Air shocks, add-a-leaf, or shackles, which is best for a tow-mobile????? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Air shocks, add-a-leaf, or shackles, which is best for a tow-mobile?????


New Member
May 6, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Germantown Maryland (Wash. DC Area)
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 5.0 XLT AWD 4 door
Hey Everyone,
I've read a lot of posts but the question remains without a definitive answer....

What is best for My 97 AWD 5.0 X (without ride leveling) for towing a camper trailer that puts 300 to 400 lbs. on the rear hitch and sags the rear end??

Who has had good luck with air shocks? How about add-a-leafs??? What about Shackles???
I have a 1985 Toyota 4Runner that leveled out well with just shackles but it had substantial rear leafs and my X just has one rear leaf in stock form!!!

Thanks in advance for your experiences and advice!!

Todd in Maryland

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Hi Todd,
I would go with a add-a-leaf.

I appreciate the info, I think that will be the best also but it never hurts to ask!!
Nice shot of your EX!!

add a leaf is probably the best.

aldive, I believe you its just another shorter leaf (or maybe longer?) that you add to the pack.

The add-a-leaf might be good, and the torsion lift is ok because it would be fairly adjustable, and with air shocks or air bags, you can adjust any time you want do the firmness desired. Its really the ultimate if you get an in-cabin controller, that way you dont have to find an air compressor to hook up to. Just an option to consider, I'm not saying the leafs are bad! :eek:)

Thanks Guys!!
I think I'll get an add-a-leaf and see how that does and then maybe add air shocks for that extra degree of adjustment.

I'd go with add-a-leafs or even better for you, an air system. Not necessarily air shocks, but something like the system below.

This is the Air Lift Ride Control:
Dead Link Removed
Dead Link Removed

I think this maybe your best alternative because leaf's will eventually flatten with such a load. This will keep that from happening. sells this unit.

Another good alternative that will probably be just as or even more effective then add-a-leaf's are Leaf Helper Springs. A company called Hellwig is really big on producing them.

Hope this helps Todd.

Thanks Tim!!
I think this air lift ride control is the best of all worlds!!
Thanks for the link to performance, I've bought stuff from them before and been happy with the service and selection. Who do you go to in the local area for large stuff Tim??? Trick Trucks????
Thanks to all !!!!!!!!!!