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Load Support for Slide-On Campers and RV's

slide on camper with truck

Camping season is approaching, and after this brutal winter we are all just itching to get our Campers and RVís back on the road to enjoy some sun. Nothing is worse than having your road trip interrupted by car trouble so preparing your vehicle for the spring and summer season is essential. You want to make sure the camper is ready for long trips, and that the truck you are towing in is capable of handling the weight. There are several add-ons you can purchase to use on your truck pulling a Camper or your RV to improve your ride quality and protect the suspension. If you are purchasing a new camper, you will want to keep these tips in mind as well; your truck might need some preparation for its first trip with its new addition. We will go over several precautionary steps you can take to fix your sagging truck and ensure you have the safest and most enjoyable trip this summer.

Load Support

There are several options for load support. Which one you choose will depend on what best youíre your needs. The best form of load support may be different for each individual; factors that may influence you decision are whether you have an RV, a 5th wheel camper or a slide on, the set-up of the Camper or RV (like where the water, gas and septic tanks are located) and user preference. Different forms of load support will require different levels of up keep, some are automatic and some are adjustable so which support option you choose will largely depend on what you are looking to get out of it.

air bag kits Air bags are great for any type of truck or camper; they are fully adjustable, easy to use and can offer up to 5000lbs of level load support. These are especially great for slide on campers and RVs that may be side heavy, air bags can be set up to inflate separately. You can get an On Board Control System that allows you to control each air spring individually, then adjust the bags side to side to make sure that the vehicle remains level. If you are pulling a 5th wheel or gooseneck you can tee the lines together, or get a Single Path Control System , allowing you to inflate both bags equally from one port. This makes adjusting the bags easier since your weight will always be centered in the bed.

helper springs Helper Springs will also work well for any of these applications. They come in both constant rate, which provide the same amount of support all of the time, and progressive rate, that will automatically adjust to the load on the vehicle. Hellwig Helper Springs offer these in different capacities ranging from 500-3500lbs. Many of our customers find the hellwig 3500 lbs helper springs an ideal choice. You can increase the tension for the helpers to engage sooner, but they do not give the same adjustability that you can get from the Air Bags.

timbren kit A Timbren Kit will work best if your vehicle is dropping at least 2Ē under load. If you have not yet purchased your trailer or camper it is best to get it fitted first to make sure the sag is enough for the Timbren to make contact. If you have enough drop, the Timbren is a fantastic choice for additional load support. Kits like the FR350SDE kit by Timbren add up to 8600lbs of support, are available for nearly every vehicle, are easy to install and require zero maintenance effort. When the vehicle is unloaded the Timbren will not make contact and your ride will remain the same. When the vehicle is loaded the Timbren will engage and provide the necessary amount of support to keep the vehicle level and reduce sway.

Shocks

Make sure that you have proper shocks for what you are using the vehicle for. If you have a leveling kit or lift kit check that there is enough travel on the shock to avoid over extending or bottoming out. If you are towing a slide on or 5th wheel camper Bilstein Heavy Duty Shocks would be a great option. They come in both lifted and stock heights and are available for both trucks and RVís. These shocks are designed to give you a great ride both on and off road. With these shocks you wonít have to worry about hard to get to camp sites.

Sway Control

RVís and Campers can be top heavy. The additional weight these vehicles carry can cause uncontrollable sway around turns. Most vehicles come stock with front sway bars that are not strong enough, and no rear sway bar at all. Hellwig makes aftermarket sway bars with a larger diameter that will stiffen up your turns to avoid the wobble. These are available for both front and rear and will make a world of difference on long trips with a lot of heavy gear in tow.

What Next?

The combination of your camper layout and your truck can certainly affect the quality of your ride and put strain on your suspension. Preventative maintenance is always a good idea, especially in for vehicles being taken on long trips. Adding a Timbren kit or something similar for around $200-$300 now, can save a lot of money and frustration in the future. If your factory leaf springs get worn out due to your camper it may become an expensive situation. If you have questions or comments about your particular slide on camper setup, feel free to give us a call at 1 (877) 774-6473.

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