Levelling 100 Series when Towing

Submitted: Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:37
ThreadID: 29738 Views:2369 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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I have recently acquired a Trackabout Safari CT which is matched to my 100 series Cruiser. One thing I hadn't really anticipated was the draw-bar weight - and the impact on the Cruiser - which drops quite a bit in the rear-end when the rig is fully loaded.

The axle is set well aft on the CT and I don't see much opportunity to improve the draw-bar weight by loading differently - at least not until a few kids leave home and I can shift the fridge off the draw-bar and into the car!

I'm not sure whether the way forward is in heavier springs?? I imagine others have addressed this situation before. Any solutions??


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Reply By: japmel - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:52

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:52

I put Firestone coilrite airbags in my rear springs to stop that problem, Worked a treat.
Polyairs are probably just as good.

Give TJM or ARB a call.

There will be people on here that will tell you to try Trucksprings in America, All I can say is don't.
I got caught out and it cost me a lot of money, The reason is they don't have 100 series Landcruisers in America.

Hope this helps
AnswerID: 148897

Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 17:05

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 17:05
oh yes they do
FollowupID: 404087

Reply By: StephenF10 - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:05

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:05
The best solution is a weight-distributing hitch from Hayman-Reece or similar. It consists of a pair of spring bars (and other hardware) that takes some of the extra towbar weight from the rear wheels and puts it back on the front wheels. Instead of the rear dropping and the front rising the WDH should cause the vehicle to remain fairly level. The downside of a WDH is that it only works on fairly flat roads. The bars need to be removed if the angle between the vehicle and traileris likely to get a bit extreme, e.g. off-road work.

Heavier springs or Polyairs might bring the rear up but don't address the problem of weight distribution (think about what happens to the front wheel when you push down on the handles of a wheelbarrow).

AnswerID: 148900

Reply By: desert - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:07

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:07
If you are towing this van for a lot of the time, or are on the road with it weeks at a time, then I would look at replacing the rear springs with heavier rate springs.However, if the towing is occassional then look at Polyair springs as an additional boost to your rear springs. Give Pedders Suspension a call, they will be able to help you with either option, or both.
AnswerID: 148901

Follow Up By: Plunger - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 16:25

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 16:25
Thanks mate - I took your advice. Strongly advised by Pedders to consider 40% heavier coil, plus polyairs plus heavier shocks.


FollowupID: 402642

Reply By: Member - David 0- Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:00

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:00
A mate of mine had the same problem in an 80, He put the heaviest King springs in it. No sag at all now. He was told it will ride real rough if not loaded, but he keeps all recovery gear in back all the time and it rides pretty well he says.
AnswerID: 148910

Reply By: Darian (formerly Banjo) - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 15:45

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 15:45
Yep - welcome to a big issue that hoards of campers have has to address - zillions of words have been typed on that subject in hoards of web and magazine forums. I used polyair bags (from Truckspring - ordered mine without a hitch - they have Jackaroo's in the US ! - fitted them myself). My sag was minor - the bags look after that fine - if you have considerable sag (the car that is :-0), you'd need expert independent advice I think, because bags, stronger linear springs, or stronger progressive springs and the load levelling hitch would all work one way or 'tuther - an expert (a real one) probably could advise on the best option. Suggestions here may be on the money. I tossed the load levelling hitch idea because I was advised that it needs to be dismantled when you get into low gear, tight-up-down terrain crawling - extensive articulation of the hitch is said to stress the load levelling hardware too much - may break - once rolling again with purpose you maye need to have it all reconnected, unless you can opt to dawdle along for awhile.... and the bags were fine for my "minor sag" anyway.
AnswerID: 148935

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:24

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:24
I would say idealy you would have a WDH AND polyairs or similar for times when the WDH is off-serious off road. No springs will do what a WDH will do-This is a fact that so many cannot grasp.
AnswerID: 148974

Reply By: Trekkie - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 23:02

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 23:02
In my opinion, the first thing to check is the tow bar height BEFORE you connect the trailer. The trailer hitch could be way out. You can buy replacement hitches to get the right height.
Next thing I would do is to put Polyairs on - They are brilliant and should solve your problem. The standard 100 series suspension is good and does not necessarily need upgrading. I tow a Kimberley that has a fairly hefty draw bar weight and although I HAVE upgraded suspension you will find the Polyairs will do the trick
AnswerID: 149054

Reply By: Bob - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 17:08

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 17:08
A set of steel blocks instead of springs will stop the back from sagging.
But they will not transfer the weight back to the front wheels.
In the case of draw bar download the back axle becomes a fulcrum point.
Push down on the towball and the front come up. Simple geometry.
With a sprung vehicle the back will go down first and then the front comes up.
WDH systems correct the problem correctly.

Have a look at the Hayman Reese site for a better explanation.

AnswerID: 149426

Reply By: sandyngraham - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:31

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:31
Hi Plunger,

I had the same problem with my Safari being towed by a Pathfinder. Replaced rear coils with medium King Coils and a set of poly airbags... levels the ride and makes towing a pleasure, stops the pitch (if that's the right term).

We have just completed 9 months of trip round oz with a vast amount of dirt road driving without any problems with the trailer or suspension.


Graham and Sandy
AnswerID: 152815

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