Shocks replaced on 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-08-2019, 09:16 PM   #1
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Name: Darryl
Trailer: Bigfoot
Wisconsin
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Shocks replaced on 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB

This Bigfoot trailer is easy towing with an Equalizer WDH, but bounces like crazy over roads that have regular interval expansion joint bumps. I noticed that I could replicate the trailer’s bouncing by me doing “trampoline-like” jumping up and down inside the Bigfoot over the axles. I suspected that the OEM shocks made in China had failed and needed replacing.
I called multiple sources and confirmed that Monroe Magnum #555001 (Made in USA) gas shock absorbers were an exact replacement for all specifications.
I inspected the four shocks on delivery and found one defective shock with no resistance on the “decompression” stroke. Be advised, inspect new shocks before installation, even if you are having a shop do the work.
The shocks replacement took just under two hours today and I found that all four old original OEM shocks were failed. (Two old shocks had no resistance on compression or decompression strokes and the other two shocks had no resistance on the decompression stroke.)
After installation, I did a TEST by again doing the “trampoline-like” jumping over the axles inside the Bigfoot and found that I could NOT get the trailer to bounce. (I am just under 200 pounds, so this test likely wouldn’t work well for someone much lighter.)
Soon, I’ll do a proper road test on a stretch of BAD ROAD and see if the bouncing problem is reduced or eliminated.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:30 PM   #2
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Sounds like a nice upgrade.

Who designed, had manufactured, and specified the cheap shocks that were installed on your trailer? Who designed those shocks and sought out the lowest possible bid to produce them? How does China play into their failure, if they built the shocks according to the design they bid on? Isn't Bigfoot responsible if they bought the cheapest low quality shocks and sold them to you?

I don't understand how China is to blame for your failed shocks. Are you saying they were not built to the specifications they were given?
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:48 PM   #3
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
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"This Bigfoot trailer is easy towing with an Equalizer WDH, but bounces like crazy over roads that have regular interval expansion joint bumps."
I presume that highway you are describing is "Made in the USA". Worst road I encountered ( as a passenger in the back seat of a Jeep ) is I5 from the Canadian border to Seattle. I presume it also was built to spec.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:18 AM   #4
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Name: Justus
Trailer: Hymer Touring GT
Illinois
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Sounds like a nice upgrade.

Who designed, had manufactured, and specified the cheap shocks that were installed on your trailer? Who designed those shocks and sought out the lowest possible bid to produce them? How does China play into their failure, if they built the shocks according to the design they bid on? Isn't Bigfoot responsible if they bought the cheapest low quality shocks and sold them to you?

I don't understand how China is to blame for your failed shocks. Are you saying they were not built to the specifications they were given?
Would you mind quoting the part of the post in which Darryl blames China or refers to the OEM shocks at cheap or out of spec? All I see is him stating a country of origin for his old shocks and his replacements.

It seems clear to me that he's saying his 10 year old shocks are worn out and he replaced them. End of story. Anything else you choose to infer from the post simply reveals your own biases.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:16 AM   #5
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Trailer: 91 Bigfoot 17
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There is a lot of made in China bias and Darryl's post is no exception. I don't think much "reading between the lines" is necessary to see what's meant by the statement about the made-in-China shocks failing, and replacing them with made-in-US shocks. That's pretty obvious. Though I'll agree it's amazing what people on any side of an issue choose to see or be blind to, real or imagined.

It was a passing comment, not a rant about Chinese products. Still, if your language is sprinkled with bias against products from a country, consciously or not, and you post on an internet forum, you're going to get called out occasionally. I know Raspy has a connection to China and I have a pretty soft spot for it too. I get called out for my biases and hopefully everyone around here is adult enough to handle getting called out on theirs.

And again with my help we've taken a nice post about a shock upgrade and made it contentious...
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:39 AM   #6
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Originally Posted by Justus C View Post
Would you mind quoting the part of the post in which Darryl blames China or refers to the OEM shocks at cheap or out of spec? All I see is him stating a country of origin for his old shocks and his replacements.

