1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Heavy Camper vs. Payload & Springs...

Discussion in 'Towing' started by westattam, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Jul 12, 2009 at 10:38 AM
    #1
    westattam

    westattam [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Member:
    #19562
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    BC/Yukon, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2005 Access TRD Off-Rd 4x4
    Hey everyone.. I'm looking for some input here;
    I own a 2005 Access Cab TRD Off-road. From what I can find, the "Off-Road" package increases the max payload capacity to 1375 Ibs. I'm currently purchasing a 6'10'' camper made by Northern Lite that weighs approximately 1200 Ibs when you add all the extras (propane, jacks, aluminum rack on top etc..). To compensate, I'm getting Airbags installed ("Firestone" brand, "Ride Rite" model). I also have some good, aftermarket LT tires with a decent Load range.

    I'm looking for some advice for those of you who have "maxed-out" the pay-load as I am. Can I do anything else besides the airbags. I must say that I'm a little disappointed about the payload capacity of my truck. The towing rating is great for the size at 6500lbs, but it sure can't (legally), carry much.

    As for my leaf-springs.. I'm a little confused about whether MY truck had the crappy springs I'm reading about.... A year ago, a friend of mine with a 2006 TRD Double Cab "Sport" model had his rear springs replaced after complaining about it "bottoming out" and squeaking. Wanting to prevent a similar problem, I went into a dealership and they did replace my rear springs ONLY. It seems however, that the "new" springs are only 3 leaf. If I remember correctly, the "stock springs" they replaced were the same "3 leafs". Was there an actual recall on these and is my truck included? How do I know if the new springs are any better than the ones they replaced?
    Can I anticipate a problems using these springs with the airbags?

    Thanks for your help!

    DSCN3770.jpg
    Northern Lite Camper.jpg
     
  2. Jul 12, 2009 at 11:02 AM
    #2
    Dellosa89

    Dellosa89 Love peace and Taco Grease

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Member:
    #11334
    Messages:
    1,331
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brian
    Murrieta CA
    Vehicle:
    07 Prerunner TRD Off Road
    Fox 2.5 Coilovers, Camburg 1.25" UCA's, Icon RR, Icon aal,EVS foam bump stops, Borla Catback, HID Headlights and fogs, Defiant light bar, 3 hella 700 hid, Satellite Radio, Sony hu with 10'' sub, custom jetski rack, TRD seat covers, secondary air filter removed.
    i have pretty much the same problem with my rear suspension being way to weak. i haven't bought them yet but local shops and other tacoma owners have told be to get the Dakar leaf packs. i have been told they can support a lot more weight than stock and tsb. http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/05upometaco.htm

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jul 12, 2009 at 11:02 AM
    #3
    Brunes

    Brunes abides.

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Member:
    #7011
    Messages:
    17,641
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rotorhead
    DC or New Jersey - Depends on the day....
    Vehicle:
    08 Red/Graphite and Satin Black
    Inside: Tint, Wet Okole 1/2 Piped Red/Black Covers, Black Weathertech Digital Fit Mats, URD Short Throw w/ TWM Weighted Knob, USA Spec iPod adapter. Outside: 4300K Retro w/ Angel Eyes and Red Shrouds, 5000K Blazer Fog Light Retrofit, Debadge, Bed Locking Handle, Satin Black Rims Performance: TRD/Steigmeier Blower w/ 2.7 Pulley. 668 Injectors and 320 LPH AEM Fuel pump. URD UCON and 7th Injector. DTLT Headers, URD Y-Pipe, Wicked Flow Muffler. Suspension: Both: OME Shocks Front: 886X's and TC UCAs Rear: Dakars Armor: Relentless Front Bumper Relentless High Clearance Rear w/ Tire/Rotopax Swing Out Relentless Front, Mid, and TCase skids BAMF Diff Skid Recovery and Spares: Fullsize Spare Tire 2x2 gal Rotopax 1x1 gal Rotopax 1x1 gal Water Rotopax Warn 9.5XP-S Winch Hi-Lift Extreme 60" Ironman Off-Road Recovery Kit
    Wow...There was alot there.

    I have never heard of the OR having great cargo capacity than the other models. 4x4, Cab size, and engine all matter...but the trim package doesn't IIRC.

    Cargo and Towing are two different things. Cargo is the stuff IN the CAB or BED...Not the towed items. You shouldn't have more than 600 LBS on the hitch in normal instances.

