What shocks and load helper spring to get for Taco?

kcowyo

ExPo Original
The SureSet looks good.

I was going to go with the Load Controller II and the Smart Air system, but I didn't want to buy it all with their compressor. So I just got the bags, which I manually fill. I found out later I could have bought the bags, LC II and Smart Air without the compressor. Wish I'd known, but manually filling them isn't a big deal.

It would be nice to have a system to monitor from the cab but I should probably be watching the road instead of gauges anyway. :smiley_drive:
 

oly884

Adventurer
kcowyo said:
Considering how many times you'll actually have to raise the vehicle by the frame, I would say the minor inconvenience of having to let the air out of the bags isn't a really big deal. We're talking seconds here. And actually I forgot to do that when it was on the rack recently (raised by the frame) getting new balljoints before my trip to CA, but I had no problems even after that.

Regarding rear axle articulation, I can only offer that after thousands of off-road miles this year in UT, WY, CO, MT, CA, etc. I have yet to experience overextending the airbags. I have noticed after a day or two of hard off-road use, that they lose 10-15 pounds of pressure.

Regarding shocks, Bilsteins would also be an excellent choice and they're sure to have some for the new Tacomas. Your OE shocks, because they're new should be fine for awhile. There's no reason to scrap them just yet. As they fade and you're ready to replace them, especially with a camper, you'll definitely want to upgrade. I wouldn't be surprised to find though, that after a phone call to Rancho with your measurements in hand, they would have an adjustable shock to fit your taco.

You can't believe everything you read on the web, ya' know? ;)
I was referring to the firestone air bags. The airlift bags are fine, and I've articulated my axle several times with no issues with the air bags. Since the firestone airbags are two piece I don't know what would happen if the rear axle is articulated.
 

slooowr6

Explorer
oly884, I notice you have a 04, KC has a T100. I've a 06. I guess I'll be the genie pig to find out if the air bag walks on a 06.

Any suggestion on where to get the bags and controller? jcwhitney and summitracing both have it any other place I should check?
________
roor bong
 
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kcowyo

ExPo Original
I bought mine through my local RV Dealer. Figured it was a good idea to make friends with them since I might be in the market for little odds and ends.

I did end up buying a new vent cover and small solar panel through them and when I ordered the airbags, they sold them to me at cost as long as I let them do the labor. Seemed like a good deal to me.

So David, have you had a chance to get the camper out lately? I always enjoy your photos and Montana scenery....:lurk:
 

oly884

Adventurer
kcowyo said:
So David, have you had a chance to get the camper out lately? I always enjoy your photos and Montana scenery....:lurk:
The camper is going back on the truck tomorrow! I've been so busy with school and work that I have not had a chance to get out and put the camper in storage. Now that my second to last semester of college is almost over ( :wings: :wings: :wings: :wings: :wings: :wings: ) I am now going to get the camper back on for the winter break and get out and about!

How about yourself? Been out and about recently?
 

kcowyo

ExPo Original
[hijack on]

Congrats David on being a nearly-grad! I see a lot of your stuff on YT (Mr. PO'd ;)) and I know you're pumped about finishing. Of course, then you're technically a grown up and the real fun starts.....

I just got back 2 days ago from a trip to Death Valley in California with a bunch of ExPo-maniacs.

As I recall you got the Arctic Pak with yours? That should come in handy. We had two nights of below 20 degree camping and the heater was a real bonus. Both mornings I was able to flip the thermostat on before I crawled out of my bag. I'd let the heater run for about 10 minutes till it was above freezing, then got up, made coffee, etc.

One night when it was particularly cold and the fire pit was small, we jammed about a half dozen people into the camper for warmth. An FYI, that I don't have a solution for yet - my water jugs froze overnight. Not the holding tank, (I don't use it) but a 2.5 gallon jug froze. Kind of tough to make coffee or breakfast with no water. I know you like the cold stuff, so keep that in mind.

Oh, and pull your heater's vent cover off and turn it over, so the hot air blows up instead of straight to the floor. It helps heat up the camper quicker. Don't know why the factory installs them blowing straight down...?

Another FYI that I was happy to discover is how long my battery held up before recharging it. I camped 54 nights before I put it on a trickle charge for the DV trip. I'm frugal with my battery but I was really impressed with how much use I was able to get without recharging. With your solar panels, you should be fine, but know that if the system fails for some reason, the battery will last a lot longer than you might think.

I hope you'll post up with some of your winter camping impressions and pics. Mine comes off next week till the Spring. The snow is here and it's time to break out the winter (Polaris) toys.

