air spring kit and leveling kit with a truck

Most trucks come from the factory designed with a small amount of “rake”, meaning the back end of the truck sits slightly higher than the front. This added height in the rear is used as a compromise to keep a truck relatively level when the bed is filled or when towing to prevent your stock suspension from bottoming out under the weight of the load.

Leveling Kits

But what if you don’t tow often or load the bed with excess weight? Then that stock rake isn’t really necessary and can be a little unsightly when you’re just trying to look cool riding around town.

A leveling kit can be an easy to install and the least expensive solution! The simple addition of a Leveling Kit will raise the front end of your vehicle to match the rear end thus eliminating the "nose-down" look of your vehicle.

This is mainly done for aesthetic reasons, though it also has the benefit of adding a bit of ground clearance should you also want to add a large tire size.

PROS

  • Gives you that sought after aggressive stance
  • Allows extra clearance for adding larger tires

CONS

  • By eliminating the stock rake, the sag is more pronounced if and when you are loaded

Air Suspension Springs or Helper Air Springs

If you find yourself towing quite often; either for work, leisure or both, then this rake usually isn’t enough anyways and you probably find the rear end of your truck sags causing light steering/braking issues, headlights misalignment, bottoming out whenever you hit a bump, etc, etc.

By adding an Air Suspension kit or Air Helper Spring kit, as they’re commonly referred to, you can prevent your vehicle from the sagging, swaying and bottoming out. It can eliminate the overall rough ride you may experience when towing or hauling a heavy load.

Air Springs are adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of air pressure in each bag. The major advantage of an Air Spring kit over the fixed height increase of a leveling kit is that you can independently customize your ride height on either side of your vehicle, with front-to-back and side-to-side adjustments, to help support any load (within payload/maximum rating) regardless of how the weight is distributed.

This gives you much more control over creating a smooth level ride when towing or hauling heavy loads. Additionally, you have the convenience of making these adjustments again and again depending on what you’re using your vehicle for.

Finally with the added benefit of wireless or in-cab air spring controls, you can adjust the air spring pressure from the comfort of your driver’s seat. This can give you the optimal driving experience!

PROS

  • Custom height adjustments for multiple tow/haul possibilities.
  • Increased road handling and stability of the truck and trailer for a smoother, safer ride
  • Keeps everything at factory level including steering, braking, headlight alignment regardless of load

CONS

  • More expensive to fit and it does require more maintenance compared to a leveling kit
  • Slightly stiffer ride when driving without a load. Although maintaining a pressure of 10 PSI in each air bag can help alleviate this.

At the end of the day, it depends on what you need from your system. Combining a leveling kit with an air spring kit brings you the best of both worlds so you don’t necessarily have to choose between the two.