Peter W Jones MInstP
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University of Bath 



School of Mechanical Engineering 







An experimental study into caravan snakingFinal year project

submitted by Christopher J Killer

for the degree of MEng

of the University of Bath

23 May 2003

Assessor RFN

Supervisor JD

Technician PC




*******************************************************************11 Conclusion




********************************************************************************************The performance of the Alko 2004 tow ball friction damper has been shown to be

very effective at smoothing down snaking oscillations and reducing settling time. But this does not necessarily mean that it makes the coupled combination any safer, i.e. increase the snaking speed. Theory states that this type of damping has little effect on the snaking speed, and tests have shown no evidence to suggest otherwise.





11.1 Practical advice for caravan owners & designers 



Nothing fundamentally new was discovered in this study, but theoretical factorssuggested in the past have been substantiated by road-tested evidence. The

theoretical advice that is now known to be significant in increasing stability includes

the following points.

For owners:




Make sure car is suitable for the size of caravan 



Load heaviest items in the car if possible 



Locate other heavy items in the centre of the caravan, just forward of its axle 



Make sure tow ball load is adequately high 



Avoid sharp steer inputs at high speed 



Never exceed 60mph

for designers: 



Put the heaviest parts of the caravan, e.g. kitchen, in the centre 



Consider the distance h between the C.G. and the axle, and its significance in

terms of stability 



Calculate the new stability coefficient (incorporating h) for each design

and although not tested in this study, other recommendations from mathematicalanalysis include:




Make distance from tow hook to axle as long as possible 



Move back the C.G. so as not to induce excessive tow ball load 



Maintain a high tyre pressure to keep lateral stiffness high 




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