4WD suspension airbags are not just for caravaners! While they are great for assisting with the increased weight from towing, it’s not just nomads that benefit. If you are setting up a 4WD for touring you quickly realise that you need to be able to adjust the suspension load rating of your 4wd as the weight is constantly changing.
After permanently mounting a draw, fridge and drop slide in our Fortuner, we realised we had our suspension all wrong. The heavy-duty coils were still too harsh and on top of this when the camper trailer was hooked up the rear sagged. We didn’t have the best of any situation. After finally getting sick of having an uncomfortable ride, we decided it was time for an overhaul of our Toyota Fortuner’s suspension. The HD coils in the rear had to go!
How to manage the load
One thing we have come to realise over the years is there has never been one constant weight in our 4WD. The load is always changing depending on what we are doing.
Unfortunately, there will never be a one size fits all solution to the load ratings for a touring 4WD. When we set up base camp somewhere we unpack and remove most of the added weight. This will obviously change the load on the suspension.
What’s the answer? Airbag Man airbags
The Airbag Man airbag sits inside the coil and you can pump it up to where you need it to manage your load. They are a Firestone bag and have a lifetime warranty. Without a high-pressure sleeve the bag can be pumped up to 30psi with the HP sleeve it can go to 60psi.
This gives us the ability to fine tune the rear suspension according to what we are carrying. When out 4WDing 5psi (the minimum) still lets the Fortuner flex and stretch the best it can. With all the swags on the roof and set up for a weekend away it’s somewhere in the middle. With the camper trailer all loaded and hooked up, we’re in the top end of pressure. We now finally have the best of every situation with the ability to increase or decrease the pressure as required with our new Airbag Man airbags.
Suspension airbag installation
If you know how to remove a coil, airbag suspension is not overly hard to install. Fitting the high-pressure sleeve to the bag and getting it inside the coil is a bit tight but that’s the most challenging part. After that it’s just drilling a couple of holes, running air lines and making sure there are no leaks. Of course, if you are unsure you should get a professional to install them.
Knowing what we do now we should have done the suspension this way at the start. There is no need to guess what weight you will be carrying most of the time, get a set of suspension airbags and give yourself the best possible ride all the time.
The Airbag Man bags paired with new standard load coils have given our 4WD a nice comfortable ride again. Now the Fortuner has been bagged with the best we have the ability to carry a load or level the trailer when we need to without compromising comfort. The ability to fine tune our suspension whenever we need to is the perfect touring suspension set up for us.
As part of our Fortuner suspension project we also changed:
HGT was gifted Airbag Man airbags. All opinions are our own.