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Do Caravans Have Independent Suspension Systems?

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.

2). Independent

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.

Do Caravans Have Independent Suspension Systems

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.

What Effect Does A Caravan’s Weight Have On Its Suspension System?

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.

Effect Caravans Weight Have Suspension System

  • 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.

Final Thoughts

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. 

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.

Can Caravan Suspension Affect Caravan Wheel Alignment?

When your caravan is aligned properly, it should drive more comfortably without pulling in either direction. However, after many hours of driving in unpredictable road conditions, the wheels of your caravan may become misaligned. While some roads are predictable, potholes are unavoidable, especially when touring new locations. There are several things you can do to prevent your caravan from falling out of alignment, including but not limited to fixing your caravan’s suspension.

What is Wheel Alignment?

Alignment represents the geometry of the suspension system. The suspension system is composed of different parts that work together to support the caravan and turn the wheels. Each caravan’s suspension system contains a mounting point, steering components and control arms that are intended to fit in a particular area. Wheels must be correctly aligned for all tyres to work together in the same direction and speed. Even tiny variations in the suspension’s geometry can affect wheel alignment. Driving a caravan with poorly aligned wheels can lead to premature wear of tyres and/or damage to the suspension.

When performing wheel alignments, mechanics check the 3 different angles (camber, caster, and toe) of the caravan’s alignment to ensure wheels are properly aligned. The caravan is linked to a piece of equipment that is able to measure the position of each wheel and indicate the current level of alignment of the caravan, as well as what adjustments need to be made so that the caravan adheres to the specifications of suspension provided by the manufacturer.


This is the vertical angle or slope of the wheels. If wheels are sloping at the wrong angle, the camber may be off.


Toe focuses on the direction the wheels are rolling. All wheels must rotate in the same direction at the same time. 


This is the balancing angle related to the caravan’s weight and steering. Incorrect caster makes handling the car more difficult, and this may cause wandering or drifting. The more caster you have, the more stable your driving experience is. However, too much caster makes it harder to steer.

Can Caravan Suspension Affect Wheel Alignment

Does Suspension Affect Caravan Wheel Alignment

Misalignment occurs for a variety of reasons such as driver errors, environmental conditions, and wear and tear of suspension components. Because of their fragile nature, the metal parts of caravan suspension systems are susceptible to damage from the impact of hitting potholes and other road hazards. Even at low speeds, such impacts can damage your suspension, pushing your wheels out of alignment.

Furthermore, some parts of the suspension system like bushings and joints may weaken over time, making them less effective in keeping the wheels aligned. Lastly, suspension modifications like the use of lowering and lift kits can affect the alignment of your caravan. Manufacturers set suspension specifications based on the caravan’s height. If modified, the suspension must be adjusted to compensate for the change in height.

Signs of Bad Alignment and How to Prevent It

Wheel alignments should be done when new tyres are installed on your caravan to prevent premature wear of the tyres. Some of the signs that can tell you that it’s time for wheel alignment include:

  • Uneven tire treads
  • Shaking steering wheel
  • Car tracks depressions in the road
  • Fighting the steering wheel
  • Car pulling to the left or right

Avoiding potholes is not always easy. But going around them or slowing down as you pass them can help you keep your suspension and wheels aligned. Also, watching for curbs as you park or turn is equally equipment to keep your alignment in check. Finally, keeping your tyres in good condition helps prevent your caravan from misalignment.

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.

Quick Guide On Independent Caravan Suspension Vs Leaf Springs

Are you thinking about buying a caravan? Have you heard about the different types of caravan suspension systems, including leaf spring and independent suspension? Would you like to learn more about these two types of suspension, in order to make an informed purchasing decision? If your answer is to the affirmative in all three cases, you have come to the right place. 

Choosing the right suspension is essential when it comes to ensuring that you get a positive experience every time you use your caravan. To find out more about both of these suspension systems, please read more below. 

Independent Suspension

As the name suggests, independent suspension allows the wheels of a caravan to move independently when subjected to an external load i.e. imperfections on the driving surface such as bumps and potholes. Since each of the wheels has a different reaction to the road surface, a bump that is in the path of one wheel does not affect the movement of the other wheel. There are a number of different types of independent suspension. 

