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Thread: Helper springs?

  1. #1
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Default Helper springs?

    Howdy, any of you ever use helper springs for towing? I've got a Tacoma, and the truck occasionally bottoms out while towing my boat. I don't want to create a dangerous steering problem, but would prefer a little stiffer rear suspension to prevent bottoming out. I've got surge brakes on the trailer, so a weight distribution hitch is problematic. Any advice is welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I don't know if they make them for a tacoma but I put ride rite airbags on my Titan and they helped a ton. I prefer the airbags to the helper spring as you can run low pressure most of the time and never notice they are there. Then inflate them up when towing and it helps the rig handle the load. I thought it made a huge difference. I had the firestone brand airbags. You should check them out.

  3. #3
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    Helper springs are waste of your hard earned money. Get yourself a set firestone air bags.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

  4. #4
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Another vote for air bags over springs!
    BK

  5. #5

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    For those with the airbags, do you have the onboard compressor, or just fill them up with an airhose when needed?

  6. #6

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    Another vote for the Firestone air bags here! The onboard compressor has been a very nice luxury, however it had to be replaced after one year of use (mounted in engine compartment).

  7. #7
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    you can have my mother in law free, She is a bag and full of air...............



    They rule, had them on my winnabago mh , the Firestones, not the mother in law
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Yep airbags and I manually inflate them, easy afternoon install even on my RV.

    Steve
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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    If you have a trailer with surge brakes, an weight distribution hitch is not out of the question. When I first bought my boat, I thought I needed a bigger vehicle to tow. I am towing a Hewescraft Alaskan 240 with a 1/2 ton Ford Expedition. 7500 pounds loaded. I researched the Equilizer WD system, purchased it, had it installed to match my trailer and never looked back. This system is designed to work with surge brakes. Originally, my Expedition was only rated to 5000 pounds but with this system, I was good to 8850 and 850 pounds of tonge weight. I eventually upgraded to an Excursion to tow, but it was not due to suspension, it was because I wanted more power and got a V-10. I still use the equilizer while towing as it removes any sway from a quick steering wheel jerk, wind or large tractor trailer passing you by. Even better when you hit some serious whoop ti doos, you will remain in control. I was and am very pleased with it and I know it will resolve your issue. I got mine at Valley RV next to Baileys Furniture and Hartley Motors on the Parks Hwy in Wasilla. Watch the videos on the web sight. You will be impressed and it does what it says it does.

    http://equalizerhitch.com/
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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I'm running a Dodge 2500 and my Firestone Ride-Rites help a lot. Not that the truck can't handle my 260 Alaskan, but it sure helps with bounce and keeping it level.

    Rob
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    Member pta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    If you have a trailer with surge brakes, an weight distribution hitch is not out of the question. When I first bought my boat, I thought I needed a bigger vehicle to tow. I am towing a Hewescraft Alaskan 240 with a 1/2 ton Ford Expedition. 7500 pounds loaded. I researched the Equilizer WD system, purchased it, had it installed to match my trailer and never looked back. This system is designed to work with surge brakes. Originally, my Expedition was only rated to 5000 pounds but with this system, I was good to 8850 and 850 pounds of tonge weight. I eventually upgraded to an Excursion to tow, but it was not due to suspension, it was because I wanted more power and got a V-10. I still use the equilizer while towing as it removes any sway from a quick steering wheel jerk, wind or large tractor trailer passing you by. Even better when you hit some serious whoop ti doos, you will remain in control. I was and am very pleased with it and I know it will resolve your issue. I got mine at Valley RV next to Baileys Furniture and Hartley Motors on the Parks Hwy in Wasilla. Watch the videos on the web sight. You will be impressed and it does what it says it does.

    http://equalizerhitch.com/
    I just bought an equal-i-zer set up on amazon...with free shipping (it came up second day air even), as they are not showing any dealers up here on their website. I have not installed it yet, it is on my list for this weekend. Did you end up using their pole trailer adapter on your rig?? I was hoping to be able to install mine without it.
    2007 26' Northriver OS, Suzuki 300.

  12. #12
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pta View Post
    I just bought an equal-i-zer set up on amazon...with free shipping (it came up second day air even), as they are not showing any dealers up here on their website. I have not installed it yet, it is on my list for this weekend. Did you end up using their pole trailer adapter on your rig?? I was hoping to be able to install mine without it.
    I did use the.pole adapter. I am surprised the said there were no dealers as I bought mine at Valley RV and they installed.it in 2009. It works great. I recommend you keep the slider bars greased. I use a spray grease.

  13. #13
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    That's great, thank you. I thought there must be some sort of weight distribution hitch that would work with the surge brakes, considering how many trailers have them. Does this interfere with your surge brakes in any way? You get good stopping power from the trailer brakes with this installed?

    Thanks again for the information.

