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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

4wd pickups as tow vehicles



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 16th 06, 06:58 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Ian B
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Posts: 307
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles

Hi

Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow caravans. I heard
a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the front end of
the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from the chassis.
Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it (currently
a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the pickups so
that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to keep the
heavy bulky items out of the 'van.

--
Regards
Ian B

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 16th 06, 09:58 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
John
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 102
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles


Ian B wrote:
Hi

Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow caravans. I heard
a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the front end of
the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from the chassis.
Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it (currently
a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the pickups so
that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to keep the
heavy bulky items out of the 'van.

--
Regards
Ian B


This applies when towing a caravan with a stiffly sprung vehicle.
Landrovers and lorries are the worst I believe.
The problem is that caravan tries to pitch over road bumps. On a normal
car, this causes the rear suspension to deflect so saving the A frame
from excessive forces. A more solid rear will not deflect so the A
frame takes a greater shock. This can lead to fatigue failure.
Many such vehicles use a sprung tow hitch arrangement to give some
movement and protect the A frame.

John

  #3 (permalink)  
Old December 17th 06, 05:56 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Dave Fawthrop
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,831
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles

On 16 Dec 2006 14:58:56 -0800, "John"
wrote:

|
|Ian B wrote:
| Hi
|
| Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow caravans. I heard
| a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the front end of
| the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from the chassis.
| Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it (currently
| a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the pickups so
| that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to keep the
| heavy bulky items out of the 'van.
|
| --
| Regards
| Ian B
|
|This applies when towing a caravan with a stiffly sprung vehicle.
|Landrovers and lorries are the worst I believe.
|The problem is that caravan tries to pitch over road bumps. On a normal
|car, this causes the rear suspension to deflect so saving the A frame
|from excessive forces. A more solid rear will not deflect so the A
|frame takes a greater shock. This can lead to fatigue failure.
|Many such vehicles use a sprung tow hitch arrangement to give some
|movement and protect the A frame.

What you are saying is that caravan A frames are designed to be too weak to
stand up to normal wear and tear. I would expect the caravan
manufacturers to have corrected an obvious, and possibly catastrophic
fault. I would check with the manufacturers of the van, or the A frame
which are often different.
--
Dave Fawthrop dave hyphenologist co uk Google Groups is IME the *worst*
method of accessing usenet. GG subscribers would be well advised get a
newsreader, say Agent, and a newsserver, say news.individual.net. These
will allow them: to see only *new* posts, a killfile, and other goodies.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old December 17th 06, 07:31 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Geoff Lane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 870
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles

Dave Fawthrop wrote in
:

I would check with the manufacturers of the van, or the A frame
which are often different.


Hmmm, in many cases that would be Al-Ko - the same outfit that produce
stabilised hitch heads that require a special towball and that you can't
hitch up to some cars without a kludge, and a security device that you
can't fit on some caravans without jacking up an axle, and who say that
there's nothing wrong with either item.

Do you seriously expect such a manufacturer to 'fess up to weaknesses in
their range of trailer chassis?

--
Geoff
  #5 (permalink)  
Old December 17th 06, 08:29 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Dave Fawthrop
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,831
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles

On 17 Dec 2006 08:31:01 GMT, Geoff Lane wrote:

|Dave Fawthrop wrote in
:
|
| I would check with the manufacturers of the van, or the A frame
| which are often different.
|
|Hmmm, in many cases that would be Al-Ko - the same outfit that produce
|stabilised hitch heads that require a special towball and that you can't
|hitch up to some cars without a kludge, and a security device that you
|can't fit on some caravans without jacking up an axle, and who say that
|there's nothing wrong with either item.
|
|Do you seriously expect such a manufacturer to 'fess up to weaknesses in
|their range of trailer chassis?

