Caravans are a great way for you and your loved ones to explore different parts of the country and discover new and exciting places. Caravans, just like ordinary vehicles – have their unique suspension systems that help ensure that your travels are both safe and comfortable despite the rough terrain and road shocks.
However, most people don’t really understand the intricacies and nature of caravan suspension. A common question that is asked by people who are interested in caravans is; do caravans have independent suspension systems?
In this post, we will take a closer look at various caravan suspension systems: what they are, the different types, and how to figure out which caravan suspension system is right for you.
What Are Suspension Systems?
The suspension keeps a safe distance between your caravan and the ground. It helps to make your travels more comfortable by absorbing noise and road shocks. The suspension system must be strong enough to keep your caravan firmly attached to your car. A caravan suspension has two main parts – the sprint and the shock absorbers or dampers.
The spring is elastic and can either be used for extension when the wheel runs over a pothole on the road or when a wheel hits a bump. The primary role of shock absorbers is to absorb road shocks and convert them into heat. The combination of both springs and shock absorbers allows your caravan and all its internal parts to stay intact as you go on your expeditions.
The Two Main Types of Caravan Suspensions
While there are more than just 2 types of caravan suspension, only 2 are considered mainstream and can be found on most caravans you find on the road. The 2 main types of caravan suspension systems out there today are: live axle and independent suspensions. They vary in spring usage and wheel relation. Here are the main differences between the two:
1). Live Axle
Also called beam or solid axle, a live-axle suspension system includes a single axle that features one wheel on either side. Live axle suspension is often used with leaf springs, which are recommended for on-road caravans because they tend to flatten out and sag with time.
An independent suspension is different from a live axle suspension in that it has two shorter axles that are not linked together. This configuration offers various benefits due to the fact each wheel is independent of the other. So, for instance, should one wheel hit a bump or pothole on the road, the other wheel will not be impacted as much.
Independent suspension systems also have higher ground clearance, which is great for those off-roading trips. An independent suspension system is also capable of wheel alignment adjustments such as camber and toe. Camber occurs when the wheel leans slightly inwards, and toe occurs when the wheel is not proportionate to the caravan.
Independent systems also have better shock-absorbing capabilities, especially when coil springs or airbag lift kits are included.
Independent Suspensions on Caravans
The independent suspension system is the most recommended for most types of caravans. This suspension system has a floating axle mounted on a frame and a suspension linked to both the axle and frame. The major benefit of this system is that it transfers road shocks through the entire frame of the caravan, and not just the wheelbase.
This system provides a much smoother and more comfortable ride than any live axle system will give you. Moreover, it helps to reduce exhaustion during long travels. Independent suspensions also have huge potential for modification and enhancement through the addition of lift kits like coil springs and airbags. Most caravan owners with independent suspensions add coil springs or airbags to rear axles.
If you have any questions about caravan suspensions, please call us at Alpha Suspensions today on 03 7009 2660 and get a free quote for any on or off-road caravan suspension requirements you may have or you can leave an inquiry.