Without question, when you are behind the wheel of your truck safety and stability are mandatory handling characteristics. Add a large fifth-wheel or a heavy camper to the rear and there are a few inherent risks that enter into the equation, especially while towing in strong winds or being overtaken by fast commercial trucks.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to improve the handling and attitude of your truck while towing, the Stable Load suspension kit by Torklift International is a relatively simple solution.
Stable Load is an inexpensive upgrade suspension add-on that includes four unique rubber pads that replace the marginally efficient factory bump stop pads on your truck’s factory overload springs. Handling can be improved with almost any truck with factory overload leaf springs while improving the attitude of sagging rear ends with a heavy camper or a fifth-wheel attached.
Torklift’s no-drill design is so simple that even if you’re not mechanically inclined you’ll be able to complete the installation with success in 45 minutes or less.
We installed the Stable Load model A7200 kit on a 2011 Ford F-350 dually truck used to pull a heavy 36-foot fifth-wheel, loaded for full-time living.
To begin, it’s important to spray the top of the factory contact pads with WD-40 prior to removal. Using a large screwdriver or a pry bar, remove all four of the contact pads from the frame brackets. Install the new Stable Load pads with the anti-rotational key facing outward and torque the nuts to 40 ft-lbs. That’s it! On some model trucks, this will complete the install.
Since the rear frame brackets and overload leaf springs on our truck were too close to insert the thick Stable Load rubber pad, the rear end of our truck needed to be lifted using a bottle jack under the hitch receiver.
According to Torklift, the two rear Stable Load pads can be left off entirely, but the system will not be as effective overall. In these cases, Stable Load’s installation manual allows the installer to cut off 3/8-inch from the rubber pad in order to gain more clearance between the frame brackets and the overload leaf springs. In selecting this option, we felt that it would offer the best performance in pulling the 36-foot fifth-wheel trailer.
After Stable Load was installed, we took it for a test drive without anything in tow and found the ride to be slightly more rigid. Once hooked up to the fifth-wheel, which added 3,500 pounds of pin weight to the rear, the truck rode about 2 inches higher.
After completing a long road trip it was clear there was significantly less sway in high crosswinds.
This type of added stability from Stable Load comes with a lifetime warranty and a retail price of $122.95 to $152.95, depending on the kit for your truck. This quick, high-quality suspension upgrade is an easy install that provides peace of mind when out on the highway.
Torklift International, (800) 246-8132, www.torklift.com.