We have a 2014 Tacoma Access 2wd that is used primarily to provide personal daily transportation for me and my wife and is also used as a pull behind on our motorhome. My wife needs physical assistance and uses an electric wheelchair for walking distances greater than 50 yards. Therefore we have installed a 500/5000 lb hitch and use a wheelchair carrier to transport the chair. The carrier weighs 85 lbs and the chair 168 lbs which puts about 250+ lbs on the hitch. This weight causes the back of the carrier to 2.5+ inches when the chair is on the carrier. To correct this, I feel that I want to install SuperSprings but am unsure of which one to use as I do not want the truck sagging in the rear etc as it does now which often causes the back end of the carrier to scrape the road surface. The SSA7 which indicates 3000 lbs Capacity or the SSA1 which indicates 1800 lbs Capacity. Therefore based on the 250+ lbs of tongue weight that will be on the hitch most of the time, which of the two would you recommend and why? Thanks for your assistance in this matter
asked by: Steve
Helpful Expert Reply:
According to my contacts at Super Springs both the # SSA7 or # SSA1 are confirmed as fit for your 2014 Toyota Tacoma 2 Wheel Drive Access model. However, if you have a Pre-Runner edition of this truck, then the # SSA19 is what you will need.
You are correct that the Super Springs # SSA7 is a heavier duty application suspension stabilizer and this will engage when the vehicle suspension is under a load and it will not engage until the vehicle suspension is placed under an additional 1,100 pound load. This Super Spring will provide additional support to the suspension on your Tacoma but it will effect both the ride quality and ride height of your truck. It will provide a stiffer ride, and will reduce bouncing. Using this Super Spring may also lift the ride height of your truck slightly when not under a load. The lift would be minimal 3/4 to 1 inch, however it may be a consideration for you.
The Super Springs # SSA1 is a lighter duty application and it will engage when the vehicle suspension is placed under an additional 800 pound load. Since this is not as rigid of a spring, it will not increase the existing ride height of your Tacoma. It will also alter the ride of your Tacoma but not as drastically as the # SSA7 would.
If you were to choose to use a Super Spring system, my recommendation would be to use the # SSA1 due to the activation weight, ride quality, and ride height being more applicable to your particular situation.
Another option, and my recommendation for your application, would be to use an airbag system. Again, if your Tacoma is not a Pre-Runner edition then the appropriate Firestone Air Bag system for your truck would be the Firestone Ride-Rite # F2410. If your truck is the Pre-Runner edition then the # F2407 is considered a fit.
Airbag kits support the existing suspension on your vehicle, and are much more adjustable than many of the other rigid styles of suspension enhancements. The pressure in the airbags should be between 5 and 100 psi. You can then adjust air pressure in the airbags according to the load that you are carrying, and or the ride quality that you desire.
With the weight associated with the wheelchair carrier resulting in the the vehicle sag, and clearance issues that you are describing I feel that your best solution would be to use an Airbag system like the Firestone # F2410. This will help with both the overall vehicle sag and can be adjusted slightly to improve ground clearance of the carrier. Additionally the ride quality can be adjusted to better suit your preferences and needs.
Depending on the cargo carrier and the wheelchair that you are currently hauling, I have a couple of quick suggestions. The first would be to make sure that the cargo carrier is rated for carrying the weight of the wheelchair. Also to decrease any sag, if the carrier has more than one hitch pin location you will want to use the location that will mount the carrier as close to the bumper of your truck as possible. Additionally it helps to make sure that the wheelchair is loaded on the carrier as close to the hitch as possible.
If the cargo and the carrier can be loaded as close to the rear axle of your Tacoma it will help to reduce any leverage force that the carrier is exerting on the hitch, will decrease the carrier sagging, and will more evenly distribute the load on your Tacoma.
Please also note that if you happen to be using a hitch extender or adapter with your cargo carrier, it can add length and exert leverage on your hitch and cause the carrier to sag. Furthermore, using most hitch extenders and adapters can reduce the tongue weight capacity of your hitch by 50 percent.
I have included links to the products referenced above, a helpful article, and the installation instructions for your reference.