Design and Development of a Lightweight Caravan Chassis and Suspension System

J Lewis

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

Over the past five years caravan manufacturers have dramatically changed their approach to the design, construction and manufacture of their products. What was a very traditional cottage industry has now become a hi-tech and extremely competitive sector driven by lean manufacturing processes. This investment into new technologies has led to the development of a product that now offers improved build quality, enhanced structural rigidity, reduced water ingress and improved thermal insulation.
The majority of investment over this period has been into the body shell of the caravan and despite the advances in the development of the sides and roof panels, the caravan floor, chassis and suspension are still constructed using materials and components that have altered little in the last thirty years. It is believed that the current chassis and suspension system is inadequate in terms of isolation from road imperfections, structural performance, weight, weather proofing and cost. It was the intention of this project to investigate how this substructure could be redesigned to match the performance characteristics of the rest of the caravan.
This thesis outlines the investigation and product development process and proposes a new design for a lightweight caravan chassis and suspension system that provides improved chassis isolation from the road in a package that is 150kg lighter, of comparable stiffness and manufacturing cost.
LanguageEnglish
QualificationMPhil
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Darling, Jocelyn, Supervisor
Award date31 Dec 2013
StatusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Chassis
Thermal insulation
Product development
Rigidity
Roofs
Costs
Stiffness
Defects
Water
Industry

Keywords

  • caravan
  • chassis
  • suspension

Cite this

Design and Development of a Lightweight Caravan Chassis and Suspension System. / Lewis, J .

2012. 136 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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title = "Design and Development of a Lightweight Caravan Chassis and Suspension System",
abstract = "Over the past five years caravan manufacturers have dramatically changed their approach to the design, construction and manufacture of their products. What was a very traditional cottage industry has now become a hi-tech and extremely competitive sector driven by lean manufacturing processes. This investment into new technologies has led to the development of a product that now offers improved build quality, enhanced structural rigidity, reduced water ingress and improved thermal insulation. The majority of investment over this period has been into the body shell of the caravan and despite the advances in the development of the sides and roof panels, the caravan floor, chassis and suspension are still constructed using materials and components that have altered little in the last thirty years. It is believed that the current chassis and suspension system is inadequate in terms of isolation from road imperfections, structural performance, weight, weather proofing and cost. It was the intention of this project to investigate how this substructure could be redesigned to match the performance characteristics of the rest of the caravan. This thesis outlines the investigation and product development process and proposes a new design for a lightweight caravan chassis and suspension system that provides improved chassis isolation from the road in a package that is 150kg lighter, of comparable stiffness and manufacturing cost.",
keywords = "caravan , chassis, suspension",
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school = "University of Bath",

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AU - Lewis, J

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N2 - Over the past five years caravan manufacturers have dramatically changed their approach to the design, construction and manufacture of their products. What was a very traditional cottage industry has now become a hi-tech and extremely competitive sector driven by lean manufacturing processes. This investment into new technologies has led to the development of a product that now offers improved build quality, enhanced structural rigidity, reduced water ingress and improved thermal insulation. The majority of investment over this period has been into the body shell of the caravan and despite the advances in the development of the sides and roof panels, the caravan floor, chassis and suspension are still constructed using materials and components that have altered little in the last thirty years. It is believed that the current chassis and suspension system is inadequate in terms of isolation from road imperfections, structural performance, weight, weather proofing and cost. It was the intention of this project to investigate how this substructure could be redesigned to match the performance characteristics of the rest of the caravan. This thesis outlines the investigation and product development process and proposes a new design for a lightweight caravan chassis and suspension system that provides improved chassis isolation from the road in a package that is 150kg lighter, of comparable stiffness and manufacturing cost.

AB - Over the past five years caravan manufacturers have dramatically changed their approach to the design, construction and manufacture of their products. What was a very traditional cottage industry has now become a hi-tech and extremely competitive sector driven by lean manufacturing processes. This investment into new technologies has led to the development of a product that now offers improved build quality, enhanced structural rigidity, reduced water ingress and improved thermal insulation. The majority of investment over this period has been into the body shell of the caravan and despite the advances in the development of the sides and roof panels, the caravan floor, chassis and suspension are still constructed using materials and components that have altered little in the last thirty years. It is believed that the current chassis and suspension system is inadequate in terms of isolation from road imperfections, structural performance, weight, weather proofing and cost. It was the intention of this project to investigate how this substructure could be redesigned to match the performance characteristics of the rest of the caravan. This thesis outlines the investigation and product development process and proposes a new design for a lightweight caravan chassis and suspension system that provides improved chassis isolation from the road in a package that is 150kg lighter, of comparable stiffness and manufacturing cost.

KW - caravan

KW - chassis

KW - suspension

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -