual engagement motor mover, there are some notable differences to the EM203. This unit features an all-season protective housing to keep the unit clean from mud. Importantly, it also features a larger aluminium drive roller.

Emove EM303 Caravan Motor Mover
The Emove EM303 is a essentially an EM203 with an additional cover and larger drive roller.
  • Weight of 37.2kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,800 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 100 Amps
  • Maximum current 200 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

EM303 Emove Prices

The Emove EM303 is not currently available at Aldi, other retailers appear to be selling the unit for between £599 and £650. As it has the same power output as the EM203 you would have to weigh up if you felt the housing and larger drive roller was worth the additional £100.

EM303 Emove Reviews

There is very little evidence of online reviews for the EM303, as it essentially EM203 with a few more features, the EM203 reviews should be applicable.

EM303a Emove Caravan Mover

So this is Emove’s automatic electric engagement caravan motor mover. Claimed by Emove to be “the world’s most popular automatic engage mover on the market today”. Described to be suitable for large single axle and twin axle caravans. A feature I do like about the Emove remote handsets is the feedback on the condition of the caravan battery. This can be very useful if the caravan isn’t moving to narrow down the problem.

Emove EM303a Caravan Motor Mover
The EM303a is the premium automated electric engagement caravan motor mover from Emove.
  • Weight of 37.2kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,800 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 100 Amps
  • Maximum current 200 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

EM303a Emove Prices

As you would expect, for the automated electric engagement you are going to have to pay more. Prices appear to range between £699 and £829. Remember, none of these prices includes fitting, these prices are just for the motor mover itself. It is possible to fit a motor mover your self, however, it can be a tricky DIY job for some people. If you’re not confident in your DIY abilities you need to factor in the cost of fitting from a suitable installer.

EM303a Emove Reviews

I’ve not been able to find any reviews for the EM303a. Therefore there is no feedback available on how effective and reliable the automatic engagement feature is.

EM305 Emove Caravan Mover

Emove do also have a motor mover specifically for large twin axle caravans up to 2,000kg. It’s similar to the EM303a with automatic engagement but with a more powerful motor. However, it’s actually lighter than the EM203 or EM303 at 34 kg.

Emove EM305 Caravan Motor Mover
While the EM305 is the most powerful unit offered by Emove, it’s actually their lightest unit as well.
  • Weight of 34kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 2,000 kg
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 100 Amps
  • Maximum current 200 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 85Ah (110Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years


EM305 Emove Prices

The cheapest price for the EM305 I could find was £849 from Motor Movers Direct. Other retailers appear to be offering the unit for between £969 to £999.

EM305 Emove Reviews

I was only able to find one review for the EM305 of 4 stars out of 5. However, the reviewer stated they had not actually fitted the unit yet.

Conclusions on Emove Motor Movers

With Emove now offering their products through Aldi stores, it’s clear they are trying to secure a broad market appeal. They are supplying both budget and premium options. In terms of build quality and durability, there is not currently enough information available to make a judgement. They do offer 5-year warranties on all their units. Something I did also want to mention was their solution to help level your caravan.

Emove offer an automatic levelling system with a motor mover and electric corner steadies.

For this complete levelling kit with motor movers, you have to spend £1,999. That’s quite a lot of money, however, if your physical abilities are limited it may be something you want to consider. Also, this system is only available for single axle caravans. Something I do wonder about though is the electric corner steadies lifting the van. Normally the advice is to never use corner steadies to level a van. It can cause warping of with the caravan body/chassis. Perhaps in this instance, as the electric corner steadies are synchronized its not a problem. Perhaps they offer better support to lift the caravan without body flex been an issue. From the information I’ve seen on this product so far I’m just not sure.

AL-KO Ranger Caravan Motor Mover

As you may be aware, AL-KO is one of the major manufacturers of caravan chassis. Therefore it was a natural move for AL-KO to start offering motor movers. However, it’s rather surprising that they came ‘late to the party’ behind brands such as Powrtouch. Their entry-level manual engagement offering is called the Ranger.

AL-KO Ranger Caravan Motor Mover
The Ranger is the entry-level offering from AL-KO
  • Weight of 37kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,800 kg
  • Soft start and stop and ‘bump-free’ manoeuvring
  • Average current 20 Amps
  • Maximum current 100 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 70ah
  • Warranty 5 Years

AL-KO Ranger Prices

Prices form the AL-KO Ranger appears to be around £960 for self-fitting. Midlands Motor Movers appear to be the only retailer currently offering this unit.

AL-KO Ranger Reviews

I’ve been unable to find any reviews at all for the AL-KO Ranger, but I will update the page if that changes in the future. However, it’s worth noting AL-KO’s long-established reputation making quality caravan chassis. Therefore it’s reasonable to presume they are not offering an inferior product to the competition. But at the same time, you have to weigh up their higher price point compared to the competition as well.