Pros Of Independent Suspension 

One of the main advantages of independent caravan suspension is the fact that it allows for greater wheel travel when going over obstacles. Since the wheels move independently, the caravan is less likely to rock uncontrollably, from side to side, as one wheel goes over bigger bumps or deeper potholes. 

Independent suspension is also designed to be easier to tune and adjust allowing it to accommodate the varying needs of different driving conditions. This means that depending on the specific type of independent suspension in use, you can adjust the height of the caravan to match different driving conditions.  

Cons Of Independent Suspension 

On the flip side, independent suspension places greater weight on the caravan; thus affecting its load-bearing capacity. This type of suspension is also costlier than the leaf spring variety. 

Quick Guide Independent Caravan Suspension Vs Leaf Springs

Leaf Springs

Leaf springs on the other hand are considered to be a form of dependent suspension. It is worth noting that this type of suspension has been in use for longer than the independent variant. In a nutshell, leaf springs are essentially long slender arc-shaped strips of spring steel with a rectangular cross-section. A leaf spring suspension system is basically made up of a series of leaf springs that are then connected to the frame on both ends, with an axle attached to the middle. This type of suspension is known for keeping a caravan stable when travelling over uneven surfaces.     

Pros Of Leaf Springs

One of the main advantages of leaf springs is their high weight-bearing capacity – this is simply due to the sheer amount of high strength steel used. As such, they are a great fit for heavy-duty vehicles.  

Since they are made of high quality and strong steel, leaf springs are also considered to be highly durable. 

Thanks to the additional damping created by the extra friction between the different pieces of steel, leaf springs are known to provide better stability.

Last but not least, these suspension systems are more affordable than their independent counterparts, thanks to their simple design and cheap manufacturing process. 

Cons Of Leaf Springs 

As great as these springs are when it comes to stabilising caravans, they are not suited for use in off-road vehicles that need to drive on rugged and unpredictable terrain. 

Furthermore, leaf springs allow for very little manipulation to accommodate the varying needs of different driving conditions. This is mainly due to the fact that the leaf ends are attached to the caravan frame.   


As you can see from the above there is no clear favourite between independent suspension and leaf spring. The best type of caravan suspension depends on the intended use of the caravan. If you intend to use your caravan off-road, independent suspension might be a better fit. However, if you intend to use the caravan in hauling heavy loads, leaf spring suspension will last longer and ensure a stable ride at all times. 

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.


How Important Is Caravan Suspension?

Caravans are designed to carry and accommodate groups of people and goods. These vehicles are often used for long-distance trips and holidays. On top of this, caravans are used by people who need to move items or goods across long distances. With that in mind, caravans need strong and durable suspensions that can withstand heavy loads while maintaining stability and offering shock absorption for an overall comfortable driving experience. Before delving into the importance of caravan suspensions, it’s important to first understand what they are and how they work.

Caravan Suspensions

If you’re planning to go on long trips with your caravan, it’s highly recommended that you invest in a good suspension. The suspension handles the distribution of weight among the wheels so that your caravan doesn’t sway back and forth as it drives over bumps on the road. Also, if you’re planning to go off-roading, it’s essential to invest in a caravan suspension that has a shock absorber system that can handle rough terrain. 

All in all, the suspension on your caravan helps contain the vehicle’s movements to a comfortable level and doesn’t throw passengers around. Following are several reasons highlighting the importance of caravan suspensions.

Suspensions Allow Your Caravan To Reach Optimal Load Capacity

Most caravans come with load capacity limits. These limits indicate the maximum amount of weight the vehicle can haul at any given time. These maximum weight limits are directly affected by the design and limitations of the vehicle’s suspension. For instance, some caravans may be able to carry heavy goods and materials, while other models may not handle such loads as well. 

A good suspension allows your caravan to carry as much weight as possible. So when buying a caravan, it’s important to check the specifications of the suspension on the vehicle.

How Important Caravan Suspension

Suspensions Help Balance The Weight 

As already mentioned, caravans come with specific weight or load capacity limits. One thing that caravan suspensions really help with is balancing the weight of the load being carried by the vehicle. A strong suspension helps to balance the weight of this cargo. If this is not done properly, it could lead to damage to your caravan.

They Protect Against Damage From Road Hazards

Caravans can travel through very harsh terrains and environments like dirt roads, forests, the outback, mountains and many more. This means that there are objects like bumps and rocks along the way that could damage a caravan with a weak suspension. A strong suspension helps to prevent and reduce damage from driving in such environments.