If they say it is OK then they have evidence to back it up, and could.
If they say nothing I would be doubtful.
--
Dave Fawthrop dave hyphenologist co uk Google Groups is IME the *worst*
method of accessing usenet. GG subscribers would be well advised get a
newsreader, say Agent, and a newsserver, say news.individual.net. These
will allow them: to see only *new* posts, a killfile, and other goodies.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old December 17th 06, 12:07 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Nebulous
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 30
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles


"Dave Fawthrop" wrote in message
...
On 16 Dec 2006 14:58:56 -0800, "John"
wrote:

|
|Ian B wrote:
| Hi
|
| Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow caravans. I
heard
| a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the front end
of
| the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from the
chassis.
| Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it
(currently
| a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the pickups
so
| that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to keep the
| heavy bulky items out of the 'van.
|
| --
| Regards
| Ian B
|
|This applies when towing a caravan with a stiffly sprung vehicle.
|Landrovers and lorries are the worst I believe.
|The problem is that caravan tries to pitch over road bumps. On a normal
|car, this causes the rear suspension to deflect so saving the A frame
|from excessive forces. A more solid rear will not deflect so the A
|frame takes a greater shock. This can lead to fatigue failure.
|Many such vehicles use a sprung tow hitch arrangement to give some
|movement and protect the A frame.

What you are saying is that caravan A frames are designed to be too weak
to
stand up to normal wear and tear. I would expect the caravan
manufacturers to have corrected an obvious, and possibly catastrophic
fault. I would check with the manufacturers of the van, or the A frame
which are often different.


What the manufacturers do is say the caravan is designed to be towed by a
standard car and the warranty will be invalid if you tow it with a
commercial vehicle. This puts the onus very firmly on the owner. This is
sometimes stated in the caravan handbook.

Neb


  #7 (permalink)  
Old December 18th 06, 10:56 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
hugh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,616
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles

In message . com, John
writes

Ian B wrote:
Hi

Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow caravans. I heard
a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the front end of
the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from the chassis.
Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it (currently
a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the pickups so
that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to keep the
heavy bulky items out of the 'van.

--
Regards
Ian B


This applies when towing a caravan with a stiffly sprung vehicle.
Landrovers and lorries are the worst I believe.
The problem is that caravan tries to pitch over road bumps. On a normal
car, this causes the rear suspension to deflect so saving the A frame
from excessive forces. A more solid rear will not deflect so the A
frame takes a greater shock. This can lead to fatigue failure.
Many such vehicles use a sprung tow hitch arrangement to give some
movement and protect the A frame.

John

There is a device called a Shock Link which is designed to absorb
vibration on a stiff leaf sprung vehicle such as old Land Rovers or more
modern jeeps etc. Later Land Rovers (Defenders) are coil sprung.

I fitted one on my Grand Cherokee but I'd previously had a Cherokee
without any problems. Is it necessary? - who knows, you can't prove a
negative.

My current van is a 96 Abbey Spectrum which I have towed frequently with
either an Autosleeper Trouper (a van) or a LR Defender V8. It hasn't
fallen apart yet (the van that is not the LR) and it doesn't leak (the
van that is not the LR)
--
hugh
Reply to address is valid at the time of posting
  #8 (permalink)  
Old December 19th 06, 10:49 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Lou Bricant
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles

hugh wrote:
In message . com, John
writes

Ian B wrote:
Hi

Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow caravans.
I heard
a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the front
end of
the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from the
chassis.
Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it
(currently
a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the pickups so
that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to keep the
heavy bulky items out of the 'van.

--
Regards
Ian B


This applies when towing a caravan with a stiffly sprung vehicle.
Landrovers and lorries are the worst I believe.
The problem is that caravan tries to pitch over road bumps. On a normal
car, this causes the rear suspension to deflect so saving the A frame
from excessive forces. A more solid rear will not deflect so the A
frame takes a greater shock. This can lead to fatigue failure.
Many such vehicles use a sprung tow hitch arrangement to give some
movement and protect the A frame.

John

I have a 4x4 ex military vehicle which I use to tow a caravan to a

couple of shows every year . The 4 ton lorry suspension effectively
doesnt move at all. I discovered that my Perle Olympus had broken in
half just behind the axle, when I arrived at one show, rather a
disappointment. I'm sure John's comments are absolutely correct .
Peoples comments that the Alko chassis is "not up to the job" are
difficult to assess, all engineering designs are a compromise .... Cost,
weight, strength amonst many other variables. Most people want a caravan
that is roomy and comfortable and easy to tow on reasonably smooth roads
with a normal saloon car. I'm sure I could have an incredibly strong
caravan built out of Titanium and aircraft alloys which wouldnt snap, if
only I had a few million pounds. To expect normal equipment to operate
outside the 90% of normal use is to risk failure.

