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Old 07-21-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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Ridin' hard

When we picked up our 19' on July 13, Reace spent some time figuring whether or not we'd need an equalizer hitch. My TV is an 06 Tacoma 4WD V6 auto with the factory tow package (no TRD option for me -- ride was too rough). He finally decided that we didn't need an EH because the the rear only dropped 3/4" when the trailer was attached, and when he then stood on the hitch it only dropped about another 1/2". Also, both the truck and trailer sit dead level when attached.

Now, I'm unsure. On our 1000 mile drive home, we didn't experience any fore-aft porpoising, except if we hit bad pavement that got a rhythm going (think Seattle, Red Bluff CA and the odd crummy bridge). Slowing down cured those episodes. What we did experience that we didn't like was a significantly worsened ride compared to when we travel in the truck while not towing. Hitting bumps of size seemed to telegraph the impact from the tires right up our spines, as if there were almost no suspension travel left.

Now, the questions. Would an EH help with this problem? I know there are some 19' owners who tow with a Tacoma using an EH. What's your ride like? Is what we're experiencing normal, just the price of towing, and life in the slow lane? Are there other possible suspension mods that might help with this problem?

Whoo, 'nuff for now. Thanks in advance for your ideas.

Bruce
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Re: Ridin' hard

Bruce, it would seem odd that if there is little drop when you put the tongue weight on the hitch, plus add the weight of Reace, that it would bottom out hitting a bump. I don't use a WD hitch with my 09 Pilot with the factory tow package either. While the bigger bumps are emphasized a bit when I hit them, I have never felt like I was anywhere near bottoming out, and the bump was just a 'one hump' ordeal, not carrying on longer at all.

If it does feel like the rear shocks are bottoming out, a WD hitch would likely help some though. I wonder if an RV dealer might let you try one to see.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: Ridin' hard

We purchased our WDH for our Highlander as we definitely needed it.. When we bought the F150, we towed w/o (on the AS) and decided after a short tow to try the WDH.. I must admit it makes a difference (even with our truck), it just doesn't feel as "bouncie" and I personally thought the whole experience was much better..
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:11 PM   #4
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Re: Ridin' hard

Hi Bruce

I have tried towing my 19 with and without the WD hitch and the
ride quality with the hitch is much better (not as harsh). I figured for the
extra couple of bucks it was well worth it and besides you only have to buy
it once.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:45 PM   #5
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Re: Ridin' hard

I have the same Tacoma but an '05. Remember that the rear end on these trucks is known to have weak suspension and it does not take much to bottom out. I have a 17' Casita and do get the occassional bottoming out but the ride is not really that harshbut I do know that the trailer is back there. There most likely is a TSB to cover rear suspension issues as well. Search on some of the Tacoma forums for this information. also i do get a little sag when hooked up.

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Old 07-21-2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: Ridin' hard

We followed Doug's lead on getting and EH for our '06 Takoma TDR. We have three other utility trailers at work that feel bouncy, loud and unstable. The EH with the Escape 19 ties truck and trailer together almost as one vehicle. Steering is more solid because the EH shifts weight to the front wheels.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:23 AM   #7
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Re: Ridin' hard

Have a look at your rear leaf springs and count how many "leaves" there are. If you have 2 long ones and 1 short overload spring you have a 3-leaf pack which is absolutely too soft. I complained about it after I bought the truck and got a lot of BS from Toyota Canada so I installed air bags that made a huge difference. I found out about the TSB, as mentioned above, on a forum called tacomaworld.com (excellent forum by the way!!!) Even Tacomas with the TRD package came with 3-leafs up to and including 2009. If your truck is still within the 3 year / 60 000km bumper to bumper warranty than you will get new 4-leaf rear springs and 4 new Bilstein shocks for free!!!!! The rear of the truck will be about 1" higher and the shocks will improve the ride considerably. I still use the air bags with an equalizer hitch because we are usually maxed out with 2 dirtbikes in the truck and the trailer hanging off the back so the ride would be "harsh" without the airbags or the TSB (technical service bulletin which is not a recall btw) for the new leaf springs.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: Ridin' hard

Thanks for the advice, Paul. I found the TSB, and even though I'm out of factory warranty I'm going to the dealer and see if my extended warranty can apply (I know - ha). Otherwise, off to the local RV shop.

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Old 07-22-2009, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: Ridin' hard

It is possible to buy an "add-a-leaf" (AAL) from any reputable 4x4 retailer. I have used Wheeler's Off Road in Grants Pass Oregon in the past and they are excellent people to deal with. Their website is another good resource for Tacoma "stuff"!!! I have read that the stock "U" bolts are long enough to allow an extra leaf but some people prefer new ones because they can stretch after they are tightened once.

Cheers

Paul
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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Re: Ridin' hard

Thanks for the advice, Paul. I researched the Toyota TSB and used the Tacoma forum. I also talked to the service advisor at the local dealer -- he and I go way back (I taught his kids). And, I stopped by the local RV service shop to talk with them. The consensus was: Toyota's TSB cure makes the ride so rough that it is worse than the disease. Best route is to put on an EH and air bags, fiddle with the pressure while towing and get the smoothest ride. I really appreciate this forum and the good advice I get from the folks on it.

Bruce
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