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Do You Know Your BPW From Your Al-Ko Chassis?

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The majority of caravans in the UK have an Al-Ko chassis with a smaller number built on a BPW chassis. But would you know the difference? It is important for customers to know how to recognise the difference, particularly when replacement parts are required. To help identify each manufacturer, Al-Ko have colour coded their plastic components in red and BPW in blue.

Which Chassis Does Your Caravan Have?

We were recently asked to service this caravan and discovered that Al-Ko stub axle nuts had been put on a caravan with a BPW chassis. Luckily no harm had been done; the caravan had not been moved from the site before the fault was spotted, avoiding a costly repair or worse. Al-Ko or BPW?The photograph shows a BPW chassis with an incorrect Al-Ko stub axle nut fitted on the left.

BPW axles have a single compact bearing which use a self locking stub axle nut. They are similar to the Al-Ko locking nut, but are not exactly the same. Only compatible replacement parts should be used. When stub axle nuts are removed during brake servicing they must not be re-used. New ones should be fitted and tightened to a specific torque. Don’t leave your safety to chance, South West Caravan Services recommend always using a qualified and AWS approved caravan engineer for your own peace of mind.

If the wheels have been removed from your caravan during a service, the torque of the wheel nuts should be re-checked after 50 miles and ideally before every trip.