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Check your wheel nuts

Occasionally we have a caravan insurance claim from a caravan owner who has lost a wheel. This can become a major problem if the loss occurs while the caravan is being towed at 50 MPH.

The job of checking that the wheel nuts are tightened to the correct torque should be done when you have the caravan serviced, but that isn't often enough. You really need to check them every time you are going to tow your caravan. While your wheel nuts should be tight they shouldn't be over tightened as that may stretch the studs and possibly lead to an early failure.

Most caravanning experts recommend that you carry a torque wrench with you, learn to use it correctly and use it to regularly check that your wheel nuts are tightened correctly, particularly after you have had to change a wheel.

If you do have to change a wheel there are a couple of things to consider with regard to wheel nut tightness.

wheel tightening

1. Tighten the wheel nuts in the correct sequence and check that they are to the correct torque before you tow the caravan.

2. After you have driven for 20 to 30 miles or for about 30 minutes stop and check the torque again.

If you are planning to buy a torque wrench you need one that goes up to at least 110 Nm as this is the most common torque setting for wheel nuts on caravans and cars with alloy wheels for steel wheels 88Nm is most common. Check your owners manual or ask your dealer for the correct setting for your caravan. Machine mart have a torque wrench which is reputed to be of reasonable quality for less than £20. It is 1/2" drive and covers the range 28 to 210 Nm.

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