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Old 08-13-2020, 06:59 AM   #1
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How long do RV shocks last?

How long do RV shocks really last? I have a 2007 Itasca 35J on the Ford chassi that we just bought. It's has 44k on it and it sways alot and rides pretty harsh. It seems to have the factory Bilsteins yellow shocks on it.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:11 AM   #2
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The simple way to check (on a car) is to compress a shock by putting weight on a corner, release and count the bounces. With no weight the vehicle will rise then settle to normal with just 1 to 1-1/2 or 2 bounces. We can't do that with an RV.

Oil leaking from a shock is another sure sign. Sometimes if you have driven the vehicle a long time (which you haven't) you can determine bad shocks based on the ride change in sway and constant bouncing. On the other hand since it goes bad slowing we will get used to the lousy ride until the shocks are changed. Then we realize just how bad it had gotten over the years. It's very often a WOW!!!!! effect.

I'd say with 44,000 miles change them and you might be surprised. Most stock shocks were not the best even in the beginning. Most on these forums swear by the KONI FSD shocks but they are expensive at close to $180 each. Others like Monroe and even aftermarket Bilsteins.

Also consider reading one of the STICKY's at the top of this forums page. It's called "Attention, F-53 owners please read". Check your stock front and rear stabilizer (SB) bushings. They may already have been replaced but if they are gone make sure you get polyurethane bushings. Contact "Skuterdude" either on these forums or he has an e-bay account.

Then after your SB system is up and running consider the CHF sticky and do that. Considerable difference in sway control.

Also even before all of the above make sure your tire pressures are close to what your sticker inside the RV has recommended. You might vary somewhat from that but generally starting at the suggested pressures will give it a decent ride.

Once folks are up and running you'll get a lot of suggestions. Most members we take the time to respond are well informed so be ready.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:19 AM   #3
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You CAN do the "bounce test" on shocks on your motorhome.


Drive over a parking lot speed bump at normal (low speed). If an axle bounces more than 1.5 times, shocks are bad.



And, as stated, if leaking (not just damp, but leaking) they are bad.


BUT (large but) that brings up another issue. There is quite a difference between OE shocks and the better shocks like Koni FSD's (even comparing new to new).


Very likely you are ready for shocks.
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:24 AM   #4
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I cannot provide an accurate answer, but ours have 25 years and 107,000 miles on them. Koni.
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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If the shocks were ever adequate at providing the quality of ride you are after then the life of the shock would only become an issue if there is metal fatigue; a ruptured or leaking seal or other changes to the overall equation, such as, added weight; distribution of the weight; structural integrity of the shocks and bushings.


We have gas charged Bilstein'
s that have been on our coach 13 years and over 50K miles and the ride is still great. Of course, there are certain roads that regardless of the suspension support you have will raise the hair on the back of your neck:-)
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:43 PM   #6
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in addition to checking the shocks, look at the sway bar bushings/links. Those can go back and give you lots of sway and rough rides too.

Search the forum, a few posts are there in regards to users changing them and the difference it makes.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:30 PM   #7
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We have 2013 F53 , 18k and at 90k miles, all the shocks were toast! We changed all 4 with belistien shocks
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:54 PM   #8
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Like everything else on an RV it isn't about the mileage but a combination of mileage and age. My coach had 25k on it and the shocks were shot. It sat unmoving for long periods of time and the seals in the shocks dried out IMO. I think if you are moving regularly they will last a long time.
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:34 PM   #9
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Those shocks work hard and I have owned many RV's. I find 20K miles is usually plenty to really diminish their life.

Our 2008 new 42 foot Monaco stock monroe shocks were shot in less than 15K miles. The Bilsteins that now have 35K miles are needing to be replaced.

Take a few of them off and compress them by hand. You can often do this with them on the rv. Just take the bottom bolts out and let them stretch out. The compress them while still on the vehicle.
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:37 PM   #10
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Shocks

Put some new FSP Koni shocks on that rig and you'll be a happy camper.
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Old 08-14-2020, 08:42 PM   #11
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Swaying a lot and a harsh ride come with the territory. Not the shocks fault. But that said the shocks are old and Koni FSP shocks, as mentioned above, will help with both conditions.
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Old 08-21-2020, 01:23 PM   #12
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I went a head and ordered 4 new belistien shocks and a steering stabilizer. Before I climb under the RV and replace my shock, Can anyone tell me what size wrenches I'll need on my 2007 F53 chassis?
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Wold View Post
Swaying a lot and a harsh ride come with the territory. Not the shocks fault. But that said the shocks are old and Koni FSP shocks, as mentioned above, will help with both conditions.
Hate to bring up old posts, but Iím researching Koni shocks to replace my Blistens. No ideal how old they are. Had this RV for a couple months now. I read on another posts in Ď19 about Konis and you said you installed them, but were taking them back off and putting your Blistens back on do to the harsher ride. This somewhat conterdicts your above reply. Has your opinion of the Konis changed with more seat time? It seems there are 2 thoughts about Konis. Best thing ever or did nothing. Trying to determine why the same shock gets both ends of the spectrum
Thanks
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:50 AM   #14
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US1,

Part but not all of the answer is based on two impressions. When one drives a new or even used MH for the first time how can you accurately evaluate the shocks? You have no real basis for a comparrison.

On any smaller vehicle we always did the bounce test. Compress the shock with your weight. Get off the fender and it should come up sightly above its stock position then settle down with the rebound compression and not go below the stock position.

Basically you should have one above rebound after compression then it should settle at the stock position with no further bounces. Well you can't easily do that with an RV.

Here's the last point. When a person drives a vehicle for 20K, 30K or 50K miles you gradually become use to the degrading shock dampening. When the shocks are finally replaced you take it for a drive and often say, "Wow that ride was realy bad"

Porposing when hitting a set of dips can be a good test for poor dampening of MH Shocks. Finding that series of dips it not always easy and you still need some way to compare one ride from another.

Finally one persons persepction versus anothers with driving the same RV. Some also say:" I just spent $180 for each of the 4 shocks it has to ride better than before.

A bad shock may leak fluid which is the easiest way to determine a bad shocks.

Often some individuals can become better tuned into the slight nuances of their ride no matter what it is. They can better evaluate as things change or improve with different MODS.
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