Off road Caravans: 10 Points for the Best Suspension


Tandem independent suspension off road caravan

The new Series 2 Kimberley Kruiser has as much technology “on the ground” where you need it as it does inside. Let’s step through 10 of the key points on this tandem independent suspension:

  1. Disc Brakes

    These have twice the stopping power of the older drum brakes (with electric magnets). They fit snugly into the rotor so that no gibbers or debris will interfere with the brakes performance. These solid steel discs cool quickly and give optimum braking performance without fade downhill. What’s more they are also the parking brake and are locked on for 100% safe parking at the touch of a button.

  2. Huck Riveted suspension hanger to chassis

    Large  chassises can’t be hot dipped in a single action. Even if they could, the distortion would make the chassis unworkable. So the chassis is fabricated in 3 sections and the suspension hangers are “huck riveted” onto the long chassis rails. This is the same principle as large trucks and in fact aircraft. The big advantage of riveting is it keeps the structure flexible. And it is the flexibility that is the secret to Kimberley’s off road strength. This is backed by a 5 Year transferrable warranty on the chassis and suspension arms.

  3. Airbag springs

    Have you seen large tracks cross Australia with coil springs? It would be rare. The advent of air suspension has dramatically changed the ease of travelling in different conditions. When on the tarmac for those long drives, the suspension can be lowered for better fuel consumption and better stability at high speeds. Then when off road, the suspension can be raised and negotiate the most difficult of terrain. Of course when in camp, the caravan can be levelled at the touch of a paddle switch!
    Inside the air bag is a christmas tree shaped urethane bump stop to protect the air bag if there is a major drop and rebound.

  4. Monotube shock absorbers

    These are the energy absorber for difficult off road travel. They dissipate heat at roughly twice the rate of conventional 40mm twin tube shock absorbers (most caravans and vehicles have twin tube). This allows you to shoot over corrugations with the right tyre pressures with more confidence than using the smaller twin tube type.

  5. Hot dipped galvanised chassis

    Why have a hot dipped chassis? There are 2 reasons. Firstly it is for corrosion protection. And this doesn’t mean just the exterior. It is the interior surfaces that can corrode quickly and if the chassis goes, the fundamentals are gone. We have seen one of our hot dipped chassises that is 18 years old in great condition. Sure it can get a little “pink” from crossing the Simpson but the expected life is many decades. We underpin this with a 5 year warranty that is transferrable to a second purchaser. The second benefit is the soft annealing process of the high temperature galvanising. This gets the chassis flexible and yet strong!

  6. Anti-sway Bars

    It would be suicide to have air suspension without anti sway bars. In normal travel conditions, they probably aren’t necessary but if you have a slow air leak and suddenly take an unusual corner, without anti sway bars, there would be trouble.

  7. Toe in/toe out adjustable independent suspension

    There will be times when you will hit something on the side of the wheel. If this is a big enough wallop, it may move the toe-in and toe-out setting of the independent suspension. You can adjust this and set it up to run thru at any time.

  8. Suspension Arm tie up slots

    With air suspension, there is the opportunity to operate on only 3 air bags or even 3 tyres if one has failure. It may be only a short distance to camp or you have tyre failure in a difficult location. We have designed a system so you can “tie up” any one of the suspension arms and travel on the other 3. This is only in an emergency for short distances. However, it is a great backup Plan B!

  9. Double acting PBR Rotors and pads

    This brand is easily available virtually anywhere in Australia. The pads are the same used on Holden commodores so they are affordable and easy to get. Whats more they are very easy to fit.

  10. Stainless steel spherical bushes

    When travelling over corrugations, many travellers find their bushes have gone. the common poly-urethane or rubber bush will reach a high temperature and melt. Then they disappear and the the shock absorbers are banking around metal to metal. We had failures of this type when we used OME shocks and their bright yellow urethane bushes. Over corrugations, you had to slow right down as they would fail. So we design stainless steel spherical bushes that simply take all the punishment and leave the hard work to the shock absorber. They still wear very slowly but won’t melt and collapse.

Mono-tube vs twin tube shock absorbers

Mono-tube vs twin tube shock absorbers

Finally what you won’t see are the double shock absorbers. Go here to read “The myth of fitting double shock absorbers”.

Remember that having the best tyres is often overlooked. Good tyres are not a matter of how many kilometres you will get out of them, it may be the best have an average life but their high quality construction will save you and your rig huge heat ache. Fitting exotic or long life tyres with stiff walls is the most common mistake we see by travellers.

Some eBooks:


Suspension design in off road caravans


Matching Wheels and tyres in off road caravans


Stability in towing off road caravans

Optimizing Tyre Pressures in an off road caravan

Optimizing Tyre Pressures in an off road caravan





New Series 2 off road caravan

New Kimberley Kruiser Off road caravan

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