Ramp It Up
Words and Images by Mark Allen No one likes rolling out of bed in the middle of the night. No one likes crawling under a van with a jack when you’ve got a flat tyre. …
Words and Images by Mark Allen
No one likes rolling out of bed in the middle of the night. No one likes crawling under a van with a jack when you’ve got a flat tyre. No one likes sand, dirt and muck being walked inside your van and certainly no one likes their van rolling away just as they unhitch it from the tow vehicle – that’s embarrassing, dangerous and potentially expensive.
All these scenarios can easily be avoided with just one kit – the Anderson Ultimate Trailer Gear and, even better the whole shebang comes in its own duffel bag, making it easy to keep it all together.
The kit comprises two levellers with two Tuff Chocks, one Rapid Jack with one rubber pad (only needed if operating on a slippery surface), one Clean Step, four Tuff Pads and two Extra Tuff Chocks.
While I haven’t had the need to use the (larger ramp) Rapid Jack to change a flat tyre on my dual-axle van on the roadside yet, I have been using the pair of levellers to keep my van level at camp. While there are other ramps on the market, this Anderson product is unique in that the ramps offer a curved upper and lower face to pull/reverse your van up which allows for height variation (up to their maximum of about 10cm – four inches for those that are grayer than me) to which they are then safely chocked preventing your van from rolling off. Essentially, this provides a safer way of leaving a heavy van compared to part way up (or down) a straight ramp.
The four square Tuff Pads offer a beaut large surface to spread the load from the wind-down van stays, especially useful on softer ground to prevent the standard feet sinking in.
The ‘door mat’ is perfect for scraping the dirt off my double pluggers or boots, both of which my good wife hates being worn inside, but that plastic grid pattern is too harsh on my delicate bare feet.
Getting back to that wheel changing chock – the Rapid Jack. I’ve given it a burl in the back yard and the idea here is this; with a dual-axle van with a flat tyre, you tow the van with the good tyre going up the ramp which lifts the flat tyre off the ground allowing you to easily change it for the spare. Once changed, simply reverse down the ramp, pack the kit away and drive along your merry way. Simple… as long as you don’t have more than 14 or 15cm of suspension travel. In my case, there was just enough lift in the Rapid Jack to clear the second wheel from the ground – a downside to owning a long-travel independent coil spring equipped caravan.
RRP for the American-made kit is $399 although some of the products can be purchased individually. It all comes with a three-year limited warranty.