Upgrading the Caravan Suspension

Can You Upgrade the Caravan suspension?

Bill Wilson
By Bill Wilson
contributor

August 2, 2021


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  • Caravan Suspensions are a critical component of your caravan. They provide essential support for your vehicle and keep it stable while you are traveling. Unfortunately, over time the caravan suspension components and shock absorbers can wear out, which means they will need to be replaced. The good thing is, many caravans come with components that can be easily replaced, unlike many other vehicles. If you are faced with the need to replace or upgrade your caravan’s suspension, you should consult an expert to ensure that you are replacing the correct parts.

    Can You Upgrade the Caravan suspension?

    The answer is an absolute yes! Caravan suspension is designed to make life easier for the vehicle – so if you’re using it on a rigid surface, or if you’re carrying a lot of weight in the caravan, then you may find that your suspension is too soft. You can upgrade your caravan’s suspension by replacing any parts that are damaged or worn out. A mechanic will help with this – but remember: You need to know what part you need before visiting the mechanic – otherwise, they’ll just sell you anything. However, upgrading to an independent suspension can be done in one of two ways.

    Cut & Shut Suspension

    Cut & shut is when you cut one part from another part – in this case, you’re cutting the old suspension off and then welding the new suspension onto the frame. This is an easy upgrade to carry out; the main reason people fit cut and shut suspension are that they don’t want to spend a lot of money on an upgrade. Also, some people like the appearance of a cut and shut suspension, as it looks different from the original.

    Cut and shut is an economical way of upgrading your caravan’s suspension – but modern caravans are designed with independent suspensions which cost less to maintain, last longer, and are self-level on all terrains.

    The Full Independent Suspension

    The second method is by converting your caravan’s existing suspension to an independent style. This will give you a much higher level of comfort and allow you to choose the tire pressure independently on both the left and right sides of the caravan. This offers much greater control and flexibility – especially if you have heavy loads or if you’re traveling on rough terrain. An independent suspension also allows your caravan to self-level on all types of surfaces.

    However, there are some limitations with an independent suspension: You need to lift your caravan onto two hydraulic jacks – one at the front, one at the back – and then remove any parts that are keeping it attached to the wheel axle. Fully independent suspension means that the original springs and shocks are removed from the vehicle and replaced with new ones. 

    A complete set of new springs and shocks can be mounted directly to a frame (usually made from alloy or fiberglass) fitted to the chassis. This type of upgrade requires more work than a cut and shut method as it involves installing –

    1. New cross rails for the suspension
    2. A new chassis for the frame
    3. New shock absorbers
    4. New spring plates
    5. New axles and wheels (if fitting coil springs)

    What Type of Suspension Do I Need?

    There are several factors to consider when choosing your caravan’s suspension:

    Load Capacity

    This refers to how heavy your caravan can lift on its own. Most caravans can carry two people, but some need to be able to carry more than that.

    Terrain

    Some caravans are designed for off-road or dual-surface use, while others are designed for light groundwork or heavy loads. If you’re planning on traveling on soft, uneven ground, you will need a suitable suspension for the conditions.

    Price 

    Most caravans have a budget price for upgrades; however, this is the point where you get what you pay for. If you’re looking to hire a caravan, then make sure that the suspension can carry your weight as well as those of any accompanying passengers.

    Picking the correct type of suspension can mean that your caravan has excellent comfort and stability – or that it isn’t up to the job – so make sure you know what you’re doing before buying new equipment.

    With a bit of time and effort, you can upgrade your suspension to make life in your caravan more comfortable and enjoyable. You may find that replacing the stock suspension with an independent unit gives you more flexibility when traveling across different terrains. You might also want to upgrade the tires simultaneously, as they’ll be a lot more comfortable and easier to handle. Either way, with a little bit of research, you can find the correct suspension for your caravan – and keep yourself and your cargo safe and stable on all surfaces.

    Also Read- Training Points for the Forklift Operator

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