best shocks for towing a travel trailer

The 12 Best Shocks for Towing a Travel Trailer in 2022

In the course of towing travel trailers, the towing vehicles usually experience a number of impacts even on good roads. Unless RV owners take preparations before heading out, the impacts may cause a great deal of discomfort during towing operations.

To minimize the effects of impacts, today’s RVers resort to numerous measures but few prove as influential as shocks. Being key components in the suspension system, shocks absorb impacts that hit vehicles while in motion to increase ride quality, handling characteristics and so on.

Thus, with high-quality shocks, towing operations would proceed smoothly in most of the cases. By ensuring that your truck packs the best shocks for towing a travel trailer, you could haul rigs from location to location with relative ease.

Quick Recommendations

Preview
Best Overall
KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, Red
Best Value
Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber
Editor's Choice
ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
Title
KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, Red
Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber
ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
Position
Center
Rear
Rear
Style
Heavy Duty, Monotube
Air Shock
Adjustable
Rating
Prime Status
Price
$59.49
$72.36
$98.78
Best Overall
Preview
KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, Red
Title
KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, Red
Position
Center
Style
Heavy Duty, Monotube
Rating
Prime Status
Price
$59.49
Details
Best Value
Preview
Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber
Title
Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber
Position
Rear
Style
Air Shock
Rating
Prime Status
Price
$72.36
Details
Editor's Choice
Preview
ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
Title
ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
Position
Rear
Style
Adjustable
Rating
Prime Status
Price
$98.78
Details

The Basics About Shocks For Towing

What Is It?

All in all, shock (shock absorber) is a device designed from the ground up to mitigate the strength of impacts. On the road, vehicles equipped with proper shock absorbers tend to provide a smoother ride than those that lack them.

For optimal results, a wide range of modern shocks incorporate adjustment mechanisms that let people determine the amount of impact absorption. Several models offer remote modifications as well which means users should be able to make necessary changes from the cabin. 

best shocks for towing a travel trailer
Photo: Taskinlarun

How Does It Work?

In general, the operating principle of shocks is straightforward: They convert the kinetic energy of impacts into another form of energy that could be dissipated easily. At the moment, heat is a popular choice for the average models since the process of dissipating heat is simple.

For instance, in hydraulic shocks, hydraulic fluids soak up the heat and in air shocks, the heat automatically exits into the outside as hot air. In any case, assuming that the shocks operate as expected in use, they would help cushion towing vehicles regardless of the condition of the roads. 

Benefits Of The Shocks For Towing

  • Comfort: It’s tough to relax during towing operations when every impact on the road sends shockwaves throughout your truck. By using shocks to absorb impacts, you could achieve a reasonable level of comfort as you haul rigs between locations. 
  • Wear and tear: Impact not only disturb people but also strain various components of vehicles. So you want to keep your truck in top shape? Then it’s suggested that you invest in the best shocks for towing a travel trailer at the earliest opportunity. 
  • Money: Nothing lasts forever but if you own a good set of shocks for towing, you don’t have to spend much money on repairs. That is by all accounts a big plus since RVing involves all sorts of expenses and you must save money. 
  • Control: With shocks keeping impacts in check, you would have full control over your truck and that permits excellent flexibility. Therefore, you could maneuver the towing setup as you see fit if you outfit your truck with solid shock absorbers.  
  • Safety: The risk of traffic accidents is ever-present, especially when you tow travel trailers that weigh down your truck. Nonetheless, after you get your hands on decent shocks for towing vehicles, it’s possible to maintain a clean safety record as time passes by. 

Best Shocks For Towing A Travel Trailer

On the market today, there are numerous shock options for you to choose from. But to make sure all RV campers can save time and money when trying to find the best shocks for towing a travel trailer, we’ve compiled a handpicked list of the absolute best heavy duty shocks for towing with highlighted features for easy comparison.

