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Old 09-10-2014, 09:58 AM   #1
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Shocks on TT

I was thinking of putting shocks on my toy hauler to help with the "bounce" while towing. Has anyone done this and what effect did it have?
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #2
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Lots of people have. Some RV builders have them as stock items.
I put shocks on my last two trailers. The 1st was a TT. They helped immensely on it. The 2nd is our current 5'er. They didn't seem to help as much. I think the difference is that the TT had an 8400lb GVW and the 5'er has a 11,500lbs GVW. But they both had/have about the same weight on the axles. 5'er has a 4315lb CCC and the TT had 2400lbs. I think the heavier duty springs on the 5'er don't allow as much shock compression for them to work. JMO though.

If you can weld then it's really a cheap add on for DIY. Worth the small $ investment. If they don't help a lot well then you're not out that much $. If you have to have someone fab stuff them I don't think I'd do it.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:53 AM   #3
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This has been one of my concerns since we went from a MH to a TT. Then after 3 TT's we decided to go back to a MH. I was real tired of the TT manufacturers build them on the edge of destruction.

I installed Shocks on our first TT and it helped a bunch. Here's the truth about ANY suspension (leaf, coil springs or torsion bar) system. They all compress and rebound. If they do that as you travel over our smooth roads the energy imparted into the suspension system is either allowed to dissipate (continue bouncing until it's gone) or it is converted into another form of energy. The other form of energy is HEAT and it is created by the shock absorber.

The basic laws of physics can not be changed. Energy is never destroyed but merely converted into another form of energy. Your brakes are a perfect example. They change energy of motion into heat energy by rubbing pads against a rotor/drum. That's it in a nut shell.

If you install shocks it will dampen the springs. How well it does is dependent on the shocks and how they are mounted. Most TT's that I've seen do not have the shocks mounted at the correct angle. It kind of goes along the same lines as their construction. Put something that looks like it will work but it really won't. I've seen shocks mounted almost parallel with the ground. Now how can that work if the suspension moves at right angles to the ground.

Call a shock company tech line. Tell them what you want to do and give them the weights you are working with. Get shocks that are mounted by using a through bolt and not the one with two rubber grommets between two metal washers. Those do not give you any rotation of the shock mount as the suspension moves up and down.

Now try to get your shock mounts as close to vertical as you can. That is not always possible but the closer to vertical and or the actual movement of your leaf springs the more efficient they will be and the happier you will be with the results.

I used the bottom plate of the U bolts which held the axle to the spring as my bottom mount. You can find those plates at any spring shop or use yours. You will have to weld something to the plate to mount the shock. now find some place on the frame to put a plate so you can mount the top.

If you have any questions just PM me with some pictures of what you have and maybe I can suggest places to try and mount the shocks. I may have some older pictures of what I built also.

Good luck

TeJay
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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Have not installed shocks but upon advice of a friend had the tires balanced. One tire took 6 ounces. Following the balancing the amount of movement of stuff in the trailer was substantially reduced.

Our trailer is a tri axle so the axles tended to smooth out the bouncing. Big deal was the truck movement would oscillate the trailer and stuff at the end of the trailer moved way more than stuff over the axles.
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #5
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I was told by the manufacturer NOT to install shocks as it would damage the TT. I personally do not believe that, I feel that if I add items to dampen the bouncing and better light the interior and to make the TT safer and easier to pull and use it defeats the manufacturer from selling me a better TT that they say has all new features. I cannot imagine adding some simple shocks to my TT will cause damage. Pulling my trailer right now is likened to pulling another vehicle behind mine without shocks... this makes a hard and bouncy ride and wears the moving parts out faster. I have found my bathroom door open on several occasions which tells me the frame is taking all the hits and flexing the frame enough to pop the door out of the lock! I will be adding shocks next spring after changing the brakes and servicing the moving parts. I will report if any one is interested on how the shocks play out...
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
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So, for me the $64,000 question is, which shocks? They don't make a shock for my application, so should I get shocks for, oh, an F250 or shocks for a Ford Fusion? The trailer has a dry weight of 7500 pounds, so I was thinking two sets of front shocks for my F250. Two on front axle, two on rear axle. Bilstein makes a monotube shock that's 14-1/2" collapsed and 23-1/4 fully extended. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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I can not believe that a manufacturer of a TT told you not to put shocks on it. Unless there's more to the story that's an IGNORANT statement. I don't want to use a stronger word because the guy wouldn't know the definition. I'm still amazed that almost no TT manufacturers install shocks. And many of those that do install them almost parallel with the suspension travel. Installing shocks can only be a plus for the TT.

As mentioned having the tries balanced is also a must. If you check you will discover that most TT manufacturers do not have the tires balanced before they leave the factory. How dumb is that?????? Not having the tires balanced wears the suspension shackle bushings and wheel bearings prematurely.

In my post #3 above I've explained how to get the correct shocks for your TT.

If anybody whats more info just PM me.

TeJay
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:24 PM   #8
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Well, I ordered a set of rancho rs5000 shocks. Right length, right mounting style. I'm going to install the pair on the rear axle. To those with shocks on your TT, is one set all that is needed? I can easily mount another set on the front axle. Thanks for help & advice!
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:54 AM   #9
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If you agree that a suspension needs to have shocks as do most all engineers then yes both axles will need shocks.

Something that was not mentioned to keep in mind. There are vibrations that occur as we drive that you can't feel. These vibrations are at frequencies and harmonics of those frequencies that we can't measure unless you have very technical equipment but make no mistake they are present. Your TT is 10-30 feet behind you and for sure you won't hardly notice the bouncing and small sway movements. However your suspension, frame, spring shackles, bearings etc, etc will feel and react to those vibrations. Those vibrations will shorten the life of all parts to some degree.

Except for utility trailers, boat trailers and of course TT's can you name me one suspended pull behind trailer that travels our highways regularly that does not have shocks?????

I rest my case.

TeJay
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:17 AM   #10
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I have read there are a couple outfits making shock kits for T/T. Complete with proper mounting brackets etc so they are at the right angles to perform well. Might be worth looking into. Check Monroe and Bilstein for a search.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan827 View Post
I have read there are a couple outfits making shock kits for T/T. Complete with proper mounting brackets etc so they are at the right angles to perform well. Might be worth looking into. Check Monroe and Bilstein for a search.
Just did your search and found on shockwarehouse.com Monroe kits. However, I think the price negates any possible advantage. 10 thousand dollars to add a shock kit to a travel trailer is cost prohibitive IMHO.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:49 PM   #12
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Just did your search and found on shockwarehouse.com Monroe kits. However, I think the price negates any possible advantage. 10 thousand dollars to add a shock kit to a travel trailer is cost prohibitive IMHO.


$10,000 for shocks. Common sense tells me it's a typo on their site.

Just get two of theseLIPPERT Bolt-On Gas Shock Kit for 2-3/8" Axle Tube #281255
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:31 PM   #13
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$10,000 for shocks. Common sense tells me it's a typo on their site.

Just get two of theseLIPPERT Bolt-On Gas Shock Kit for 2-3/8" Axle Tube #281255
Common sense maybe. They listed like 8 different types and they were all priced @ 9999.99.

Those Lippert shocks may be what came on my 2015 Blackstone.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:09 AM   #14
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My timberidge also has those schrod, love the way it pulls, doesn't really "bounce" at all! I also have the 280RKS, really like the floorplan!
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