They Protect The Vehicle From Overturning

Caravan suspension protects the vehicle from overturning after swerving or being involved in a collision. A caravan that doesn’t have a proper suspension is much more likely to flip when confronted with an emergency situation.

They Improve Tyre Traction For Each Wheel

Caravan tyres are often larger than those on regular vehicles. This means that they need extra support when in motion. The suspension improves traction for your tyres to provide better control and handling.

They Prevent Sagging Underneath The Caravan

Sagging can affect your ability to make accurate turns. This can create dangerous situations that may lead to accidents. The suspension on your caravan keeps it level while driving so that it does not sag under its own load. 


A good suspension is important for the safety of your caravan, so you must take some time to understand what your options are. Getting more information about your caravan’s suspension can give you a better idea of what upgrades are best for your caravan.

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.

5 Signs Your Caravan Suspension Needs Repair 

Do you own a caravan? Are you concerned about the level of wear and tear on your caravan suspension system? If you are wondering whether it’s time to repair or replace your caravan’s suspension system, look for the following signs:

  • Accident Damage
  • Too Much Bounce
  • Uneven Tyre Wear
  • Caravan Stands Unevenly 
  • Oil Stains On The Struts And Shocks

Your caravan’s suspension plays an essential role in ensuring safe and comfortable driving. In addition to absorbing the shocks caused by uneven road surfaces, the suspension system also keeps the caravan steady when cornering. 

Since this important element of the caravan is made up of a variety of moving parts that are continuously subjected to a substantial weight load, it is prone to wear and tear. A damaged or worn out suspension system can expose you to unnecessary safety risks when driving and also affect the quality of the ride which is why caravan suspension maintenance is crucial

To help you spot any issues as early as possible, here are five signs of a damaged or worn-out caravan suspension.   

1). Accident Damage

Accidents normally cause extensive damage to your vehicle and caravan. If your caravan has been involved in an accident, it is recommended that you have the suspension system inspected for damage. It is best to have the axle and suspension system inspected by an expert right after the accident to keep things from getting worse – or prevent the damage from spreading to the wheels and other parts of the caravan.   

2). Too Much Bounce 

The suspension system is specifically designed to absorb any shocks that occur as the caravan wheels roll over various obstacles in their path. If your caravan keeps bouncing up and down excessively when moving, this is a clear sign that the suspension system is not working properly; and as such, might be in need of repair or replacement. 

How Tell if Caravan Suspension Worn Out

3). Uneven Tyre Wear

There are two main reasons why your caravan’s tyres may develop uneven wear. This may be due to the wrong tyre pressure or a damaged suspension system. If the tyres on your caravan have uneven treads, and you have double-checked the tyre pressure, you are likely looking at a damaged suspension as the main cause. 

Other signs of suspension damage that you can pick up on are that when your caravan is moving, is there a rolling feeling when cornering? Furthermore, if your caravan appears to lunge forward when coming to a stop, this can be taken as an indicator of a faulty suspension.  

4). Caravan Stands Unevenly  

Your caravan should be able to stand evenly when parked on flat ground. If you suspect that the suspension system is damaged, try parking the caravan over a flat even surface and check whether it stands evenly. If the caravan is slanting towards one side, then it is highly likely that the suspension system is worn out or damaged; and, in need of repairs.  

5). Oil Stained Struts And Shocks 

A quick visual check assessment of your caravan’s suspension system will reveal any signs of damage. If you spot any oil stains around the shocks or struts, it is likely that there is a fluid leak. This is a clear sign of suspension system damage that should be fixed as soon as possible. 


Your caravan’s suspension system doesn’t just act as a link between the tyres and the chassis. It has an essential role to play in the safe and comfortable operation of the caravan. If you think that your caravan suspension is in need of repair, but are not sure, use the above signs to ascertain whether you need to have it repaired before taking it on your next adventure. 

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.

How To Check Ride Height For Caravan Suspension Systems?

Caravan suspension systems are designed to improve driving performance and load balance among axles at the specified ride height. For a caravan owner, getting the ride height right is extremely crucial because using your suspension outside the designated ride height range can increase suspension wear, damage the cabin and reduce overall ride quality. To function at peak performance, your caravan suspension must be set at its specified ride height.

What Is Ride Height?

