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Shock Absorbers - needed?

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Currently we are looking to replace our 7 year old Coachman and one of the models under consideration is a Bailey which is not fitted with shock absorbers (the Coachman has).  Do you think I should be bothered about this and would I notice any difference in the towing performance of the caravan

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I have them on my Pegasus Ancona. I find it makes the outfit more stable.

 

Plus I imagine it helps the axle suspension survive longer.

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I fitted them to our Swift following lots of r3commendations on here. I’ve never been able to notice any difference in the way it tows. Dead stable before, and since. I certainly wouldn’t fit them in future. 

 

If it concerns you though, they’re not expensive, nor difficult to retro fit. I’m sure you’d be able to get the dealer to fit some as part of your negotiations.  

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10 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

I fitted them to our Swift following lots of r3commendations on here. I’ve never been able to notice any difference in the way it tows. Dead stable before, and since. I certainly wouldn’t fit them in future. 

 

If it concerns you though, they’re not expensive, nor difficult to retro fit. I’m sure you’d be able to get the dealer to fit some as part of your negotiations.  

Good suggestion, thanks

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Without shock absorbers (dampers) you'd be limited to a weight ratio of 30% if you want to be able to tow at 100km/h in Germany. I guess some homework was done before arriving at such a restriction, so they must be of benefit.

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I think that shock absorbers are worth having making the 'van ride more smoothly.

    John.

 

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It has never worried us. I would try the caravan without them and see how it goes, they can always be fitted later if need be.

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We had them on our old 'van, but they aren't fitted on the new one. I mentioned getting some fitted on the new one to the dealer who said, "Try the 'van without them for a few tows and see how it feels". I did, and haven't noticed any difference in the handling, so I haven't bothered.

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I fitted them to my last van and can't  say or I couldn't notice any difference in towing but, I'd soon have them on.

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We didn't have them on our last caravan until, whilst riding in the passenger seat as we were overtaking a caravan on the motorway, same model as mine, we hit a patch of tarmac that had been resurfaced. As the caravan wheels hit the joint of the new tarmac, the caravan started bouncing in a violent manner. When I got home, that night, I sourced a pair of shock absorbers on the internet and they were fitted before our next outing.

My views on this are..

With shock absorbers you get a controlled bounce

Without, the bounce is wild.

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Been discussed many times  before......

 

Its a Marmite issue, you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. The D of T clearly don’t consider them necessary as there is no requirement in the Con & Use Regs, and they have been in existence for a lot of years now and are constantly revised/updated. Prime examples over the years being....

 

1. Compulsory seat belts front and then rear.

2. Crumple zones to protect pedestrians

3. No bonnet mascots

4. Safety glass

5. Heated rear windows

6. TPMS

7. Minimum tyre tread depth

8. Ever more stringent MOT test

 

The whole list is somewhat more lengthy.

 

My last caravan had them, the current one (very similar size and weight) doesn’t have them. I have not noticed any difference. But if you want them who am I to disagree??

 

Andy

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A fully loaded caravan or trailer behaves differently from a lightly loaded one. I believe that dampers on the suspension are probably more beneficial for the latter as the mass of the former itself acts as a crude damper. Shock Absorbers are however relatively cheap and easy to fit to most caravans, so while we can discuss the benefits, they will not make things worse.

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Thanks for the comments everyone.  We've opted for the van without shock absorbers (Bailey) and in view of what a couple  of posters have reported, I'm not expecting to notice much, if any, difference.  I will bear in mind the possibility of having them fitted at a later date 

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Asked the  dealer to fit chock absorbers but they said that after fitting the all season tyres there was not enough clearance? A bit strange but have no reason not to trust them.

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3 hours ago, Gordon said:

A fully loaded caravan or trailer behaves differently from a lightly loaded one. I believe that dampers on the suspension are probably more beneficial for the latter as the mass of the former itself acts as a crude damper. Shock Absorbers are however relatively cheap and easy to fit to most caravans, so while we can discuss the benefits, they will not make things worse.

 

Trailers maybe, but an unladen caravan is still about 90% of its fully laden weight.

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We had a Senator Virginia which towed very good. I don't know if it had shocks on it or not ? We now have a Pegasus which has shocks ( came with them ) and ATC . It does not tow as well as the Senator ?  Even her in doors comments ! Maybe Baileys test them all after building them and then decide which ones need shocks and which don't ????

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Things don`t seem to get thrown around in the kitchen cupboards in a caravan fitted with shocks, thats my main observation between a van with or without.

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