Thursday, January 31, 2019

Replacing Our RV Front Shocks (DIY)

With our extended winter stay I have had time to not only fix all the little things on the RV and our CRV but I also to tackle some bigger jobs . One such job I wanted to do was to replace the shocks on the front end of our Tiffin Allegro Bay.

After reading online about how to best do this I was surprised at how easy this job would be. The only real challenge it seemed would be to loosen the nuts initially off of the bolts holding the shocks to the chassis. In addition my next challenge was to determine which shocks to order.


After reading many reviews and accounts of other RV’ers I came to the conclusion that I would replace the front shocks with Koni shocks. These shocks come very highly rated by others and I read many accounts of happy campers for those who went with the Konis as their replacement shocks.


Most accounts I read said to make sure to order shocks specific to your chassis and year model. I contacted shock warehouse via a chat session to determine what I needed. After telling them my year model and chassis of our RV they told me what to order. The shocks came in about 5 days later and during that time I had sprayed Liquid Wrench on each of the shock nuts and bolts hoping to make them easier to remove.


The bolts and nuts needed 1 1/8” sockets (1/2” drive). The other tools I needed were a large 12 “ adjustable crescent wrench , an 18” 1/2” drive breaker bar, a propane torch with a quick start and a piece of pipe to extend the breaker bar’s length. With tools in had I tried to remove the nuts off the bolts. After using the pipe to extend the breaker bars length and  bit of heave and ho the two bottom nuts came off.


The top bolts were much harder to loosen. One finally broke free using the full length of the pipe and breaker bar but the other one required the use of the propane torch to heat the nut hoping to cause it to expand and break free from whatever was causing it to seize up. Well after a bit of cussing and grunting it also finally broke free.

With the shocks out I opened the new ones only to discover the holes in the top of the shocks were too small to accept the wider bolts that came out of the old shocks. CRAP, I have the wrong shocks!!! So after contacting shock warehouse and going back and forth with them they finally agreed to pay the shipping for me to return the new ones and get the correct ones sent back to me.


The problem with the initial order was I have a FRED which is a front engine diesel chassis in our RV and they required a different shock. The company tried to assign blame to me saying I ordered the wrong ones but after showing them my saved chat session they realized that maybe they should have asked me if I had a FRED chassis. Anyhow it took a while to get the new shocks but eventually the right ones were sent to us without me having to pay additional shipping.

Installing the shocks was easy and straight forward as I simply reversed the steps on how I took the old ones out. Now I should mention that I had my jacks down already as we have been parked and set up on our site. As a result I didn’t have to raise the rig to remove the shocks . The shocks have no weight bearing on them so they really are simple to remove once the nuts are freed.


The only trick in putting on the new ones is to put the top bolts on first so you can pull (albeit not easily) the lower half of the shock down so the hole lines up up with the chassis hole for the lower bolts.

Anyone can do this job and other than some awkward arm positions the task takes less than an hour to remove and replace your shocks. With this behind me I will rest awhile before I move on to another big one as our water heater just went out…..sigh.

NOTE: We are still at our winter site until March 1st in Bonita Springs, Florida…

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