AL-KO Mammut Motor Mover

A Mammut is an extinct species distantly related to elephants. Large powerful creatures, similar in appearance to the also extinct Wooly Mammoth. So it’s clear with this branding AL-KO is trying to emphasize power. From 2010 onwards AL-KO started to brand their chassis with an M for setups suitable for the Mammut. It’s unclear if the Mammut has a more powerful motor compared to the Ranger, but the amp ratings are the same. The most notable difference is the ‘form factor’. In other words, the Mammut is compact, very compact. Basically, if you are concerned about ground clearance there is no better solution currently available.

AL-KO Mammut Motor Mover
The Mammut is the premium automatic engagement offering from AL-KO
  • Weight of 37kg including all fittings
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 1,800 kg
  • Soft start and stop and ‘bump-free’ manoeuvring
  • Average current 20 Amps
  • Maximum current 100 Amps
  • Leisure battery minimum 70Ah (100Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

AL-KO Mammut Prices

The Mammut is a highly engineered motor mover, and probably the ‘neatest’ motor mover on the market. The design is very compact and discreet while still providing sufficient power. However, you do have to ‘pay for the privilege’, the Mammut is £1,570.

AL-KO Mammut Reviews

While there appear to be no customer reviews available, back in 2010 Practical Caravan did review the Mammut with extensive praise. But it’s important to bear in mind, a lot of time has passed since 2010. The competition has upped their game and at a lower price point. However, the Mammut is still the lowest profile motor mover you can buy.

Truma Mover XT 2/4

You may or may not know that Truma acquired Carver. Carver was the British engineering company responsible for the first axle mounted movers brought to market back in 1997. The modern Truma motor movers are characterised by their prominent aluminium drive wheels, they are simply huge. The advantage of course from using such a large drive wheel is good contact with the tyre. Another notable feature of the Truma motor movers is brushless motors. A high-quality feature, but it comes at a cost.

Truma offers the standard XT, the XT2 and the XT4. The XT is for single axle caravans up to 2,300 kg, the XT2 is for twin axel vans up to 2,400 kg and the XT4 for twin axle caravans up to 3,100kg! Basically, if you have a very large twin axle caravan, the Truma range is the sort of motor mover you need to be looking at.

Truma Motor Movers
Truma motor movers are premium products with a premium price point.
  • Weight XT (28kg), XT2 (28kg), XT4 (60kg)
  • Flat surface max caravan weight 2,300 kg (XT) up to 3,100 kg (XT4)
  • Soft start and stop
  • Average current 28 Amps (XT, XT2) and 37 (XT4)
  • Maximum current 158 Amps (all versions)
  • Leisure battery minimum 70Ah (100Ah recommended)
  • Warranty 5 Years

Truma Mover XT 2/4 Prices

Truma is leaving the budget end of the market behind. They are setting themselves up as the premium of premium brands. To that effect for a Truma motor mover you are going to be spending over £2,000 for the XT and up to around £3,700 for the XT4. At this sort of price point, you need really weigh up your options and consider your choices.

Final thoughts on Purchasing a Caravan Motor Mover

So as you can see from the options above, you are spoilt for choice in 2019 with motor movers to choose from. All manufacturers today appear to offer a 5 year warranty period which is reassuring. Remember, the price points above do not include fitting so you need to add in at least another £100. Also, if your leisure battery is not up to the job that will be another additional cost.

Something else that I wanted to mention is the use of a single motor mover on twin axle caravans. I’ve had guests at Horton Common provide feedback on this issue. With a single mover in most instances, it’s just not going to provide sufficient power (and grip) for anything but the flattest and smoothest surfaces. I hope you found the above useful and I hope you consider paying us a visit to Horton Common at some point. 🙂

FAQ

How much does it cost to have a Motor Mover fitted?

If you don’t want to go down the DIY route you can usually get the motor mover fitted for an additional £100 from the retailer. If you do want to go the DIY route you need to check that the specific products warranty allows it. You don’t want to go through the effort of fitting the mover only to find out you have just invalidated your warranty.

Are there any issues with fitting a Caravan Wheel Clamp and Motor Movers?

Some of the traditional wheel clamps are quite large and bulky and may be obstructed by the motor mover. I’ve written a post on the best caravan wheel clamps I see our guests using. These generally will have no issue being fitted to a caravan with a motor mover. However, with the AL-KO wheel lock, you may have to use a caravan jack to get it on.

Chris - Site Manager

Hi, I’m Chris, I along with my father Robert we operate and maintain Horton Common.

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