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Old 05-15-2018, 06:44 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
drunkensloth's Avatar
1965 17' Caravel
Knights Landing , California
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 72
My shock experience

With all the different opinions on shocks around here, I figured I'd share my personal experience on my caravel.

I have had my caravel for about 6 years and have always had issues with the ride quality. Rivets pop out, cabinets separate, personal items being tossed all over the place. Different tow vehicle, no change. So I installed a new dexter axle a couple years back, no real change. New tires as well, no change.

When I ordered the new axle I did have shock mounts installed however as you will see in my photos, some one had cut the mounts off the frame in the past for some reason. Speaking with fellow streamers at rallys and reading online I got convinced it just didn't matter and that's just how the ride was. Well last trip a few months ago, another cabinet started to seperate and I noticed in the rear view how the trailer just seemed to bounce side to side even on a pretty smooth road. It was just shaking itself apart.

So finally I ordered gabriel shocks, the bolts and made mounts out of 1/4" plate. (I know the welds are ugly however it was my buddy's dad's welder we were using and he insisted on doing it. But they sure won't go anywhere!) I set my own angle and length based on the center travel of shock(about 60 degrees) and welded it up.

My experience now is this. I cannot believe I waited this long. The ride has improved so much, and items in trailer are not shifting and popping open cabinet doors and flying out. The whole unit feels much more stable and easier to tow. I can now put eggs in the fridge without them breaking! I don't have to spend my first hour after setup fixing things that broke in transit.

I know it can be a heated topic and maybe for larger trailers or different setups it doesn't matter. But in my case with my 1/2 ton chevy and my little caravel, its night and day. And here is a pic from tahoe yesterday because that's what it's all about. Happy travels ya'll. Click image for larger version

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