How to replace Alko hitch pads

This procedure is the same for hitches with red or black handles.

The Alko hitch has two sets of hitch pads they are side to side pads and front to back pads

Those to its left and right grip the tow ball when the handle is pressed down, while those forward and to the rear do not move.

When hitching your caravan up next time be sure to check the indicator markers for both of these pads.

Checking front to back pads

When hitched up before clamping the stabiliser handle down take note of the indicator situated at the end of the black handle you should be able to see some green as shown in the picture below if you can’t see any green and its all red like the second image then the front to back pads have worn and require replacing.

Checking side to side pads

You’ve checked the front to back pads as advised above now you are ready to clamp down the stabiliser handle as you move the handle down you will start to feel some friction when you feel this friction this is when you see where your indicator arrow is if you feel friction within the green zone then your side to side pads are good however if the friction only starts when the arrow is in the red zone or you feel no friction at all your side to side pads are worn and need replacing

Now you’ve learnt how to check your hitch pads lets see how we change them.

Tools we will need for this repair:


Small flathead screwdriver

Small punch

Small hammer

14mm open-ended spanner

T30 Torx key

Fine emery cloth

Brake cleaner

Clean cloth

Replacing the pads

Ensure your hands are free from grease or oil that may contaminate the stabiliser pads before starting this project if you contaminate the hitch pads, they will be very noisy and not work effectively or efficiently

In most cases, the noise will be from the stabiliser, if dirt has contaminated the friction pads and caused them to ‘glaze’.

A temporary fix is to give the pads a quick clean in situ with fine emery paper or cloth if they are extremely noisy.

Let’s get started


To carry out this repair the caravan must not be hitched up, firstly remove the small red / black caps on either side of the hitch and use a small punch to tap out the friction pads from outside to inside.

Occasionally, a washer or shim comes out with a pad. These are necessary for correct adjustment, so make a note of which side they come from and put them back in the same place during reassembly.

Examine the pads, and if they appear at all shiny, rub them with fine emery paper or cloth until the glazed look has gone and they’re smooth. Give them a final clean with brake cleaner.

Once you’re satisfied with the pads’ condition or you’ve opted for new ones, replacement is the reverse of removal.

First, ensure your hands are free from grease or oil. Put the stem of each pad into the hole from within the hitch head.

Press firmly until they click into place – you may need to push hard with both thumbs. Replace the red/black caps.


To take out the front pad, start by pulling off the red/black dock from the front of the hitch.

Push up from the inside the button on the front and fit a 14mm spanner around it to prevent it from retracting this will help us to remove the front pad without the button fouling on the pad being removed or being re-installed.

Look at the front of the hitch, beneath where the red dock was, and you’ll see a Torx-head screw. Remove this with the T30 Torx key. The front friction pad will now come out easily. Clean or renew and fit it by reversing the previous steps ensuring the pad is correctly positioned before removing the 14mm spanner, ensure the pad is correctly fitted by pushing the button up a few times and the button should not foul on the pad at any point

The Torx-headed screw only needs to be nipped up (Al-Ko recommends a torque setting of 5Nm).

The rear pad, which is at the back of the hitch area, is also held by a Torx-head screw. To access the screw lift the black handle to create an angle for the screwdriver remove the screw and then the rear pad, which may need gentle assistance from a small flat-head screwdriver.

Clean or renew and reverse the steps ensuring the pad is correctly positioned.

Check your work

Hitch up your outfit, ensure that the stabiliser is correctly engaged, and double-check the wear indicators in case something is not refitted right.

If it all looks OK, unhitch and replace the red/black dock.

This may be the hardest part of the job – you’ll get one side attached as it pulls off the other.

The repair should take no longer than 15-30 minutes for people that are comfortable with DIY repairs and we deem it to be fairly easy.