Owning a caravan is fun and exciting, but only if the owner understands how to use it properly. That said, this article will focus on one major part of the caravan: the suspension. First, what is the suspension used for? Secondly, what effect does a caravan’s weight have on its suspension?
Indeed, misusing a caravan by overloading it or driving it poorly can make it break down. And since no one wants their caravan to break down in the middle of nowhere during a trip, this article will serve as a guide in helping you to understand what to look out for.
Here’s a quick run-through on caravan suspensions and the dangers of overloading:
What Do Caravan Suspensions Do?
The suspension system of a caravan softens out the ride and helps the driver to keep the vehicle in control. How? It decreases the friction between the road and caravan tyres. This offers good handling and steering stability.
The suspension system also promotes passenger comfort by reducing the impact felt when the caravan passes through bumpy roads. That way, the car, and the passengers are equally protected from thrusts and unwanted forces.
With the help of the dampers and struts, the suspension system sustains the vehicle’s weight by absorbing and minimising excess energy from road shocks. Finally, the anti-sway bar reduces wheel motion and stabilises the vehicle.
Effect of Caravan’s Weight on Suspensions
- Too Much Weight Reduces The Suspension’s Flexibility
For the suspension to operate effectively, there has to be enough space between their parts to allow for both backward and forward movements. However, when the caravan is overloaded, the system is squeezed and the suspension parts cannot move as required. This causes a ride to be unnecessarily bumpy and rough for the passengers as well as the driver.
- The Suspensions Can No Longer Smooth out the Rides
When a caravan hits a bump, the suspension is supposed to take the hit and protect the vehicle and the passengers from the excess force. However, when a caravan is overloaded, there is too much contact between the tyres and the road. This makes it hard for the caravan to remain stable on the road because it reacts to every bump, especially on rough terrain.
- The Rear Sags and the Caravan Becomes Unstable
The caravan’s suspension system is supposed to promote vehicle stability on the road. Unfortunately, some drivers overload the caravan and the excess weight makes the vehicle sag from behind.
That said, overloading a caravan can have serious consequences because it ultimately tampers with the weight distribution over the length of the vehicle. This tampers with the centre of gravity which destabilises the entire car. To make matters worse, it can cause serious accidents especially when the driver hits a bump unexpectedly.
- Increased Expenses Because of Wear and Tear
While carrying a large number of things in a caravan may seem like an achievement, it is counterproductive. This is because the caravan suspension system, wheels, and other parts depreciate at a faster rate. Because of the friction caused by the excess weight, every part of the caravan wears out at a faster rate.
Wear and tear of important caravan parts means that repair or replacement has to be done. Such procedures cost money which can be very costly especially if major parts have to be replaced. In worst-case scenarios, the caravan becomes damaged beyond repair rendering it useless.
Having your caravan suspensions replaced or repaired can be stressful. However, if you hire an expert like us, everything becomes easy. This is because our staff are highly trained and experienced to fix all your car suspensions problems.