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Caravan Weights

By |December 19th, 2014|INTRODUCTION|0 Comments

Thinking about buying or building a caravan has a lot to do with the towing capacity of the vehicle and the towing safety. Towing a van just below the towing capacity of the vehicle is not necessarily a save option.

Towing capacities are calculated by the vehicle manufacturer on the basis of axle loads and drive train characteristics. A maximum towing capacity does not mean it is independent from the length of a trailer. A short heavy trailer might be safe but the same weight stretched over 28′ is most likely not.

Caravans are inherently unstable and the longer the worse […]


By |December 17th, 2014|BACKGROUND|0 Comments


This is the story of the design and build of the Inno-VAN-tion concept van. It is meant to be a research platform for various technological advances in testing the safety and tow ability of a trailer. We will introduce and describe these concepts at a later stage, once the van is finished and the first prototypes of the new tools have been tested.

During the design stage of the van I have been asked to document the process and the results, however the design process went through many iterations and it would be far too laborious and also boring to […]

Points we considered as wish list for our van

By |December 17th, 2014|WHAT WE WANTED|0 Comments

In no particular order:

Bedroom separated from living area
Kitchen separated from seating
Folding doors to separate bedroom
Separate work area for computers and ham shack
Full queen size bed with Belgium Latex mattress
Split system aircondition capable of running from battery
Large battery capacity – weight saving Lithium
Large solar capacity – weight saving semi flexible
Large water capacity in several tanks
Separate fresh water/ drinking water tanks
Blackwater tank
Grey water tank
Higher than average bed box to create storage area
Full height wardrobe to hang clothing
Using grey water for toilet flush
Good floor insulation
Electric floor heating combined with diesel convection heating
Water saving hot water circulation pipe on demand
Hot water solar panels
Airbag […]

Points we do not like with US and local 5th wheelers and goose neck trailers

By |December 17th, 2014|WHAT WE DID NOT WANT|0 Comments

In no particular order:

King pin coupling is inefficient (too heavy, big, and not sufficient articulation)
Goose neck auto lock coupling is expensive and inconvenient to use
Most local goose necks are built for flat trays not tubs
Wheels on US 5th wheelers are too far forward
Not enough clearance between vehicle and van to hang motorbike
Bed room over neck makes van far too high
Generally CG (Centre of Gravity) is too high
Chassis mostly not suitable for gravel or dirt road
Too much space wasted with seating which is not required for 2 people
No real office area
Designs are old fashioned and dull
Cheaply made interiors and appliances […]

Points we did not want with caravans

By |December 17th, 2014|WHAT WE DID NOT WANT|0 Comments

The following points are in no particular order and are the main reasons for me to build my own van.

No main entry next to bed area
No seating across kitchen
No open living and bedroom
No heavy steel frame under cladding
No electric drum brakes
No shortened queen size bed
No noisy, inefficient roof top aircon
No gas vents in door
No LP Gas
No flimsy acrylic windows
No plywood floor
No aluminum cladding
No steel chassis
Mo Meranti frame
No MDF/particle board furniture
No casette toilet
No tiny hotwater system
No minimal electrical system
No leaf spring suspension
No coil suspension
No extra spare wheels for van
No fan forced heating
No white hospital walls
No unprotected piping under van
No unprotected […]