Fitting out your motorhome: All the trades
 #143379  by Guido
 Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:57 pm
Hi all,
Just bought a 1984 450 Traillite caravan and took to Rotorua for a test run. What I want to know is what I can do to my Toyota Aurion to make it firmer for towing. Has sufficient power etc but too soft in the rear. I've had suspension shops offer stiffer rear springs but don't want to make the handling bad when I'm not towing by just making the rear suspension hard. In the old days folk would just install air shocks that were adjustable but I'm told that is old technology?? What options do I have? What have folk done? I've seen weight distribution kits but are there other options? Thanks in advance.
 #143383  by BUSRSQ
 Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:45 am
I would not even contemplate an "air shock" on a modern car, mainly because the shock mounts are not really designed to carry weight as such.
You could see if someone offers a "progressive" type of coil spring for the car.
Other then that the weight distribution kit and maybe look at how you have the weight in the van distributed.
weight the downward tongue pressure of the van making sure that it does not exceed the loading of the tow hitch.
 #143391  by Nut17
 Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:18 am
We went down a similar path in 2005 when we towed our 6m Prestige Ultra caravan around the South Island. We fitted a Trojan spring type weight distribution hitch that helped, but the Subaru Forester still had a bit of a "bum down" attitude.

Photo taken in The Buller Gorge.
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 #143395  by Skiwi
 Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:02 am
The use of an old set of leaf spring "stabilisers" transformed our towing. In essence, aside from eliminating sideways sway my unscientific observation was that it seemed to shift a portion of the weight further forward in the tow vehicle. This was backed up by the view through the revision mirror, without them the view was significantly more towards the road surface, once installed i could see straight back through the caravan.

Cheers
Skiwi
 #143400  by Guido
 Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:12 pm
Thanks for your feedback. Was contemplating getting a more suitable vehicle but don't want to spend the dough for the occasional towing. Will contact a few more suspension shops as well to see what I can glean.
 #143405  by mattn
 Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:14 pm
Went thought this with my first caravan/tug combination. Ultimately upgrading the tug is the best answer, in the mean time you can make do with what you have with a few tweaks.

Stiffing rear end helps with sag but does not affect the weight distribution. Being FWD, you need to be careful not to unload the front wheels with too much tow ball weight. For this reason I suggest a Weight Distribution hitch over up rated springs. Shocks play a big part in the towing experience, upgrade shocks should be one of your first steps in addressing towing issues. Quality heavy duty shocks will tighten the rear end but not uncomfortably. You may find you need to put new shocks on the front as well (especially if the current shocks are worn) . Tires also make a big difference, if you are running cheap road tires consider upgrading these (all four). you want tires with low side wall flex to cope with the extra forces of towing .

The best option, IMHO, is upgrade the shocks to a quality heavy duty shock and use a weight distribution hitch, followed by tires. If this is not enough then consider upgraded springs, but at this point its the job of towing is beyond what the tug can cope with easily. Unlike upgraded springs, the WDH can then be used on your next tug, or on sold, so at least some of the cost is recoverable.
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