Hello forum, I’m a 64 year old man planning on a crosscountry trip to the Twilight Zone. Pretty much going where the wind blows me and looking for some adventure. I’m retired but on a limited budget so hopefully I can resolve my issue with limited funds.
I’ve gutted out the inside of my 2001 Nissan Pathfinder LE by taking out the rear and passenger seats, and have replaced them with a bed and cabinets, along with a luggage/cargo carrier on top. Problem is, my rear end is now sagging about 4-5” lower than the front end and the tires are within about 2”-3” from the wheel well. I need to pass over any bumps slowly and carefully or it feels as if I’m bottoming out. I’m hoping my new 255/65r16 (stock) tires I'll have mounted on Monday with help some, along with new heavy duty shocks (not sure what make yet), but I’m sure it will need much more to level this rig out. The GVWR limit is 5300 lb. (curb weight roughly 4000-4300), and currently, with myself and my dog as part of the valuable cargo, I’m at 5050 lb. (weighed at a truck stop big rig scale) So I’m 250 lb. below the weight limit, but it looks like I’m about 250 over the weight limit. I’ve consider upgrading to a heavier duty coil spring or airbags, but just not experienced enough to know what path to take? Other forums have recommended (to another member with similar issues) to try:
Monroe oe-spectrum shocks
Rancho RS9000X adjustable shocks, p/n 999010 or 999116
Airlift air bags
coil spring lift
Bilstein 5100 series rear shocks
Honestly, this is pretty much all Greek to me, but I have done some research and it appears the airbags can be done rather cheaply and within my budget, but the concept has me a bit concerned on their durability. New upgraded springs seems to be the best route, but more than I really want to pay at this time. 2” lift may be the answer as well, but once again, something I’ll probably need the pros to do for me. Right now I’m leaning to upgraded shocks and airbags, but I’m just not sure airbags with suffice. It’s important to note, most of my travels with be highway miles, but I’ll be boondocking as much as possible at each short term destination. So I’m guessing a fair ratio of highway to off road would be 30/1. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.