Caravan stabilizers

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 01, 2013 at 22:23
ThreadID: 99737 Views:2609 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
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Anyone out there with a bit of stabilizer advice?
We recently bought a Full Off Road single axle 17'6"caravan with a "Hyland" hitch. It feels like we need a stabilizer system to eliminate the bumpy ride. We have been told we can't use stabilizers on dirt roads with the Hyland hitch? If someone knows a compatible system, we'd love to know of one. (Towing it with Landcruiser). Thanks
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 00:03

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 00:03
G'day Reetta & Joe
I'm not being smart but 17'6 does means it can't go Full OFF road purely because of the size not suspension.
However, it will be fairly capable in most situation normally encountered.
The size means there is extra ball weight on the tow hitch.

Make sure your tow tongue where the Hyland fits on is as close to the towbar as is possible. Most tow tongues are not as far forward as is possible. This causes the caravan to control the vehicle motion more than it should. Redrilling the pin hole and or replacement with a closer fit tongue is better. Loading cvan so ball weight is a bit less helps too.
Even though it is a Landcruiser, the shock absorbers will have been matched to ride quality and the towing weight now has to be catered for.
Over undulating roads and tracks the OE shocks probably won't handle the extra instantaneous mass of the cvan which is trying to flick the vehicle up and down.
Therefore, more capable shock absorbers will be required to cater for and control this mass. 200kg ball weight is when it is static and the shockers aren't being asked to work then. The 200kg will really be far more as the whole lot moves on the road.
It is better to have suitable shocks at the outset rather than find the shocks are unsuitable by accident.

Ross M
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 11:50

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 11:50
Hi Ross M

your quote "I'm not being smart but 17'6 does means it can't go Full OFF road purely because of the size not suspension.
However, it will be fairly capable in most situation normally encountered.
The size means there is extra ball weight on the tow hitch."

Dont agree at all with that blanket statement. Ours is a Full Off Road and is 6.2m and goes seriously off road.

It is more likely the suspension and ground clearance followed by construction qualities that will be the first issue with off road capabilities/suitabilities.

Yes, length has some issues with cornering, tracking on narrow tracks, exit/departure angle etc however at the end of the day its using brains as to the suitability of the outfit at each "off road" situation.

Ball weight is not totally relevant to length but also balance of the outfit.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 13:46

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 13:46
bungarra
An off road dip/creek between the ruins and the campground at Dalhousie Spring comes to mind. Tvan gets through ok, a 17' 6" even at the same ride height would be very interesting indeed. So what does off road mean. I know what "go back" means.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 21:28

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 21:28
Off Road means you can park it on your front lawn!
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 10:11

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 10:11
Reeta and Joe,

If by "stabilizers" you mean a weight distributing hitch, then yes, you can use a WDH with a Hyland coupling on dirt roads providing the roads don't call for more than normal articulation. eg you could travel the whole of the Great Central Road (Ouitback Way) from Laverton to Yulara and beyond with your WDH in place.

It's not the Hyland coupling as such that stops use of the WDH, it the amount of "flex" or articulation between van and vehicle. The Hyland permits more articulation than a standard ball coupling and if you're in a situation where that articulation is going to be used you need to disconnect the WDH. If the situation is normal then you can use the benefits of the WDH.

I used to have a van with a Hyland coupling and a WDH and it was fine.

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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 13:19

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 13:19
Sorry about misspelling your name, Reetta. Oh for an edit facility on this board!

If this is not about a weight distributing hitch, or you want to stay away from those, then I agree with Ross M above.

On my current off-road van I can't use a WDH. The van is heavy on the hitch and with OEM suspension it made the car pitch or porpoise pretty badly if you crossed a sharpish dip at the wrong speed (on both sealed and unsealed roads). It was fixed with aftermarket suspension for the car (2007 Prado) - heavy duty springs and adjustable shocks.

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Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 12:45

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 12:45
First thing is how much towing have you done with a load over 1400kg.

Second thing is how much does you 4x4 drop when the caravan if on the back and the vehicle fully loaded.

Third thing is how much clearance have you got between the diff and the bump stops when the caravan if on the back and the vehicle fully loaded..

As for not using weight distribution devices on dirt roads it depends on what you call dirt roads much the same as there is off road and then there is OF ROAD.

First thing is the determined the problem and what the cause of it is and go from there......
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 22:41

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 22:41
G'day olcoolone.Can you please explain the difference between off road and OFF ROAD.
Cheers Dave.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 23:16

Wednesday, Jan 02, 2013 at 23:16
G'day David M
I think what olcoolone is on about is the fact that the term "of road" is loosely used by manufacturers to cover many situations. Sometimes some people who buy vans believe the marketing persons spiel and may believe the van will do much more than is possible.
The Oodna track is often referred to as off road and most "off road" vans will survive on such roads where more road oriented ones will/may have troubles. Some break chassis etc on Oodna track.

However, cvans termed off road, may travel this ok but when taken onto other rougher, more undulating, washed away gullies on outback tracks or in Vic high country only OFF ROAD vans of limited dimensions can possibly get there.
These places are often on tracks, called OFF ROAD and you never see a 16ft van anywhere near there, The weight/mass alone determines this as the tow vehicles traction is the decider here and the overhangs would mean it is dragged on it's chassis very very often. OFF ROAD doesn't mean just a rougher road.

Ross M
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Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 08:00

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 08:00
'Off-road' or 'road' vans are just labels. They mean many things to different people and I have no idea why people get defensive about them.

Certainly comments that "17.6" cannot be off-road are not relevant either. Its all about the van design and contruction quality and having adequate clearance. Also about the 'fit for purpose' of the vehicle towing it.

We travel in a 19' Bushtracker (internal dimensions) towed with a 100 series Toyhooter. The vehicle is modified to suit the country we travel and the load we tow. e.g. aftermarket suspension and other related equipment.

We travel many of the wild parts of the country - the Gunbarrel from Carnegie Stn to the NT border I would classify as a prertty toiugh road for vans - badly corrugated, washed out and with the Mulga growing right acroos the original track in more than a few places. It hasn't seen a grader since 1986. But we handled it without problems.

People need to forget about the labels and do what they want - and be careful about taking inaccurate advise from internet forums.

John

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 08:32

Thursday, Jan 03, 2013 at 08:32
G'day John.How does the 100 Series handle the van weight wise.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 08:14

Friday, Jan 04, 2013 at 08:14
Hi Dave,
Not a problem. Its has the standard 4.2 1Hz engine with an aftermarker turbo set with conservative boost pressure as we value relaibility not performancce.

It does not race off from the lights... but we are past that anyway. We tow comfortably at 85 kph with power to spare. Pushing it harder will push the fuel consumption up. It can be a bit slow on the long hills.

Most of our towing is out in the back blocks - we avoid the main highways and cities like they had plauge - rather watch the the wild life than dodge the trucks and injest the diesel fumes

Regards John
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