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Had A Snake Last Night, Stabiliser Problem?


dairic
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Hi,

Just returned from France last night, had a snake as I passed a lorry, bit of info first!

We have an Elddis avante 556, 2010 model but purchased new 2 years ago, ex display.

Last year the damper on the stabiliser was not working so it was fixed under warranty, havn't used it much but before we went away this year we noticed a slight clunking noise every now an then when going over a bump etc.

Took it back to repair centre and they said it looked fine but pads were worn, so had these changed.

Just returned from two weeks in France and clunking is still there and caravan feels very unstable if I pass large (ish) vehicles, some slight swaying and slight snaking.

Last night driving home (UK) and passed an arctic at 55mph and had a bad snake, luckily got out of it.

Tow car is a Mitsubishi Shogun 3. 2 did 2007, checked nose weight before and again this morning to confirm and it's 80 kg, 110 max.

Don't know what to do now, can I get the van checked at all?

Had a bailey ranger before this van and no such issues!

Any ideas?

Sorry for the long post.

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Even with no stabliser fitted a caravan should not develop a snake at 55 mph, so there must be something in the setup of your outfit that has created some instability.

 

Possible causes could be:-

 

1) The caravan is significantly heavier than the towcar

 

2) The caravan is badly loaded e. g. with too much weight at the rear end or too heavy at one side

 

3) Incorrect tyre pressures on either the caravan or the car, or both

 

4) Incorrect towball height causing the caravan to tow in a nose up attitude.

 

If all of the above are OK then it would suggest that there is something wrong with the caravan, such as twisted chassis, and it should be checked by an expert

Edited by Highlandman

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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Certainly agree something is wrong, and so called stabilisers only damp van movement contributing little to snaking stability.

 

All I can add is checking that weights are not too far from the axle, dumbbell effect.

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Does this model have shock absorbers fitted as standard as one of the shocks could have packed up causing the clunking sound. This may also have an affect on towing.

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Checked all of above and are fine, only thing is tow ball height? Without sounding dumb but is that not determined by the tow bar?

Thanks

Yes it is.

 

If you stand back from the outfit and look at it, does the caravan appear to be level or does it appear to sit lower at the rear? Generally an outfit will be more stable if the caravan sits either level or slightly nose down when it's hitched up.

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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I wouldn't put so much emphasis on towbar height. So long as the noseweight is set correctly at the actual height of the towball when hitched up, i. e. not necessarily when level, it doesn't matter whether the caravan is nose up, level, or nose down. Arguments put forward regarding adverse aerodynamics in a nose up condition are a myth.

 

Presence or otherwise of shock absorbers can have a big impact. That should not be forgotten.

 

Otherwise, take the advice of the others and have the root cause of the clunking noise re-checked.

Edited by Lutz
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Have you checked that the towbar and it's mountings are secure ?

Land Rover is now back towing.

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Is the draw bar damper ok? caravan suspension dampers?

Noseweight on the caravan correct? checked going away and returning?

What is your Towbar/ball weight?

Load in the caravan mainly over the axle and tyre pressures correct?

Towcar, load carried between the axles and tyre pressures set for max load?

Plenty of time allowed for maneuvers, no sudden changes of direction when

finishing overtaking?

I noticed you have not listed your towcar and caravan http://www. whattowcar. com/

 

There was a Bailey loading test program to see if you do load right, but I cannot find it

Edited by gumdrop
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Hi,

Just returned from France last night, had a snake as I passed a lorry, bit of info first!

We have an Elddis avante 556, 2010 model but purchased new 2 years ago, ex display.

Last year the damper on the stabiliser was not working so it was fixed under warranty, havn't used it much but before we went away this year we noticed a slight clunking noise every now an then when going over a bump etc.

Took it back to repair centre and they said it looked fine but pads were worn, so had these changed.

Just returned from two weeks in France and clunking is still there and caravan feels very unstable if I pass large (ish) vehicles, some slight swaying and slight snaking.

Last night driving home (UK) and passed an arctic at 55mph and had a bad snake, luckily got out of it.

Tow car is a Mitsubishi Shogun 3. 2 did 2007, checked nose weight before and again this morning to confirm and it's 80 kg, 110 max.

Don't know what to do now, can I get the van checked at all?

Had a bailey ranger before this van and no such issues!

Any ideas?

Sorry for the long post.

 

 

What do you mean by "the damper on the stabiliser"?

 

A clunking noise could be one of a number of things so you need to identify the cause of it.

 

Overtaking an artic at 55 mph. ......?

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As an aside, you should be towing in 4wheel drive with the Shogun as detailed on the label adjacent to the transmission lever, and the hand book.

 

Other thing to note is that if it is the LWB Shogun the overhand behind the wheels is quite long, and any weight rear of the caravan wheels, I. e. Under the bed etc can be exaggerated, so it is not just getting the nose weight right, it is getting the weight distribution within the caravan right too.

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I had a clonking and it was;

The draw bar damper (caravan) and either

a bush on the Panard rod or roll bar bushes.

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