NoBest Shocks For Towing A Travel TrailerPricesOur Ratings
1KYB MonoMax$*****
2Monroe Max-Air$$****
3ACDelco 504-539$$*****
4Gabriel Hijacker$$$***
5Bilstein 24-191203$$*****
6Detroit Axle 911262$****
7ACDelco 504-535$$****
8Monroe 911262$****
9Bilstein 24-186742$$*****
10Bilstein 24-185325$$*****
11Skyjacker B8560$***
12Rancho RS9000XL RS999286$$$***

Besides taking a thorough look at buyer reviews of these products on Amazon, interviewing the real users, RV experts of RVing Trends also tested them ourselves and only included the best units with the highest quality & ratings!

1. Best Overall: KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock

Sale
KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, Red
489 Reviews
KYB 565104 MonoMax Gas Shock, Red
  • Maximum performance upgrade with up to 40% more damping performance than standard shock...
  • Perfect solution when you need to upgrade suspension performance on your GM truck
  • Truck monotube design outperforms all other standard shock absorbers

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 25.2 Inches (Extended) and 16.1 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 6.0 Pounds 
  • Monotube
  • Stainless steel piston ring
  • Rubber boot

Why This Is The Best:

Designed as a monotube shock, KYB MonoMax (565104) could take care of a wide range of impacts with relative ease. Compared to its contemporaries, this shock dampens impacts by more than 40% which contributes to tip-top ride quality for towing vehicles on the road. Moreover, it automatically adjusts itself based on road conditions for fade-free performance. Unsurprisingly, once it comes to stabilizing towing operations, multiple RVers consider this shock as one of the best shocks for towing a travel trailer.

In terms of strength, the stainless steel piston ring allows the MonoMax (565104) to hold up in all sorts of settings. The zinc coating of this shock also guarantees outstanding corrosion resistance so our testers don’t have to worry about rust. About maintenance, the rubber boot is able to keep dirt as well as debris out in most of the cases. Because of that, we rarely need to do much to keep it in working order as time passes by. 

Reaching the market at a price that everyone could accept, the shock made by KYB is popular among cost-conscious RVers. On arrival, this shock comes alongside a limited lifetime warranty that brings peace of mind. 

I just installed these shocks on the rear end of my 2005 Dodge Ram 1500. I am very please with how well they ride, especially when I am hauling a typical trailer loads (4-wheeler). I had never heard of this brand prior to doing some research, but I would not hesitate to recommend them. They seem to have a great blend of Sturdy and Responsive.

Shared by BP

Things We Like

  • Inexpensive 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Installation is a breeze 

Things We Don’t Like

  • Users complain about noise on occasions 
  • Delivery service is less than ideal 

2. Best Value For Money: Monroe Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber

Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber
1,081 Reviews
Monroe Shocks & Struts Max-Air MA822 Air Shock Absorber
  • MAINTAIN RIDE HEIGHT UNDER LOAD -- Air chamber can be inflated or deflated up to 150 PSI to...
  • EASY TO ADJUST -- Special air fitting resists air leakage and ties into factory system (where...
  • EXCEPTIONAL HANDLING -- Full-displaced valving on compression and extension cycles for a smooth...

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 24.4 Inches (Extended) and 14.5 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 11.0 Pounds 
  • Air sleeve 
  • Full-displaced valving 
  • Sintered iron piston

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Incorporating full-displaced valving, Monroe Max-Air (MA822) is able to deliver excellent ride quality across terrains. Furthermore, as it features a built-in air sleeve that reduces friction in use, noise never becomes a source of frustration to RVers. That is why this shock manages to score well in various reviews of shocks in terms of convenience. When a need arises, it’s possible to deflate and inflate this towing shock absorber up to a pressure of 150 PSI to match the load weight too.

Upon purchase, Max-Air (MA822) is ready-to-use out of the box so installation is by all accounts child’s play. Hence, this shock receives countless compliments from our testers who don’t have much time to spare for shock setup. On average, we could adapt this shock to our truck in a matter of moments using only run-of-the-mill tools. Interestingly, it’s compatible with an assortment of shock accessories from Monroe which is a big plus. 

As proof of confidence, Monroe willingly offers everyone that decided to pick up its shock a two-year warranty. If your shock fails due to manufacturing defects within the warranty period, you may claim a replacement free of charge. 

