shock absorber Bigfoot trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-02-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
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Name: abcde
Trailer: noneofyourbusiness
British Columbia
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shock absorber Bigfoot trailer

Hi

I have a 2008 Bigfoot 17.5 foot trailer - a 25B175G to be precise. Recently I was in an RV repair shop talking to the owner, who was part of the design team for the trailer before Bigfoot went through its shutdown period. I live close to the plant in BC.

The design guy suggested suggested I remove the aftermarket shocks installed by the PO. He told me that the ride of the trailer was designed to be fine without shocks and that it could be too harsh over bumps with shocks installed.

Comments anyone who has a 17.5 foot Bigfoot trailer? The factory does not offer shocks for this model as an option. Like current models my trailer has the 4400 lb drop axle from Standens.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:20 PM   #2
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not surprised....

there are millions of boat trailers out there, all without shocks.....

I dunno where this idea of putting shocks on small, light trailers like ours came from.....hint: the aftermarket industry perhaps?
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:24 PM   #3
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I can't see any need.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:36 PM   #4
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While you are removing your trailer shocks, take the shocks off your car and see how much better it rides. Maybe the car shocks are also just an aftermarket gimmick.

Too harsh with shocks? I don't think so. Shocks don't add harshness, normal shock rates only dampen repetitive motion (bouncing) and they help keep the tires in contact with uneven road surfaces. That means they improve braking and cornering. The relatively high unsprung weight combination of trailer axles, leaf springs and steel wheels means lots of bouncing with loss of road contact. This problem is made worse by most folks running their trailer tires at max pressure and getting very little flex to help the trailer ride well, or keep tires in contact with the surface.

Why go to the extra effort of removing something that is designed to help you? Especially when you have no idea how it rode before the shocks went on. Somebody must have installed them to help with a ride problem.

There are a number of suspension upgrades that companies don't install because they either don't understand the benefit or they don't want the additional cost and labor involved.

If you really want to see the difference, install a lateral and vertical accelerometer system with recorder. Run the course with shocks on and with them off. Be sure to measure braking while on a rough surface. Review the results. Or, just be happy they are there and move on to other real concerns.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
While you are removing your trailer shocks, take the shocks off your car and see how much better it rides. Maybe the car shocks are also just an aftermarket gimmick.

Too harsh with shocks? I don't think so. Shocks don't add harshness, normal shock rates only dampen repetitive motion (bouncing) and they help keep the tires in contact with uneven road surfaces. That means they improve braking and cornering. The relatively high unsprung weight combination of trailer axles, leaf springs and steel wheels means lots of bouncing with loss of road contact. This problem is made worse by most folks running their trailer tires at max pressure and getting very little flex to help the trailer ride well, or keep tires in contact with the surface.

Why go to the extra effort of removing something that is designed to help you? Especially when you have no idea how it rode before the shocks went on. Somebody must have installed them to help with a ride problem.

There are a number of suspension upgrades that companies don't install because they either don't understand the benefit or they don't want the additional cost and labor involved.

If you really want to see the difference, install a lateral and vertical accelerometer system with recorder. Run the course with shocks on and with them off. Be sure to measure braking while on a rough surface. Review the results. Or, just be happy they are there and move on to other real concerns.
Oh man - I wish there was a like button on this forum....
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:49 PM   #6
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Oh man - I wish there was a like button on this forum....
That was quick. You caught me in the middle of rolling my eyes. Just a minute while I get down off my soap box.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:47 AM   #7
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Sarcasm not appreciated

Nice work guys. Ask a legit question and get a reply intended to make the poster feel and look like a fool......
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #8
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FLR....

easy now....I don't see how you could be offended...

you posted something that you got from a credible source..(that I agreed with BTW)

some disagreed....probably because they have shocks on their rigs

nobody called you a "fool" or said you looked like one...they just disagreed...
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
easy now....I don't see how you could be offended...

you posted something that you got from a credible source..(that I agreed with BTW)

some disagreed....probably because they have shocks on their rigs

nobody called you a "fool" or said you looked like one...they just disagreed...

Thanks. I agree.
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:10 PM   #10
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Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Deluxe B19 19 ft / 2007 Nissan Frontier V6 NISMO 4x4
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I appreciate this discussion because I have been working hard on my 19' tandem axle Bigfoot and remembered a post that I'd seen in the forums (which I printed out for my auto mechanic) by a member who had installed shocks on his trailer and was very pleased with how much better it handled. I want to do the same because she's a wide, big-boned trailer as it is, so whatever will make her handle better on rough roads will be helpful. Shocks are not that expensive to install, so could be worth it for some campers. The smaller, sleeker ones may not need them as much, but I'm glad to hear from yet another member that they can make a significant difference in the ride, as I'm saving up for those next.
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:18 PM   #11
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Harsh responses or not, I will say that probably trailers don't "need" shocks, which is why they don't tend to have them.

That's probably because they aren't passenger vehicles. They can bounce around back there and not really hurt anything. Just a way of saving money and keeping things simple.

But as long as you're buying a shock that is appropriate for the application (no need for SkyJacker offroad shocks ), I can't see how they wouldn't improve the ride.

Assuming shocks were added by a previous owner to correct a handling problem is also dangerous.

There are, definitely, a lot of solutions in search of a problem out there, and you're right to be wary. I see all kinds of aftermarket add-ons with vehicles that pretty much pointless.

But I'd agree that if you aren't noticing your trailer bouncing off the road behind you, the shocks probably aren't hurting anything, are possibly helping, and aren't worth the cost of removing.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:30 AM   #12
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
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I have shocks on my 17' Casita and noticed a much improved ride when I put them on.
At the time I towed with a 06 Jeep Liberty, 5000# towing capacity, and the trailer bounced the jeep around a lot.
Trailers with a Dexter's Torque Flex axle tend to bounce like a rubber ball.

Shocks are like a WDH, believers and non believers.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:08 AM   #13
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Name: Elliott
Trailer: 2017 19' Escape
California
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It's possible that the shocks would make the ride rougher if the shocks in addition to the torsion system result in an over-damped system. That's fairly unlikely, though, and chances are it'll help.

As to why travel trailers tend not to have shocks? Because they cost money, they add weight, and they're not as necessary as on cars since nobody is getting bounced around. It's generally not worth the cost for manufacturers as a selling point, but it might be worth the add-on for a few buyers. Definitely worth leaving it if it's already there unless the damp rate's waaay too aggressive.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #14
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In this particular case, it's not a torsion system, but that's a good point. Bigfoot trailers have leaf springs.

I'd be interested to see the difference in my trailer with shocks. It doesn't ride bad, but there's always room for improvement...Not worth the money right now, though.
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