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March 2019
 

 


AL-KO LightR chassis

The new AL-KO chassis

'Australian caravans becoming too heavy'

AL-KO chassis set to revolutionise industry

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AL-KO in Melbourne has developed a lightweight chassis with the potential to revolutionise Australian caravan design.

LightR is a highly engineered chassis concept, offering the opportunity for significant weight savings over the traditional Australian caravan chassis whilst retaining the strong and durable characteristics required for the tough Australian conditions.

It was created by AL-KO in Melbourne over the past two years.

"Currently, there is an issue with Australian caravans they're becoming too heavy," AL-KO Australia & New Zealand managing director Peter Mannfolk said.

"Not only are caravans getting bigger, they're also being filled with more extras such as generators, solar panels and toolboxes, pushing legal limits and tow vehicle capacities. It also reduces the caravan's payload allowance.

"There has been an overwhelming call from caravan manufacturers for a lightweight chassis that is still strong and durable and specifically designed for the tough Australian conditions, and AL-KO has delivered."

The engineered LightR design removes unrequired material, taking into account the overall design and floor plan of the caravan.

AL-KO achieved this through elongated holes in pressed steel chassis members to reduce weight to a minimum.


Build time is reduced by elimination of welding or drilling


It also provides the possibility for fewer cross members, further eliminating weight.

The chassis is hot dipped galvanised for durability and corrosion resistance, and for manufacturers it offers the additional benefit of bolted construction reducing build time through the elimination of welding or drilling.

The chassis has been put through exhaustive on and off-road testing at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Anglesea and has been designed to accommodate its popular AL-KO Enduro Independent Trailing Arm suspension, ensuring suitability for Australian terrain.

Apart from the opportunity to transition to a lighter weight engineered chassis, the LightR concept also supports the opportunity to move away from traditional methods of caravan construction such as timber frames and aluminium cladding.

It makes the leap to the future with more modern construction methods that save significant weight such as bonding and monocoque construction with composite panels.

"The really significant weight saving is achieved when caravan manufacturers utilise the chassis as a foundation to optimise their construction methods," Mr Mannfolk said.

"This is an exciting time for AL-KO and we will continue with further developments that assist to move our industry forward."

Once caravan manufacturers come on board with the concept, AL-KO's engineering team will partner with them to design a custom lightweight chassis to suit their caravan and then test the product to ensure the highest level of performance.

"With the release of LightR, AL-KO is setting the foundations for the next evolution in caravan design in Australia," Mr Mannfolk said.

Manufacturers will have the opportunity to start building new caravans on the LightR chassis this year.

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