I got the air shocks for my 2002 Buick LeSabre, I was a little worried about first with some reviews about not as good or longevity. First shipping was 2 days, second at $71 even if only last a year not huge dent, third saved $100s from buying from parts shop not to mention even good Mechanic does deala. One of my shocks was completely stuck, so was riding like a wagon. I’m no car expert will out in brakes, thermostats etc, never have shocks & this was so simple to do. Done in 45mins to 1 hour taking my time & checking everything. Both washers came & nuts so needed no extra parts. The only issue I had was connection for air port was threaded, it could still slip on but I’m going to see if can get connection piece to thread in. I just put some tape over to make sure no dirt got in & it’s rides so much better & I didn’t spend $350 plus. I will update this after more riding, hook up to air though don’t have to buy guess nice if more carry more people, stuff add 10-25psi but after research it doesn’t need it nor is it automatic like some say at least in 2002 Custom. Sorry this is lengthy but trying to cover issues I was concerned about when ordering & reviews are huge on my purchases now. Will update later but if looking for good value, easy installation, I would recommend.

Shared by JRS

Things We Like

  • High endurance 
  • Affordable 
  • Undemanding setup process

Things We Don’t Like

  • Reports of air leaks show up from time to time 
  • Post-purchase support could use some work

3. Editor’s Choice: ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock

Sale
ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
270 Reviews
ACDelco Specialty 504-539 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
  • Can maintain ride height with up to 1,100 lbs (per pair) of additional temporary leveling...
  • Adjustable air pressure to custom tune each individual load weight
  • The super finished chromed piston rod provides anti-corrosion support, a more consistent wear...

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 24.3 Inches (Extended) and 14.8 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 12.4 Pounds 
  • Adjustable
  • Anti-corrosion 
  • High-pressure nitrogen gas 

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Versatile and flexible, ACDelco Specialty Air Lift Shock (504-539) seldom fails to please in the course of operation. As an adjustable model, this shock for towing vehicles allows people to customize the absorption of impacts to their liking. At maximum capacity, it’s capable of holding up to 1,100 pounds in pairs and that is more than enough for typical towing operations. Additionally, since this shock absorber excels at maintaining ride height, it’s going to keep the risk of undercarriage damages to the minimum. 

Thanks to the integration of a super finished chromed piston rod, the ACDelco shock resists corrosion effectively and efficiently. Naturally, regarding lifespan, many of our testers think of it as one of the best shocks for towing a travel trailer money can buy. Besides that, the maintenance of this shock is no-nonsense so keeping it in working order is a walk in the park. If your schedule prevents you from looking after the shocks of your truck, you should add this shock to your shortlist. 

For compatibility, Specialty Air Lift Shock (504-539) works well on a lot of towing vehicles. With an intuitive installation, this shock requires a bit of time and effort to set up. 

Was looking for shocks for 94 K1500, saw these in the 50 buck range, ordered. Seem like good quality air shocks, installed them in an evening. Hose kit for filling was included. Replacement bolts were not, had to reuse old ones, luckily they were not frozen from the rust. I used them towing a dual axle trailer with over a ton of scrap metal in it. Seemed to work well. Made in Mexico

Shared by Pinoy

If you use your truck for towing or carrying stuff. (Which almost everyone does) than these are perfect. They install easy, ride quality is good. Now my 1500 sits level with the boat trailer on her.

Shared by Zach

Things We Like

  • Sturdy and stable
  • Quiet 
  • Second to none adaptability 

Things We Don’t Like

  • People notice inconsistencies between units 
  • Packaging still leave something to be desired 

4. Gabriel 49235 Hijacker

Gabriel 49235 Hijacker
439 Reviews
Gabriel 49235 Hijacker
  • America's best-known air-adjustable shock ideal for towing or heavy loads
  • America's best-known air-adjustable shock absorber
  • Ideal for temporarily towing boats and trailers or for heavy loads

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 24.7 Inches (Extended) and 15.4 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 13.0 Pounds 
  • Leakproof piston seal 
  • D.O.M tubing 
  • Adjustable 

Why We Love It:

The rear shocks of your truck suddenly give out and you need the best rear shocks for towing a travel trailer in a hurry? Then it’s strongly recommended that you take some time to see what Gabriel Hijacker (49235) could do. Capable of adding 1,100 pounds to the lifting capacity in pairs, this shock holds together like a champ in towing operation. In addition to that, with a D.O.M (Drawn Over Mandrel) tubing, it takes years to wear down and that is advantageous. 

