Van wobble when parked
EDIT: Update at the end – 7th November 2022
OK, this is a post about reducing the wobble in the van when its parked and people are walking around inside, nothing going on, just moving about normally…
Backstory: We are on the road full time, not just a couple of nights here and there. I am a light sleeper, my lovely wife Catherine likes to get up early and go for morning walks, I like to sleep in. Our bed is at the front of the van, the bathroom and entry is at the rear of the van.
When she gets up in the morning and moves around the bathroom and exits the van, the van wobbles a small amount. Most vans do, most people accept it as being part of van life. I don’t and wanted to see if I could reduce the wobble to a point it doesn’t wake me. We have tried the ALKO stablising legs straight down, out on an angle, jacked up higher (normally they are down hard enough that the van is lifted about 40 to 50mm), have chocks under the wheels, brakes locked on tight, a jockey stand rather than a wheel etc etc. Nothing seemed to reduce it to the point I was happy.
Experiment number 1 was to clamp a spare tent roof pole (flattened ends with a hole for the top of the tent poles) to the chassis one side and pegged into the ground the other side – worked well for a couple of days until the peg worked loose in the ground.
Next idea – clamped to the top mount of the stabiliser one side and the bottom of the stabiliser the other side – 3rd site now, this one for 3 weeks, and happy to say this is a goer. Now just need to make up something more permanent and quicker / easier to fit.
So this is what I am talking about (further down I have a video of the movement):
So this first video is simply someone walking up the stairs into the van, turning around and walking back out. I have removed the clamp from the lower leg and just watching the pole slide as its pushed and pulled from the other side
Same camera position, this time just gently pushing the back corner of the van side ways to create a rocking motion – this is what is looks like when some one is in the shower and drying themself! You can see the tyres in the background and clearly see they are not moving at all, its simply the van rotating back and forth around the tyres, the flex of the tyres allowing it.
So bottom line the brace works perfectly. This last 3 weeks in Broome I have not noticed Catherine getting up, getting dressed then leaving for her morning walk. I just removed the lower clamp for the above videos, so with Catherine standing in the van I walked in and out a few times. Now it has been stable for a few weeks she really noticed the difference. It’s changed it from feeling like a caravan on wheels to a room on the ground.
If you are a light sleeper and being woken up by your significant other moving around the van is a problem, I highly recommend trying this!
Next job now is to work out a more permanent and easy to attach solution!
UPDATE – 7th November 2022:
Still using the F Clamps as I have not yet come up with a simple more permanent solution, however I have noticed that while the brace is significantly reducing side ways movement, there is still a small amount of forward/back movement. This is even with the wheels chocked and brake on firmly. I have now tried with the legs angled out to first angle notch, rear legs towards the rear and front legs towards the front, and this seems to reduce the forward back wobble and when combined with the brace almost all movement is gone.
I will keep trying to nut out a more permanent solution!