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 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 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.