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Caravan Length and Stability

 

Caravan Length and Stability

Caravan length and stability interrelate. The tow vehicle should weigh at least the same as the caravan. Excess caravan weight is undesirable. Excess caravan length, however, is more significant. Limit caravan length, and weight at either end.

Caravan length and stability - this is a very long caravan
Extreme caravan rear-end weight is particularly undesirable. Many caravans have about 110 lbs (about 50 kg) of spare wheels on their rear wall. The effect of that weight when pitching or swaying is many times more. If at all feasible, relocate those spare wheels onto a cradle underneath the caravan's chassis, or carry in the tow vehicle. Also, why two spare wheels? Tow vehicles normally have only one.

Caravan length and stability interact

A caravan towed via an overhung hitch is fundamentally unstable. Ample tow ball mass (e.g. 10%) is vital. There is nevertheless a speed at which caravans will sway. Friction and other mechanisms dampen that sway. They may not do so sufficiently in an emergency swerve to prevent the rig jack-knifing. This is particularly an issue in the USA. People there claim to tow long and heavy 'travel trailers' behind often lighter vehicles. Some do so at a claimed 160 km/h (100 mph). That is virtually a recipe for swaying. Or worse.

Caravan length and stability - how to ensure it first and every time

It is possible to design (and load) a caravan such that it will normally only sway at speeds as high as 160 km (100 mph) but that speed is better avoided. All this, and a great deal more is explained in RV Books' top-selling Why Caravans Roll Over - and how to prevent it .

RV Books also publishes How to Choose and Buy an RV,  Caravan & Motorhome Electrics, The Camper Trailer Book, Solar That Really Works (solar power for RVs) and Solar Success (for homes and properties). 

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Electrical (general)
Batteries & Battery Charging
General
Travel
The Camper Trailer Book

Want to find out more? Our books cover all these topics and a lot more. 

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Whether you’re buying your first RV or updating to a bigger, more comfortable rig, there are a great many things you need to know and consider. How to Choose and Buy an RV breaks things down so that you can decide what you want and whether or not what you’ve found is right for you.

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Cover of solar that really works by collyn riversSolar That Really Works! explains every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes.

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Cover of caravan and motorhome electrics by collyn riversCaravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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Cover of the caravan and motorhome book by collyn riversThe Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, caravan and fifth wheel caravan, campervan and motorhome usage.

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Cover of why caravans roll over by collyn riversCaravans and their tow vehicles rarely jack-knife and roll over - but when they do the results are catastrophic. The cause, and how to prevent it, is explained here. Why Caravans Roll Over offers solid advice for keeping yourself safe on the road.
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Cover of solar success by collyn riversSolar Success explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

 

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Between 1959 and 1961 Collyn Rivers and Antony Fleming drove a Bedford QLR off-road truck twice the length and breadth of Africa studying road surface conditions.

A 43 minute film about their adventure, produced and narrated by Antony Fleming, has been viewed on YouTube more than 1.6 million  times!

Picture from africa journey. Caravan and motorhome electrics by collyn rivers

To view the film, and also read Collyn's telling of the tale, just click the button below.

Africa 

Cover of how to choose and buy an rv by collyn riversWhether you're buying your first RV or updating to a bigger, more comfortable rig, there are a great many things you need to know and consider.  This book breaks things down so that you can decide what you want and whether or not what you've found is right for you. It's technically sound and comprehensive so that you can proceed with complete confidence.  How to Choose and Buy an RV is the ultimate guide for those times when you want to, well, choose and buy an RV.

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Cover of why caravans roll over by collyn riversCaravans and their tow vehicles rarely jack-knife and roll over - but when they do the results are catastrophic. The cause, and how to prevent it, is explained here.  Why Caravans Roll Over offers solid advice for keeping yourself safe on the road.

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Cover of caravan and motorhome books by collyn riversCaravan & Motorhome Electrics is the totally rewritten successor to the original globally selling Motorhome Electrics. The book's content now also covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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Cover of solar success by collyn riversSolar Success explains how to design and build home and property systems that ensures affordable solar success first and every time.

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Home page - rv books, collyn rivers, rv books for beginners, solar books, best rv books, rv repair books, solar success, caravan and motorhome electrics, solar that really works, the caravan and motorhome book, why caravans roll over, how to choose and buy an rvThe Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, caravan and fifth wheel caravan, campervan and motorhome usage. Like all of Collyn Rivers' books it is technically sound yet written in plain English.

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Cover of solar that really works by collyn riversSolar That Really Works! explains, in clear English, every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, caravans and motorhomes. It is up-to-date, valid globally and technically accurate. It is clear, concise and easy to follow without sacrificing important detail.

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How to Choose and Buy an RV

This is Collyn Rivers' newest book.  Building on his years of experience and extensive knowledge of engineering and all things caravan and RV, this is the book you need with you when shopping for an RV.

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics

Collyn Rivers has done it again! – if you need to know anything about motorhome electrics, then this book is for you... Collyn must be, without doubt, the foremost authority in Australia on this subject.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)

Why Caravans Roll Over....and How to Prevent It​

Should be compulsory reading for everyone involved with Caravans: Design / Engineering, Marketing, Journalism (print & electronic), Regulations, Inspections, Driver-Training, Caravan Clubs, Towing and Modifications.

Colin Young

Founder and CEO, Caravan Council of Australia

Solar that Really Works!

Collyn is an accomplished engineer who knows how to design and build successful systems. It is refreshing to see practical advice written in plain language when there is so little solar information around. . . this is an essential text . . . you won’t find a better guide.

Alan T. Gray

Earth Garden Magazine

The Caravan & Motorhome Book

Without doubt, this is the best book we have ever read . . . it will be treasured, and read on a regular basis.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)