How Check Ride Height Caravan Suspension Systems

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 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.