Courtesy McCullough Public Relations

After waiting for weeks to go camping in the great outdoors, you’ve finally hitched up the camper, loaded it with necessities and locked the house.  As you pull out of the driveway with your family and pets, your sagging truck comes dangerously close to bottoming out.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.

There are numerous points to consider when towing a camper/trailer or driving an RV.  Towing goes beyond loading a trailer up and attaching it to a pickup.  In today’s world, our toys are getting bigger and our hobbies are more elaborate than ever before.  Spending a weeklong vacation at the campground means not just bringing along extra clothes and the family pet; it means packing food, cooking supplies, coolers, bikes, water rafts, sports gear…the list goes on and on.  These modern travel trends, and all the related equipment that is essential to them, require important products that create a safe and comfortable towing experience.

Towing With Air

All vehicles are designed with a specific load capacity that manufacturers recommend to be the maximum amount of weight that vehicle should carry.  When vehicle owners add weight for their individual hobbies – be it hauling a boat for a nearby fishing trip or pulling a trailer of ATVs for a weekend in the hills – the vehicles can quickly maximize those weight capacities.  In fact, we see examples of un-level vehicles on the road every day: A loaded truck travels down the highway, its bumper narrowly passing over the asphalt while the driver unknowingly wreaks havoc on the vehicle’s suspension, tires and brakes.  Not only is this practice damaging to the vehicle and uncomfortable for the driver, it can be unsafe to everyone on the road.  If a vehicle is improperly carrying a heavy load, it can lead to difficulty steering and controlling the vehicle, increased tire and shock wear, reduced braking effectiveness and a number of other problems.

But there is a way to tow the heavy items and extra equipment we need to enjoy our hobbies and that is with the use of air helper springs.  Designed to keep vehicles level when carrying a heavy load, air springs can help maximize the safe load carrying capacity, stability and ride quality of vehicles by lending extra support to the suspension. 

Firestone Industrial Products offers a complete line of air helper springs – Ride-Rite™, Coil-Rite™ and Sport-Rite™ – to suit the needs of every driver.  Todd Green, regional sales manager for Firestone’s Ride-Rite division, explains that most stock vehicle suspensions today are a compromise between ride comfort and maximum hauling or towing capability.  Because of this, vehicles tend to handle poorly when fully loaded and heavier vehicles provide a rough ride when unloaded.  Here is where air comes into play, as air helper springs can be adjusted with air pressure to compensate for varying loads.

Furthermore, many of today’s trucks and SUVs are built with softer suspensions to provide a smooth, comfortable ride, which makes air springs necessary to help control heavy loads.

Creating a Level Ride

Firestone’s air helper springs are specially engineered for each vehicle application and the air can be adjusted to match the specific load they are carrying.  As a result, there are detailed benefits from each of its suspension solutions.