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Discussion Starter #1
2012 with a tow package. Put on hitch and it drags the driveway when pulling out because I have normal, (not HD Sport), suspension.
Warranty is expired now so I want to make the back of the car a little higher and the suspension tougher. (Able to handle more weight.)
What is the best path to take? What options do I have?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I understand teh air bags will give me a variable solution. If I install the heavier duty shocks and coils that were meant for a RAV4 with 3 row seats, how much change will I get?
Will the back end sit up higher? Will it change the way it handles? (When I do not have the extra weight...)

SPRING, COIL, REAR LEFT; SPRING, COIL, REAR RIGHT
Part Number: 482310R050 ; 4823142220; 4823142221

SPRING, COIL, RR; THIRD SEAT-WITH; TIRE & DISC WHEEL-225/65R17H ALUMINUM 7.0J&THIRD SEAT-WITH; TIRE & DISC WHEEL-225/65R17H STEEL 6.5J&THIRD SEAT-WITH
 

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I understand teh air bags will give me a variable solution. If I install the heavier duty shocks and coils that were meant for a RAV4 with 3 row seats, how much change will I get?
Will the back end sit up higher? Will it change the way it handles? (When I do not have the extra weight...)
The rear springs on our 3rd row are not very different than a regular. When parked next to a 2 row rav you don't notice that it is any higher. I have never thought that the rode is harsh. I don't know if the shocks are any different.

When fully loaded however our RAV still sags.

I run airbags in my truck, and I really like them. I often carry a ton in the bed when my max payload is rated at 1200. Truck sits level.

I plan on adding some airbags to the RAV in the future.
 

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How much tongue weight are you applying to make it sag that low?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not much tongue weight at all. A basket tray or the bike rack would bring the back of the car down more than an inch. (200Lbs) The weight of the hitch itself brought the car down 1/2". I went back and forth with Toyota about this.
End result was with my payload capacity, I could haul something on the back OR have passengers in the back seat.
I want to change this with a stiffer suspension. I know it can be done. The RAV4 sport and RAV4 with a 3rd seat has different coils and shocks.
I figure if I add different coils and shocks, included with airbags, it will make a big difference.
Am I dreaming or just going to far with this?
Will exceeding the cars payload capacity present a hazard? Or How far can I go over the payload rating without worrying?
 

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Coil Sumo Springs from Super Springs may be an option for you if they make them for RAV's. Worth checking out anyway.

I put a pair of Solo Sumo Springs on my F250 to address a 3.5" sagging issue and sway issue when loaded with our truck camper. Great product and addressed both issues in a cost effective manner.
 

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air bags are the way to go. cheap, adjustable, levels up to 500lbs of sag.
 

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Not much tongue weight at all. A basket tray or the bike rack would bring the back of the car down more than an inch. (200Lbs) The weight of the hitch itself brought the car down 1/2". I went back and forth with Toyota about this.
End result was with my payload capacity, I could haul something on the back OR have passengers in the back seat.
I want to change this with a stiffer suspension. I know it can be done. The RAV4 sport and RAV4 with a 3rd seat has different coils and shocks.
I figure if I add different coils and shocks, included with airbags, it will make a big difference.
Am I dreaming or just going to far with this?
Will exceeding the cars payload capacity present a hazard? Or How far can I go over the payload rating without worrying?
Something is not right here? Putting a bike rack on a hitch weighing in 200 lbs should not be a problem. As for dragging on your driveway is this also dragging on the road all the time? Sometimes if you go over very uneven surfaces the hitch bottom can rub to the ground momentarily. This has happen to me when I went to a gas station pulling a boat trailer because the sidewalk and gas station had a big dip in the entrance.
 

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air bags are the way to go. cheap, adjustable, levels up to 500lbs of sag.
Agreed. Don't even monkey around with anything else. Just add the airbags. Once you have experinaced airbags in relationship to payload you will always try airbags first. That is why semi trucks all have airbag suspension.
 

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I want to change this with a stiffer suspension. I know it can be done. The RAV4 sport and RAV4 with a 3rd seat has different coils and shocks.
I figure if I add different coils and shocks, included with airbags, it will make a big difference.
First hand experience. I've changed the Sport coil springs to 3rd Row coil springs. The rear end sits noticeably higher by likes 1" or more and the headlights shined not as far as before the springs change. The 3rd row springs are a progressive coil type that's supposed to support a couple hundred more pounds of 3rd row seats and passengers over the regular or Sport varieties.

To the best of my knowledge I think the regular & Sport springs have the same weight/load capacity but possibly from different supplier (different p/no.). The difference between regular & Sport model is really the stiff HD shocks (blue colored Tokico units) used in the Sport models. Perhaps the 3rd row model also uses the mushy shocks from the non-Sport model for dampening but you'll have to check on that.

The ride with the HD blue shocks and 3rd row springs is surprising good even with the factory hitch (30+ lbs) mounted. The added benefit of the factory hitch is that it's tucked tight up against the bumper cover to increase ground clearance. Like you, I have scraped a normal length hitch draw bar at steep underground garage ramp. No scrape with the stiffer 3rd row springs yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Scraping driveway

My description of scraping the driveway was not clear. I meant the driveway apron when I pull in and out. There is the normal slant from the sidewalk and it will scrape that a little with no weight and when i load it down, lookout for driveway damage....
 

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FWIW, A few years ago my BIL with our 140# (estimated!) wives in the back (center seat) and luggage in the rear, towed a 16" Scamp/Castia trailer about 1,500 miles in Alaska with his 2008 3rd row RAV4 V6. Tongue weight was probably around 250#. Altho there was probably some rear sag we never noticed it or had any concern or bottoming.
 

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When I tow, the rear sags. Air bags if you want, or Sumo Springs, which are coil spacers. If you're going to be towing a lot, airbags make sense. If rare towing, Sumo Springs are cheap and fast. They're also removable.
 
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