AL-KO tips for Silver Campers who like to travel in comfort
From sophisticated technology and app control to anti-theft protection: The market offers a range of convenient solutions that make life on the road in motorhomes and caravans even more comfortable.
We present a selection of accessories that make traveling more relaxed and can help relieve physical strain if you suffer from back pain or cardiovascular problems – regardless of whether you are traveling solo or not.
Why technical support and extra safety measures are always worthwhile
- Relief for the entire musculoskeletal system
- Protection for your back, intervertebral discs etc.
- Less effort required
- Less strain on the heart and circulation
- More safety equals more relaxation
- More comfort and coziness
Technical support for increased comfort
AL-KO offers a wide range of technical accessories – including manoeuvring and support systems as well as jacks and bicycle carriers.
Jacks for caravans
It can be annoying to have to change a wheel on the road, but it’s not the end of the world: You have the equipment you need to hand and can (usually) do it by yourself. The AL-KO jack is precisely matched to the AL-KO chassis. The adapted jack mounting ensures the forces acting on the chassis are optimally distributed. The clever plug-in system also prevents the jack from slipping while you work. The mechanical jacks are suitable for trailers with a gross weight of up to two tons. The hydraulic model can carry a weight of up to three tons.
Fully automatic support systems
Support systems for caravans
You’ve probably done this yourself or seen other campers do it: Park the caravan, kneel down and start cranking the supports. It works, but it is much more comfortable with an automatic support system, such as the electronic UP4 or the hydraulic LevelC. These comfortably extend four (UP4) or six supports (LevelC) at the touch of a button. You can also use LevelC to level the caravan.
Another option: The Big Foot stand. With an extra-large footprint of 200 x 180 millimeters, it ensures a particularly secure hold – even on soft surfaces such as sand or snow – and can statically support up to 1,250 kilograms. The Big Foot stand can be retrofitted to caravans with AL-KO chassis and Stabilform/Premium supports. You can find detailed information on caravan support systems here.
Support systems for motorhomes
Supports are not just for caravans; such systems also offer more comfort and a secure stance for motorhomes. Mechanical steady legs have to be cranked manually, whereas hydraulic models work pretty much automatically – so you can move your motorhome into a safe and level position with zero effort or force.
Our fully automatic HY4 leveling system supports the van or motorhome and compensates for any unevenness or slope. The control system operates the four hydraulic units electronically. The cylinders make contact with the ground at the touch of a button and lift the trailer over the axles into a horizontal position. Leveling is carried out precisely to the millimeter and is completed within a few minutes. Two supports may be sufficient for a smaller van – the HY2 system is suitable for this. Another alternative are the LevelM and LevelM Pro system, also consisting of four supports.
Caravan manoeuvring systems (Mover)
If you are traveling with a caravan, you are sure to face a challenging parking situation every now and then. To avoid having to rely on the help and support of friendly camping neighbors, we recommend installing a so-called manoeuvring system, such as the AL-KO MAMMUT.
Thanks to the small motors attached to the wheels of the caravan, you can park and manoeuvre the caravan with millimeter precision using only a remote control. Even obstacles up to four centimeters high or slopes of up to 28 percent can be overcome with ease. This allows you to park your caravan comfortably even as a Silver Camper, regardless of any age-related or physical limitations.
Bike carrier systems
E-bikes offer the opportunity for (longer) bike tours at any age. But you need the right bike carrier for this – after all, e-bikes are much heavier than conventional bicycles. The following bike carriers ensure easy operation and the most effortless loading possible:
TRIGO-VAN for vans
Pivoting models are recommended for vans to ensure free access to the rear doors at all times. The TRIGO-VAN is ideal for carrying e-bikes: This keeps access to your camper clear, and you can load it with up to three e-bikes.
VARIO and VELO III for motorhomes
The VARIO rear carrier is mainly made of aluminum and impresses with its high payload of up to 150 kilograms. It also has a variable loading depth of between 620 and 800 millimeters. The VELO III is suitable for two e-bikes or a maximum of three conventional bicycles and offers the outstanding advantage of low weight: The VELO III weighs just 16 kilograms and offers a payload of up to 80 kilograms. The bike carriers are mounted directly on the motorhome’s frame, have a low loading height and give your e-bikes a firm stand in the attached rails.
Both carrier systems are foldable, so that you can fold them up when not in use and thus have an unobstructed view when reversing or parking. For even more convenient loading, our range also includes a bike ramp that can be securely attached using a mechanism to the bike rail on the carrier.
VARIO SPACE low-frame chassis
Lower entry height, more storage space and improved road holding: You can enjoy all these advantages and more with the VARIO SPACE low-frame chassis from AL-KO. The low frame height also allows efficient and convenient loading and unloading.
Solar panels for a reliable energy supply
Solar panels offer you extra independence when traveling, and they are also comparatively inexpensive, easy to use and environmentally friendly. AL-KO Vehicle Technology Electronics offers a complete range of photovoltaic modules through its CBE brand – including classic modules in anodized aluminum grey and full black versions. CBE has been a leading manufacturer of electrical and electronic components for leisure vehicles for many years. The CBE photovoltaic modules are manufactured with PERC solar cells (passivated emitter and rear cell), which ensure a higher degree of efficiency. They also have a special anti-reflective design and a special glass with high light transmittance that is both impact- and weather-resistant.
