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Understanding 4 Types of Trailer Suspensions

Last Updated On September 26th, 2019 in General by

A suspension system in your trailer is a combination of tires, linkages, springs and shock absorbers. You might not have been keen on knowing about it, although understanding the basics of your trailer suspension types would not only be harmless but also might help you in future with its overhauling.

First, it is important to know the functions of the suspension. There are 3 of them-

  1. Maximize the friction between the tires and the road surface.
  2. Provide steering stability.
  3. Ensure the comfort of the passengers.

The chief component of a suspension system is its spring, and it has evolved over time into various forms of different types of caravan suspension systems.

 

Leaf Spring

Leaf Spring

Leaf springs are one of the oldest suspension types and are still manufactured in good numbers. These first suspensions are used today for light trailers and are excellent at absorbing blows, yet they are not recommended for heavy-duty use.

 

Trailing-Arm Suspension

Trailing-Arm Suspension

Trailing-arm trailer suspensions were commonly seen in landing gears of aircraft but now are extensively used in ground vehicles as well. A trailing arm or a trailing-link have a link or an arm is connected between the axle of the trailer and a pivot point on the chassis. The arm is located at the rear of the axle of the trailer and is also perpendicular to it. Using independent trailing-arm suspensions on the trailer makes every wheel to independently move vertically thus making the ride more comfortable.

 

Air Suspension

Air Suspension

 

Air suspensions are being used in ground vehicles since the 1980s. Making a slight change in the trailing-arm suspension gives us air suspension. The steel springs used in a trailing-arm suspension are replaced by bellows made of textile-reinforced rubber, called airbags/bellows or air springs. The load of the trailer in the air suspensions are borne by these air springs as opposed to the steel springs in the trailing-arm suspensions. Air suspensions are a great choice as they are amazing with all kinds of terrains, although to modify the pressure according to the terrain, you need to have an air compressor or an air cylinder with you.

 

Rubber Suspension

Rubber Suspension

A rubber suspension is a light-weight and a relatively simple suspension type. A rubber suspension is a torsion arm suspension. The torsion arm is attached to the frame of the trailer, inside which is a heat-treated inner bar surrounded by 3 or 4 rubber cords. The inner bar rotates when the load is applied, which causes a rolling compressive resistance in the rubber cords. The actions provide the same functions as the conventional sprung axle. A rubber suspension is also independent as the trailing-arm suspension, also rubber cushioning eliminates metal-to-metal contact.

Hope you had a brief idea of the commonly used suspension systems in camping trailers.

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