It seems clear to me that he's saying his 10 year old shocks are worn out and he replaced them. End of story. Anything else you choose to infer from the post simply reveals your own biases.
Re read . He said the OEM shocks FAILED, he did not say they just wore out. I agree w RASPY.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:16 PM   #7
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Name: Darryl
Trailer: Bigfoot
Wisconsin
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I find it perplexing that no reply so far pertains to the primary topic of maintaining “safety critical” parts of the Bigfoot running gear. Off topic opinions and assumptions rendered about so called bias, clearly miss the point of this maintenance post. I’ll wait and see.
I could post another Bigfoot “safety critical” maintenance job of replacing my original OEM wheel bearings. I found the very cheapest prices for Timken bearings on eBay and Amazon, but bought them from a local authorized Timken dealer. I have a very strong bias - for safety. The global economy has severely eroded trust ...
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:35 PM   #8
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Name: JJ
Trailer: 2008 Bigfoot 25RQ
Idaho
Posts: 67
Thanks DS78!

Can anyone verify whether these same shocks can be used on the 25rq model, or if there is a different spec for the 25rq?
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
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Name: Darryl
Trailer: Bigfoot
Wisconsin
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JimKE
Thank you for the question.
I’d email Grant Bilodeau at Bigfoot Industries, bigfoot at bigfootrv dot com, he typically responds within the working day.
I see from online Bigfoot spec charts that your 25BRQ Dry Weight is listed as about 550 pounds more than my 25B21RB, so the Monroe Magnum 555001 would likely be working a bit harder and likely fail sooner, if it fits the shock brackets. Shocks are supposedly “tuned” to meet the demands of a range of vehicles, so you could also contact Monroe customer assistance 734-384-7809 or use their online tech contact. I couldn’t find any other brand that manufactures reasonably priced RV trailer shocks.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:57 AM   #10
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And now back to our regularly scheduled programming:

Unfortunately so many trailers with tandem axles use the poor utility trailer suspension with leaf springs and an equalizer. This system is better on paper than in reality.

Bouncing over repeated interval bumps is one thing. Riding on rough gravel roads is also a problem.

My Oliver was a good example of the situation. It uses the conventional system, like so many others, and was a real disappointment on anything other than smooth highways. Trips on rough roads resulted in chaos inside and hard bottoming. Even though the springs were soft, I would air down, and slow way down, on rough roads, to try and mitigate the problems.

Better shocks could definitely help, but the limited travel and short leaf springs are hard to compensate for, beyond a certain point.

Also, the lousy plastic bushings used in the spring eyes, and on the shackle pins wear out very fast leaving metal to metal wear and lots of play in the system. The best answer to that is to install the Dexter Heavy Duty kit which includes greaseable bronze bushings, zero fittings for every joint, and heavier side plates. Eventually, repairs have to be made to the cheap conventional system so many of us have.

I'm hoping my new trailer with swing arm suspension, dual long travel off-road shocks per wheel, and coil springs, will improve the situation. We'll see.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:21 AM   #11
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...The best answer to that is to install the Dexter Heavy Duty kit which includes greaseable bronze bushings, zero fittings for every joint, and heavier side plates...
Which is all standard on an Oliver.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:27 AM   #12
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Name: Bruce & Kathryn
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 RQ
North Carolina
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Our Bigfoot came with bronze bushings with grease fittings. Our Oliver did not, but I had a Dexter kit retrofitted. I believe Oliver began making these standard in 2016 or so. BTW, the Black Series “Australian” caravan is pretty much all Chinese components from what I read on the Aussie 4WD forums. Tough and well made.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:18 AM   #13
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Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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We looked at the Black . Prob would have bought I instead we bought a Big Foot because of the floor plan. The Black is top quality and very sturdy.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:52 PM   #14
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Which is all standard on an Oliver.
The EZ Flex is the standard system used on the Oliver, not the Heavy Duty kit. The difference is the rubber donut equalizer, that doesn't seem to do much (watch the Dexter video on the subject). The EZ Flex was not installed by Oliver as standard equipment until some time in 2017, as I recall. Before that it was the standard utility trailer plastic bushing setup. Mine came with the standard system.
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Old 10-12-2019, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Olive View Post
Our Bigfoot came with bronze bushings with grease fittings. Our Oliver did not, but I had a Dexter kit retrofitted. I believe Oliver began making these standard in 2016 or so. BTW, the Black Series “Australian” caravan is pretty much all Chinese components from what I read on the Aussie 4WD forums. Tough and well made.
I think they are all Chinese components in the Black Series. The swing arms are greasable and have zerks. The axles are standard 5200 lb bearings, seals, etc, as used by Dexter and others, and the backing plates have the parking brake option with a parking brake handle up at the tongue.
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