E-move EM303A Single Axle Fully Automatic Caravan Mover Review
Once upon a time buying a Caravan Mover was something one did exclusively out of necessity; ill health, a tricky tight spot on the driveway or perhaps a regular pitch that got the better of you. In the early days there was less choice, the technology was less developed, less reliable, less accurate and arguably more expensive. In short back then Caravan Movers really were fringe purchases.
Fast forward to today and boy how things have changed, Caravan Movers are no longer a 'fringe' item, on the contrary they are very much mainstream. We estimate that approximately half of the new caravans sold by Homestead Caravans are equipped with a Caravan Motor Mover.
So what changed? well, newer more sophisticated and affordable technology became available and this lead to the development of a new generation of Caravan Movers. Inspired by lower pricing and advancements in technology, a network of dealers emerged to market what was by now a far more polished and consumer friendly product.
On reflection I think what changed the most were peoples perceptions. The new generation of Movers taught both industry insiders and caravanner's that Caravan Movers had universal appeal regardless of ones circumstances. Seemingly overnight Caravan Movers went mainstream and it's been that way ever since.
What are the Key Benefits of Owning a Caravan Mover?
In a nutshell, a Caravan Mover gives you precise control over the direction of the caravan without ever laying a hand on the caravan. This includes forward and rearwards motion; it's even possible to rotate the caravan through 360 degrees on the spot! Manoeuvre the caravan around an assault course of obstacles to avoid causing expensive damage and park it in the exact spot required. Caravan Movers can climb an incline and won't run away from you when heading downhill.
A Caravan Mover allows you to be totally independent when moving the caravan, whether it be at home or on-site, you will not require the assistance of friends, neighbours or strangers when moving from point A to point B. Not that having to rely on other people is a bad thing, it's just it's not always convenient or practical to ask when you need to move the caravan.
Another reason to own a Caravan Mover might be because of a degrees of physical impairment that otherwise might prohibit ownership or make Manoeuvring difficult. If you have a bad back like me, you are sure to appreciate the effortless motion and it's great fun to use too!
How do Caravan Movers Work?
In general terms, a Caravan Mover works by independently rotating nearside and offside wheels using traction supplied by rotating rollers. These rollers are engaged (sometimes manually sometimes automatically) and precisely controlled by a handset that allows the user to move freely to keep an eye on any obstacles that might be in the way. The Caravan Mover is conveniently powered by the caravans 12V leisure battery.
What is an Auto-Engage Caravan Mover?
An automatic engage Caravan Mover references the process in which the rollers of the Caravan Mover engage the tyres of the caravan. The process has two options, manual with the use of cross actuation and automatic. If possible, we would advise you avoid manual and seek out an up to date Caravan Mover that offers full automatic engage. Why? Well, manual engage requires physical effort on behalf of the user, which for some people defeats the whole object of owning a Mover.
Despite the advances in Mover technology it seems that there are still some manufacturers who prefer to cheapen their products by continuing to offer manual engage we feel it is a bit of an outdated system. This is particularly hard if you are trying to engage both rollers at the same time with cross-actuation bar. The effort required is up to 160 newton meters (more than the effort required when tightening wheel nuts to manufacturers specification). In fact when you engage the rollers, the effort is continuous through an arch of 180 degrees. Any error could result in a spring back which could hit you in the face!
EM303A is fully automatic, this means there are no manual processes involved in setting up the Mover or having it move the caravan. That's no pushing, pulling, lifting or turning something with your hands, neither is a cross-actuation bar required to engage the rollers.
With E-move's EM303A, engaging the rollers involves no more effort than pressing a button on the remote control. EM303A auto-engage even adjusts to the condition of your tyres hows about that then!
What is Cross-Actuation Actually?
Cross-Actuation is a manual method that allows you to engage the Mover rollers onto the wheels. Cross-Actuation is operational from both sides of the caravan, allowing you to operate a Mover when parked against a boundary or object. It usually requires the manual turning of a nut brace, which can be made easier by using a drill and an extension socket. By turning the brace at one end both wheels are engaged simultaneously.
