Caravan suspension

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 12:23
ThreadID: 98360 Views:7775 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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I am currently in the process of finalising the design of a double axle caravan and have been struggling with the inevitable balance between our needs, our wants and the weight of the van.

The van will be a 21' (internal) tandem van with a tare of approx 2800 kg and an ATM of 3400 kg. I am now looking at the available suspension units and have Control Rider and Cruise Master in my sights.

I'd like some feedback regarding these two units obviously rated to deal with the 3400kg atm. Firstly in terms of their respective weights (I believe they may be as much as 200kg different?), and secondly in terms of their performance based on specific experience with either.

Regards
Phil
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 15:26

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 15:26
Just an aside to your main question - you won't be disappointed in opting for trailing arm independent, in my view - our van has the air bag / twin shocker version (Victorian Air Suspensions) and it rides extremely well. If you do happen to opt for airbag, an installation that allows you to independently vary the height of each side when parked is an advantage - mine doesn't have that - its either all up or down - I might convert the air plumbing later.
AnswerID: 496050

Follow Up By: Geoff in SA - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:16

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:16
I agree with Darian

I have airbag suspension and am in the process as we speak of re-plumbing the airlines.

Compressor, air receiver, small regulator, and the appropriate valving to alter the height on the left or right side.

no more digging holes or finding rocks to get the van level.

Regards

Geoff
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FollowupID: 771717

Reply By: kev.h - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 17:27

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 17:27
Google "simplicity suspensions" have used them on trailers
Kev
AnswerID: 496056

Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 18:26

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 18:26
I have Control Rider and am very happy with it, rides well and tracks well behind the vehicle. Mine is a single axle off road Van so slightly different configuration.
AnswerID: 496061

Reply By: Member - alandale - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:45

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:45
Phil,
Check out Vehicle Components website, they give a description of several types of suspension, including air bags.
They are in Geebung Brisbane and they supply suspensions to caravan manufacturers in Melbourne.
Alan
AnswerID: 496066

Reply By: R Send - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 08:43

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 08:43
Perhaps I should have been clearer in my original question!

The suspension will be tandem, trailing arm with coil and one or two shockers. I have had a look at the respective websites, but they do not give a lot of information ie no weights, and certainly no info on performance, other than "ours are the best" type statements.

I am not interested in Simplicity - had that on our last van and it was OK but that's all.

Interesting comment about air suspension - I might take a closer look on the back of that.

Thanks for your comments!

Phil
AnswerID: 496085

Follow Up By: ozjohn0 - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 09:32

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 09:32
Phil.
Either the G&S Control Rider or Vehicle Components Cruisemaster as they're almost identical except that the Control Rider is manufactured using a sub frame that bolts onto the chassis and not weldeed on like the Cruisemaster.
The Control Rider however is a bit heavier.
Ozjohn.
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FollowupID: 771691

Reply By: Geoff in SA - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:07

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:07
Hi Mr R Send (Behind)

I have a van of very similar proportions and have airbag suspension.
I would recommend the Cruisemaster suspension from my good friend Chris Goddard up there in Brisvagas.

And remember to goto 16" Wheels/Tyres as well as they will have abetter load rating than 15" tyres.

Depending on what you are towing you should be able to get the ATM raised to 3500Kgs.

600kgs is not a lot once you add water, beer, food, wine and the plethora od essential beauty requirements the Princess will insist on.

16" tyres and cruisemaster suspension will allow for the ATM to goto 3500 Kgs


Regards

Geoff
AnswerID: 496106

Follow Up By: Geoff in SA - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:08

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:08
And did I remember to add the the Cruisemaster comes with a 24 month warranty

It seems not
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FollowupID: 771716

Reply By: Geoff in SA - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:10

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 18:10
And did I remember to add the the Cruisemaster comes with a 24 month warranty

It seems not
AnswerID: 496107

Reply By: awill4x4 - Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 23:32

Wednesday, Oct 03, 2012 at 23:32
You may also care to consider SugarGlider suspension from Withers Engineering which has been made for around 20 years.
They are the original that dare I say Control Rider and others had a very close look at before coming out with their own.
One difference is the Control Rider uses shock in coil whereas the SugarGlider system mount the shocks behind the spring and this method also allows for twin shocks (mine is set up for twin shocks but only has singles at the moment) while the Control Rider system doesn't.
Trackmaster caravans use SugarGlider systems on their caravans and Ultimate use a lighter version on their camper trailers.
Everything in the SugarGlider system is heavy duty including 6mm thick RHS arms, 20mm pivot pins, Vesconite bushes, Koni shocks and more.
When I was looking for the suspension to retrofit to our single axle "on road" van to make it more "rough road" capable I looked at both the Control Rider and Cruisemaster systems but I'm glad I went for the SugarGlider instead.
Regards Andrew.



AnswerID: 496122

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