    Your 3 leaf springs are the "old" ones...but your 2005 truck won't be within warranty anymore- so you'll have a heck of a battle to get the new 4 leaf springs. There is not RECALL...only a TSB which is a document for toyota techs to solve hard to find/fix problems-It has no legal weight or impact.

    Best of luck getting your stuff set up!!
     
  4. Jul 13, 2009 at 5:52 PM
    #4
    j4x4ar3

    j4x4ar3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Member:
    #4725
    Messages:
    416
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jay
    Austin, TX
    Vehicle:
    05 DC 4x4 - TRD Off Road - White
    Round Step Bars, Bed Mat, Cargo Bars w/Thules ski and bike attachments, JVC MP3 Head Unit, TRD Cat Back Exhaust, roadmaster active rear suspension, more when $$$ allows
    Forget it. You can NOT increase the payload capacity of the truck by adding airbags or springs. I'm assuming you're talking about a truck camper right? (because if it's a towable then it's a non-issue) If the DRY weight of the camper is 1200# once you add your gear, food, water, propane, etc.. you're going to be way over the 1300# of the Tacoma. Then don't even think about putting any passengers in the cab. I loaded up 2000# of dirt (I did't realize it was 2000# until I offloaded it and it was weighed). This was before I added my roadmaster springs. I was on the bumpstops and darned if the truck felt squirly going around a corner even at 25mph. No way in heck would I take it on the freeway.

    That said.. I tow a 5000# travel trailer as well with about 600# or so of tongue weight. With my roadmaster springs I don't get the sag I did without them. You really have to be carefull how you load up the "little" Tacoma. It's a great truck but it's more of a trail truck than a "real" truck if you know what I mean. If nothing else you'll add that camper in the bed and wear out your truck pretty quickly.
     
  5. Aug 9, 2009 at 8:57 AM
    #5
    TuRDVan

    TuRDVan A.K.A slosurfer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Member:
    #17813
    Messages:
    143
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Los Osos, CA
    Vehicle:
    07 DCAB TRD OFFROAD
    Dents and my wife drives it!
    Airbags can most certainly increase your payload. Remember that 2000#'s of dirt you were talking about? With airbags you would have been off your bumpstops and adjusted them to have a level truck, which would have solved your squirrely steering issues you had. NOw adding airbags doesn't mean that you can grossly overweigh it, because other things like your brakes stopping power come into play.

    If I had a camper, I would most definately add airbags and possibly better springs. Personally I would just try airbags first, they will make your springs and shocks last longer with that camper on there, and your handling will be better because you won't be dragging ass with little weight on the front.

    The nice things about airbags over getting a set of springs to handle you camper, is that a set of springs made to handle that camper and give you a level ride, will be brutally harsh when you don't have the camper on. With the airbags, you can retain you stock ride when you take the camper off.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2009 at 9:09 AM
    #6
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Member:
    #9104
    Messages:
    42,641
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    Susan
    SC
    Vehicle:
    08 PreRunner SR5 V6 w/tow pkg
    OEM SS tube steps, Access LE tonneau cover, pop n'lock, AVS in-channel vent visors, stubby antenna, Wet Okole seat covers, bed mat, rear diff breather mod, 4 extra d rings in bed, K&N air filter.
    If they replaced your springs, they put a new 3 leaf pack back on and not the 4 leaf like the tsb calls for. I'd take it back in there and explain the situation and tell them they put the wrong one's in.

    Tell them you are still having the same problem that brought you in, in the first place - harsh ride. Since you were still having the same problem, you checked the part #'s on the new springs, and they are the old number and not the replacement part #. Take a copy of the tsb and have them check your springs... they should have a record of where they replaced them.

    It won't hurt to try... I know you are out of warranty, but they goofed up the replacement.

    There is no "recall". Not everyone hauls alot of stuff and for some the 3 leaf pack is fine.
     
  7. Aug 13, 2009 at 7:37 PM
    #7
    j4x4ar3

    j4x4ar3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Member:
    #4725
    Messages:
    416
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jay
    Austin, TX
    Vehicle:
    05 DC 4x4 - TRD Off Road - White
    Round Step Bars, Bed Mat, Cargo Bars w/Thules ski and bike attachments, JVC MP3 Head Unit, TRD Cat Back Exhaust, roadmaster active rear suspension, more when $$$ allows
    Oh sooo wrong... springs, airbags, etc.. do NOT increase the payload rating of your truck and you are still subjected to the GVWR of the truck. Payload is the GVWR minus the dry weight of the truck. Airbags and such may only help to level things out a big where the stock suspension may be a bit soft. If you REGULARLY load the truck over it's GVWR you risk the potential of damaging stuff. I personally added a set of Roadmaster Active Suspension springs to my truck to help with the ride when towing my trailer but it does NOT allow me to add more weight in the back end. That's dangerous to think that way.

