The Best RV Suspension Upgrades For A More Comfortable & Safer Trip

Upgrading RV suspension is a popular investment among RV owners. With plenty of options available, which RV suspension upgrades provide the most value?

Suspension upgrades are a great way to improve the ride and safety of your rig. Factory suspension parts may be cheaply made and prone to breakage, leading to maneuvering difficulties and loss of control. With all the brands and different upgrade options available, it’s hard to know which ones are worth it.

Let’s look at some RV suspension upgrades you won’t regret!

Upgraded suspension shackle straps

The shackles are integral to the suspension system and shouldn’t be overlooked. As with most factory parts, the ones that came on your RV are probably cheap and just meet the bare minimum for rigidity.

Aftermarket shackles are an easy way to beef up your suspension and an easy DIY job. The upgraded pieces will likely be 1/2″ thick, which will be noticeably thicker than the originals. The mounting hardware is also going to be heavier and more robust.

Many shackle strap kits also include grease fittings so they can be lubricated, whereas the originals can’t be serviced. This feature, in itself, is worth the cost of upgrading, as the combination of stronger parts and the ability to grease them results in a lifetime of trouble-free travel.

A better ride with better equalizers

Upgrading the equalizers that join the axles on double or triple-axle trailers is a wise investment and can significantly improve the performance and stability of the trailer.

Equalizers are the link between leaf springs and play a big role in how your rig rides. The stock ones are thin and offer very little cushion to the ride of your RV. Upgraded equalizers are the number one change RVers make when it comes to suspensions.

The added cushion they provide takes the stress off of other suspension parts and your RV in general. A softer riding RV also means a safer towing experience. We’ve all felt our RV jerking and pulling after hitting bumps, and a lot of that is due to the stiff suspensions.

RV suspension upgrades, closeup of tires
An equalizer will give you a softer ride and safer towing experience. Photo and cover photo via Lippert (Amazon)

Adding or upgrading shock absorbers

Fifth wheels of larger sizes sometimes feature shock absorbers similar to those found in automobiles. Others have the mounts in place to add shocks as an RV suspension upgrade.

RV suspensions are much more limited than your tow vehicle’s, however, adding shocks does even them out to a degree. If your RV doesn’t have the mounts for shocks, adding them becomes a more complicated and expensive upgrade that may not be worth it.

If your rig has shocks, upgrading them to better shocks is easy and can smooth out the ride, putting less strain on your RV and giving you more control while towing.

Do you need RV suspension upgrades?

If you are a weekend warrior, suspension upgrades are probably unnecessary in most cases. If you travel rough roads often, it probably makes sense to make some upgrades to provide a better ride and eliminate some stresses from your RV.

Those RVers who travel long distances and are on the road often or full-time will definitely benefit from the mentioned RV suspension upgrades. Having a smooth riding and safe towing RV is worth the modest costs for most suspension upgrades.

The most common upgrade for RV suspension systems is to combine stronger shackle straps with an upgraded equalizer, which are sometimes sold together as a complete kit. This combination adds strength to your RV suspension and improves ride quality for comfort and safety.

Using aftermarket parts with grease fittings can improve both the current performance and the long-term durability of your RV’s suspension system.

Get tips from other RVers

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

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