Ride height, also referred to as suspension height, is the space between the point at which your vehicle’s tires touch the ground and the underside of your chassis. 

Ride height specifications vary depending on the type of suspension, vehicle use/application, and requirements of the caravan manufacturer. The best place to find the appropriate ride height for your caravan is in the vehicle manufacturer or OEM manual. Also, many caravan manufacturers display the designated suspension height on a label mounted to the caravan’s frame. To get the right suspension height, it’s always advisable to check with the manufacturer for the correct specification.

Of course, you may want to adjust your suspension for a specific reason, for instance, raising your suspension can improve its off-roading capabilities while lowering your suspension can improve handling. In such cases, it becomes even more important to know exactly what you are doing before messing around with the ride height of your caravan suspension system.

How Check Ride Height Caravan Suspension Systems

How To Measure Ride Height

First and foremost, you need to make sure you know the caravan manufacturer’s specified ride height. Check the OEM manual or any documentation that came with your vehicle. You need to establish the exact point on your caravan to measure the suspension height. It can be from the bumper to the ground, from the fender lip to the ground, or from the rocker panel to the ground depending on your vehicle. 

Some manufacturers may recommend measuring ride height from the frame rail to the suspension control arm or axle.

Something important to remember is that tyre and wheel size will affect the measurement regardless of the point you use to measure your caravan’s ride height.

To measure ride height, use a retractable metal tape measure. It’s advisable to fill your caravan with an average tank of gas (let’s say half a tank) and have one or two people inside the vehicle. Next, measure the ride height from your preferred point of reference and write down the measurements and specific details of how you took it.

Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is often the same thing as ride height. However, ground clearance is measured simply from the lowest point of your car to the ground. The lowest point of your vehicle can be anywhere from the chassis bracing to differential housing, plastic shielding, bumpers and the exhaust system. Basically, it’s the part of your car that suffers the most scrapes when driving on steep terrain. To measure ground clearance, you first need to confirm the lowest part of your car and then use a tape measure or callipers to get the measurement.

A caravan with a high ride height is at greater risk of rolling over. On the other hand, one with a low ride height is more likely to suffer damage due to the underbody and chassis being scraped or struck by uneven road surfaces like potholes, steep driveways, and speed traps. However, many people who understand the ins and outs of suspension height and ground clearance know that they have to make certain sacrifices in order to enjoy the benefits of either low clearance or high clearance. 

At the end of the day, the most crucial thing is that your caravan’s suspension meets your needs. If you aren’t sure what caravan suspension ride height is best for you, or if you need to have your caravan suspension tested or inspected, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your options.

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.

How Is Caravan Suspension Load Tested? 

Caravans are heavy, large vehicles and this means their suspensions face a lot of strain. To ensure the safety of the driver and other road users, and to prevent damage to the caravan itself, the caravan suspension must be in good condition and well maintained. Before any caravans are put on sale, they’re evaluated to ensure they’re roadworthy. Load testing is an important part of this.

When Is Load Testing Carried Out And Why Does It Matter?

Caravan suspension will be tested before a caravan is put on the market, and will also be tested as part of any regular roadworthiness tests. A corroded or damaged suspension could impair the handling of a vehicle, so it’s important to ensure the suspension is in good condition. The government requires all caravans to be insured and roadworthy before they’re taken onto the road.

If you’re replacing your caravan’s suspension, it’s important to choose the right type, with an appropriate load rating. Fitting suspension that can’t handle the load could leave you with a caravan that is difficult to control both in terms of maneuvering and braking or could damage the structure of the vehicle. That’s why checking the load ratings of any new parts, and confirming the weight of your caravan, is so important.

What Does Load Testing Look For?

Load testing for caravan suspension involves making sure that the suspension is not corroded, is stable, and is properly responsive. It checks:

  • That the suspension “bounces back” as expected.
  • That the suspension responds equally on all sides
  • That there’s no corrosion, weakness, or structural damage
  • That the suspension is not too soft or too violent in response
  •  Whether there are gaps between the leaf springs that could indicate damage.

Testers are on the lookout for odd sounds, creaking, vibration, or uneven responses that could impair the handling of the vehicle or make the caravan difficult to tow.

How Caravan Suspension Load Tested

How Reliable Is Caravan Suspension?

