Al-Ko’s move is largely market-driven, managing director Sven Mannfolk said at Enduro’s launch at the Melbourne 4X4 Training & Proving Ground in Werribee, Vic.
Al-Ko recognised caravan buyers’ preference for independent suspension and went to work on its own version.
In the past two years, Jayco has released its own in-house JTECH independent suspension, while Vehicle Components came to the market with its Cruisemaster Country Road Suspension.
Enduro, like JTECH, is a largely all-Australian system. It was designed at Al-Ko’s Dandenong South, Vic, manufacturing plant and rigorously tested at the Australian Automotive Research Centre at Anglesea, Vic.
While the standard or optional twin shock absorbers per wheel and optional powder-coated red steel trailing arms were chosen as much for optical as practical reasons, the engineering at their heart is impressive. Made from Australian steel, the Al-Ko arms pivot in maintenance-free polyurethane bushes and employ specially developed King Springs with X5K high stress spring steel coils made in Queensland.
The only imported components are the Al-Ko-designed-and-made heavy-duty shock absorbers that come from Al-Ko’s own world-source factory in Cataluña, Spain.
Despite costing about double that of a similarly-rated single leaf spring or roller-rocker suspension system, and weighing 10-15 per cent more, Al-Ko expects that chassis manufacturers will want to employ its Enduro suspension largely to meet market demands.