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 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.