Broken caravan springs or even damaged caravan springs should be discovered at caravan servicing. In fact, caravans should be re-weighed and coupling head weight reviewed during this service.
Upgrading your rig is not for everyone and certainly not for later model caravans on the roads today.
Check out the YouTube video below – this fellow in America pulled into the nearest RV repairer with what seemed to be a good repair job or was it? In America yes, however, some Australian dealers and repairs are performing the same ritual when replacing broken caravan springs.
Incredibly, the RV springs broke, and the repairer put the same size spring back into the RV suspension. This RV or caravan was 100’s of Kg overweight.
Have a look at the finished job and have a look a the spring camber. There is no room left for compression.
Springs must compress to perform correctly. Springs do not compress when at full load. This poor bloke got all this work done and is still unaware.
Following the video is the procedure Couplemate would follow when replacing Jayco caravan springs.
How should I upgrade a broken spring?
Decisions from small upgrades to significant upgrades need to be made at this point to protect your investment.
A weighbridge should have been the first port of call. Taking your rig over a weighbridge will help accurately determine your load and ensure you are not overloaded for your suspension. Similarly, you don’t want your suspension to be weighted to highly, or you will experience a very stiff ride. So ensuring you have an accurate weight of your caravan or trailer is critical.
The next consideration would be the bearing limitations of the axle, the most common of which are listed below:
- Ford or Slimline 1450kg
- Parallel 1600kg
- Dexter 1800kg
If I were broken down with 2000kg bearings with a weighbridge certificate of 1650kg, I would be looking at 1800kg spring replacements.
Springs should be purchased to match the weighbridge certificate. So now I have selected springs that suit my weight, with a maximum loading of approximately 10%.
Identifying and Measuring Springs
A number of springs exist on the market and it is very important that the correct springs are identified and accurate measurements are taken to match existing hangers.
Types of spring and beam suspension include:
- Slipper Springs
- Shackle Springs
- Rocker Roller Springs
- Outback Springs
To fit your springs to the existing hangers welded to the chassis it is important to confirm a number of measurements. Failing to check these can result in a change of axle position – not fitting within existing guards, or springs not fitting into existing hangers.
You can confirm the required spring measurements using our helpful guidelines document, available for download here.
Check with the Experts
Finally, I have to worry about matching my axle and bearing sizes to my weight load. I can do this when I get home. The other option is to lighten my load and save my wallet because I am on a budget. Another good article is how to adjust your caravan wheel alignment.
However, if you do have a budget to upgrade, then call the experts at Couplemate. We can certainly help you through the options from replacement springs to DIY axle upgrades.
If you suspect your van is at its limits, haul it down to the weighbridge and get a certificate.
Then ring one of my staff or send us a message with a few photos and some ideas on what you want to achieve.
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