Words: Max Taylor :
Managing Editor / Director
Do you struggle to reverse your caravan? Here’s a product that is sure to help. Reversing a caravan safely and accurately is an art as much as it is a learned skill. After years of caravanning, I like to think I can thread almost any needle when backing up. But, in truth, there have still been times when I’ve messed it up to the amusement of onlookers. If this sounds like you, why not try the ReverseMate? I gave it a go recently and was surprised by the difference it made. For people travelling solo, and who therefore don’t have a guide, it would be of particular benefit. HOW IT WORKS The ReverseMate consists of two lightweight, high-vis aluminium marker posts that are clearly well made. These posts are used to mark the desired offside position of the van once in its final position. Here’s the system works… Place the rear marker 2.8m away from your site’s concrete slab (or general awning area) in line with where you’d like the rear of your van to end up. Then, measure the length of your van and place the forward marker that distance away from the rear marker, also 2.8m from the slab. The idea is for the markers to provide a highly visible reference point and, when used correctly, ensure that the van finishes perfectly in line with the slab, with about 100mm of clearance between the van’s nearside wheel(s) and the concrete. The system requires you to back onto your site from the right-hand-side, i.e., you’ll have the markers in the driver’s rearview mirror. It’s very important to be aware of your surroundings and potential pedestrians and obstacles, but by using the leading marker as your main reference point, and swinging the van in with about 300mm of clearance from both markers, your van will line up perfectly. I did discover, however, that the system works best when you’re approaching on a reasonably shallow angle. It seems that a lot of thought has gone into the ReverseMate markers. First, the 600mm-high posts fold into the base, making it a highly portable system. Second, the base of each marker contains an inbuilt tape measure, so it’s very easy to determine 2.8m out from the slab; however, you can step the distance out if you prefer – it’s not always necessary to be precise. Finally, each marker contains its own LED light: an amber light for the rear marker and a white light, which can double as a work light, for the leading marker. This will make it much easier to perfectly reverse your caravan at night. Once folded up, the ReverseMate posts can be stored in the supplied carry bag and stowed in the boot of the van, or wherever there’s a spare nook or cranny. After a couple of trial runs at a caravan park, I backed the caravan accurately onto site with the aid of the ReverseMate. Climbing out of the vehicle, I was pleased to see precisely 100mm of clearance between the van’s nearside wheel and slab. The high-vis markers provided excellent, bright reference points, which I could clearly see in my driver’s-side mirror at all times. If you’re travelling solo, or are just after a product that will make backing onto site easier, have a look at the ReverseMate. It’s surprisingly simple to use but it makes a big difference. Further, it takes only a moment or two to set up.