Owing to a combination of chromed piston rod and leakproof piston seal, the shock from Gabriel performs consistently in the outdoors. The design helps inhibit corrosion so our testers include it into their list of best shocks for towing a travel trailer in humid environments. Also, it’s worth pointing out that this shock fits quite a few towing vehicles: Chevrolet, Ram, Dodge and so on. Thus, compatibility is going to be less than an issue during the setup process. 

At a glance, Hijacker (49235) costs more than its market competitors but the values it provides match its price tag. Since this shock lasts for years, it allows RVing enthusiasts to save a couple of bucks in the long run as well. 

Things We Like

  • Fantastic fitness 
  • Simple maintenance 
  • Easy to install 

Things We Don’t Like

  • A number of units arrive in used condition 
  • Quality control requires improvements 

5. Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber

Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber
356 Reviews
Bilstein 24191203 Shock Absorber
  • Country of Origin : United States
  • Package Dimensions: 7.62 L x 67.818 H x 8.128 W (centimeters)
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 27.3 Inches (Extended) and 17.0 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 5.5 Pounds 
  • Silver 
  • Velocity-sensitive digressive piston
  • Tuned 

Why We Love It:

Engineered with an emphasis on fade-free performance, Bilstein 24-191203 is a solid shock for towing operations that involve RV. Being a monotube model, this shock operates smoothly in all sorts of settings over time which ensures travel comfort. Moreover, it integrates a velocity-sensitive digressive piston that automatically applies adjustments to meet changing road conditions. Therefore, for RV owners that don’t enjoy micromanaging the suspension system, this shock is among the best shocks for towing available for purchase nowadays. 

Before reaching the hands of customers, the shock of Bilstein receives specific tuning for optimal impact absorption. Because of that, our testers could put this shock to good use as soon as it leaves the packaging and that accelerates installation. Following the conclusion of the setup process, we only have to check up on this shock on occasions as it demands little maintenance. Last but not least, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty that covers defects and puts RVing enthusiasts at ease. 

Regarding affordability, 24-191203 is a budget-friendly shock absorber that fits the shopping budget of ordinary RVers. That means there is no need to cut down expenses on the road to add this shock to the spending plan. 

Things We Like

  • Capacity is top-notch 
  • Reasonable price 
  • Superb compatibility 

Things We Don’t Like

  • Sporadic oil leaks as time passes by 
  • Customer service is kind of unresponsive 

6. Detroit Axle 911262 Rear Shock Absorbers

Detroit Axle - Rear Shock Absorbers Replacement for Ford F-150 Lincoln Mark LT - 2pc Set
576 Reviews
Detroit Axle - Rear Shock Absorbers Replacement for Ford F-150 Lincoln Mark LT - 2pc Set
  • Undergo impact, wear, and fatigue testing to help ensure quality and durability
  • 10-Year Warranty

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 27.2 Inches (Extended) and 16.5 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 12.0 Pounds 
  • Electrophoretic coating
  • No assembly required 
  • Premium coil springs 

Why We Love It:

Put together for modern applications and built to last, Detroit Axle 911262 gives a good account of itself in most towing vehicles. Using high-quality materials for construction, this shock would take in the kinetic energy of impacts with relative ease. Additionally, it incorporates electrophoretic coating that protects the exterior from corrosion, oxidation and other issues. That is why once it comes to durability, many people deem this shock as one of the best shock absorbers for towing of its class. 

With premium coil springs stabilizing the suspension system, 911262 is able to preserve the ride height around the clock. Hence, our testers have an easy time avoiding damages to the undercarriage of their trucks while towing travel trailer. The presence of this shock also improves the mobility of towing setups so we could maneuver in any way we like in the outdoors. Finally, boasting fantastic compatibility, this shock for towing meets the specifications of a multitude of trucks in circulation at the moment. 

