cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Leaf Spring Replacement

TECMike
Explorer
Explorer
Is it necessary to replace leaf springs on a travel trailer as preventive maintenance?

Our small Sunnybrook travel trailer is twelve years old, been a joy to own without any major problems. I estimate my wife and I have pulled it about seventy thousand miles since we bought it new.

Should I give consideration to replacing its leaf springs? They seem to be fine, other than being old. But I do not want to have a spring to fail in the middle of nowhere.

Would appreciate advice from seasoned RVers. Thanks in advance.
18 REPLIES 18

deltabravo
Traveler
Traveler
TECMike wrote:
Is it necessary to replace leaf springs on a travel trailer as preventive maintenance?


No.
2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

_1nobby
Explorer
Explorer
I have 2 new spare spring sets and 2 spare wheel bearings on board.

I always travel with tools and a floor jack....important when you boon dock in the middle of BFN.

Because I am prepared...nothing will happen. 🙂

TECMike
Explorer
Explorer
As an older couple, my wife and I have been camping and pulling trailers nearly 50 years now.

In thinking back over the years, I believe the number one failure we have seen on trailers/fifth wheels are tires.

Next it seems broken springs rank number two, along with wheel bearing failures, when it comes to towing travel trailers/fifth wheels.

Perhaps others can mention other failures that we can use as preventive measures; not only for our family's safety, but for others traveling as well. We can all benefit from safety knowledge.

ssthrd
Explorer
Explorer
I would just keep an eye on sag. If one spring looks flatter than the other, I would replace both.
2014 Keystone Laredo 292RL
2013 Palomino Maverick 2902
2018 GMC 3500HD, 4x4, 6.5' box, SRW, Denali, Duramax, Andersen
DeeBee, JayBee, and Jed the Black Lab

The hurrier I go the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll)

Lynnmor
Explorer
Explorer
ajriding wrote:
you need to rotate the light bulbs in your tow vehicle too.

lol, is this a serious post? those springs will go millions of miles with no issues. The bigger issue with leaf springs is that they tend to sag over time, so storing the trailer on blocks where the wheels do not touch the ground (the springs are fully extended and unweighted), is something you could do for taking care of it. Still this is not necessary


In less than two years I had one sag and one break, a third one was off in center pin location. With cheap Chinese steel, this ain’t your fathers world. I bought replacements at a farm supply store.

ajriding
Explorer
Explorer
you need to rotate the light bulbs in your tow vehicle too.

lol, is this a serious post? those springs will go millions of miles with no issues. The bigger issue with leaf springs is that they tend to sag over time, so storing the trailer on blocks where the wheels do not touch the ground (the springs are fully extended and unweighted), is something you could do for taking care of it. Still this is not necessary

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
My '97 11200 lb 5th wheel trailer has over 150k miles on OEM 5200 lb axles. Bushings/pins replaced and brakes in the 100k range.

I've had GN trailers in commercial service with over 250k miles using the same axles the rv industry uses.
'course @ 70k-80k miles a year they don't "time out" and sag like RV trailers can.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

midnightsadie
Explorer II
Explorer II
keep them. but if one brakes? change both.

APT
Explorer
Explorer
I would say not necessary for preventative unless maybe you have a single axle trailer that you load near GVWR often.

One of my 4 (tandem axle) springs broke either at the campsite or on drive home about 200 miles away. I had tire clearance when the suspension dropped so no rubbing. I'm sure the things inside bounces a little more than usual, but I do not have shocks anyway. I changed all 4 with higher spring rates before the next trip as I do load near GVWR every trip.

Springs are cheap from eTrailer.
A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R
2x 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV (Gray and Black Twins)

BadgerMcAdams
Explorer
Explorer
If the springs are basically in good condition, and they are just a bit flat from the years of use, one possibility is to have them re-arched.

MANY years ago, I worked at a truck repair company in Amarillo Texas called Tow Brothers. (NOT a recommendation for them, Hell, I don't even know if they are still in business, this was 36 years ago) They did just about every kind of work on truck and trailer suspensions. One of the things they did was take old tired springs, disassemble them, and re-arch them to factory specs.

As I said, this isn't an endorsement for the company, but a possibility of repair if you need your springs redone. I am sure that there are many places across the U.S. that will do this for a much cheaper price than buying new.

Just a suggestion, your mileage may vary...

BarneyS
Explorer III
Explorer III
My Sunnybrook is a 2004 and is still on its' original springs. I too have wet bolts and Equaflex suspension equalizers. Ours does not get towed anymore though and just sits on those old springs waiting for my wife and I to arrive. :B
Barney
2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
Hensley "Arrow" 1400# hitch (Sold)
Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD, 1997 Ram 2500 5.9 gas engine

Vintage465
Explorer III
Explorer III
I would think with as many miles as you have on yours and they have good arc, your springs are "proven". I had a spring break with about 30,000 miles on our trailer. It was a right rear spring that broke 4" from the rear-most eye. The axle slid forward and the two tires started rubbing together and incinerating at about 60mph....pretty exciting time there for a few minutes, but I managed to get it off the road before things went catastrophic. That caused me to buy 4 new springs and up the spring capacity from 1750's to 2500's. I noticed two things about my springs; one, there was a very visible flaw in the manufacturing that caused the failure. two, the distance from the eye to the next leaf in the "spring pack" was about 6". On the new springs the distance from the eye is about 2". I like that better. Also, I did a ton of research and calling and as far as I can tell, there are no springs for trailers made in USA. You can have springs made, but it will be about $2000.00. All trailer springs are made in China or India. So I would say....since I think it is a gamble buying anything from China or India, If what you have is working, keep it til it starts to look iffy cause it's hard to be certain you'll get a good set of springs.
V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retired and living the dream!

Huntindog
Explorer
Explorer
TECMike wrote:
Thanks Huntindog, for the response. I had wet bolts installed when I bought the trailer, so perhaps that has helped, along with the Equaflex suspension. No sagging at all, just old OE springs with a lot of miles on them. Yes, perhaps the steel was better back in 2009.
A note about the bushings: I have replaced quite a few of them. The center equalizer bushing takes the most abuse and always shows more wear. Fortunantly, it is usually the easiest one to grease. I recomend greasing it a lot more often than the others
Huntindog
100% boondocking
2021 Grand Design Momentum 398M
2 bathrooms, no waiting
104 gal grey, 104 black,158 fresh
FullBodyPaint, 3,8Kaxles, DiscBrakes
17.5LRH commercial tires
1860watts solar,800 AH Battleborn batterys
2020 Silverado HighCountry CC DA 4X4 DRW

SDcampowneroper
Explorer
Explorer
Keep the wet bolts greased regularly, an eye on the arc of the springs, wear on the bushings and shackles. A dry bolt will wear out the nylon or bronze bushing eventually turn in the shackle, elongating the hole then tearing out.

time2roll
Explorer II
Explorer II
As long as they look good with no cracked steel and have a good arc you are good for a long time.
Although anything can happen on the road you should not worry about your springs.