Product Review: Airmax Air Helper Springs

Words & Images Godfrey Castle

When you tow, you place an abnormal load on your vehicle’s rear suspension − especially when travelling those long, heavily corrugated gravel roads. The tow vehicle can also suffer a malady known as pitching, which is akin to having someone jump up and down on the rear of the vehicle. This action makes the ride tiring and uncomfortable, and is stressful on a long journey.

What’s more, if suspension travel is restricted by the towing and/or load in the vehicle itself, there’s a possibility
of the vehicle’s suspension bottoming out. This means that the chassis hits the rubber bump stops when you drive over a hole or bump, which then sends shock waves to the vehicle’s occupants and can cause a loss of control.

Another problem associated with sagging rear suspension is that it can result in the front suspension lifting; and this can be dangerous. Apart from your headlamps blinding oncoming motorists at night, a lightened front steering means a possible loss of directional stability and control; plus, the vehicle could lose a serious amount
of braking capacity as the front brakes provide most of the stopping power.

There are various suspension aids designed to deal with this issue. The problem with most of them is that, once fitted, they alter the balance of the car; so instead of being level, the rear of the vehicle is raised. And, besides being unsightly, this causes its own problems.

So, when we were offered a chance to install Airmax Air Helper Springs, we jumped at the opportunity.

At a recent Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, we noticed that this solution was one of the hottest accessories on the market, with a number of manufacturers exhibiting their products. In fact, some motorhome manufacturers had abandoned leafspring suspension completely, opting for this type of air suspension thanks to the superior ride it offers. In fact, all top-of-the-range cars these days ride on air suspension.

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