Hi - The motor vehicle is a 100 series Cruiser manual diesel - asking for opinions on improving the suspension to handle towing a 3 tonne caravan and with heavy camping setup in the rear of the car.
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Reply By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 12:44

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 12:44
Air bags in the rear springs.
Best money you will spend.
AnswerID: 483270

Follow Up By: Wayne david - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 14:29

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 14:29
Another air bag convert here.

As prep for our around Oz trip we installed AB's & a good quality fixed pump and it took care of any sagging in the rear. I believe it's 5psi minimum up to around 25psi (don't quote me) when laden. Air up or air down according to needs & all is good. Easy as can be and good value.

By comparison we kept seeing another bloke towing the same rig with a Mitsubishi ute and he quizzed us at Broome about how we got our set-up so level.

Google Air Bags. You won't regret it.

Cheers - WD
FollowupID: 758525

Follow Up By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:11

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:11
I've done 2 simpson crossings with 14psi in the air bags with nil issues in my prado.
They are great.
FollowupID: 758549

Reply By: Member - neville G (QLD) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 14:53

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 14:53
Thumbs up for airbags also.
We also have a 100 series cruiser and tow a three ton van with ball weight at 300kg. Carry quite a lot of gear in the cruiser and have airbags installed, at 15psi. the rig sits perfectly level and is great to drive. Best money that we have spent.
Cheers, Nev.
AnswerID: 483280

Reply By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 15:30

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 15:30
Hi Michael t5,

I also have a LC100 manual diesel and have upgraded the suspension to cater for the different trips we undertake either with or without the off-road CT. I've got heavy duty coils which came as part of the 2" lift kit (constant 400kg load rating in the back) and added airbags inside the coils for the extra weight the CT adds to the back when towing. The cruiser is always ready to go with the complete works, hence the 400kg constant rating springs. When I want to take the CT on a trip we just pump up the airbags to level the vehicle and we're set to go.

If you don't have all the usual accessories on the basic rig (ie. bullbar, winch, rear wheel carrier bar, roof rack etc. + trip supplies) then maybe an upgrade the OME suspension with some airbags will meet your requirements. However, if your rig is like mine (always loaded) I'd recommend a suspension upgrade and airbags, but maybe only use the 200kg constant rating springs in the back - the 400kg springs give a harsher ride but maintain better clearance. Your suspension specialist can advise you more on an appropriate set-up. My biggest problem when we go on a trip with the CT is the vehicle's GVM - something you should be aware of when you load the truck up for a trip with the van!

Good luck with your query.


Rob K
AnswerID: 483282

Reply By: Member - Glenys & Ken Taree - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 16:34

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 16:34
Air bags are the go, I've used them for 10 years without a problem.Remember to pump them up first before hooking the van on, then dropping the air pressure to level the van. Make sure you work to the manufacturers instructions with air pressure.
AnswerID: 483289

Follow Up By: michael t5 - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:42

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:42
To all my suspension participants, Thank You very much. Yer luv yer air bags.

FollowupID: 758550

Reply By: splits - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 17:57

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 17:57

Countless people have beefed up their rear suspensions in order to tow heavy vans but unfortunately a few come unstuck in a big way each year. This link contains a lot of information explaining why. If you go down this path then it is vital you understand what you are doing to the suspension design so you can drive in a manner that will hopefully avoid any problems.
AnswerID: 483302

Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:46

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:46
For a heavy camping setup that lives in the car the majority of the time like a long range tank, storage system & rear bar/wheel carrier, a pair of upgraded coils would be best. If the load is widely variable then air bags are a good compromise. Of course any increase in spring rate should also include suitable shock absorbers to match.
For the van a weight distribution hitch would transfer much of the excess ball weight.
From my observations there are many variables in vehicle & caravan setups as well as the individuals end uses so recommend speaking with a suspension specialist that can suggest a setup to suit your needs not one that suits me.
Cheers Craig...............
AnswerID: 483309

Reply By: snailbait (Blue mntns) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:53

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 19:53
What type of suspension do you have ie Leaf , coil or air bag and read your manual on what can your vehicle can tow
you may have to change the height of the tow hitch.
You may have to use WDH if you are not
Have a look at the HR site and they will show you how to measure all caravans a manufactured to a std height and you tow hitch may not be at that height which gives you the illusion of problems with your vehicle

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AnswerID: 483310

Follow Up By: 120scruiser (NSW) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 21:39

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 21:39
He stated a 100 series which is coil sprung.
FollowupID: 758575

Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 20:48

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 20:48
yeah me to...air bags for sure.

Nothing else gives you so many options when it comes to varying the ride height depending on load. And they hold the rear end firm and square with out the wallowing from side to side.

Upgrade your suspension with something decent for sure, but don't be concerned about the load issue. Airbags take out all the guess work.
AnswerID: 483314

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