[hijack off]
 

slooowr6

Explorer
:littlefriend: [hijack away]
j/k.
Great info, my wife does NOT like cold, she uses a -5 sleeping bag when we backpacking in Yosemite, I think the over night low is around 25.
Kc, is there a specific reason you don't use the fresh water tank in the camper? My plan for power to charge house battery is to get a Honda 1000w generator the thing is fairly quiet and weights about 25#. It cost about the same as adding solar to the camper. Do you have the power socket installed on your truck to charge the camper battery?

oly884, Congrats on getting close to graduate! Let us know how the artic pack works for you, I'm thinking about getting it.
________
Healthy living
 
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kcowyo

ExPo Original
I don't have a good reason for not using it.

The guy I bought the camper from hadn't used it and I figured it might be prone to leaks from dried out parts. That and I travel solo, so 12 gallons of water is overkill for my needs and heavy. I use a 2.5 gallon square water jug that I lay on its side in the sink. It stays securely there while travelling and for a 4 day trip I may use half of it. If I cooked (and showered) more on the trail I would use more water and probably fill the tank.

I have an auxillary battery and the previous owner told me he put a trickle charger on it before going out for a few days. So I picked up a small one and a small solar panel. I have no other means in place to charge the aux battery. I haven't had to use the solar panel yet but it has a 12 volt plug, so if my truck battery dies out in the middle of nowhere, theoretically I should be able to plug in the panel to the cig lighter, throw it on the dash and after 3 or 4 hours maybe, have enough juice to turn the truck over. Theoretically....

I have an outside plug, where I can plug into an outside power source to power my interior sockets but not my battery. I've only used it once because I don't often camp where an outside power source is available. The only appliances I would plug into the interior socket is my laptop and camera battery re-charger. I generally charge them through a 12 volt adaptor while driving. Most nights I don't even use the overhead lights. I usually have a headlamp on in camp and with the big windows on the FWC, visibility even at night is good enough inside.

I like the idea of having a generator, but I don't carry fuel cans at this point, so no means to run it. Additional fuel and how/where to carry it are next on my list of must-haves. Too many close calls with the fuel light on this year out in the boondocks and that's with a 24 gallon tank in the T100. With the camper on, my range has dropped from about 450 miles to around 370.
 

oly884

Adventurer
kcowyo said:
[hijack on]

Congrats David on being a nearly-grad! I see a lot of your stuff on YT (Mr. PO'd ;)) and I know you're pumped about finishing. Of course, then you're technically a grown up and the real fun starts.....
Yeah, I'm pretty excited about finishing. May 12th '07 I'll be getting my BS in Biological and Chemical Engineering. I've got a job working for a wastewater treatment company here in Montana, so I'll get to stay around this great area.

Looks like a blast, I'll have to try and meet up on a trip once school ends and I have actual free time in my future.

As I recall you got the Arctic Pak with yours? That should come in handy. We had two nights of below 20 degree camping and the heater was a real bonus. Both mornings I was able to flip the thermostat on before I crawled out of my bag. I'd let the heater run for about 10 minutes till it was above freezing, then got up, made coffee, etc.
Yup, I got that arctic pak and it works really well. When you first see it you don't think much of it, but once it's in use it's amazing. Went camping one night ~2 ft. of snow fell & 5-10 degrees out, the inside of the camper stayed nice and warm.

One night when it was particularly cold and the fire pit was small, we jammed about a half dozen people into the camper for warmth. An FYI, that I don't have a solution for yet - my water jugs froze overnight. Not the holding tank, (I don't use it) but a 2.5 gallon jug froze. Kind of tough to make coffee or breakfast with no water. I know you like the cold stuff, so keep that in mind.
I'm going to be building a water tank for the camper, and insulate it, and it will be inside the camper. Plus, when I sleep, I keep the thermostat at 60 or so degrees so freezing won't be too bad.

Oh, and pull your heater's vent cover off and turn it over, so the hot air blows up instead of straight to the floor. It helps heat up the camper quicker. Don't know why the factory installs them blowing straight down...?
I noticed that too and was planning on fixing it once I got some down time.

Another FYI that I was happy to discover is how long my battery held up before recharging it. I camped 54 nights before I put it on a trickle charge for the DV trip. I'm frugal with my battery but I was really impressed with how much use I was able to get without recharging. With your solar panels, you should be fine, but know that if the system fails for some reason, the battery will last a lot longer than you might think.
Good to know, thanks! The solar panel seems to do a great job at keeping the battery charged, and with the cold temps and sunny days, I get a good flow from the solar panel.

I hope you'll post up with some of your winter camping impressions and pics. Mine comes off next week till the Spring. The snow is here and it's time to break out the winter (Polaris) toys.

[hijack off]
I get a month of for winter break so I think I'll be getting out to snowboard (head up to Big Sky and Bridger Bowl) and I'll just stay over night at the hill. Then I'll probably do some more winter exploring with a buddy of mine.

I will say that, thus far, the camper is great! The only thing that I have to fix are the "covers" for the turn-buckles that are inside the camper, clumsy me broke a couple of the plastic guiders for the wood panels. So I'm thinking of making up something else that's a bit more firm and has a seal around it.
 
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