    FYI.. even if you're level you still can be overloaded as too heavy of a payload will have a tenancy to take the weight off the front wheels causing steering and handling issues. Yes sure you're riding level if you add airbags but the weight is still having it's affect on the front end.
     
  8. Aug 13, 2009 at 7:58 PM
    #8
    TuRDVan

    TuRDVan A.K.A slosurfer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Member:
    #17813
    Messages:
    143
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Los Osos, CA
    Vehicle:
    07 DCAB TRD OFFROAD
    Dents and my wife drives it!
    Well I agree and disagree with you. :)

    I am not just coming to this with no experience in hauling both with stock suspensions, airbags, helper springs, etc... I never said that it allowed you to grossly overload your truck, but it will allow you to safely carry a little more than the recommended load. Heck, it will allow to be even safer with a load that is somewhat close to the max as we all know how bad the original 3 leaf spring pack sagged with even a mild load, let alone a full max payload.

    Yes, weight in the rear will play a little part with the weight of the front, even with airbags, but nothing like how it would without. Again, I'm not talking about grossly overloading.

    The whole payload thing is relative and crap anyways due to the fact that it was for those weak ass springs. Yes brakes and other stuff come into play, but if it's rated to stop it and a trailer of whatever the trailer payload is, then I can guarantee that a slightly over max load with airbags is going to stop just fine. I'm not trying to say it will turn it into a one ton truck or anything, but to tell someone that airbags won't help is retarded. I'd rather see a guy with just over the payload and airbags going down the street, than a guy with just under the payload and the bumpstops are hitting the axle going down the street. Which one is safer, the one that handles closer to stock, or the one swimming down the road due to the extremely light front end and the bumpstops smacking the rear axle with every dip?

    And I've tried this with other trucks to test this out. I use a Dodge one ton truck sometimes for my tile business and it has airbags added but stock springs. I've had a load in it, no where near the max load for the truck, and no air in the air bags. Power wise it was fine, but handled like crap, put some air in the bags and it went back to handling fine. Another time load at the max and slightly over with air in the air bags, and it handled just fine and way better then the no airbags way under the max load.

    Also, knowing how to load your load is going to help as well, and of course airbags/no airbags with a load you have to realize your braking time is reduced and you need to adjust your speed and driving habits accordingly.
     
  9. Apr 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM
    #9
    westattam

    westattam [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Member:
    #19562
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Male
    BC/Yukon, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2005 Access TRD Off-Rd 4x4
    Well, I found this forum again after completely forgetting about posting this in the first place! The outcome was quick and simple; Bought airbag suspension, didn't bother with different springs and my truck handles my 1990 Northern Lite 6'10'' camper beautifully. Also added 10 ply tires for the extra weight and 'rough road' camping. Other than the usual crappy gas mileage that comes with camper wind resistance, and the fact that my brakes are being used up a little quicker, I'm SUPER happy with my camping package. I realize going over the GVW isn't the best-case scenario, but let's face it, even most full-size trucks are going over weight with the gigantic campers being carried today. My Tacoma handles this package just fine..

    Thanks to those who commented..:rolleyes:
     
  10. May 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM
    #10
    badmutha6

    badmutha6 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Member:
    #78146
    Messages:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    08 Tacoma
    I am towing a 23' Keystone Hideout that weighs 4800 lbs dry which I end up about 5500 lbs wet. I have a weight distribution hitch and a friction sway control. The brake controller I have sucks but I am going to replace that anyway. My concern is that I get quite a bit of porpoising (bouncing up and down) when I tow. I have the heavier leaf springs and the tow package. Will a product like the Firestone Riderite air bags help eliminate this? It makes my wife sick riding in the truck over distance and as we all know, if mama ain't happy, no ones happy. Please help!
     
  11. May 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM
    #11
    sernaj64

    sernaj64 Aight

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Member:
    #66033
    Messages:
    214
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Juan
    honolulu
    Vehicle:
    2011 prerunner V6 SR5
    N fab Step bars BHLM by Asianants Pro Comp 2.25" level lift kit rear leaf TSB
To Top