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Old 05-21-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
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Air Lift Helper Springs

I personally loath equalizer hitches. I live in my Escape 17 and probably would blow a fuze (in me) if I had to hook and unhook those dang bars nearly every day. My tow vehicle is a 2008 FJ Cruiser which has towed the Escape 17 just fine with only a standard hitch. It handled beautifully with no sway or other driving issues, but it did drop the rear of the FJ enough to be noticeable. I checked on Air Lift air bags to fit inside the rear coils but found no listing. However I recently learned the bags for a Mitsubshi Montero will fit an FJC with a 3" lift kit installed. If anyone is driving an FJC or any tow vehicle with coil springs in the rear this is a very effective and cheap alternative to load equalizer hitches. They also make kits for leaf springs too.

I find that 20# of air in each bag levels my rig nicely and 5-7# gives me a good unloaded ride. Airing up is done with a bicycle pump, but for the lazy folks a 12 volt pump will also get it done too.

Firestone also makes air bag lift kits

Alan "Ace" Brown

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Old 05-21-2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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Re: Air Lift Helper Springs

Since I have a Toyota Sienna, it is low to the ground. I had the Firestone ones (air bags) put in the rear coils, and it sure has helped keep my back end (of the car) from scraping. However, I don't think it is high enough to go without an equalizer hitch.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:07 AM   #3
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Re: Air Lift Helper Springs

I am not using an equalizer hitch with my 19 towed by my '09 Pilot, I am giving it a go without. I have had little issue with it in the short while I drove it, but on bumpy roads there is a bit of bounce for sure, but not real bad. Air bags will stiffen suspension and reduce this bounce some, and will raise the hitch height back up, BUT air suspension is not a replacement for a weight distribution hitch. A WD hitch helps to transfer some of the tongue weight to the front wheels as well, and AS will not do that, which can be important with many tow vehicles where a sufficient amount of weight is off the front tires.
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Air Lift Helper Springs

I've got a FJ also! Nice units eh! I did notice it went down a bit when hooking up the trailer, but haven't found any issues with it. The only time i notice i'm pulling a trailer is when i look in the mirror! LOL. I guess the issue with it dropping a bit in the rear is that the headlights would be pointing up & into oncoming traffic.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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Re: Air Lift Helper Springs

I did not mean to imply that air bags where a replacement for Equalizer Bars but they certainly do level your rig and improve the handling significantly. It is my experienced opinion that if you truly need an EH for a 2000# trailer you may not have enough tow vehicle. But there are other factors such as using a front-drive tow rig which will have reduced traction with the back loaded by tongue weight and cargo. Personally I would not consider a front wheel drive tow vehicle. I have had a few situations where I used 4WD and low range to move my trailer out of tight spots. A FWD would have been hopeless in the same situation.

Alan
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