- Published: 16 August 2016 16 August 2016
This Special Interest Group is for any members with an interest in lightweight aerodynamic fuel efficient caravanning. Whether you own a European style van and want some help with a problem or have an interest in finding out about the latest construction methods from Europe and if they can be adapted to Australian conditions this group could be of interest to you.
Ben Somerville is the administrator of this SIG. He is a retired Project Engineer and for 6 years has been researching lightweight Aerodynamic caravans , particularly around light weight composites and what constitutes a well-designed caravan. He is particularly impressed with European and UK caravan manufacturers that have invested heavily in cutting edge manufacturing technologies and designs that reflect buyer's expectations.
Most of their caravans are light weight, aerodynamic in some form and most of the smaller and medium length caravans are generally about half the weight of locally made Australian caravans. Most European caravans are
around 30 to 40% lighter than Australian made caravans and do not need a heavy expensive four wheel drive. It is his view that this is a growing market against the locally made caravans which are very heavy, box like, fitted with an agricultural type chassis, with no aerodynamic features.
His interest is in smaller and lighter caravans. Given that the switch to less powerful cars is likely to take some time to penetrate the vehicle fleet, there is a window of opportunity for caravan manufacturers to develop and build caravans that are better suited to the vehicles that are likely to be popular in the future by utilizing new technology and innovative design to produce caravans that have lower mass, are more aerodynamic and have
energy-saving features such as built in rooftop solar panels.
You will also find Ben submitting some of his work in this section of our web site from time to time.
If you're not yet a member of the Australian Caravan Club you can join us here. If you're a member and interested in lightweight caravanning, Sign-In to join the Lightweight Caravanning Group