Every caravan has a suspension, which is the system of parts responsible for holding it up, absorbing bumps, and allowing for easier steering. The suspension will eventually wear out slowly, but with periodic inspection and proper maintenance, you will minimise any minor issues from occurring.
However, caravan suspension systems may fail suddenly and dramatically. Sometimes it can be a matter of only a few inches until metal touches metal. The sudden failure of a suspension system is known as a collapse and is typically the result of a spring or other weight-bearing part breaking.
The good thing is that suspension systems rarely collapse. Still, it does happen and here are the top 5 reasons why your caravan’s suspension system may fail/collapse:
1). Road Bumps
If you are the kind of person that is not afraid of speed or road bumps, you are likely to soon find yourself having to deal with caravan suspension problems. The faster you go over these road hazards the harder it usually is on the springs.
If you hit a bad road bump at high speeds, you may end up breaking the suspension spring right there and then. If you hit the bump hard enough, you may actually end up breaking multiple suspension springs. To protect your caravan’s suspension, go over bumps slowly.
Your caravan has weight restrictions and if you ever make the mistake of overloading past the manufacturer recommended weight restrictions, the suspension system will be compromised by the excess weight.
The result is that your suspension springs will be damaged and you may also end up wearing out your tyres more quickly. An overloaded caravan is also capable of breaking a completely new suspension spring, which is why it is advisable to stick to the caravan’s load limits.
3). Age-Related Wear and Tear
Your caravan’s suspension system bends and vibrates constantly when it is in motion, particularly when the road isn’t smooth. It is only natural that this constant movement will weaken the suspension system over time.
Suspension systems, however, don’t usually collapse until they are really old. Still, if your suspension system has been weakened by any of the above, it may eventually collapse, due, in part, to age-related wear and tear.
If you live in a naturally humid climate, your suspension system is likely to rust much faster, but all suspension system components will eventually rust. It is nothing to be worried too much about since it is a natural chemical process that occurs once water meets air.
It’s natural that you will drive through puddles as well inclement weather, and the water collected doesn’t dry immediately. Over time, your suspension system components will rust and perhaps even break as the rust will eventually eat through it.
5). Wheel Bearings
If you live in an area near the sea, or an area that experiences large amounts of wet weather and moisture, water could get into your caravan’s wheel bearings and displace the grease. This makes your wheel bearings wear out faster than usual due to the lack of lubrication.
Worn-out wheel bearings can affect the wheels’ ability to rotate smoothly which means it can be dangerous when maneuvering over bumps or turning corners or travelling at slow speeds and taking off, as the wheels can lock. This can be extremely hazardous so it’s important to ensure that your wheel bearings are regularly lubricated.
Caravan suspension problems can be due to any of the factors discussed above. If you are having an unusually bumpy ride in your caravan, you should consider whether any of the factors discussed here could be responsible.
If you discover that your suspension system is indeed faulty, you should consider taking the caravan to a competent caravan suspension professional for proper diagnosis and resolution as opposed to undertaking the repairs needed yourself.
If you are looking for the most reliable caravan suspension in Australia, look no further than ALPHA SUSPENSIONS.
Please call us 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.