Caravan suspension can take a lot of strain, especially if the caravan is regularly taken off-road. Corrugations in the road can take motorists by surprise and are often bigger than they appear from a distance. Experienced motorists can reduce the strain that corrugations might cause their vehicles, but it’s still a good idea to have robust suspension on any caravan, trailer, or car that is going to take on difficult conditions.

Choosing the right type of suspension can make a big difference, as can regularly inspecting the suspension. Before and after every trip, look for cracks, breakage, gaps, or other signs of wear and tear. If you have traditional leaf spring suspension, lubricate the springs if necessary. This will keep the suspension working well for a long time to come.

There’s no simple rule for when to replace caravan suspension. So, rather than thinking to yourself “I’ll replace my suspension or shock absorbers after 50,000 kilometres”, be proactive with your inspections and maintenance. If you notice shaking, rattling, or vibrations when towing your caravan, that’s a sign something is wrong.

Aftermarket Suspensions Designed To Handle Off-Road Camping

At Alpha Suspensions, we offer a variety of suspension options for trailers and caravans, including the Alpha Xtreme independent off-road suspension. These aftermarket suspension options can make towing a large or heavy caravan in difficult conditions a more enjoyable experience. 

If you want to feel confident in the handling of your vehicle when you’re taking a caravan off-road, take a look at our caravan suspensions or contact our sales team to learn more about the range. We would be happy to advise you on which suspension is most likely to be suitable for your caravan or trailer.

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.


Is There Any Maintenance Needed For Caravan Suspension?

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 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.


Practical Suspension Tips For Caravans

Your caravan’s suspension is probably the most important component of the vehicle because it has a direct impact on day-to-day usability as well as long-term durability. The suspension on your caravan has 2 main purposes; to make driving on different surfaces and terrains comfortable and to absorb any excess shock that can be transmitted to other parts of the vehicle and cause damage.

Having the right suspension on your caravan can make your life easy, however, finding a quality suspension is not always easy. There are also so many types of suspension systems to choose from, and this can cause quite a bit of confusion to average people who don’t have any professional knowledge and expertise.

To make things easier, we have compiled a few practical tips that you can use to choose the right suspension for your caravan.

The Best Suspension

You may be wondering, what’s the best suspension system for my vehicle? Well, choosing the best suspension for your caravan comes down to where you’ll be taking it. Obviously, it is not practical to go for a standard leaf spring beam axle suspension when facing harsh off-road conditions.

If hardcore off-roading is on your agenda, then you will need to get a fully-fledged independent suspension with shock absorbers for your caravan. On the other hand, if you plan to stay on smooth tarmac roads and venture onto a couple of dirt roads when necessary, a leaf spring beam axle suspension will probably do just fine. However, if you can afford an independent suspension, there’s absolutely no downside to getting one even though you are going to stick to highways because you will enjoy smoother and more comfortable rides. Remember though that this added comfort will come at a price.

The Grey Area (Semi Off-road Caravanning)

Semi off-road caravanning is basically a combination of touring or driving on dirt and gravel roads and cruising on highways and urban roads. Now, this type of caravanning is considered by many to be a grey area because the amount of time spent on either rough or smooth terrains varies from one caravan owner to the other.

The general consensus is that drivers who engage in semi off-road caravanning should get some specialised independent coil suspensions systems where possible. But, again, there’s some additional cost to factor in here.

An alternative is to install a load sharing rocker-roller setup, which is a versatile suspension system that performs well both in semi off-road and bitumen conditions.

Suspension Wear And Tear

Once you have settled on the type of suspension that’s best for your intended use, the next step is to check the quality of components. How reliable and effective your suspension will be boils down to the quality of certain parts like the shackle bolts, bushes, and centre rocker arm if it’s a tandem-axle load sharing suspension. These components are responsible for keeping your suspension flexible in order to reduce wear and tear over time.

A low-quality suspension will have you replacing shock absorbers, springs and bushes every other day. A faded or worn shock absorber will lose its compression and ability to manage the oscillation of the spring. Your caravan will start to tow in a less predictable way, which can be quite frustrating.

How To Avoid Suspension Problems

The best way to avoid suspension problems is to first establish where you want to take your caravan and choose a suitable suspension setup to match. Next, make sure you get a suspension system from a well-known and reputable auto parts manufacturer, not from unknown sources overseas. Beware of cheap suspension made from low-quality components and materials (like steel) that are easily susceptible to wear and tear.

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 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.