Choosing a caravan motor mover
A caravan motor mover (sometimes called a caravan mover or just motor mover) is a motorised device that attaches to a caravan’s wheels in order to propel it forward.
It’s powered by the caravan’s battery and controlled by a simple handheld remote that can direct the motor forwards, backwards, or side to side.
The motor will only move the caravan very slowly at roughly walking pace, so that the operator has maximum control over its movements.
While caravan motor movers are by no means necessary, the difference they make to the struggle of moving your caravan means they’re well worth the investment, if you can afford one.
But with so many options on the market, which caravan mover is the right one for you? We breakdown some of the things you should be thinking about when choosing the right caravan motor mover.
Single or twin axle
Before you can even think about buying a motor mover, you need to know what kind of one you need and that will, of course, depend on the type of caravan you have.
If your caravan is single axle, you’ll need a two mover unit – one on each wheel means you can turn the caravan by rotating one wheel faster than the other.
But if you have a twin axle caravan then it can get a bit more complicated. Smaller twin axle caravans may be fine with a two motor system but larger ones will need a four motor unit.
A motor mover is attached to your caravan and therefore adds extra weight, so it’s important to make sure the weight of the mover doesn’t take you over the caravan’s payload allowance.
A caravan mover tends to weigh around 30kg but that can change massively depending on the device, so make sure to always check before buying.
If you normally bring a lot with you when you go away, then it might be worth going for a smaller, lighter model.
And remember that the weight of the motor mover will have an impact on the noseweight, so make sure you check this before towing.
Having enough space between the caravan motor mover and the road is vital, or the mover will get hit and possibly damaged at the first sign of uneven ground.
Wheel size varies from caravan to caravan so the manufacturer won’t be able to give you an exact measurement of ground clearance but they will be able to tell you the maximum amount that the caravan mover will hang down below the chassis, so you can work out the ground clearance.
It’s recommended that there’s a minimum ground clearance of 15cm but, in general, the more ground clearance the better.
To put it simply, there are two ways that the motor mover can be attached to the caravan wheel.
The first is by engaging it manually, which can vary system to system but usually requires a bit of effort.
If you struggle with hand strength and are thinking about buying a manually engaged motor mover, it’s probably worth trying before you buy, to check that you’ll be able to operate it.
If not, you can always go for a system with electrical roller engagement, which makes the entire process very easy but is often more expensive.
A motor mover will get power from your caravan’s leisure battery, so you don’t need to worry about buying a new one.
Most manufactures will let you know the minimum battery capacity you can use but it’s not as simple as that.
The condition and size of the battery play a big part in how you can use the motor mover, specifically how long you need to use it for – a 120Ah battery that’s low on charge and in poor condition will perform worse than a 90Ah that’s been well maintained and recently charged.
If your caravan will often be scaling kerbs, travelling up an incline or doing anything that requires a lot of power, then be aware that the battery will drain quicker and it may be worth investing in a more powerful mover, though these will be more expensive.
Cost is arguably the most important factor for most of us when considering purchasing anything, and with motor movers it’s no different.
You’ll be looking to pay up to £1,000 for a good quality one, which is no small sum to part with if you’re not getting your money’s worth and means it’s a good idea to pay attention to the warranty that’s on offer.
There are cheaper options available but they tend to have lower build quality or a less powerful motor which makes them less effective overall.
And even the cheaper models can set you back around £500 so if money’s an issue, it’s genuinely worth considering whether you need a caravan mover at all.