If you've got a bug-out truck and a plan to leave home during an emergency, it's essential to consider the reliability and safety of your vehicle. The last thing you want to deal with is a flat tire or an overheated engine slowing you down when SHTF. Beyond obvious maintenance, you should also consider improving your truck's safety features. Aftermarket LED lights can help you see further ahead on dark roads, push bars can help you clear obstacles in your path, and a winch can pull you out of a ditch if you get stuck off-road.

But there's another element that many of us forget to consider: weight. All these upgrades add pounds to your vehicle, and you'll probably be throwing even more heavy gear in back during a bug-out scenario — guns, ammo, jugs of water, boxes of food, clothes, extra fuel, and so on. It's easier than you might think to overload your truck's factory suspension, creating an unstable nose-high condition. Add a trailer, and the situation just gets worse.

Air Lift loadlifter XL truck suspension air bag vehicle 2

If your bug-out truck looks like this, you've got bigger problems than sagging suspension, but you get the idea.

A common solution to the issue of sagging rear suspension is an adjustable air spring system, sometimes known as air bags or helper bags. These inflatable air springs are installed atop a truck's rear axle, and air pressure can be adjusted remotely to compensate for a heavy load and even out ride height. This makes your truck more stable, prevents bottoming-out, and improves braking and steering control.

Air Lift loadlifter XL truck suspension air bag vehicle 1

Air Lift recently announced a new heavy-duty air spring kit for 2000-2010 GM 2500HD and 3500 trucks. It's known as the LoadLifter 7500 XL, and as the name implies, it can provide up to 7,500 pounds of load-leveling capacity. If your bug-out kit includes more than 7,500 pounds of gear… well, you may want to look into a slightly larger vehicle.

Air Lift loadlifter XL truck suspension air bag vehicle 3

The new LoadLifter 7500 XL is now available for GM, Ford, and Dodge HD trucks.

Air Lift's LoadLifter 7500 XL is adjustable from 5 to 100 psi of pressure, and installation can be completed in two hours with no drilling required. You'll need a separate air compressor for any air suspension system, but that can come in handy for other reasons — refilling a low tire, blowing dust off gear, or blasting a train horn to signal for help.

For more information on the Air Lift 7500 XL series, go to AirLiftCompany.com.

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