We have seen some incredible off-road pick-up camper bodies recently − some that fit into the load bay of a bakkie, and some that replace this completely with an ingeniously designed off-road home from home.
And, once the vehicle is loaded with all the accessories and extras and the fuel and water tanks are filled, and you add a high centre of gravity and strong side winds… you have factors that the bakkie manufacturer might not have considered when selecting suspension settings for stability.
Perhaps you have such a vehicle and find that when you walk into the camper body that the vehicle rock and rolls, like a ship at sea?
The solution is easy: Upgrade the rear suspension by fitting an extra stabilising blade!
While looking for a solution for a reader, we spoke to Load Hog, who offer two models of suspension aids to choose from: the LHX Twin Blade Stabiliser Spring, and the Helper Blade.
These only fit vehicles with rear leaf-spring suspensions, and if you are a reasonably competent DIY person, it’s a job that you can do yourself in under an hour.
Fitting Load Hog Helper Blades:
Raise the vehicle on the chassis, allowing the rear axle to hang freely.
If necessary, bend open (or un-bolt) any spring retainers on top of the existing spring that would prevent the fitment of the Load Hog Helper Springs. (The U-bolts fitted later will replace their function). In most cases it is not necessary to remove the wheels.
Place one of the Load Hog blades on top of the rear half of the existing leaf spring, with the L-shaped end butting up against the axle assembly. Ensure that brake lines are unobstructed.
Place a cross plate on top of the Load Hog blade so that it butts up against the L-shaped part of the blade.
Slide the shorter U-bolt up and through the cross plate, securing it in position with the nuts and washers supplied.
Tighten to 40Nm and lock with a second nut.
Cross plates with off-centred holes are to be fitted with the wider section facing the axle. If it is not possible to fit the Load Hog blade against the axle assembly, move it back by up to 30mm.
Push the longer U-bolts up and through the outer end of the Load Hog ® blade, fit washers, and finger-tighten the nuts.
Tighten the nuts a further 10mm (light load) to 40mm (heavy load / higher lift), and lock with a second nut.
Repeat Steps 1 to 4A on the other side of the vehicle.
A minimum clearance of 30mm must be left between the Load Hog blade and the top of the existing leaf spring.
In some kits, an INVERTOR PLATE is supplied, which allows the longer, outer U-bolts to be fitted down through the Load Hog blade and into the invertor plate underneath the existing leaf spring. Adjust and lock as in step 4A.
Lower the vehicle to the floor and re-check the tightness of the inner U-bolt nuts, ensuring that brake pipes and handbrake cables are completely unobstructed. Further adjustment to the outer U-bolts can be carried out at any stage.