Every caravanning enthusiast appreciates the need for a good caravan suspension system. The main role of the suspension is to absorb the shock of any bumps and dips on the road. Positioned right between the wheels and the caravan body, the suspension system works to prevent the uneven up and down movement of the wheels from making their way to the caravan body.
The suspension also helps keep the caravan stable during cornering by altering the angle at which the wheels touch the road surface as the weight of the caravan, and its contents, shifts to the outside as, and when, the caravan starts swaying.
So, what are the main components of the best caravan suspension? And, how do they work to ensure the most effective performance during use?
To effectively handle these functions, caravan suspension systems are made of several important components, including:
- Shock Absorbers/Dampers
Please continue reading below to find out more about the main components of caravan suspensions and how they work.
Caravan suspension systems are fitted with leaf, coil or air springs. Just like any other spring, the springs used in suspension systems usually lose their shape when subjected to force before returning to their normal shape. As such, when a caravan wheel goes over a bump or dip on the driving surface, the spring is either compressed or extended respectively.
The main issue with springs is that they normally oscillate, compress and extend, over and over a few times before they stop after being initially extended or compressed. This repeated oscillatory motion can lead to unnecessary movement of the caravan To stop this from happening, shock absorbers or dampers are fitted to the suspension.
At this point, it is worth noting that leaf springs are usually used on solid/live axle suspension systems while air and coil springs are mostly used on the independent variable.
Simply put, without shock absorbers in the suspension system, caravans and even cars would bounce around uncontrollably every time the wheels go over bumps or dips on the road. This can actually be observed in smaller caravans equipped with simple suspensions which do not include dampers.
Dampers are essentially composed of a fluid through which a plate, with holes in it, is driven by a connected stick. Thanks to their unique design, shock absorbers effectively damp out the repeated compression and extension of the springs, thus, facilitating a smoother ride.
The primary function of dampers is to convert the up and down movement of the wheels (kinetic energy) into another form of energy. Dampers are designed to convert kinetic energy into heat energy. Top-quality dampers must be able to handle huge amounts of heat to ensure effective operation. This is especially important for those designed for use in off-road caravan suspension systems.
Bushes are another important component of caravan suspension systems. These can be described as small rubber cushions installed between shock absorbers and the caravan’s shock absorber mounts. In addition to preventing metal on metal contact, these components also aid in the absorption of shocks caused by dips and bumps on the driving surface.
While there are different types of caravan suspension systems, the best ones are made using the above described main components. With that said, it is important to note that the best type of suspension for you, between line axle and independent, is dependent on the type of caravanning you intend to do.
The latter is mostly suitable for caravans that will only be towed over smooth tarmac roads. However, if you intend to take your caravan off-road, you will be better off with independent suspension. That is is where Alpha Suspensions come into the equation. 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.