Heating in motorhomes and caravans
Time for the cozy part: Effective heating can provide a high level of comfort and coziness, especially in the colder months of the year or even during the summer season, depending on your destination. There are a variety of solutions on the camper market – from small fan heaters to permanently installed heating systems to retrofittable heating units with towel dryers and fan convectors in your dressing room etc.
Tip: Payload increase for caravans
Whether it’s a Mover, support system or bike rack: Comfortable extras add weight to your caravan/motorhome. There's no way to sugarcoat it, unfortunately: The payload is always limited, even if your caravan or motorhome’s weight class offers a huge scope. If you reach the limit of your payload, we recommend that you investigate the possibility of a payload increase. We answer all your questions about how AL-KO's payload increases work on our payload increase information page.
Please note: Additional equipment such as an awning, satellite system etc. can also increase the gross weight!
The ONDA app for that Smart Home feeling
For motorhome owners, a ‘smart home’ means being able to comfortably check the fill level of the gas canisters or water tank or the charge status of the batteries, switch on installations such as the auxiliary heating or air conditioning remotely, or extend and retract the steady legs. In short: Controlling as many vehicle components as possible in one app – you can with ONDA. Whether via Bluetooth, WiFi or voice command: It can all be achieved wirelessly. The vehicle can also be connected to the cloud, in compliance with European data protection guidelines, of course.
The Remote Control BDS-180 app for battery monitoring
With this battery duo system, you can manage and monitor two add-on batteries during charging and discharging processes as well as check their battery status. It is possible to connect two add-on batteries with different ages and capacities as long as the battery technology is the same. If a battery is damaged, the device isolates it and sends a notification. The associated app allows all functions to be conveniently controlled via smartphone or tablet.
Safety while driving
Anti-snaking system for caravans and trailers
On narrow roads or winding mountain passes, it is reassuring to be able to rely on safe technology – such as the ATC (AL-KO Trailer Control) anti-snaking system for caravans and trailers – in addition to your own driving skills. The ATC constantly monitors your caravan’s driving response and movements throughout the entire journey. It is comparable to the ESP (Electronic Stability Program) in a car, but intervenes much earlier – namely at the first slight swinging movement. The system is installed on the axle and is connected to the wheel brakes.
COMFORT DRIVE semi-active chassis
Greater driving comfort and more safety: The ultra-modern, semi-active COMFORT DRIVE chassis for motorhomes reacts independently to manoeuvres such as braking, accelerating or cornering. It compensates for bumpy roads by automatically adjusting the shock absorbers – for a relaxed ride no matter where you are traveling.
The benefits at a glance:
- Compensation for bumps, vibrations, clattering etc. on uneven road surfaces
- Reduction of vibrations and acceleration jerks by up to 20%
- Increased vehicle stability by reducing swaying and tilting
- Support during emergency braking by changing the shock absorber functions
- Reduction of driving noise by reducing vibrations
- Choice between Normal and Comfort driving modes
- Adaptation to different loading conditions for a well-balanced driving response
The added value of a reversing camera for motorhomes and caravans is obvious: A clear rear view! Having a ‘third eye’ at the rear can provide support, especially when parking and manoeuvring, and help you to monitor what is happening behind the vehicle and to better estimate distances. There are numerous solutions on the market for wired and wireless systems with various cameras such as single cameras, twin cameras or bird’s-eye view cameras. But beware: A camera can never replace a direct view of the rear or a second pair of eyes!
AGUTI seating offers space and flexible configurations for drivers and passengers, regardless of size and seating preferences – so that long journeys go by quickly and in comfort thanks to a variety of settings. The aisle seat on our Slide-Out comfort bench, including the headrest, slides out, and each seat can also be moved forward independently. The backrest also reclines to a relaxing angle. Perfect for long distances!
Tips for safe travel
What is the best way to protect myself from burglary and theft when camping? What are the advantages of camping with a dog? And what should I always pack in my camping luggage? We have the answers!
Protection against burglary and theft
Whether you are traveling alone, with your partner or as a family: A certain degree of precaution against burglary and theft is always advisable. In terms of technology, the market offers a wide range of solutions. We recommend considering which measures would be most useful for your personal travel situation. In general, alarm systems, additional door locks or wheel clamps help to secure motorhomes and caravans against theft. Drawbar or safety locks for corners steadies are available especially for caravans.
And traveling with a dog is also part of everyday life for many campers, which can also act as extra security: Our four-legged friends have much more sensitive hearing than humans and often have a natural protective instinct.
Basic technical knowledge for the worst-case scenario
A well-stocked toolbox, operating instructions and manuals as well as knowing a bit of technology 101: So long as you have packed everything you need, you can usually quickly repair small problems yourself, or at least tide problems over until you reach expert help – so you can travel confidently (solo) as a Silver Bird.