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Towing with an Alko Stabiliser

Towing with an Alko Stabiliser

31 October 2016

Alko Stabiliser fitted on caravanIf your caravan is fitted with an Alko stabiliser you need to make sure that there is enough clearance for the stabiliser between the caravan hitch and your cars bumper.

An Alko stabiliser can be identified on a caravan by the larger coupling head, and a red coloured handle on the hitch.  This type of stabiliser has a larger coupling head than a standard caravan, so it needs additional clearance for it to work safely.

The main issue arises when you have a fixed flangeball towbar fitted and it only has a standard towball fitted.  On a fixed flangeball towbar you should not tow using a standard towball, you must upgrade the standard towball to an Alko towball instead.

If you have a fixed swan neck towbar, or a detachable swan neck towbar they are usually designed to have enough clearance. Detachable Flangeball towbars are usually supplied with an Alko compatible towball so these are also compatible in the vast majority of cases.  However, no matter which type of towbar you have fitted, you should always check the clearance before you tow for the the first time that you tow with a new towbar installation.

If you are looking for a fixed towbar to tow a caravan with an Alko Stabiliser fitted, it is nearly always cheaper to buy a swan neck towbar rather than a flange ball towbar.  This is because the swan neck towbar would be compatible with the stabiliser without having to buy an additional Alko towball.  This has the added advantage that if your car has parking sensors fitted, a swan neck towbar is far less likely to trigger them than a flangeball towbar.


Required Clearances

This varies according the the stabiliser.

AKS 1300 = 65mm
AKS 2004 = 67mm
AKS 2007 = 60mm
AKS 3004 = 68mm

This measurement is taken from the centre of the towball to the nearest point of contact with the towing vehicle.

Insufficient clearance will prevent the stabiliser from correct articulation and could damage your car or possibly become detached.