The choice of shocks for your rig is as much as a science as is the choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream. There are shocks out there for every desired ride and handling. The real problem is getting through the hype and mystique to be able to read the claims by the shock makers and then decide which one suits your needs and wants for a combination of ride and handling.
Mooney wrote, “I’ve had Bilsteins and Rancho’s, Rancho 9000’s worked much better.” The Ranchero shock is a unit that is desiged for the off road crowd. They are a very heavy duty unit but according to Ranchero the selection is limited to SUV’s and pick up trucks.
TX Brad commented, “Interesting: ‘ Life no longer simple’ !
Like knowing what is available today on new RV’s, but also what is good for replacement on an older RV . What factors are needed in selecting a ‘good’ replacement shock. ie weight, length ( wheel base), # axelswheels , class A vrs C ? Thanks TX Brad”.
Most of those are taken into account by the shock maker and then he applies his own philosophy of ride and handling to the mix. And yes there are great differences between shocks. Than said, a glowing endorsement by one rig owner of a particular brand may not give the ride and handling results that you are looking for. For example, I installed Rancheros on my Chevy Tahoe several years ago. They stayed on the Tahoe just over a week and then were replace by Monroe Sensamatics. The rancheos were just too hard a ride for the passenger car like ride that I desired on the Tahoe. But the Rancheos are on my Chevy 4 wheel drive diesel Pick up and I love them on that application.
Photoian took me a bit to task in his comment and rightly so, “As seems usual, your discussion is Class A oriented. What about fifth wheels?
How do one even know how the shocks perform when no one rides in it. Last year I had a recall on bearings and , while taking care of those, it was discovered that the shocks were shot. I had them replaced and then called Monroe, the mfgr, and asked if there were upgrades for my model of shock.
He told me the shocks I had were entry level shocks and recommended a gas-filled shock. I bought six (triple axle) for backup for our Alaska trip this year.
This week, in Prince George, BC, I had my brakes inspected and while doing that, I asked the mechanic to look at the shocks. He did and said they were fine. I told him about my past experience and he said the ones I bought were not necessarily an up grade but just another kind, gas filled instead of oil filled.
So I’m still in the dark about shocks.”
On a trailer with no one riding in it to check the ride, the best way to check shocks is a visual inspection. You check them for leaks, damage, and the integrety of the mounts. But just one little comment on your comment. Gas shocks are not gas filled. They still have fluid but the air that is normally in a shock that could mix with the fluid and cause a foaming of the fluid that would change the way the shock works. Instead of that the shock is topped off with an inert gas under pressure to reduce the foaming and make the shock work better. In some instances the gas is in a plastic envelope in the shock.
So, read the makers blurbs, listen to the folks that tell you that XYZ is the best brand since sliced bread, and try to make an intelligent choice. Till next week keep on camping.
Thanks Brad, for enlightening me on gas-filled shocks.
I guess inspection is the word. Thanks again.
Thanks for the info on shocks — but I have a question — I have a 32 foot 2007 Holiday Rambler Alumascape 5th wheel dual axle that came new with no shocks.. There does not appear to be enough room to have conventional shocks added… Do I need them?? am I beating up everything from the wheels up if I don’t have shocks?? What is the alternative to conventiional shocks?