Q. Can I replace my existing Jockey wheel with the Optitec Jockey Wheel?
A. Yes, In most cases, the Optitec Remote Control Jockey Wheel will replace the traditional jockey wheel. Some caravans and trailers might require an additional clamp to ensure correct mounting of the Optitec machine. (Either Optitec accessory clamp or other brand heavy duty clamp is ok). You can also use the Optitec in addition to a permanent folding jockey wheel for caravans, boat trailers or heavy trailers.
Q. Do I need a special clamp to fit the Optitec Jockey Wheel to my caravan?
A. No, the Optitec machine fits onto a standard Jockey Wheel Clamp – HOWEVER… if your van is over 1500kg and only has a single clamp, we advise fitting our Double Clamp Bracket. This is made specifically for the Optitec machine and only takes a few minutes to install (see our Optitec Double Clamp Bracket Installation VIDEO)
Q. Does the Optitec Jockey Wheel have its own battery?
A. No. During design and development we decided against installing a built-in battery because research indicated that they are more trouble than they’re worth finding them discharged right when you need them most, adding extra weight, and just another item to be maintained and replaced when they fail.
Q. Can I run the Optitec Jockey Wheel from my caravan battery power supply?
A. In many cases, the caravan Anderson Plug lead can be plugged directly into the side of the Optitec Remote Control Jockey Wheel. We designed it this way so that powering it is very convenient. Almost every caravan and even camper trailers have batteries these days, so we designed the Optitec machines to be powered from the van’s onboard battery supply and in the case of boat trailers, from the boat’s battery.
Q. Can I power the Optitec Jockey Wheel from any 12 volt battery?
A. The Optitec machine can be powered from a normal 12 volt battery such as a car battery, a motorcycle battery or a Jump Starter pack that is normally used for starting a car with a flat battery. The caravan accessory battery power supply units that are designed for operating portable fridges and other equipment are usually ideal for powering the Optitec Remote Control mover. The Battery or jump starter must be able to supply 50A and maintain 12volts.
Q. How much power does the Optitec Jockey Wheel use from my battery?
A. The Optitec machine is very efficient. It will draw about 5 or 6 Amps under no load and will use about 12 to 15 Amps moving a heavy caravan on smooth, level surfaces. The maximum current draw is 50 Amps under full load such as turning a big tandem wheel van or traversing an incline. This means that for most normal operations, the power consumed from your battery will not be significant. A small ‘Jump Starter’ can even power the Optitec mover for half an hour before requiring recharging.
Q. Can I operate the Optitec Jockey Wheel on grass or gravel surfaces?
A. The Optitec Jockey Wheel works very well on most surfaces, however there are many variables involved with every different type of caravan or trailer and everyones grass, gravel or dirt are different. Most situations depend on the ability of the user to get it to do what they want. Obviously we’re not able to provide definitive advice on how the machine will suit each specific situation because we don’t know all the variables involved. Most people use rubber mats, plywood, timber planks or other traction devices when the surface traction is not good. It may even require a bit of help ‘pushing’ in slippery conditions. With our extensive experience we move all types of trailer in very difficult situations using innovative methods, however we will not guarantee that anyone else is able to move every type or configuration of caravan or trailer on any particular surface. The Optitec mover is designed to manoeuvre big caravans and trailers into very tight spots that would be impossible with a vehicle. It’s not designed to operate on soft grass, in a paddock or slippery gravel driveway.
Q. Can I operate the Optitec Jockey Wheel on an incline?
A. Although it is not specifically designed to do so, many people use the Optitec to move their caravan or trailer on sloping driveways. Once again, this operation depends on so many variables and also on the ability of the user to get it to do what they want. During design and development of our motor/transmission, testing was carried out using a 2500kg trailer and we operated it for two hours without any overheating. We’re not able to provide definitive advice on how the machine will suit each specific situation. With our extensive experience we move all types of trailer in very difficult situations using innovative methods, however we will not guarantee that anyone else is able to move every type or configuration of caravan or trailer up or down any incline as that is not what the mover is designed for.
Q. Is the Optitec Jockey Wheel protected against overloading?
A. Yes, the Optitec machine has full over current and over temperature protection so you can’t damage it by pushing it hard. If the overload operates, the machine will shutdown and the wheel will lock to keep it from rolling until you apply the handbrake. All you need to do is press the “Off” button on the Remote Control and that will reset the overload ready to go again.
Q. What is the Optitec Jockey Wheel tyre made from?
A. The tyre is made from high quality rubber on an alloy wheel made specifically for this machine. All tyres are a compromise because every trailer weight, towball weight, load distribution and surface vary widely, however the Optitec tyre is designed to be durable and provide the best grip under most situations.
Q. Can I move my 3500kg caravan with the Optitec Jockey Wheel?
A. Yes, the Optitec machine can manoeuvre most caravans or trailers of up to 3500kg on smooth level surfaces and we often ‘U’ turn vans of this size in their own length without any problem.
Q. What is the maximum towball weight for the Optitec Jockey Wheel?
A. The Optitec machine can manage 350kg towball weight.
Q. Can I move my van with the Optitec Jockey Wheel wound up high?
A. No, never operate the Optitec machine in the wound up position. It must only be used with the support shaft wound to the lowest position. The machine is extremely powerful and you don’t want to subject the trailers clamps and other components to excessive stress.
Q. Can the Optitec Jockey Wheel move my tandem axle caravan?
A. Yes, the Optitec machine can easily move almost any large tandem wheel caravan or trailer in very tight places that would not be possible any other way.
Q. Can the Optitec Jockey Wheel get bogged in soft ground?
A. Yes, of course the Optitec machine can easily get bogged in the same way that a 4WD vehicle can still get bogged even though the 4WD manufacturer tries to eliminate the possibility and demonstrate it traversing the harshest terrain in their TV ads. These vehicles still get stuck and it’s not a fault with the equipment – it’s the person using it!
Q. What is the best way to operate the Optitec on soft ground?
A. Many of our customers report that they use plywood or other materials to distribute the load over the soft surfaces such as loose gravel, soft grass, sand, etc. We often hear that Optitec owners prefer to use devices like old Conveyor Belt rubber or ‘X-Trax’ which are made from a hard rubber material and simply roll out across the surface. Be aware that movers are not designed to operate on soft surfaces because coefficient of friction is zero, but wheel loadings are high.
Q. Are there any risks using the Optitec movers with the systems in my caravan?
A. As with all equipment, there are risks that must be considered and these include ensuring power supply and cabling is sufficient to power the machine, ensure the gas systems in the caravan are completely isolated or source removed to prevent any possibility of gas leakage and fire risk, taking care to chock the wheels when not moving the trailer, care when operating near other obstacles !
Operator Manual V3 – Call Optitec for any information that you require for your own situation).