Imagine you’ve packed bags, serviced your caravan, and are ready to start your caravanning adventure. But all of a sudden, you hear a horrible high-pitched sound that is coming from your caravan. You do a quick check, tighten the loose nuts, and make sure that all plugs are fixed, but still, the squeaking doesn’t stop.
It’s not an unusual problem and can be avoided if you’re already prepared to deal with it. But to deal with it the right way, you must first know the common causes of caravan squeaks.
Many things can cause caravan squeaks, but the most common are rust between leaf springs, belt, brakes, wheel bearings, and tight sway bar. The squeaking may be due to one of these reasons of more than one.
In this guide, you’ll find out the common causes of caravan squeaks and how to fix them.
Here is a list of the common causes of caravan squeaks:
Worn Down Caravan Hitch Ball
It’s usually a steel ball, almost two-inch in size, that is chrome or nickel-plated. It’s located on the hitch ball mount. The purpose of this is to give the caravan enough space to move efficiently while you’re driving.
Its size varies depending upon the size of your caravan. The caravan squeaking due to hitch balls occurs due to its wear and tear from using the hitch.
Frequent bumps, jumps, and stops can lead to the rusting of the hitch ball. As a result, it starts to lose the protective chrome or nickel coating.
Solution: The easiest way to avoid squeaking due to hitch ball rusting is to apply some lithium grease or petroleum lubricant to the ball. The grease or petroleum lubricant acts as a barrier between the layers of the metal. These chemicals are also water-resistant and protect the ball against corrosion and wear due to it.
Rusty Caravan Suspension System
The suspension system of the caravan includes the tires, air pressure, springs, and other shock-absorbing pieces. Rusting of any part of the suspension system can cause caravan squeaks.
The rusting of the suspension system occurs due to condensation or moisture over time. Due to water, the metal of the different parts will start to rust and break.
Solution: If you feel that the suspension system is the cause of squeaking, you can get rid of the squeaking by replacing the damaged part. You can even do it yourself if you’re confident of your mechanical skills. But, if you don’t, you can get help from a mechanic to find and replace the parts that cause caravan squeaks.
Old And Used Caravan Brakes
Most modern caravans include the electric brake system that helps your caravan slow down or stop while driving. The electric brake system includes a magnet, shaft, actuating arm, small front shoe, reactor spring, and larger rear shoe.
There are a lot of reasons due to which the brakes of the caravan fail and produce noise. These include:
• Heavy loads
• Hard and fast stops
• Uneven brakes pressure
• Worn-down brake pads
• Weather conditions
• Embedded objects
No matter what, the brakes of the caravan will eventually fail sooner or later.
Solution: If the brake pads have stopped working, they must be replaced as soon as possible. They are not expensive if you don’t opt for carbon ceramics and speciality types, which are more durable. Like suspension system parts, you can replace the brake pads yourself if you have the required skills and tools. Otherwise, ask a professional to check your caravan brakes for you.
Motorhome Squeaking Belt
Squeaking due to a bad belt is a severe problem for your motorhome. If ignored for long, it can cause permanent engine damage. The motorhome engine belts are mostly rubber or nylon and last anywhere from five years to ten years. The squeaking usually starts after five years, and you must not ignore that.
Solution: To save your engine and get rid of the squeaking, you should change the belt plus follow a regular motorhome service routine.
Excessive Wear On Caravan Wheel Bearings
The wheel bearings are located inside the hub, which contains all the wheels and tires. These wheel bearings allow the hub and wheel assembly to rotate, which eventually move the caravan.
You don’t have to purchase multiple parts for bearings as they are included in the bearing kits. Wheel bearings squeaking results due to insufficient lubrication that causes wear and tear on the bearings.
Solution: There are two ways you get rid of the squeaks due to wheel bearings. Remove the bearings and check if they have a sufficient amount of lubricant. If you coat them with grease, it will help you get rid of the caravan squeaks.
But if the bearings have been corroded to the extent that they can’t be used in the caravan, you should replace them with new ones. This may also be a convenient time to consider changing your caravan tyres if they’re running close to legal limits or quite old.
Taut Sway Bar
It’s usually attached to the hitch mount and tongue of the caravan frame. The bar helps you protect your caravan from accidents and rolling over by reducing the chances of uncontrollable swaying.
It can cause noise to the tension on the caravan sway bar and inadequate lubrication of the bar’s mounting points.
Solution: To avoid squeaking due to the taut sway bar, reduce the tension or add some lubricant to mounting points.
Caravan squeaks are not only uncomfortable while travelling, but they can also damage your caravan if not taken seriously. Therefore, you must know the causes of caravan squeaks so that you can avoid them.
The most common causes include rust between leaf springs, belts, brakes, wheel bearings, and tight sway bars. The damage to any of these parts creates caravan squeaks that indicate that something is wrong with your caravan.
If you consider yourself skilled enough in mechanical work, you can check your caravan yourself to find out the reason for squeaking. If not, you can hire a professional to identify and replace the damaged part of the caravan. It’s crucial to stop caravan squeaks as early as possible to protect your caravan from further damage.