Quick Guide Independent Caravan Suspension Vs Leaf Springs

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.   

Conclusion

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 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.