Adding Shocks to a Travel Trailer
by Tom asks...
(How to keep things from getting scattered all over.)
Should I install shocks on my travel trailer? I'm not new to RV'ing, but what has always bugged be is that everything inside is scattered all over after traveling (27 foot travel trailer). I am considering installing shocks on the trailer, but I can't get a consistent answer from dealers if that would help at all. I'm thinking shocks would greatly reduce the undamped bouncing the trailer experiences. What has been your experience? Currently we have an Edgewater by Sunnybrook, 27 foot or so. The tow vehicle is a Dodge 2500 gas, weight distribution bars, etc. Thanks, Tom
Coleen, the RVing editor replies:
I don't know how you drive or how rough the roads are that you drive on, but my first thought was, "slow down." This may have nothing to do with your problem. But, I do know that when people drive too fast for the roads, things get bounced around and tossed about.
For a more mechanical answer and a man's point of view, I passed your question on to Bob. Here's what he said:
I'll be very decisive. Maybe. Shock absorbers dampen the bounce.
If you're crowded over in a narrow driveway and pull your trailer over the curb, the trailer is still going down a 6-inch drop while going around a corner. The drop creates lift and the corner adds centrifugal force to move everything sideways. If stuff isn't contained or held down, it will move. That's what we try to do, keep things from moving, and we don't seem to have much trouble.
Some trailers are inherently bouncy and unstable. They are built to a desired floor plan and with no real concern about road ability. Shocks have been known to help some of them and not others.
Other trailers are unbalanced from side to side. When they hit a bump, the extra weight exaggerates the bounce to the one side throwing things across the room. It may be built that way or may be the way it is loaded. Proper loading can make a world of difference in these cases. A lot of weight in the upper cabinets of taller trailers also exaggerates the problem. You might weigh it and see if you are way heavier on one side or the other. If this is the problem, you may be able to shift some of the weight around to make it more balanced.
We have a 29-foot Holiday Rambler with Moore Ride suspension and shocks. It is the only trailer we have ever had with shocks. It is a superior suspension system, but it is a complete system, not shocks added to an existing system. Adding shocks is different from engineering a complete assembly.
Should I put shocks on my trailer? Shocks will dampen the continued bouncing, but there are other factors at work here. I can't tell you for sure. Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.