Best Shocks for Towing

Whether you’re hitching up a U-Haul or hauling a trailer cross-country, here are the best shocks for towing to ensure a smoother and safer ride.
Written by Natalie Todoroff
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you’re planning on doing some heavy-duty towing, you’ll need to install shock absorbers to help balance out your car. All of the added weight in the rear of your vehicle will throw off its center of gravity, so swapping out your shock absorbers will improve handling and give you a smoother—and safer—ride. 
Picture this: you’ve packed your bags and gear, hitched up your trailer, downloaded all seven Harry Potter audiobooks, your snacks are at the ready and you’re about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime. 
You hop in your car, flip on the ignition, head down the driveway…and notice that it’s a much rockier ride than usual. If that happens, you forgot to swap out your shock absorbers from regular to heavy-duty ones.
There are tons of them on the market, but luckily
, the
trustworthy super app
car insurance
savings, has put together this guide to the best heavy-duty shock absorbers.

Monroe MA822 Max-Air shock absorber 

At just $77 for a two-pack, you can’t really top the price of the
Monroe MA822 Air-Max
shock absorbers or towing capacity. These shocks can keep your vehicle balanced and level even with up to 1,200 lbs of added weight at the back. For reference, anything above 1,000 lbs is considered good for heavy-duty towing. 
Aside from the price, another great selling point that puts the Monroe MA822 Max-Air shock absorbers at top of our list of best heavy-duty shocks for towing is that they’re super adjustable. 
The internal air chamber can be inflated up to 150 PSI, which means that they not only adjust to the added weight behind your truck, but the hardened piston rod core makes these shocks able to seamlessly adjust to all kinds of terrain. 
Better yet, it’s backed with a solid two-year warranty. Owners of these shocks also report that installation is also pretty easy. The one major drawback? Owners also report that they can sometimes hear a faint rattling sound while driving with these shocks. 
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Rancho RS9000XL shock absorber 

Now, if you’re looking for some truly adjustable shocks for towing, look no further than the
Rancho RS9000LX
shock absorbers. These shocks are some of the most adjustable on our list with an impressive nine different settings, making them a great choice for those who want to take their hauling off-road. 
They’re also durable: inside a Rancho RS9000XL shock absorber, you’ll find pressurized nitrogen gas up to 120 PSI, which helps keep these shocks in prime condition mile after mile by combating corrosion. Rancho shock absorbers are also outfitted with a self-lubricating seal, which makes maintenance a breeze. 
However, these shock absorbers are some of the pricier ones on the market at around $118 for just one of them. That, and Rancho products do not come with a warranty policy. So, if yours breaks, you’ll be on your own to get a new one. 
MORE: The 10 best SUVs for towing

ACDelco Speciality 504-539 Rear Lift shock absorber 

Like the Rancho shock absorbers, you can alter the air pressure between 25 PSI and 200 PSI in the
ACDelco Speciality Rear Lift
shock absorbers to keep your ride level with up to 1,100 lbs of extra weight. The friction-fighting chrome rod helps ensure that these shock absorbers won’t rust up after a couple of trips. 
Another added bonus of these particular shock absorbers is that they’ll arrive at your door fully assembled, which helps cut down on installation time. That, and they’re backed by a two-year warranty in case anything goes awry. 
Although they’re durable over the course of several trips, we wouldn’t recommend these shocks for long-term use. If you just need to haul a trailer or a boat a couple of times, these shocks will do the trick. But, if you plan on consistently carrying large loads, these may not be the best ones for your needs. 

Gabriel 49235 Hijackers 

We’ll start with the bitterest pill: the
Gabriel 49235 Hijackers
are some of the most expensive shock absorbers on our list. But, that being said, they can do a whole lot for you and are considered across the board to be some of the best shocks for heavy-duty towing! 
In fact, it was the Gabriel company that first invented shock absorbers way back in 1907—so it’s safe to say that they’ve had some time to refine their craft. These shock absorbers have a towing capacity of 1,100 lbs and these air-adjustable shocks inflate and deflate just like your tires do. Plus, their chrome piston rods are engineered to be leak-proof
What stops us from declaring the Gabriel Hijackers are the best shocks for heavy-duty towing is the lackluster quality control from the company. A sizable amount of purchasers report that their shock absorbers came either with missing or faulty parts—something to keep in mind when purchasing. 

KYB 565104 MonoMax gas shock 

Next up on our list is the
KYB 565104 MonoMax
gas shock. Unlike the other shock absorbers on our list, this one has a distinct monotube design that dampens impact by more than 40% compared to other shock absorbers. Their design also allows their shock absorber to automatically adjust to various road conditions
These shock absorbers are especially great for trucks with a more uneven center of gravity and those looking to boost their truck’s handling ability.  They’re easy to install, and the zinc coating helps them last during and after trips. KYB is so sure that their products will last that they come with a lifetime warranty
But, many drivers report that while these shocks are great for many purposes, they don’t exactly live up to the manufacturer’s claim that they can haul super heavy (more than 1,000 lb) loads. 
MORE: How to get cheap truck insurance

Bilstein 24191203 shock absorber 

Like the KYB MonoMax shock absorbers, the
Bilstein 24191203
absorber also has a monotube design. Although they were initially created specifically for lifted trucks, users discovered that they also work wonderfully as heavy-duty shock absorbers. 
Their speed-sensitive piston automatically readjusts to meet changing road conditions, providing drivers with consistent comfort throughout their trip. Their take on the monotube design is excellent at distributing heat, so their shock absorbers are built to last. 
That said, some users report that over time, their Bilstein shock absorbers began leaking oil—sometimes soon after installation and other times after several years of use. 

Don’t forget about your car insurance policy before you hit the road 

If you’re installing some heavy-duty shocks for towing, chances are that you’ll be hitting the wide-open road.
Anything can happen on a road trip
, so before you go don’t forget to a) install new shocks if you’ve got a trailer in tow and b) download
to check up on your
car insurance
The Jerry app makes everything about car insurance easy—downloading it is free and signing up takes only 45 seconds. After you answer some basic questions, Jerry will find you great policies across dozens of providers. 
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When you’re hitching something heavy up to the back of your vehicle, it changes your car’s center of gravity. Installing towing shocks helps keep your car balanced and level to counteract this change, and takes some pressure off your springs to keep your car from sagging.
Generally speaking, when shopping around for a set of towing shocks you’ll want ones that can handle at least an extra 1,000lbs of weight to the back of your vehicle, will hold up in multiple temperature conditions, can adjust between 20 to 200 PSI of pressure, and will (above all else) maintain the height of your car.
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