    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    If you have a trailer with surge brakes, an weight distribution hitch is not out of the question. When I first bought my boat, I thought I needed a bigger vehicle to tow. I am towing a Hewescraft Alaskan 240 with a 1/2 ton Ford Expedition. 7500 pounds loaded. I researched the Equilizer WD system, purchased it, had it installed to match my trailer and never looked back. This system is designed to work with surge brakes. Originally, my Expedition was only rated to 5000 pounds but with this system, I was good to 8850 and 850 pounds of tonge weight. I eventually upgraded to an Excursion to tow, but it was not due to suspension, it was because I wanted more power and got a V-10. I still use the equilizer while towing as it removes any sway from a quick steering wheel jerk, wind or large tractor trailer passing you by. Even better when you hit some serious whoop ti doos, you will remain in control. I was and am very pleased with it and I know it will resolve your issue. I got mine at Valley RV next to Baileys Furniture and Hartley Motors on the Parks Hwy in Wasilla. Watch the videos on the web sight. You will be impressed and it does what it says it does.

    http://equalizerhitch.com/

  14. #14
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I too have an equalizer hitch, worked great with the surge brakes the couple times I used it with them. I have since up graded to electric over hydraulic brakes on my trailer as I did not think the surge brakes did a good enough job.

    I did not use the pole adapter on my trailer and everything works good. If you look at the photo you can see the brackets for the equalizer bars right behind the box that contains my brake system. Equalizer has instructions on there website for installing the brackets without the pole adapter.

    My boat and trailer come in at just over 10K lbs and I bought the 14K equalizer.. I needed the hitch on my Excursion as the Excursion receiver hitch is only rated at 5000 lbs with out an weight distribution hitch.


    TheBlackBox.jpg
    Last edited by JR2; 04-28-2012 at 08:51. Reason: breaks and brakes are too different things
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  15. #15
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boreal View Post
    That's great, thank you. I thought there must be some sort of weight distribution hitch that would work with the surge brakes, considering how many trailers have them. Does this interfere with your surge brakes in any way? You get good stopping power from the trailer brakes with this installed?

    Thanks again for the information.
    The system is designed to work with Surge Brakes. The bars slide back unlike the chains do so the surge brakes are able to do what the do. Where my pole adapter is mounted, I had very little room where my post was that goes to the roller to pull the boat into and where my hand crank was. Valley RV was able to move the pole and re-design the small pipe behind the surge brakes that transfers fluid. Basically they changed the angle of it so it would not hit the pole adapter. The pole adapter is originally just bolted on, but it does move slightly so I just drilled a hole and ran a bolt through it to the trailer so prevent it from ever moving. The reason I put grease on the bars is to cut down on friction when you are making hard turns. If not since it is metal to metal which is painted, it will sligntly bind and when it does move and it will make a poping sound. The grease prevents that from happening. If its all mounted properly at the correct height with your level trailer, the bars are not that difficult to snap on and lock into place. If your not on level ground and need to attach, you will have to use your jack stand to lift your load to make it easier to put the bars on. It comes with a wrench to put the bars on, but I suggest you also carry a heavy mallet to push them into place once you lift the bars. This is only nessessary if you are attaching the trailer and the trailer is not parked on level ground. If it is, this system is very easy to put into place. My Excursion is beefy enough to tow the trailer without the Equalizer system, but with it everything is soooooo much more stable and rides soooooo well, especially when you hit an unexpected whoop ti do in the road. I will never tow without it.

  16. #16
    Member pta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    I too have an equalizer hitch, worked great with the surge brakes the couple times I used it with them. I have since up graded to electric over hydraulic brakes on my trailer as I did not think the surge brakes did a good enough job.

    I did not use the pole adapter on my trailer and everything works good. If you look at the photo you can see the brackets for the equalizer bars right behind the box that contains my brake system. Equalizer has instructions on there website for installing the brackets without the pole adapter.

    My boat and trailer come in at just over 10K lbs and I bought the 14K equalizer.. I needed the hitch on my Excursion as the Excursion receiver hitch is only rated at 5000 lbs with out an weight distribution hitch.


    TheBlackBox.jpg
    Thanks for the photo, I measured mine out and it looks like I will be able to install in the same manor. I would really like to move to electric over hydraulic, but I occasionally do the tractor launch thing and I worry about trying to keep the electrics dry.
    2007 26' Northriver OS, Suzuki 300.

  17. #17
    Member EJPainter's Avatar
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    Here is another option to airbags that some really like. Airbags require some air load when your not towing so the bags don't rub together, which some feel take away from the ride quality when your not loaded. Timbren http://timbren.com/ is another option out there, that doesn't effect your stock unloaded ride.
    Last edited by EJPainter; 04-29-2012 at 18:54. Reason: my spelling
    Hi all, Erik & Jodi

  18. #18
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJPainter View Post
    Here is another option to airbags that some really like. Airbags require some air load when your not towing so the bags don't rub together, which some feel take away from the ride quality when your not loaded. Timbren http://timbren.com/ is another option out there, that doesn't effect your stock unloaded ride.
    Anyone on the site have these installed on their trucks??

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  19. #19
    Member powderhound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    Anyone on the site have these installed on their trucks??
    A buddy of mine had installed them last hunting season on his lifted suburban riding on 48" Tractor tires. He has an upper cargo rack above the roof that carries alot of weight. He installed the timbrens and beat the hell out of the rig for 14 days hunting. He has nothing but good words to say about them.
    Diversified Tire in the valley has them or atleast sells them.

  20. #20

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    Not sure what year your Tacoma is, but there is a Technical Service Bulletin out regarding "harsh ride when loaded", they install a new set of rear springs that have an extra leaf in them. I had the work done on my Tacoma at no cost.
    If you have any questions feel free to send me a pm.

    Robert

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