New SumoSprings for the Truck Camper Adventure Rig

Suspension issues can really take the fun out of truck camping. Most know the importance of correctly matching a truck camper with the GVWR and payload rating of a truck, but that doesn’t guarantee anything when it comes to overall ride safety and comfort of the truck. This is because a 3,000 or 4,000-pound camper can create all kinds of issues on the road, including rear sag, porpoising, and sway. And these issues can happen to any truck—big or small—even duallies. There’s no doubt about it. Correctly matching a truck camper with a truck is just phase one; phase two is getting the ride of the truck camper combo just right.

Truck Camper Adventure has evaluated and rated several suspension products that address the aforementioned issues. One product that we’re currently evaluating is a patented suspension product called SumoSprings. The product is made by SuperSprings, an American company based out of Carpinteria, California. SumoSprings are different from any other suspension product that we’ve evaluated thus far. You can say they are a hybrid. On one hand, they work like a standard bump stop; on the other, like an air bag. Unlike air bags, however, compressed air isn’t needed. Instead, the air found in each SumoSpring is contained within the rubber compound itself, which consists of a proprietary closed-cell micro-cellular urethane. This durable, “closed cell” construction results in a product that is less harsh on the road than standard rubber bump stops, yet smooths out the “rough edges” of travel like a good set of air bags.

But SumoSprings do more than offer a progressive spring rate on the road—they also keep your truck level. But that’s not all, like a good pair of shock absorbers, they also provide additional damping properties for your rig. The progressive property of the springs means you get more support when hauling a truck camper, less support when you’re not. Furthermore, SumoSprings reduce side-to-side body roll, resulting in a more stable, safer driving experience like a sway bar. We already have a Hellwig Big Wig rear sway bar on our truck, but it’s nice to have a “backup” in case it’s ever needed in an emergency. Moreover, SumoSprings are maintenance-free, will not leak air, and do not require airlines or compressors, meaning SumoSprings are much easier to install. In fact, it only took us two hours to install both.

Comparison between the SumoSpring Rebel (left) and Timbren SES (right) used on the rear axle.
SumoSpring Solo supporting front axle.
SumoSpring Solos before installation.

SumoSprings are offered in a variety of heights, diameters, and densities to accommodate various loads and work, including offerings for both front and rear axles. Distinguished by color, three different densities of rubber are sold: yellow, black, and blue. Blue SumoSprings provide the least amount of support, black a moderate amount, while yellow offers the most support. Three different types of SumoSprings are also offered, called the Rebel, Maxim, and Solo. For our 2013 Ram 3500, we are using the Rebel SumoSprings on the rear axle, while Solo SumoSprings are being used on the front. The Rebel design used on the rear axle comes in two-pieces, consisting of separate male and female pieces that interlock and work together when compressed under a load. The beauty of this approach is that the design allows unrestricted wheel travel and will not affect the ride of your truck when the camper is unloaded, a HUGE plus.

Sound too good to be true? Not at all, because the SumoSprings really work. It’s true that SumoSprings aren’t adjustable like air bags, but that can also be a blessing on outings. It’s a pain having to constantly check air bag pressure and make adjustments (we had an AirLift auto fill compressor on our last set of air bags that went off 24/7, which was REALLY annoying). With the SumoSprings, you simply install them and forget about them. Like standard bump stops, they’re always there, on-call, ready when you need them. We had an air bag fail once on the road, a Firestone Ride Rite, and it wasn’t fun. With the SumoSprings you never have to worry about that happening. Truth be told, we have nothing against air bags. We like the “adjustability” of air bags and the smooth ride they provide, but it’s nice to have options for those who full-time and don’t need an adjustable solution.

Look for a full-length review on the SumoSprings later this summer.

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About Mello Mike 496 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. He currently owns a 2016 Northstar Laredo truck camper hauled on a diesel-powered 2013 Ram 3500 pickup truck. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management several years, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side.

4 Comments

  1. I need my air bags to lift the suspension so I can engage my Stable-Loads. I don’t keep them inflated for truck camper use. But they work fine for trailer tongue weight adjustment. I have a compressor on my Cummins and three cab gauges and left and right controls. They hold air for days. One just needs to have a good tight air system.

  2. I’d be curious about cost comparisons between the two concepts ? For the record, I installed a set of airbags last year before leaving for Colorado. The driver’s side of our Travel Lite 840 SBRX is noticeably heavier so I run a bit more air in that side and it balances perfectly. And I might add, I have two manual fill Schrader valves and neither bag lost any air over 6,500 miles (50/35 psi). When we got home and unloaded the camper I deflated them to 5 psi and now 9 months later they’re still at exactly 5 psi. In other words, I’ve never had to add air to them other than when loading or unloading the camper.

  3. Hey Mike i see you installed sumosprings frt and rear. I have a 2001 F-350 dually that i installed them on the front in 2017 , at first they were great but after about 1 3/4 yrs they pretty much stayed compressed. Every time i hit a dip or went off road felt like i was hitting the bump stops. Very solid thump. Kind of defeated my whole suspension in the front. I did remove them and have been without them for awhile a happy. I did have a Eagle cap 1160 at the time. As you know the weight was in the rear. We know have a Cirrus 920. Give it about 1year and half and see if the ride changes.

  4. Mike,

    I tried SumoSprings, but I didn’t care for them. I ordered the ones recommended on their website based on my weight, but once installed, they were so stiff my overloads never engaged unless I was hitting sharp dips or bumps in the road. Otherwise my uppers had about an inch or more to the contact pads. What that meant was on rough roads, it was more like we were riding on overinflated air bags and the back end looked like a kangeroo hopping down the road.

    I did call and discuss this situation with them and they suggested I might want to buy a set with rated for a lighter weight. I didn’t want to do this because I just laid out dollars for the ones I had and no one was offering to do anything about an allowance, etc.

    After that I made myself a set of uppers that mimic Torklift’s upper stableloads in action so my uppers are engaged when my bed is loaded. If the uppers never engage, what is the point in even having them is what I figured. So in the end, they are off the truck and if someone is running a SuperDuty I will give them a heck of a deal. I really liked how simply and quickly they could be installed and the promise of not having to deal with air bags was great, but the end result just wasn’t there for my truck. Maybe for others it is. 🙂

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