If you are like many Australians, you will have a love affair with the open road. You cannot wait to get out into the countryside again and have developed a strong affinity with the camping and caravanning world. If you have owned a caravan for some time, you may be thinking about making some improvements, to extend the capability of the vehicle. One of the areas you may be looking at is the suspension, so what do you need to consider if you're going to make some improvements here?
Why Not Buy New?
While it is always possible to buy a new caravan with the latest modifications installed, many people are perfectly happy with the one they have now in basic terms. In fact, they may have developed an emotional attachment to it, due to all the outstanding family vacations they've had over the years. It's quite possible to give your caravan a new lease of life by upgrading its suspension, so you may be able to carry more inside or invite additional people on a trip.
Changing the Springs
The first thing you need to do is to upgrade the springs. This will allow you to add additional "coils" or leaves, depending on what type of suspension setup you have. By doing this, the ATM or aggregate trailer mass will be increased.
When you make the change, it's likely that the modification will place your caravan into a different category based on its capability. You might, therefore, have to upgrade the coupling device that connects to your towing vehicle, as well as the safety chains. You may also need to increase the size of the brakes, for safety purposes.
Remember, that by increasing the size of the springs you will have altered the ride height at the same time. You need to be certain that the drawbar is still fully functional, as it connects your caravan to your car or truck.
Don't forget to do this, as you will need to get a modification plate that has to be attached to the vehicle. Have a word with the manufacturer of the caravan to help you calculate these details properly, so you get everything right. You may also have to contact your state registration authority to inform them about the modification.
When you've done all of these changes, ensure that the caravan's wheels and tyres still attach correctly and that there is plenty of clearance under the wheel arches.
Getting Help with Modifications
If you are unsure about any of the steps that you need to take, it's a good idea to take the caravan to a caravan repair service.