For many, especially those new to caravanning, storing and moving a van into a tight space can be daunting. Backing up a long driveway or around a corner into a shed is a tough ask, and no one wants to risk damage to the van, the house or the garage. Luckily, Optitec has come to the rescue with its compact 12V powered mover.
The first Optitec hit the market in 2011. Now in its third iteration as the aptly named V3, and sales worldwide have exceeded 4000 units.
Weighing 22kg, the mover is light enough to transport in the van when travelling, although I would imagine most owners would have a specific need at home to store their van. But, if performing a reversing circus in front of a tough audience in a caravan park isn’t your idea of a fun holiday, the mover might be a permanent item in your van. The mover attaches to a twin arm jockey wheel clamp that can be left on the A-frame if your van only has a single arm clamp.
The Optitec team in Melbourne sent us their press demo to see how it performed. Attaching the optional clamp to a Jayco Journey Outback was straightforward. We used the van’s regular jockey wheel to raise the A-frame and then lined up the slots in the arm of the wheel to lock it in place and made sure it was in its lowest position ready to do its thing. I then connected the 4m extension lead to the mover’s Anderson plug and the other alligator clips to a 12V battery quad bike.
With the coast clear, the remote powered the mover into action. The Jayco’s battery was inside under the bed, but almost all vans will have an onboard battery for easy connection, and a permanent self-contained solution would be easy.
The mover worked well on firm 15mm gravel-covered ground, efficiently dragging the 2000kg van for several metres at a safe but reasonably swift speed. The remote quickly turned the wheel 90 degrees and the tandem axle Jayco moved at the angle desired. To simulate a trick manoeuvre around a shed, we turned the van through a 90-degree turn and parked it back exactly where it was.
The Optitec V3 is rated for vans or trailers up to 3500kg and a 350kg tow ball weight. While we didn’t get to try the mover on grass, I’m told it works best with the mover’s wheel on some small movable sheets of ply.
The mover is available through optitec.com.au and is $2,495, including shipping. While this cost initially seemed high, there’s value in the ease of use and the prospective saving on damage inflicted on the van when moving around with your vehicle. In addition, Optitec supply a range of Double clamp brackets starting at $100 for various A-frame sizes, and the mover has a three-year Australia-wide warranty.
Supplied by Optitec