So seeking opinions on low cost suspension options to counter the weight of the GFC plus new rock sliders. I’m usually on dirt/forest roads and don’t need 5k of suspension upgrades, just enough to counter the sag from the camper.
What’s the best option? Airbags? New leaf springs? Add-a-leaf?
If cost is the priority, its hard to beat a set of add-a-leafs.
I just ordered airbags today, primarily because they’re bolt on and I wanted an on board compressor for my winter job at a mountain ski resort so I can air down and up. Still cost right around 1000 though, and that’s with me installing.
I’m still waiting on my GFC. Currently I have a fiberglass ARE topper. I sometimes tow a trailer with a 200# tongue weight. I went with the Firestone Ride Rite air bags because I park in my garage with a 6’-9" opening. I didn’t want to lift the truck at all for fear of not clearing the garage door opening with the GFC. It’s no problem using a hand pump to fill the air bags when needed. Just a little inconvenient but saves $$$ on getting a compressor at this time. Besides I already own a Viair compressor for the trailer tires. No need to buy another one to mount on the truck.
I bought a brand new tacoma followed by a brand new GFC and went with Sumo Springs (the 2nd gen tacoma version) and have been very pleased with them. Gave the truck a slight rake with GFC, fridge, slide, second battery, etc. I may do new suspension down the road but for now the Sumo Springs are suprisingly great.
If you tow/hauls a bunch then its jard to beat airbag suspension. If you off-road a good portion of the time (offroad, not driving down a fire road to a camp spot or something of that nature) then I always recommend a full leaf pack. In the interim if funds or time i slow an add a leaf to your current pack normally does the trick but will not work as well or as long as a full replacement.
Are airbags meant to be a full time solution? Or are they intended to be used only when you are towing or fully packed up with gear? And are they ok to use at full highway speeds?
Air bags are fine at full highway speeds. One can adjust the amount of air in the bags based on the load and to level the vehicle
Once airbags are installed, they are on. Totally fine to use them when unloaded as you can air them down to nearly empty (5 psi or so) and it will only slightly alter your ride.
Yes, airbags can be rendered almost useless (when you want them to be) by deflating them. And they are easy to deflate and inflate, we use a bike pump for out Tundra when it is fully loaded with the trailer.
Thanks all for the info. Seems like airbags might be the best option for me until/if I decide to actually go through the expense of getting a small lift for my truck
I did add a leaf. My truck was also due for some new shocks and so I got some new Bilstein which added about 2.5 inches of lift. It rides really good on and off road now.
I’m thinking about getting a GFC soon, in the meantime I want to start doing some upgrades to my suspension. I was wondering if people are running the OME 2" lift kit. It seems pretty affordable for a whole kit ($1350)
I would add that with the camper you would need at least the medium duty set up.
The question was obviously for Tacoma’s, but as a Colorado owner, I figured I would chime in and say I upgraded to the OME full 1” lift kit with the heavy duty springs (+600lbs). Been a great upgrade so far.
Don’t have my GFC yet but in preparation I got a Ironman 4x4 America 2.5" foam cell pro lift by Wanderlust Overland in Oregon City. I have a 2012 Tacoma with 90k miles on it and my stock suspension was starting to go from long stretches of BLM roads. While I don’t do any serious off roading or rock crawling, Mike at Wanderlust Overland recommended lift specifically given the longer stretches of BLM roads that I drive with the added weight of the GFC & build out that I am planning.
While it is too early to tell how it will perform with the added weight considering I just have a snugtop on right now, so far so good. I have noticed the suspension is stiffer but I am not complaining at all, just an observation.
I do not plan on off-roading in the sense that you described. I use my Tacoma as my daily driver and have tight garage clearances at home and at work. I travel mostly on pavement and fire roads or gravel roads to find a spot to set up camp. Would airbags be a permanent solution for me? If so, do you have a recommended product?
Stock Tacoma DCLB TRD OR
I went with Sumo Springs shortly after getting the camper and have been very happy with them. No hoses or worries of leaks. I have the camper plus an additional 200 pounds or so (fridge, fridge slide, house battery, etc) in the bed and they are solid. I off road minimally. mostly fire roads/roads to get me to campsites for bike/run/ski adventures.
check out headstrong offroad and their options for the Deaver Expedition packs… the Stage III would be a good option for a camper and built out bed. Stage II will be fine if you run light in your bed. I have stage II currently on my truck, but i might have to upgrade to the stage III by the time i’m done with the bed.
How much lift do Those springs give? I’m looking to keep mine stock height