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NEVADA
AUTOMOTIVE
TEST CENTER

PHONE: (775) 629.2000
FAX: (775) 629.2029

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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 steering geometry.

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 sold.

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.

NATC’s instrumentation 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.




 


Nevada Automotive Test Center
a division of Hodges Transportation, Inc.
Post Office Box 234, Carson City, Nevada 89702
775-629-2000
http://www.natc-ht.com

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