How Long Do RV Shocks Last? (When To Replace RV Shocks)

It may not be the road that is causing all the rough and bumpy ride. It could be that your old shocks need to be replaced. You can tell when they need replacing by the continual up-and-down motion after you hit a bump. The shocks should only go up and down once if they are good.

It is hard to say as some dealers will say they should last forever. However, the real experience seems to be about 100,000 miles or so. How long your shocks will last will depend a lot on the weight of your RV as well as the type of roads you travel.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have the best information possible. Take a few minutes to see when you need to replace your RV’s shocks. It may be longer than you think.

How Long do RV Shocks Last?


Nothing is for certain and even though the guarantee may say 150,000 or 300,000 miles and so on, there is no guarantee that they will last that long. The reason for this shorter time frame has to do with a multitude of factors.

In an ideal driving situation, you should have RV shocks that last up to 350,000 miles. Some owners have been told that a certain brand of shocks should last forever. That is hard to accept.

The factors that will cut short the longevity of RV shocks will be the weight of the RV, and the roads you drive, to name just two of those factors. Or you may have damaged those shocks somehow or were damaged by actions, not your fault.

Those shocks may have been defective from the beginning but it took some time to expose that defect. These are just some of the reasons that influence your RV’s shock lifetime.

Also, the brand may affect how long they last. If you buy an after-market or no-name brand, you may be surprised to find out they are not as strong as the more expensive famous brand shocks.

When you try to save money going after cheaper shocks, you may find out you are spending more money replacing those cheaper brands than you would have spent if you bought the more expensive ones.

When To Replace RV Shocks


In most cases, you may never replace your RV’s shocks. That is if you buy new and do not hold onto the RV for 30 years. If you buy a used one, you may find that you will have to replace the shocks on your new to you RV.

The previous owner may not have done it as those shocks lasted him the life of his ownership. Generally, you replace these shocks when they are going bad on you. It is not hard to tell when they are going bad as you will find out in the next section.

Also, you should replace them if they have never been replaced and you know there are over 100,000 miles on them. Some shocks only last about 50,000 to 100,000 miles but RV shocks are stronger than truck or car shocks so you should get more mileage out of them.

Before you buy a used one from a dealership or private seller, you should ask about the shocks and how long they have been on the RV. Whether they tell you the truth or not remains to be seen.

Then when you get an answer make a judgment call. Test drive the RV to see if the shocks are still good and then do not worry about them until you start seeing the signs in the upcoming list.

How To Tell If RV Shocks Are Bad


There are numerous signs that your shocks are going bad or are bad. One of those signs would be if they are damaged in some way. You will tell because they are bent or dented etc.

This damage may occur in an accident or you hit a very deep pothole or something that puts too much stress on those shocks. Here is a list of other signs telling you that the shocks need to be replaced:

-Bumpy ride. The most obvious sign of a problem with your shocks or struts is that your car is giving you a much more uncomfortable ride than normal

- Steering problems

- Braking problems

- Fluid leaks

- Unusual tire tread wear

- Mileage

To test your shocks, park on a level spot and put your RV in neutral but do not let it roll away. Then as best as you can stand on the bumper and see if you can rock those shocks.

It shouldn’t take much effort to do this for both the front and the back shocks. If the shocks only bounce once and then stop, then they are good. If they continue to bounce for several more up and downs, then you need to replace them no matter what caused the problem.

Age is a good indicator that those shocks should be changed.

How To Test RV Shocks


There are differing opinions on this as well. Some owners claim that the bounce test does not tell you anything about the shocks’ condition. But that may not be accurate as far too many people say otherwise.

If your shocks keep bouncing after hitting a bump, then you need new shocks. You can do this test as you drive. Just keep your attention on your ride after you hit a large enough bump.

The reason that shock absorbers exist on vehicles is that if it wasn’t for them, your car, truck, or RVs tires would lift off the road and create a very big driving hazard. The shocks, when good, stop the continual bounce after a bump.

If you get a lot of bounce, more than one, then you need new shocks. If you only get the initial bounce, then your shocks are fine. One thing to be wary of if you are driving an older coach is the ride height.

When the RV is older, the ride height could be the problem as the setting can be way off. It is best to let a trained mechanic handle the ride height adjustment. It can be a bit tricky for novices.

This is something you should check before you spend a lot of money on new shocks. Those shocks can be pricey and the ride height adjustment is a lot cheaper than buying new shocks.

RV Shock Replacement Cost


There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to buying new shocks. The first major factor will be how many you will need. Not all shocks wear out at the same rate or at the same time.

Your repair or replacement cost will be determined by the number of shocks you need to replace. Then the next major factor will be the cost of the shocks. The year and model of your motorhome can determine the cost.

For example, this website supplies shocks to a variety of RVs and their costs change with the model and year of the coach as well as the available brand. The Safe T brand will cost a Freightliner owner about $499 per shock.

But a newer Tiffin may only run you between $125 and $210 approx. Your cost depends on if you buy a Bilstein or a Koni brand of shock. Camping World has some very cheap generic type shocks but they also sell Bilstein at a higher rate than that website offers them.

What this means is that you are going to have to shop around to find the best price. Then the third major factor that will influence your final replacement cost will be the labor charges.

If you can’t or do not want to do the replacement yourself, then you will be paying current labor fees to have the professionals do it. Each repair shop will have its own labor fees depending on the city, and state they are located.

One shop in Florida does not list their charges but they work on RVs so you do not have to worry when you are in that state. You can contact them to see what they charge for replacement. This may be what you can expect from other shops as well.

Working on RVs is expensive and repair shops like to price high when it comes to repairing coaches and trailers. They figure you can afford it.

Some Final Words

When it comes to shocks, you will know when it is is time to replace them. If you do not see any leaks, etc., they should still be good for some time. Just keep your eye out when you hit a bump and count how many times your coach bounces.

That is the best way to know when your shocks need to be replaced. Their age will tell you as well.

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