Compared to automatic engage Movers it's a clumsy process that can be made even more cumbersome if you have lever engage cross-actuation. For the difference in price (currently £200) between a cheaper mover with Cross-Actuation and a fully automatic Mover like the E-move EM303A, I know what I would choose...
E-move EM303A Caravan Mover Features
All E-move Caravan Mover products are developed by Leisurewize and have been awarded German standard ABE and TUV Approval. EM303A promises high quality and is a beautifully engineered Caravan Mover, with many patented features and advanced electronics, representing an evolutionary leap forward in caravan mover development.
From the outside there's really not much to see, the Mover is compact and tucked inside a black moulded plastic housing. The smooth glossy all-weather protective housing helps protects the unit from road film and debris and is easily wiped cleaned. It also helps to give the E-move a more desirable, polished look befitting of today's modern caravans.
The E-move EM303A has an excellent power to weight ratio, with the twin axle EM305 version being up to 30% lighter than other Caravan Mover brands. This is testament to the quality of the individual components used and their durable construction. Despite E-moves lightweight credentials, EM303A is no slouch, it's designed for single axle caravans with a safe working capacity of 1800kg, or 1600kg at 18% incline.
TIP: The average current consumption of an EM303A Caravan Mover is 20Amp-hour. Although in theory any 12V leisure battery above 75 Amp-hour will work, we recommend you use a 110 Amp-hour battery to give you maximum runtime.
E-move EM303A has a powerful grip in all conditions and this is critical to avoid a failure, which potentially could leave you with a damaged caravan. The rollers are constructed from aluminium, which helps to reduce weight and ensures they are durable enough to provide years of trouble-free use, whatever the weather. Water, mud and grime is easily E-moved (chuckle) via the groves of the aluminium rollers to help keep things moving.
The rollers are driven by a powerful, high quality gearbox and features precise direct-drive gears, meaning no power is lost between the motor and aluminium drive roller - this technology permits full use of the power generated by the motor.
E-move incorporates soft Start/Stop technology - less stress on your chassis enabling complete control when hitching and unhitching, even in the rain.
The Magic is in Your Hands
The secret to E-move EM303A success lay in the sophistication of the electronics, control over which rest in the palm of your hands. The remote control is intuitive and well designed, with curved access for natural finger grip and thumb control. Auto engage buttons for single and twin axle caravans are positioned at the bottom, simply press to activate and press again to deactivate. The directional controls are found at the top of the handset and there are six buttons controlling forward and reverse motion through 360 degrees. You can even smoothly adjust the direction of the caravan without even stopping.
On the twin axle version the on-board electronics are sophisticated enough to know which way the caravan is turning and slow the inside wheel to accommodate the turning circle saving on tyre wear now that's pretty smart!
The very clever handset incorporates diagnostics that lets you know when you need to re-charge your leisure battery, when to replace the handset batteries and when you have overloaded your caravan.
You can even control the E-move EM303A via an APP on your Smart Phone with the use of an optional Bluetooth Receiver. The APP provides you with full normal functions over your E-move. This is great should you loose your handset, as you can still control your caravan through your smart phone. Standard function is via wireless so unlike older Motor Movers there are no dangly wires to deal with, you're completely free to walk around the caravan.
E-move EM303A Installation
The E-move EM303A fully-automatic caravan mover has been designed to be a very straightforward DIY fit and so as expected is supplied with a comprehensive fitting kit and clear, easy to understand instructions. You'll be relieved to know that there are no requirement to drill holes in the chassis for fitting purposes.
If on the hand you would prefer to have your E-move professionally installed please call 01255-830-229 for details. The current charge rate for installation at Homestead Caravans is £150.
In conclusion, if never having to bend down or manually operate the Caravan Mover appeals to you and you don't mind paying the additional £200 to acquire fully-automatic engage rollers at £699.00 (price at time of publishing), then the E-move EM303A Caravan Mover is definitely going to be for you.