Is your caravan suspension system playing up? Would you like to optimise your caravan’s suspension keeping in mind how and where you use it? Are you unclear about the main role of springs in the overall caravan suspension system?
Springs are an essential part of any vehicle’s – caravans included – suspension system. Together with shock absorbers, they are considered to be the main parts of any suspension kit. Understanding the main characteristics and role of caravan springs will give you a better idea of what you should be looking for when shopping for or putting together a custom suspension kit, or diagnosing suspension issues.
Read on below to find out more about the main role of springs in caravan suspension systems.
The Role Of Springs In Caravan Suspension Systems
The primary role of springs in the suspension system is to hold up the weight of the caravan and the contents therein. Considered to be the foundation of any suspension system, springs also allow for the up and down movement of the wheels, without much impact on the caravan frame and body.
As you can see, springs play an important role in ensuring that your caravan remains stable even when driving over bumpy or uneven road surfaces.
Types of Caravan Suspension Springs
Originally used on horse carriages, leaf springs were used on the rear suspension of cars widely up until the 1980s. Still found on some caravans and vehicles, leaf springs can be described as a cascading set of flexible metal blades, held together by a u-bolt. The blades have different lengths to allow for better support of the caravan’s weight as well as added flexibility.
In addition to being more affordable, than some of the newer options, leaf springs are also known for their strength, and can take on heavy loads. This makes them a great option for heavier caravans.
However, these springs are bulkier, heavier and associated with a harder ride than modern options.
To mimic the performance of coil springs, torsion bars rely on the twisting properties of a straight steel rod. The rod, which is attached to the vehicle’s control arm, is twisted along its length as the arm moves up and down, in line with the road surface.
Torsion bars are considered to be affordable and easy to maintain. They also save a lot of space. However, these springs may not be able to handle bumps as well as the other available options.
Coil springs are basically a helical spring. They closely resemble a slinky in terms of appearance. In more technical terms, these springs are simply a torsion bar wound around an axis. These springs are commonly found on suspension systems used by modern vehicles and caravans.
On top of being able to handle heavy loads, just like their leaf counterparts, coil springs tend to function without making too much noise.
However, these springs are rarely used in smaller vehicles because they can result in a bouncy ride – especially when paired with low-quality shock absorbers.
Made up of a cylindrical air chamber, these springs absorb impact by relying on the compression quality of air to absorb impact.
These springs are known to help vehicles and caravans glide over bumps on the road’s surface. On the flip side, these springs tend to be very expensive. They are also known to fail faster than the other options described above. However, with proper maintenance, these springs can serve you reliably for an extended period.
Springs help keep your caravan’s tyres in contact with the road surface – especially along bumpy stretches – by allowing the tyres to move up and down.
If you suspect that your caravan’s springs or suspension system are worn out, or would like to upgrade your current set-up to accommodate the demands of Australian roads, contact Alpha Suspensions today.
Please call us 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.