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Generation 3 Pajero NM - NP Models 2000 - 2006

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  #1  
Old 25-09-11
netorius77 netorius77 is offline
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Default Suspension suggestions for Caravan Towing

I have read numerous threads regarding suspension upgrades, from raising, making harder, changing springs, shocks and air bags to name a few. It appears that most people are looking to upgrade their suspension to something harder and with a lift.

To be honest I spend 98% of the time on the road and love the roadlike handling of my NP Pajero (122,000km). When I do go off road it is on the beach and very tame dirt driving. So I have just bought a Windsor Rapid 17' Caravan, and suspect that my suspension needs a little help for long trips towing - really from a safety aspect. I have not changed anything from new. The stated ATM of the caravan is 1763kg and I travel with 4 of us in the vehicle plus holiday stuff (not significant). No bull bar or fridge. May consider a Reese Weight Distribution Hitch in the future if it adds value.

So, with all the experience out there what is recommended with respect to replacing springs, shocks, and possibly adding air bags to maintain comfort and ensure good towing safety. I am pretty sure that the shocks must be close to their use by date having covered 122000km - maybe not? I do not want to spend anything unnecessarliy, but at the same time towing adds a very different dynamic to the safe handling of the vehicle, and I believe the best way to manage that is with good suspension.
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Old 26-09-11
wisey wisey is offline
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Hi Netorous,
Welcome to the world of caravanning. I tow a Windsor Streamline 17ft. (1600Kg ). I use a Camec 4bar weight distribution hitch, and no mods to the Pajero suspension (NM). I would not consider towing a caravan of this size without a WDH. Suggest you do a search of the caravanning sites on the web like the Grey Nomads. Hayman Reece also has some valuable information on their site. I'm a bit lucky in that I have access to a weighbridge to set up the rig. I set the WDH to give about 1150Kg on the front axle of the Paj. That seems to maintain excellent steering geometry and grip.
Cheers, Enjoy your caravanning.
PS.This is an excellent site. http://www.caravanworld.com.au/lates...eid/73245.aspx

Last edited by wisey; 26-09-11 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 26-09-11
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joe2006 joe2006 is offline
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Our van is 21 & a bit foot & would be pushing the limit for our NP Pajero. The vehicle was bought new & has now done almost 190,000ks. No modifications to the suspension & perhaps this is negligent of me but I have never felt the need.

I have been using a Hayman Reese WDH (340kg version). Bought the WDH with the van. Previously had a 16 foot van & used a Camec 4 bar level ride. Just check the ball weight of your van to see what WDH would be suitable. The Camec ones are good to about 120kg (I think).

Had no trouble towing either van with the Pajero but have recently bought another vehicle with a 3t towing capacity & 300kg on the ball, just to stay on the right side of the law.

Still have the Pajero but no longer for towing duties which is a bit of a shame because it was so capable.
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Old 26-09-11
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rosahan rosahan is offline
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Default Van Towing

Our van is right on the 2.5 T, which is why we upgraded from the NP. We use a HR WDH which came with the van. We have had no problems with ride height and steering and road holding is excellent. The only thing I would seek to change is the damping action of the shock absorbers. On some uneven roads (NSW and Qld) there can be a bouncing/pitching motion which I think could be better controlled with better damping, however this would probably lead to a very stiff rear end when not towing. For the small problem that this represents, I will not bother with any modifications. I would think however that the problem could be worse with a single axle van.
Lindsay
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Home made rear shelf, provision for 2nd battery in dicky seat space, roof bars, nudge bar and Varta driving lights . Other Toys: 1971 MGB & Benson Clubman Kart, Boat out of use at the moment. 25 ft caravan bought Feb 2010. Lots of touring to come. More hobbies than time allows.
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Old 26-09-11
netorius77 netorius77 is offline
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Thanks for the responses. It is obviously highly recommended by all that a WDH is invaluable and the best upgrade for towing, so will take that on board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosahan View Post
The only thing I would seek to change is the damping action of the shock absorbers. On some uneven roads (NSW and Qld) there can be a bouncing/pitching motion which I think could be better controlled with better damping, however this would probably lead to a very stiff rear end when not towing. For the small problem that this represents, I will not bother with any modifications. I would think however that the problem could be worse with a single axle van.
Lindsay
I do have a single axle van which obviously makes towing a little more unstable than a twin axle. Does a WDH help with the bouncing/pitching? If I was replacing my shocks - are you suggesting I use standard Mitsubishi models - I would have thought that there are better aftermarket ones out there? Recommendations?
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Old 26-09-11
dolphin dolphin is offline
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i would be fitting a good set of Gas Shocks plus good HD Springs.
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  #7  
Old 26-09-11
steve a steve a is offline
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I towed a 2 tonne van around australia and did 38,000km in 6 months. The load levellers are a must for that weight of van and to level up the car so the steering doesn't turn light with the van on, a set of Polyairs did the trick. Later I upgraded the suspension with dobbinson springs and Billsten shocks from suspensionstuff. The upgrade raised the car about 50mm or so and the handling and ride are better than original.
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Old 28-09-11
netorius77 netorius77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve a View Post
The upgrade raised the car about 50mm or so and the handling and ride are better than original.
Is this general that raising the body height 50mm improves the ride and handling on asphalt as well? I would have thought that the increased height would lift the COG (centre of gravity) and hence reduce the on-road handling a bit???
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Old 28-09-11
damo83 damo83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netorius77 View Post
Is this general that raising the body height 50mm improves the ride and handling on asphalt as well? I would have thought that the increased height would lift the COG (centre of gravity) and hence reduce the on-road handling a bit???
Its not the increased height that improves the ride onroad its the firmer suspension, the firmer suspension also negates the extra body roll caused by the 50mm lift.

If you don't want to lift the vehicle you can get firmer standard height suspension. You'll prob get a 10-20mm lift initially due to the sagging in the old suspension but this will settle a bit after a while.
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  #10  
Old 28-09-11
dolphin dolphin is offline
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yes as Damo has mentioned. seeing your mainly on road for 98% go for a good quality heavy duty spring set plus a good h.d. set of shockies. you need to find the most suited spring wind as in a close wrap or open wrap , what i mean is springs are made in different winds to suit different conditions of terrains. just about any good quality set is better than the stock supplied springs and shocks.
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