Recreational Vehicle Testing
NATC’s experience with RV testing not only enables us to
perform FMVSS certifications but also ride and handling evaluations, vehicle
durability, ride quality evaluations and localized vibration testing. In
addition to physical testing, NATC performs virtual proving ground analysis of
RV designs against their duty cycle. NATC’s modeling and simulation department
has the ability to perform Finite Element Analysis on vehicle chassis and frames
to identify high stress areas, as well as using vehicle modeling and simulation
to evaluate vehicle suspension designs for ride characteristics and Ackerman
NATC’s engineers are
experienced in conducting the SAE J2014 double lane change maneuver as well as
other dynamic vehicle handling events such as the lateral stability (200 foot
constant radius curve), over/under steer evaluations, step steer evaluations,
J-turns and 180 degree U-turns. Using these test events the handling
characteristics of an RV can be quantified and compared. The suspension setup
can then be optimized based on the handling and ride quality desired by the
customer, manufacturer or as recommended by NATC based on our past experience
and vehicle knowledge.
NATC has performed
durability testing on vehicles ranging from passenger cars to large multi axle
off-road vehicles, and recreational vehicles. NATC has established user and road
profiles for areas all over the world including North America, South America,
Asia and Europe. These profiles are used to determine how people in the selected
region operate their vehicle and the severity of the roads in a given area.
Whether the primary operating road is smooth pavement or degraded gravel, NATC
utilizes the user and road profiles to determine the duty cycle of a vehicle.
From this information an accelerated life cycle test can be established. This
accelerated life cycle test enables NATC to test an RV to the equivalent of
100,000 miles in less than 10,000 actual test miles. This helps identify
potential warranty problems and areas that could be improved before a vehicle is
NATC’s experience with on
and off-road vehicle brake systems enables us to not only perform full
certification FMVSS 121 and FMVSS 105 brake testing, but to also advise on brake
system design and improvement. NATC utilizes its 1.8 mile paved oval to perform
all the brake burnish and service and emergency brake stops. NATC has concrete
20 and 30 percent grades to evaluate vehicle parking brakes and a 500-foot
constant radius curve which is used to perform stability and handling
evaluations, which will be required for all vehicles manufactured in the near
future under the FMVSS 121 requirements.
department can instrument vehicles to record all data required under FMVSS
requirements as well as any other data a vehicle manufacturer may desire.
Everything from brake shoe temperature to vibration measurements on any area of
the vehicle can be recorded and reported to the customer. Accelerometer data can
also be collected for any location on the vehicle. This acceleration data can be
used to develop accelerated life tests for components such as VCRs, DVD players
and televisions that will be installed in the vehicle. Performing this type of
testing on aftermarket-installed items can identify components not suitable for
the RV application and therefore increase the quality and reliability of the
final RV and its components.
NATC has tested recreational vehicles from
20 to over 50 feet in length and 20,000 to 55,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight
Rating. NATC has the knowledge, facilities and experience to be your one stop
testing location for all your recreational vehicle testing and design needs.