Lifting a standard caravan





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  1. #1
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    Default Lifting a standard caravan

    Hi all,


    I grew up camping in tents, we used a caravan once when I was still at school, those days there was no tar road to Sodwana, and it took my dad's Datsun Safari 3 hours to get the caravan through the flooded gravel and sand road from Josini to Soddies... Two weeks after returning home the caravan was sold.


    So now with the kids still too young and under swambo's demands I buckled and the purchase of a used Gypsey Regal Blue Series went ahead.


    The caravan is perfect, except that it is waaaay to low in my opinion.


    I searched the forum and only came up with this thread about lifting a standard road going caravan:
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...d.php?t=109337


    Afterwards I spoke with the workshop manager at the caravan dealership, and they sell and install 30mm spacers.
    After crawling under our recently acquired van I established that I already have 30mm spacers fitted.


    It also came with 14 inch "bakkie" crossply tyres, and it has a Rubax type axle .


    Does anyone know what the costs would be to replace the rubbers in the axle? Or would you rather add an additional spacer , or fit a 50mm channel to increase the lift?


    The reason behind the lift query is not to do off-road trails or travel baboons pass.


    I just want to ensure that I have enough ground clearance to tackle a "standard " gravel road or a sand track in a camp site where the middleman is high...?
    2009 Toyota Hilux 4.0 V6 Raider D/C AT

  2. #2
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    Default

    No idea what it will cost. Keep in mind that the shakes on gravel roads is NOT the friend of a road van.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry OpieTremspoor View Post
    No idea what it will cost. Keep in mind that the shakes on gravel roads is NOT the friend of a road van.
    There is much more to it than merely raising the body. The strengthening of the chassis and body is another story. If you want to do it properly it is an expensive exercise. Just the latches to keep the inside doors closed came to R1050. You pay motorhome prices for silly little things.
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  4. #4
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    If you do not intend strengthening the chassis, frame, cupboards, etc, you should stay away from gravel roads - travelling a short gravel at slow speed to reach a campsite is fine but no extended gravel road trips unless the aforementioned had been done.
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  5. #5
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    Two options:

    - Sell the Gypsey Regal and buy a proper offroad caravan
    - buy an old Jurgens or Sprite that had leaf springs and strengthen as per Poen's advice: new subframe, external roll-cage, longer shackles and shocks, etc
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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  6. #6
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    I went through this whole exercise in NOV '14, for our 5 Country tour in DEC '14. It was on a 1992 Caravette 6. Lifted it 75mm in total (Mix of larger wheels and a new subframe).

    Don't bother with "Fixing" the Rubax. When I did mine I had multiple discussions with ALKO, and the short of it is, if it's not inverted yet, then it's still fine. And it's almost cheaper to buy a new AXLE than have the old one refurbished.

    Then, to strengthen the interior, I bought normal residential fittings from places like Gelmar and Easy Life Kitchens. Caravan and Camper shops ask a hefty premuim for the same stuff.

  7. #7
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    Sadly the bodywork is not built to go off road. Put together with short staples and hope.
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre N View Post
    I went through this whole exercise in NOV '14, for our 5 Country tour in DEC '14. It was on a 1992 Caravette 6. Lifted it 75mm in total (Mix of larger wheels and a new subframe).

    Don't bother with "Fixing" the Rubax. When I did mine I had multiple discussions with ALKO, and the short of it is, if it's not inverted yet, then it's still fine. And it's almost cheaper to buy a new AXLE than have the old one refurbished.

    Then, to strengthen the interior, I bought normal residential fittings from places like Gelmar and Easy Life Kitchens. Caravan and Camper shops ask a hefty premuim for the same stuff.
    Do you have any pics of your conversion?
    Ford Ranger 3.2 M/T D/C 4x2 (Pavement Parking in style since July 2012)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncang View Post
    Sadly the bodywork is not built to go off road. Put together with short staples and hope.
    That is the reason it would remain a gravel roader. The older caravans have the better structures and if one can find a pre vacubond one that is 1st prize.
    On those models one could remove the outer panel and rebuild all the wood inside and while the panel is off it new wiring and polystyrene insulation.
    The internal furniture also becomes a part of the structure and wit a bit of beefing in the right areas the end result can be quite rugged.

    The axle is the main point a this has to absorb the extra high frequency bounce from corrugations and rough road. This tends to cause quite a lot of heat in the rubax systems and is the reason why I opt for a standard leafspring axle with shocks

    Another point of high load and stress is the cupboard doors, they often have compartments built in to the door enabling one to pack stuff in there as well, nice idea but this increases the weight of an already heavy door for the size of hinges and fixing screws for it. Easy to overcome by removing the door and replacing it with rip stop and velcro
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the advice so far.


    That scout looks like a very nice alternative to a trailer setup.


    For now I think I'll stick to the black top with the van, and rather just take the tents for extended gravel road trips.
    2009 Toyota Hilux 4.0 V6 Raider D/C AT

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