As for post-purchase support, to reassure its customers, Detroit Axle backs its shock with a ten-year manufacturer warranty. Wish to have something to count on when your shocks act up out of the blue? Then Detroit Axle 911262 is among the best shocks for towing a travel trailer you can get. 

Things We Like

  • Dependable and reliable 
  • Snug fit 
  • Economical 

Things We Don’t Like

  • Certain parts need to be strengthened 
  • A couple of RVers report rattling noise 

7. ACDelco Specialty 504-535 Rear Air Lift Shock

ACDelco Specialty 504-535 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
512 Reviews
ACDelco Specialty 504-535 Rear Air Lift Shock Absorber
  • Leading Manufacturer Of High-Quality Products
  • International Renown For Our Diverse Range Of Award-Winning Products
  • Fully Equipped With State-Of-The-Art Technology

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 24.3 Inches (Extended) and 14.8 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 12.1 Pounds 
  • Twin-tube 
  • Customizable air pressure 
  • Black 

Why We Love It:

Despite its plain appearance, ACDelco Specialty Air Lift Shock (504-535) possesses everything that RVers expect from shock absorbers. Made to be a twin-tube shock, it would keep the ride height of trucks stable by adding/releasing as the situation dictates. It’s noteworthy that the air pressure of this shock absorber is customizable: RVers may adjust the pressure between 25 and 200 PSI. At the maximum capacity, this shock for towing operations is capable of holding a total weight of 1,100 pounds in pairs. 

Integrating a chromed piston rod, the shock made by ACDelco resists corrosive elements expertly so rust is not a big problem. The resilience of the construction permits it to slow down the wearing rate too and that contributes to a long lifespan. That is why by picking up this shock absorber, the majority of our testers could lengthen the replacement interval. Lastly, since it shows up fully assembled, this towing shock just needs a small amount of time to set up. 

In terms of maintenance, Specialty Air Lift Shock (504-535) would stay in good condition if it receives a bit of attention. Needless to say, regarding the ease of care, this shock is among the best shocks for hauling a truck camper

Things We Like

  • Durable 
  • Snug fit 
  • Setup process is no-nonsense 

Things We Don’t Like

  • People sometimes detect deviations in dimensions 
  • Several units develop cracks over time 

8. Monroe Reflex 911262 Shock Absorber

Monroe Shocks & Struts Reflex 911262 Shock Absorber
286 Reviews
Monroe Shocks & Struts Reflex 911262 Shock Absorber
Ideal for vehicles with a higher center of gravity, Monroe light truck shock absorbers feature ASD valving technology that automatically adjusts the unit to absorb the impact, helping to reduce vehicle roll and dive.

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 27.2 Inches (Extended) and 16.5 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 5.3 Pounds 
  • ASD technology 
  • All-weather fluid 
  • Fluon-banded piston 

Why We Love It:

Engineered to take advantage of ASD (Acceleration Sensitive Damping) technology, Monroe 911262 is good at adapting to variable road conditions. In the course of operation, this shock absorber is going to adjust automatically to absorb whatever impacts that hit towing vehicles. Because of that, for reducing roll and dive in trucks, it’s one of the best truck shocks for towing at its price range. Also, thanks to the tuning, this shock is able to deliver consistent ride quality for years to come. 

Unlike traditional models on the market, 911262 utilizes all-weather fluid with special additives that prevent breakdowns in extreme temperatures. Hence, our testers don’t have to bother with heat and cold while towing travel trailers on the road. Aside from that, the fluon-banded piston of this shock easily handles everything that the outdoors throws at it. With it sitting in the suspension, we could spend less time on the maintenance of shock absorbers and more time on natural wonders.

Being compatible with trucks of various types, the shock of Monroe requires mere moments to set up and there is no need for specialized tools. The two-year warranty proves reassuring too, especially if RVers want to stay on the safe side. 

