Caravans are built to last, but this does not mean that they do not require regular servicing and maintenance. Maintenance helps to prevent future problems and disasters. When doing your routine caravan servicing, it’s really easy to forget about the caravan suspension because it’s hidden away and out of sight. This does not mean that it should be ignored when you are performing maintenance checks on your vehicle.
Suspension Wear and Tear
Just like wheel bearings and brakes, the suspension also suffers from rapid wear and tear due to the forces they have to handle on a day-to-day basis. The suspension on your caravan is responsible for cushioning the ride and making it more comfortable. The suspension does this by absorbing road shocks and preventing them from being transmitted to the vehicle where they can cause damage.
It goes without saying, therefore, that regular caravan suspension maintenance is crucial. People who use their caravans on a regular basis will obviously need to take their vehicles for servicing more often than those who use theirs only every so often. Older suspensions may require more frequent checks to ensure they are working properly. Also, suspension systems made from low-quality or inferior parts may also require frequent servicing and repair.
Eventually, individual suspension parts, from shock absorbers to the springs and bushes, will need to be replaced. A faded or worn out absorber will lose its ability to control the movement of the spring and the caravan will start to tow in a less predictable manner. Regular maintenance and servicing can help you avoid such problems.
Caravan Suspension Maintenance Checks
Each type of caravan suspension has its own unique maintenance checks and procedures. While one type of suspension may require servicing every few weeks, another type may only need servicing at least once a year. Here are some of the major types of suspensions found on caravans and their corresponding maintenance checks and procedures.
1). Leaf Spring Suspension
This is the most popular type of suspension on caravans. A leaf spring has an eye mount on each end. Older leaf spring suspensions should be checked every 10,000 km for wear and tear on pins, bushes, and bolts. You should also check for cracks in the spring itself and any other moving component.
2). Slipper Leaf Spring Suspension
Almost similar to a regular leaf spring suspension, a slipper leaf spring reduces wear by replacing one of the eye mounts with a slipper mount. The slipper mount minimises the stress on the spring. The slipper mount needs to be checked regularly to ensure it is not worn out or cracked.
3). Tandem Axles
The rocker suspension system that is commonly found in tandem axles is known to be prone to pin and bush wear. This wear can break the springs, causing costly damage. Regular maintenance of the rocker suspension system is crucial for the longevity of your caravan. An alternative is to install a rocker-roller suspension system, as it usually suffers less pin and bush wear, which makes it less likely to break springs.
4). IRS Suspension
Independent Rubber Suspension use torsional resistance instead of springs. This is a suspension system that has been used in Australia and other parts of the world for many years. The only maintenance check required for this suspension is being re-rubbered every few years.
Underlying caravan suspension maintenance, above cost and time, is safety. Much of the key maintenance checks discussed above have a direct impact on the performance, and by extension safety, of your vehicle.
With that in mind, caravan owners are advised to routinely service the suspension on their vehicles in order to improve both performance and safety. If you are looking for the most reliable caravan suspensions in Australia, look no further than Alpha Suspensions.
Please call us at Alpha Suspensions today on 1800 325 742 and get a free quote for any on or off-road caravan suspension requirements you may have or you can leave an inquiry.