I find myself writing an unexpected extra blog post. There is already a draft post detailing when the problem occurred. But basically, the nearside suspension arm on my caravan has collapsed. This is primarily due to age. Unfortunately, it is not an easy fix. The whole axle needs to be replaced. The problem, is age and the fact that the now defunct axle has no identification plate detailing the parameters of the axle. I have made several ‘phone calls and have learnt that there are so many factors involved that being able to replace the axle is improbable. Besides the load rating, there is the length of the axle, particularly between the hanger brackets. There is no standard width to caravan chassis’! Of course, the configuration of the hanger brackets are numerous, too.
So, next option is to get a flatbed trailer and bolt the caravan to the bed. This will achieve two things. Firstly, it will solve the present problem safely and quickly. Second, it will spread the weight of the caravan more evenly, making it also safer and more stable.
Replacing the the axle configuration is something that I have wanted to do for a while. In fact, it had been my original plan to do so before I left Cornwall, but soon found that I simply could not afford to. Which leads us to another point. If I am going to improve the running gear, should I be spending money on an axle that’s going to be thrown away at some point? Or would it be better if I get a flatbed trailer? I could always resell the trailer if and when it comes to it.
Then there is another thought; If the trailer works out better than perhaps expected, I could abandon the idea of replacing the running gear as originally proposed and stick with the trailer.
Either way, as you know, I don’t have much. Michael and I discussed options. Eventually, we agreed to try one of those fundraising things on the internet. Michael then set up the following:
If you can can help, even if it is just sharing the post, thank you. I am stuck in the car park of the village of Chilham near Canterbury, Kent. Fortunately, I’m on level hardstanding. The villagers are friendly and appear to be tolerant of my situation. I intend to keep them appraised of progress. I hope to keep them onside. I have no intention of becoming a permanent fixture! I am therefore open to all suggestions, ideas and practical help, e.g. manpower. I don’t have much, but what I do have, I can share, even if it’s just a cup of tea.
It has been pointed out by a number of people that it would be cheaper and easier to just buy another caravan. Well, in a nutshell, no, it won’t. There are a number of factors, not least the time and effort, as well as cost of improving and stabilising my home so that it is safe to live in whilst on the road. Remember, a caravan is a badly put together flimsy box, designed to holiday in for a few weeks a year for half a dozen years. Not to be permanently lived in. Simply buying a caravan would mean months of strengthening work costing however much it will.
As you know, my caravan is an entirely unique, bespoke work of art. Years of sweat and tears have gone into creating my home. It has a hand made stable door, toughened glass windows, tongue and groove ceiling with a Monkey Puzzle branch room divider and a hand built kitchen, complete with copper flashing on the wall, cupboards and ceiling. The materials alone cost more than many second-hand caravans.
Well, that’s my situation. If you can help in any small way, thank you 🙏
The posts leading to this point will be published in due course. And of course, you will be kept up to date with whatever happens.