Fixing Dangerous Caravan Vibration Fatigue
If vibration fatigue can bring down a Boeing 747, you can be sure it has the capability to bring down your caravan too.
Boeing has taken precautions against vibration fatigue and so should you. Consider the following article; there may be a few precautions you can take or at least check. There is no substitute for peace of mind.
You will not be surprised to hear – vibration fatigue is not restricted to caravans. Light and heavy trailers, earthmovers, diggers, trenchers and in fact every piece of equipment ever invented cannot withstand vibration fatigue unless precautions are taken. Vibration fatigue in caravans and boat trailers is one of the leading causes of bearing failure, spring failure and failures associated with your running gear.
One of the most common calls we get at Couplemate is, “My caravan is swaying at 100 km. I have a heavy ball weight of 10%, should I get sway control?”
The first solution to reducing vibration throughout your caravan is to ensure your U-bolts are tightened. Caravan and trailer u-bolts are made from mild steel and require tightening after the first 300km and every service thereafter. You may get as much as a quarter of a turn, maybe more, and ensuring they are tight is critical to minimising caravan sway.
Caravan Vibration Fatigue
Caravan vibration fatigue will cause your electric magnets to fail on corrugated roads in just a few weeks.
Ever heard rattles coming from your caravan? Are you finding cutlery in the drawers moving or your pots and pans becoming damaged? The simple answer is, all of your equipment is absorbing energy from the road into your caravan and car.
The next solution to reducing vibration is to install shock absorbers on all wheels. You can purchase shock absorbers directly from us by clicking the image to the right.
If you already have shock absorbers installed it is important to remove and check them to ensure they are still functioning correctly.
Gas lines within a caravan trailer have nuts and any nut will loosen due to vibration fatigue, particularly in outback conditions.
Loose nuts allow gas to escape, which can prove disastrous in confined areas, it has the potential to destroy your investment or worse, cause harm to nearby persons.
A further suggestion is to tighten all nuts on your caravan including gas connections.
Shackle Bolts and Bushings
Some of our greatest-selling products are shackle bolts, bushings and shackle plates. If these parts are not checked before every trip, they can lead to spring breakages.
Under normal highway conditions, you can expect good, even wear for a number of years. However, caravan vibration fatigue conditions will cause wear to be multiplied by 10 fold.
Therefore it is critical to check all shackle bolts, nuts and bushings.
Click the image for all of your shackle bolt needs.
If you have checked all of the above, and your rig is still not towing straight and true, we recommend you take it to your local caravan centre who should be able to provide an intensive inspection.
For an extreme solution to beat vibration fatigue you could look to install independent suspension.
This article aims to provide examples of some things that can be out of the ordinary caused by caravan vibration fatigue, however, it is not comprehensive. If you are finding ongoing issues the best solution would be to take detailed notes of your trailers symptoms and see a qualified caravan mechanic to improve your towing experience.