CAMPING - BUYING ADVICE
AL-KO, a global leader in caravan chassis technology, has announced the AL-KO Light RTM Chassis: a lightweight chassis that has the potential to revolutionise Australian caravan design.
Developed by AL-KO in Melbourne throughout 2017-2019, AL-KO LightR is a highly engineered chassis that offers significant weight savings over a traditional Australian caravan chassis, while retaining the durability required for handling tough Australian conditions.
“Currently, there is an issue with Australian caravans: they’re too heavy,” said AL-KO Australia and New Zealand managing director Peter Mannfolk and here at OTA we couldn’t agree with him more.
“Caravans getting bigger and they’re also being filled with more extras such as generators, solar panels and toolboxes, pushing legal axle weight limits and tow vehicle capacities, while limiting payload,” Mr Mannfolk concluded.
AL-KO said there has been an overwhelming call from caravan manufacturers for a lightweight chassis, with single- and dual-axle configurations.
The engineered LightR design removes non-essential material, by incorporating elongated holes in pressed steel chassis members to reduce weight to a minimum.
There are also fewer cross members, further reducing weight.
AL-KO Enduro Independent Trailing Arm suspension is standard, ensuring suitability for Australian terrain. The chassis components are bolt-together parts and are hot-dip-galvanised for corrosion resistance.
Al-KO said the chassis has been put through exhaustive on and off-road testing at the Australian Automotive Research Centre at Anglesea.
Apart from the opportunity to transition to a lighter weight, engineered chassis, the LightR concept supports the opportunity for caravan makers to move away from traditional methods of caravan construction and adopt modern construction methods that save weight, such as bonded monocoque construction
with composite panels.
Manufacturers will have the opportunity to start building new caravans on the LightR Chassis in 2019.