Thoughts from abroad...

31 December 2011

Not long after we begun this Rob Sijben, a Dutch chap who has rebuilt a 1976 Titan, emailed to let us know that our Titan was a very rare caravan as it had a ‘Z-Axle’. He sent us a photograph of the axle configuration from a 1967 Titan that had been restored by Detlef Seppler in Germany around 2002 to 2004. This has puzzled us for quite some time and we’ve posted on many forums to try and discover why Eriba would do this but we haven’t found a definitive answer...

Some said, “It could be to aid stability or to allow the caravan to turn easier toward the side with the rear set wheel.”

Others have suggested that it has, “something to do with the internal layout to ensure that the wheel arches don’t get in the way of the furniture.”

Or even that, “It will limit the sway, like a torsion system with added shocks.”

Someone else guessed that it may have, “Something to do with the round tube going towards the front from the centre of the axle. If it's part of the strength of the hitch to make up for the extremely light frame rails this would make sense as the staggered wheel placement would only twist this tube as opposed to lateral movement if the wheels were straight across.” That went straight over our heads unfortunately.

Weight distribution was another idea, “If the right rear corner has too much weight, slide the wheel under it to ‘neutralise’ it.” This idea got us slightly worried as we wondered if it would affect our Titan’s stability when we get around to changing the interior layout. By this time we had already come up with a floor plan. So it was suggested that we should, “Try putting holding tanks, batteries etc. in the back behind the rear most wheel or vice versa. Front weight on the side with the forward positioned wheel.”

Then an American from the Tin Can Tourists Facebook group said, “I think this was originally designed to offset the wheels and reduce both wheels hitting bumps at the same time. I think it was a novel concept that didn't last.” His statement was endorsed by another guy on the group, “I would agree with the theory. I think the idea was that this would lessen the amount of bounce resulting in less movement of the contents inside.”

So, if anyone has any other ideas or knows the reason, I would be grateful if you could let me know...