Trailer suspensions with shocks

Submitted: Friday, Jul 25, 2003 at 13:03
ThreadID: 6167 Views:2856 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Hi guys and girls, I am going to build a combo motorbike / camper trailer towards the end of the year, and i am wondering if anyone has had any good experience with trailer suspensions incorporating shock absorbers. I don't want the floor of the trailer sitting 3 feet in the air if i can avoid it, and i don't plan on using a 'treg' or other extreme hitch, as it will only be going down fire trails and dirt roads (no rock hopping). Have seen a trailing arm and coil spring unit that was fairly low profile but am unsure of the name. Have also heard bad stories about the 'alko' style that use a rubber bush / steel tube arrangement . Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks Brad
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Reply By: Member - Willem- Friday, Jul 25, 2003 at 19:09

Friday, Jul 25, 2003 at 19:09
I have a combo motorbike/camper trailer as you can see from My Rig pic. A previous owner did the conversion. The trailer is heavy duty but with slipper springs and it also has a TREG trailer coupling. I have it with 16" tyres and I also have a set of 14" wheels and tyres so that I can tow it behind the Commodore. It may be for sale as the wife and I have been discussing this(too many vehicles in the yard). I have not used the trailer as a full blown camper as we only use it for painting trips out bush. At present it is fitted out with two storage tins and a porta pottie. The original intention was to cart the pooch around in the trailer but 'she' refuses to travel in it !!
Cheers, Willem
Never a dull moment
AnswerID: 25924

Reply By: F.M. - Friday, Jul 25, 2003 at 20:17

Friday, Jul 25, 2003 at 20:17
Gday Brad
Leaf springs are the way to go in my book.The're a tried and proven formula.I'd steer clear of those trailer springs, they don't move enough.I'd build it with springs out of a common car.Its easy enough to add/remove leaves to match the end weight.Use soft shocks as well.The end result is something that will ride like a car and not shake the s***t out of your gear. Wheel arches are the only way to avoid a tall floor.Also 14" wheels sound adequate for what you'l be doing,and it'l lower the platform a bit.If its not going to be going to be carrying a ton of firewood ,soft is the go.
AnswerID: 25929

Reply By: Old Jack - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 11:56

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 11:56
The Alko bush type suspension has been used for years on trialers, caravans & Horse floats, the "Horro" stories about the alko are not reflected by the fact that they are still very much in buisness & get used for much heavyier gear than what you look like building. Yes you need a Press to replace the bushes in them when they eventually wear out. They give a very good ride for both the tow vehical and the contents of the trailer( horse floats!) you will be able to get a very low floor height if required to suit your need with this type of suspension. and they tow well when lightlty loaded

I'd like a dollar donation to the RFDS for every trailler Leaf spring broken a year, you see people travelling carrying leafs with them for there trailers...... because they break all to often on rough roads.
If you can afford to use a coil spring & trailing arm suspension with shocks think about this option as you get independant wheel travel so on rough roads they track well & dont shake the living daylights out of your gear!

AnswerID: 25992

Reply By: Member - Bob L - Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 20:13

Saturday, Jul 26, 2003 at 20:13
Suggest you reconsiderthe treg hitch as you could easily bust the side out of convential hitch negotiating contour banks/ creek crossings.
Also check out and go to "factory demonstrators". They sell a MC2 Chassis (same as Tvan) at a reasonable cost.Just might help?
I went down the DIY track but chickened out

AnswerID: 26036

Reply By: Allan 2 (Pilbara) - Sunday, Jul 27, 2003 at 05:31

Sunday, Jul 27, 2003 at 05:31
I agree with the leaf spring theory. King's do an 11 leaf job thats quite narrow and nice and soft but strong. Very good on a trailer. Shockies are a great idea and I wish I'd put some on my camper. If you do it I'd suggest you get them as upright as possible. If you're building a conventional style of trailer then try Samin Sheet Metal in Brisbane. They do a great kit and really good mudguards. If you get one of their 12 inch wide guards then you may still have room between the wheel and the trailer body for an upright shocky.
AnswerID: 26066

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