Top 5 DIY Budget Tow Vehichle Modifications

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5. HELPER AIRBAGS

When you’re towing a caravan, the weight imposed on the towbar acts on the suspension through increased leverage. The towbar download will push down the rear end of your tow vehicle and may cause its rear suspension to excessively sag. This can not only prematurely wear suspension components but can also remove vital traction from the front end, mess with suspension geometry, cause excessive tyre wear and, in extreme cases, contribute to a loss of control.
The use of a weight distribution hitch should be actively considered in this scenario, particularly when high ball weights are involved. However, if the ball weight is relatively low, helper airbags can still help.

It might be tempting to simply replace the rear springs with springs that have a heavier rating, but this can result in an uncomfortably stiff ride as soon as the van is unhitched. Helper airbags work as an assistant to the main spring, temporarily increasing the weight your suspension can handle before sagging to unsafe levels. If you’re taking off for a big lap with the van connected the entire time, your best bet is a set of suitably rated rear springs; otherwise, a set of helper airbags provide the perfect middle ground. Kits can be bought in the $200 to $300 range but do require some mechanical knowledge to fit.

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