Things We Like

  • Silent operation 
  • Cheap 
  • Enduring 

Things We Don’t Like

  • Complaints about bounces appear occasionally 
  • Particular units arrive with missing hardware 

9. Bilstein 24-186742 Rear Shock For Truck/SUV

Sale
Shock, 5100 Series, Monotube, Steel, Zinc Plated, Rear, GM Fullsize SUV/Truck 1999-2010, Each
605 Reviews
Shock, 5100 Series, Monotube, Steel, Zinc Plated, Rear, GM Fullsize SUV/Truck 1999-2010, Each
  • Package Dimensions: 67.5 H x 7.5 L x 7.8 W (centimetres)
  • Package Weight: 2.6 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : United States

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 26.1 Inches (Extended) and 16.1 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 5.1 Pounds 
  • Zinc-plated 
  • Boot included 
  • For the rear 

Why We Love It:

Possessing a zinc-plated body, Bilstein 24-186742 is capable of surviving exposures to outdoor elements for an extensive period of time. Furthermore, the high endurance means this shock for towing casually weather the punishment of a lot of impacts in use. As a result, RV owners that travel around the year and place ruggedness above all else hold it in high esteem. Noteworthily, since it works well in the suspension of all sorts of trucks, putting it to good use in specific towing setups is a piece of cake. 

After the setup process concludes, the Bilstein shock absorber would minimize the kinetic energy of impacts that spread through trucks during towing operations. It improves the handling characteristics of vehicles as a whole too so our testers retain complete control at all times. Therefore, in terms of all-around performance, this shock is among the best rear shocks for towing. Owing to its terrific affordability, we could squeeze this shock absorber into the spending plan without much difficulty.

Quite a few factors influence the lifespan of 24-186742 but it should hold together for many travel seasons. For post-purchase support, Bilstein backs its shock with a lifetime manufacturer warranty that covers defects. 

Things We Like

  • Outstanding versatility 
  • Maintenance is child’s play 
  • Budget-friendly 

Things We Don’t Like

  • RVers detect fluid leaks on certain units 
  • A bit stiff 

10. Bilstein 24-185325 Super Duty Rear Shock

Sale
Bilstein 24-185325 Rear Shock for Ford F250 2WD Super Duty , Yellow
84 Reviews
Bilstein 24-185325 Rear Shock for Ford F250 2WD Super Duty , Yellow
  • Package Dimensions: 67.818 H x 7.366 L x 7.366 W (centimetres)
  • Package Weight: 2.041 kilograms
  • Fit type: Vehicle Specific

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 27.6 Inches (Extended) and 16.7 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 4.5 Pounds 
  • Fade-free performance 
  • Monotube 
  • Tuned 

Why We Love It:

Able to mitigate the worst of impacts, Bilstein 24-185325 is a must-have for RVers that care about ride quality on the road. Made to adapt to changes in road conditions on its own, this shock needs little attention from camper owners. In addition to that, it’s a monotube model so it’s going to protect trucks from kinetic energy for a long time before failing. Thus, with this shock around, people don’t have to spend too much money on getting new shock absorbers. 

Since the installation of 24-185325 is a straightforward affair that only involves basic tools in the toolbox, our testers could set it up in no time. Interestingly, it arrives tuned and that eliminates the hassle of calibration for most of the time. The excellent compatibility of this shock for towing vehicles also guarantees a snug fit in a wide range of trucks. If you lack the patience to check up on the fitness of your shock absorber, this shock is one of the best shocks for you. 

Regarding price, the shock made by Bilstein is not exactly dirt-cheap but it’s far from a bank-breaking investment. With a couple of calculations, you should be able to equip your truck with this shock absorber. 

Things We Like

  • Instantaneous installation 
  • Great values for the price 
  • Resilient 

Things We Don’t Like

  • Packaging is barely acceptable 
  • Mediocre customer service

11. Skyjacker B8560 MAX Shock Absorber

Sale
Skyjacker B8560 Black MAX Shock Absorber with Black Boot
204 Reviews
Skyjacker B8560 Black MAX Shock Absorber with Black Boot
  • Advanced Foam-Cell Technology
  • Vehicle Specific Multi-Stage Valving
  • Increased Fluid Capacity for MAX Heat Dissipation

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 29.8 Inches (Extended) and 17.3 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 6.0 Pounds 
  • Multistage valving 
  • Increased fluid capacity 
  • Foam-cell insert 

Why We Love It:

Tired of putting up with all the bumps that rock your truck as you tow travel trailers through rough terrains? Then there is a very good chance that you would come to like Skyjacker B8560. Created to be a twin-tube model, it could stop the majority of impacts from giving you and your truck a hard time on the road. Moreover, featuring a quality chrome-plated shaft, this shock is capable of resisting corrosion which reduces the risk of rust. 

