Hey, everyone. I have a 22 TRD Pro Tacoma 6MT. I’m picking up my camper in July. Is it recommended to change the rear leaf springs? My truck is all stock, and I’m not sure I wanted to get into changing all the suspension and going to 33’s. I like the idea of keeping the stock suspension for the long term value of the truck. Plus, it rides really nice. Well, I think it does.
I would have the camper, my Dometic 35 fridge, some Zarges cases, and that’s about it. Might change rear bumper down the road. Looking to get everyone’s opinion on things.
If changing front and rear suspension, I’m guessing you can’t keep the stock Fox shocks? Will 33’s clear without cutting? How do you recal the speedo for increased tire size? Like I said, I’m not sure I want to go down the path of changing all the suspension, and tires, etc. with Toyota, that gets super expensive quick. Especially since I like top quality.
My best recommendation is to use your truck as-is until you NEED to upgrade. Often I’ve found myself (others as well, too) who upgrade things and finding that they didn’t necessarily NEED to upgrade OR don’t use said upgrades as much as they originally thought. Sure you could invest $5000-10000 in suspension/tires/wheels/etc but if you don’t NEED it, then that’s money saved for more camping trips.
Like @jasont said, no need to upgrade just yet. GFC camper doesn’t weigh much (~270 lbs). If the rear sags once you install it, you can do a cheap upgrade like a block or an add a leaf to the rear suspension as a temp setup. I don’t know where you are located but Stellar Built has great knowledgeable guys. They can address all your questions if you give them a call. Another good company that helped me was HeadStrong Off-Road. Congrats on the camper, you are going to love it.
Not sure this is correct; I run the RXT pack with Fox 2.0 shocks (2016 TRD OR) and enjoy the setup. It was time to replace my stock suspension any way when I got the GFC, but not sure it could’ve handled it well without at least the AAL.
With a tacoma, you’re very likely going to need something. I have the OR, not the Pro. I don’t really know all the differences. I was stock when I picked up my camper. On my way home I was bouncing off the bump stops on the highway. For me it wasn’t about looks or level, it was the ride. Stay stock for pickup. See how it goes. Then decide what you need. You don’t have to drop a ton of money on suspension. I spent $1400 (components and installation) for my suspension swap. I have the OME Dakar medium rear springs for +300 lbs. I mated those with OME rear shocks. I swapped out the front with Bilstein 5100s. Stock springs and UCAs.
Things are fine unloaded. With a fully loaded camper, the rear does bounce a bit. I occasionally hit the bump stops.
I suggest you weigh your rig before and after GFC install. See what the situation actually is. I also suggest you stay with stock wheels and tire size (or very close).
Get the GFC installed, load the truck out, and then decide on suspension.
I have Dakars, 2.0 fox remote reservoir shocks, and super bumps on my truck. I also have a bunch of extra weight not including my camping gear (skid plates, bolt on sliders with fill plates, high clearance rear bumper with a swingout and I carry 2 spares). I have about 70k miles on this setup and will likely be replacing the leaf pack with a custom pack built for the weight of my truck and desired ride height when the time comes.
I actually suggest getting some ride rite airbags, without the truck loaded up I keep them with minimal air so I have a good ride and just add some air when I have serious loads (when I am all redneck with many sheets of plywood on the roof and gear for weeks in the field).
Thank you for the link. I’m trying to understand the air bag, as guys on the Tacoma forum say it’s just a bandaid, and doing new springs and shocks is the real fix. Of course, this is just many of opinions out there.
I was going back and forth about suspension upgrades before getting my camper, but was hesitant to spend money on a problem that might exist. I ended up going with a lower cost “fix” to give me some peace of mind and installed blue SumoSprings for my . I installed these right before we left to get the camper put on so I can’t tell you how the camper rode with and without the SumoSprings. I don’t have a built out truck bed, but with the camper installed, there is not a gap between the SumoSprings and the truck so they are under constant load and are preventing some extra sag in the rear. Before the camper was installed and with the SumoSprings I noticed a little stiffer ride, but now with the camper installed I feel like it is back to its normal ride quality of no camper and no SS. They have 3 different options but black or yellow would probably be options for you to look at if you are keeping a constant load in the bed.
Airbags are used to manage varying loads. With just your daily load out the airbags should be doing almost nothing especially if it is a daily driver. Once you load up your rig you adjust the pressure to accommodate the extra load.
If you don’t daily drive your rig with no load then use springs to adjust your ride…
When fully loaded with all my camping stuff, I air up the airbags to about 40psi, especially for highway driving (firmer = more control). Rough roads, I’d air down to about 30psi. At home, when all the camping stuff is removed, I air down to about 25-30psi. My builder basically told me that air bags are not considered “cool” in the overlanding world, but they work really well. I even used them a couple times to level my truck when I ran out of leveling blocks and couldn’t find any good rocks to use.
yup, just a single ARB compressor. Wanted the dual, but there was a backlog on its manifold kit at the time. The single has been fine though, never overheated while airing the tires back up.
updated w a photo. the small black cylinder thing is the ARB compressor. The Ranger has no room in the engine bay, and I needed the power cable for my dc/dc charge controller for the batteries anyway, so it made sense to put the compressor in the truck bed.
When I had my FWC I had on air bags and loved them, but for just a GFC and light buildout I wouldn’t recommend. I would personally just get an AAL or new leaf spring pack with 5100’s up front unless you do a lot of off-roading or want a premium suspension. Then I might explore other avenues, but you already have a Pro so you might not even have to do that either. Bottom line is that GFC’s were meant to be as unobtrusive on the Tacoma as possible, which means much of what you do to your suspension is just preference and not a true requirement, especially on a Pro.