If you are in the market for a slide-on camper the first thing you are going to look for is size, shape and whether it is a pop up or hard slide to find out what will fit your personal needs best. You may also be looking into particular brands such as Northstar or Artic fox to see what options are offered from these brands like wet or dry bath, or if you cannot find exactly what you are looking for Phoenix Pop Ups will be able to custom build you a camper exactly to your specifications. What is often neglected during this process is how the camper will affect a trucks suspension and how to avoid any possible problems. Once you find your dream camper you can make sure your truck stays in great shape for hauling and provides optimal ride performance with the simple addition of a helper spring, airbag kit or Timbren kit.
Why You Need More Support
When you add a slide on camper to most pickup trucks, it is common for the truck to lean to one side, or sag in the rear. This problem is caused if the water, gas and septic tanks are all located on one side of the camper. Fortunately there are quick and easy fixes for this situation. Being Aware of the location of these components can help you fix your sagging truck to achieve a more desirable ride.
Side to Side Load Support
With these factors in mind, let's break down particular situations, and find some solutions for the truck's suspension issues. If you have chosen a side heavy pop up camper, like one with a side wet bath, you may encounter some problems. Within a short amount of time, even a brand new 2012 pickup truck may start to lean. The simple installation of an air bag kit can prevent the leaning and sagging while the camper is installed and will also prevent any future sag when the vehicle is unloaded. With the ability to control each air spring individually, you will be able to counteract the additional weight added by the wet bath. By completing this addition, you will have a nice, smooth and even ride with the peace of mind in knowing that you have enough suspension support.
Rear Load Support
There are many popular layouts of pop ups that will affect your ride differently. Another example is the Ford F350 with a hard slide and a rear dry bath. Most of the weight on this vehicle is going to be centered, so you should not experience any leaning issues, but the weight can cause rear sagging. In this scenario there will be many helper spring options that will work. Many of our customers find the hellwig 3500 lbs helper springs? an ideal choice. They are progressive helper springs that will adjust with the load of the camper, this way the driver can enjoy the same ride quality loaded or unloaded without having to make any manual adjustments. If you are hauling a trailer with an automobile or something of that nature, you may need more than the 3,500lbs of support. In this case you have the option of using something like the FR350SDE kit by Timbren. This will give you up to an additional 8,600 lbs. of level load support, while preventing your truck from sagging or swaying.
So as you can see, 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 this situation. 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.