Boasting increased fluid capacity, the shock from Skyjacker could absorb more kinetic energy than its competitors on the market. As the fluid heats up in use, the foam-cell insert automatically compresses to compensate for expansion. Needless to say, many of our testers enjoy using this shock for towing operations that occur in the summer. The foam-cell insert gets rid of air inside the shock as well so we have the option of setting it up in whatever way we like. 

Available at a price that RVers could accept, Skyjacker B8560 is among the best heavy-duty shocks for towing once it comes to cost-value. If you opt to pick up this shock for your truck, you would receive a limited lifetime warranty. 

Things We Like

  • Tough 
  • Commendable stability 
  • Responsive post-purchase support 

Things We Don’t Like

  • People report missing units every now and then 
  • Some of the units arrive uncharged 

12. Rancho RS9000XL RS999286 Shock Absorber

Rancho RS9000XL RS999286 Shock Absorber
100 Reviews
Rancho RS9000XL RS999286 Shock Absorber
  • NINE LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE -- Nine-position easy-to-adjust knob allows customized damping...
  • DESIGNED FOR HARDWORKING VEHICLES -- Ideal for stock or lifted trucks, SUVs and Jeeps that tow,...
  • INDUSTRY FIRST -- Recognized as the first nine-position manually adjustable shock series in the...

Specifications And Features:

  • Length: 28.3 Inches (Extended) and 17.6 Inches (Compressed) 
  • Weight: 8.0 Pounds 
  • Customizable damping control 
  • Pressurized nitrogen gas 
  • Nitro-carburized piston rod 

Why We Love It:

With a nine-position knob for customizable damping control, Rancho RS9000XL (RS999286) permits RVers to freely manipulate the absorption of impacts, onroad and offroad. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that the presence of pressurized nitrogen gas keeps fading to the minimum. Because of that, this shock absorber is going to help steady towing vehicles for quite some time. Owing to the graphite-filled fluon-banded piston, it reduces friction as well and that is advantageous in draw-out operations. 

Carrying a nitro-carburized piston rod with superb resistance against corrosion, RS9000XL (RS999286) works like a charm even in humid conditions. Also, the temperature tolerance of this shock is marvelous: it would remain in working order as long as the temperature stays between  -40 and 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Unsurprisingly, our testers who have to manage changing temperatures think highly of this shock. Finally, the self-lubricating seal of this shock means maintenance is a cakewalk. 

Compared to the market average, the Rancho shock is on the expensive side. However, if all you care about is quality and you have money to spend, you won’t regret buying this shock. 

Things We Like

  • Adaptable 
  • Simple to use 
  • Lifespan is impressive 

Things We Don’t Like

  • High cost 
  • Quality control is barely acceptable 

Related Review: Best Brake Pads For Towing RV


How to Choose The Best Shocks For Towing Travel Trailers

Different RVers have different ideas about the best shocks for towing a travel trailer but to make a wise investment, remember the criteria down below. 

Shape And Size 

Since the suspension system changes from vehicle to vehicle, it’s a good idea to keep shape and size in mind while shopping for shocks. The last thing you want to do is to pick up a set of shocks that is incompatible with the suspension system of your truck. Usually, by checking out the owner’s manual, you could determine whether a model matches the requirements of towing operations. Still, to be thorough, you may want to take a look at customer reviews to see what others say about the fitness of specific shocks. 

Strength

In use, shocks must put up with the kinetic energy of impacts which is why strength is an important consideration. If you own a strong set of shocks then you would be able to smoothly navigate roads of variable conditions. On the other hand, if you end up getting fragile shocks that fail after sustaining minimal punishment, you have to spend more money on replacements. Quite a few factors influence the strength of shocks but it’s widely advised that you pay attention to material. 