Lou Bricant
  #9 (permalink)  
Old December 19th 06, 08:44 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Ian B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 307
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles


"Nebulous" wrote in message
...

"Dave Fawthrop" wrote in
message ...
On 16 Dec 2006 14:58:56 -0800, "John"

wrote:

|
|Ian B wrote:
| Hi
|
| Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow
caravans. I heard
| a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the
front end of
| the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from
the chassis.
| Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull
it (currently
| a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the
pickups so
| that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to
keep the
| heavy bulky items out of the 'van.
|
| --
| Regards
| Ian B
|
|This applies when towing a caravan with a stiffly sprung vehicle.
|Landrovers and lorries are the worst I believe.
|The problem is that caravan tries to pitch over road bumps. On a
normal
|car, this causes the rear suspension to deflect so saving the A
frame
|from excessive forces. A more solid rear will not deflect so the A
|frame takes a greater shock. This can lead to fatigue failure.
|Many such vehicles use a sprung tow hitch arrangement to give some
|movement and protect the A frame.

What you are saying is that caravan A frames are designed to be too
weak to
stand up to normal wear and tear. I would expect the caravan
manufacturers to have corrected an obvious, and possibly
catastrophic
fault. I would check with the manufacturers of the van, or the A
frame
which are often different.


What the manufacturers do is say the caravan is designed to be towed
by a standard car and the warranty will be invalid if you tow it
with a commercial vehicle. This puts the onus very firmly on the
owner. This is sometimes stated in the caravan handbook.

Neb


I think I have read the 'standard car' point before, and although my
original info about the separation was caused by one of the heavier
commercials (info via a caravan dealer - service, not salesman) I
would be more interested in the lighter commercials. IIRC the
Frontera & Daihatsu had/has sprung leaf and afaik I have not heard of
any probs regarding separation with those vehicles. The 'Shock Link'
mentioned by hugh maybe worth looking into. It will probably be a few
months off yet, but I thought I'd get a bit of first hand knowledge
before investing.

Cheers for all the comments and any other will be appreciated.

--
Regards

Ian B

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Don't pay premium phone rates - http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php


  #10 (permalink)  
Old December 19th 06, 08:57 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Ian B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 307
Default 4wd pickups as tow vehicles


"Lou Bricant" wrote in message
...
hugh wrote:
In message . com,
John writes

Ian B wrote:
Hi

Has anyone got any experience of using 4wd pickups to tow
caravans. I heard
a few years ago that the spring leaf suspension didn't do the
front end of
the caravan any favours, causing the front end to separate from
the chassis.
Current 'van is 500 Burstner so I need something large to pull it
(currently
a LBW 2.7 Terrano). When I next change I was considering the
pickups so
that I can board out the load area and add bottle racks etc to
keep the
heavy bulky items out of the 'van.

--
Regards
Ian B


snip

I have a 4x4 ex military vehicle which I use to tow a caravan to a
couple of shows every year . The 4 ton lorry suspension effectively
doesnt move at all. I discovered that my Perle Olympus had broken
in half just behind the axle, when I arrived at one show, rather a
disappointment. I'm sure John's comments are absolutely correct .
Peoples comments that the Alko chassis is "not up to the job" are
difficult to assess, all engineering designs are a compromise ....
Cost, weight, strength amonst many other variables. Most people want
a caravan that is roomy and comfortable and easy to tow on
reasonably smooth roads with a normal saloon car. I'm sure I could
have an incredibly strong caravan built out of Titanium and aircraft
alloys which wouldnt snap, if only I had a few million pounds. To
expect normal equipment to operate outside the 90% of normal use is
to risk failure.

Lou Bricant


Cheers Lou

This seems to confirm my thoughts re the heavier commercials. As
no-one has commented that they have experienced this at the lighter
end of the market (apart from the comments suggesting LR (and lorries)
would be the worst offenders) I'm not sure if there is no-one who
knows of this prob occuring with lighter commercials, or it isn't
happening. Would I be correct in thinking that coil assisted sprung
leaf would be better, giving a more 'car like' feel to the suspension?



--
Regards

Ian B

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http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php


 



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