Preparing your overland ride with an off-road suspension
When the journey is more important than the destination, it’s important that you prepare well in advance before you embark on your overland adventure. First of all, it’s important that you invest in a proper off-road camping trailer. Listed below is a short list of 10 trailers that are recommended for those who want to jump into off-road camping:
- Escapade Campers
- Boreas Campers
- Turtleback Trailers
- Opus Off-road
- Off Grid Trailers
- TC Teardrops
- Tribe Overland Trailers
- Mission Overland
- Patriot Campers
If you were to examine each one, you would find that there are certain features and benefits that are common to all. For now, we’re going to focus on features, i.e., how they are constructed.
Here are three features common to all off-road trailers:
- Higher ground clearance
- Independent suspension
- Frame and body are made from durable, yet lightweight, materials
- Suspension & tires allow for easy navigation of rough, off-road terrain
Let’s take a look at why off-road trailer manufacturers are able to offer these features...
What is an off-road trailer suspension?
Aside from the trailer’s lightweight body and frame, it’s the off-road suspension that allows for higher ground clearance. Here are four trailer suspensions that have been designed for off-road trailers:
- Timbren Axle-less trailer suspension
- Alpha Extreme trailer suspensions
- Cruisemaster Freestyle: Coil springs or Air Bags
- Evolution Series off-road trailer suspensions by Fabtech
The common denominator for all four trailer suspensions is their ability to perform just like an independent suspension. In other words, each wheel moves independently of the other.
Why would I need an off-road suspension (problem / solution)
There’s basically one reason why you would need an off-road suspension: Freedom to go where a 4x4 tow vehicle can go.
And in order to accomplish the freedom to go anywhere, you’re going to need:
- Higher ground clearance
- An independent suspension
- A durable and lightweight frame and body
- Off-road tires
Without an off-road suspension, you won’t have the freedom to go where you want to go.
It’s as simple as that.
What are the advantages / benefits of an off-road trailer suspension?
Here are some of the ‘hidden’ benefits that you will enjoy if you install an off-road suspension on your trailer:
1. Improved Handling
When you enjoy better steering control, you will notice improved handling of both the tow vehicle and the trailer.
2. Comfortable ride
Enjoy a smooth, quiet performance that puts less stress on the tow vehicle, the trailer, and the driver.
3. Increased stability
When you experience more stability, you’ll enjoy added safety while navigating rough terrain – even at increased speeds.
4. Less wear and tear on other trailer components
A smooth, quiet performance that reduces the stress associated with rough, off-road terrain means fewer repairs and lower maintenance costs.
Which off-road suspension is best for you?
- Evolution Series
- Cruisemaster Freestyle
- Alpha Extreme
Aeon® rubber spring technology
Is an Axle-less trailer suspension easy to install?
To install a simple, bolt-on Axle-Less suspension on your trailer there are four basic steps:
- Make sure the trailer frame is perfectly square.
- Bolt outboard arms onto corresponding control arms using fasteners supplied.
Install hangers to frame using proper steps:
- Mark frame rails where the centreline of spindles should cross frame.
- Clamp hangers to frame making sure centre of spindles line up with marks on each frame rail. Confirm measurements are equal.
- Bolt hanger side plate to frame using holes in the hanger side plate as a template.
- Drill horizontal holes through the side of the frame. Use 5/8” UNC bolts, lock nuts, and washers to mount hangers to frame.
- Adjust for proper camber and toe.
- Frame reinforcement: 2 options
- Bolt a reinforcing bracket to the inside of the frame
- Weld or bolt a cross member to the hanger.
For more information on the Axle-Less trailer suspension, visit Timbren.com