Ratings

Different towing setups have different specifications, thus, you should take ratings of shocks into account. For demanding towing operations, it’s essential to prioritize heavy-duty shocks for towing with appropriate ratings. To deduce the ideal ratings for your shocks, you need to think about issues like Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), …

Brand 

The brand of a shock rarely dictates its values so there is no need to worry too much about brand. That being said, if you wish to stay on the safe side, stick to models made by reputable brands such as Monroe, ACDelco, Gabriel, etc. Though shocks from the mentioned brands still receive complaints on occasions, they remain superior to those of lesser-known names. Additionally, if you get your shocks from famous manufacturers, you could count on technical assistance if the situation turns south. 

Price 

  • $40 – $60: While they indeed lack state-of-the-art technologies and top-of-the-line features, shocks in the range nonetheless perform adequately on the road. Also, available at reasonable prices, models with price tags between $40 and $60 earn a shower of praises from budget-minded RVers. 
  • $60 – $100: Being middle-class models, shocks in the range provide excellent values but don’t cost an arm and a leg. Desire quality shocks but your wallet is kind of tight? In that case, you should keep an eye out for models that cost from $60 to $100.
  • Above $100: Equipped with everything that people need to dampen impacts, shocks in the range give a good account of themselves in all sorts of settings. Moreover, despite the steep cost, models with price tags exceeding $100 last a long time so they let RVers save money. 

FAQs About Shocks For Towing

1. Do good shocks help with towing?

Yes, they do. However, aside from shocks, other components of the suspension system contribute to the decrease of impacts too. Therefore, if you detect minor changes in ride quality after installing shocks, you need to take a look at the suspicion system as a whole. 

2. What’s better for towing: air shocks or coil-overs?

Technically, air shocks as well as coil-overs could lessen impacts in towing operations. Still, it’s worth pointing out that coil-overs have a tendency to stiffen under loads which affects ride quality. Because of that, for light-duty towing, feel free to pick up whatever you like. You should go for air shocks if you have to haul fully-laden rigs though.

3. What are the symptoms of worn shock absorbers?

Overall, if the shock absorbers of your truck get worn out, there is a very good chance that you would notice the following:

Excessive vibrations in the steering wheel: With the shock absorbers no longer dampening impacts, you should experience a lot of vibrations while driving around. For most of the time, the quicker you drive, the more intense the vibrations get. 

Extended stopping distance: Once it comes to stopping distance, brakes prove decisive but shock absorbers play a role too. Here is how it works: The moment you hit the brakes, the weight of towing setups would shift forward and downward. Assuming that the shock absorbers stay in working order, they could both hold up the front and keep some of the weight at the back. Nonetheless, if the shock absorbers sustain extensive wear and tear, the brakes must work harder and that lengthen the stopping distance. 

Uneven wearing patterns on tires: When shock absorbers act up, the way that the tires come into contact with the surface inevitably suffers. The result of that is an uneven wearing pattern on the tires with disproportionate wear in certain spots.  

Bouncy: Each time your truck runs over something, it tends to bounce for a bit? Then you have to consider the possibility that you have worn-out shock absorbers due for replacement. 

4. How long can you go with bad shocks?

It’s impossible to tell for certain when bad shocks give out: Some may hold together for several days while others break apart within hours. That is why for your own good, it’s best to replace shocks that have gone bad as soon as possible.

5. What happens if you don’t replace shocks and struts?

In layman’s terms, if you postpone the replacement of bad shocks and struts, you would put you and your vehicle at risk. Owing to the importance of shocks and struts to various aspects of vehicles, failure to get replacements often compromise traffic safety, stress components, impair handling, … As a result, if you like to optimize your towing experience, don’t be stingy regarding shocks and struts.

 6. Do I need to replace all 4 shocks at once?

Ideally, you should replace all of the shocks of your truck simultaneously for consistency. That being said, it’s not uncommon to replace a pair at a time as shocks work in pairs. In the case that only one of the shocks seems damaged, you could replace it alone. 

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