surely some degree of negligence by the caravan coy, as they fitted it to the vehicle, and presumably checked the coupling and hitch. However the driver also has a responsibility to make sure it is secure before hitting the road, definately one for the legal eagles to make a few bucks out of, there will only be two loosers here, the van coy and the owners.
On another note, it is something that is ever on my mind with the van, I check my hitch release pin at least twice a year for wear. I got rid of the pclip retained pin and put in a keylock pin, but I am not properly convinced that just because it is pretty chrome plated that it is good quality steel, what coming out of China is? However it still has the chrome plating on it and it is still straight, last time I checked it that is!!
I had read on caravan forums of these types of key lock pins suffering premature failure, but i guess there would have to be a fair bit of slack within the hitch tube to generate the fatigue loads required to break one. maybe for peace of mind should drill out the other and fit a padlock instead. Nah wouldn't bother to check it then..................
WHOOPS davess, I see that now, that is an issue, and something that I have been concerned about for a long time, I see these new vans, dual axle monsters, ( to me anyhow) with the axles right back past the balance point, the tow ball weight must be huge, far in excess of the 200 kgs static mass on my genuine Nissan bar. The Dynamic loads must be horrific. I worry at times about my 170 kgs, my van axles are in the middle and when the jockey wheel clamp slips the hitch goes almost to the ground.