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Old 05-20-2014, 03:29 PM   #1
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
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2012 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 and Stability

Some info for those of you using a similar truck as a tow vehicle. I've been towing with this truck for a little over a year with two different hitches (ProPride and Reese SC), and two different trailers ('10 31' and now '08 34'), and have always had stability issues, compared to my previous '08 2500 GMC Duramax.

This is not sway mind you, but unsatisfactory stability such that I was always fighting the steering to keep the thing between the lines. It was like over steer in that with just a slight correction in steering, it felt like the rear of the truck would wander out the other direction. Like I had always done with all previous tow vehicles, the tire pressure in the front tires was a manufacturer's recommendation +5 at 65PSI, and the rears were at 80PSI (E range tire max).

This last weekend a friend mentioned how heavy the Cummins engine is, and it got me to thinking about axle load, so I looked at the weight tickets I had on the truck and trailer, and sure enough, the front axle is just as heavy as the back (Front, 4660 and rear, 4620 lbs. with trailer in tow). Don't know why I had never thought about this before.

So, I did a test drive with 70PSI in the tires, front and back, and what do you know, it drives more stable than ever before while towing. I find it almost unbelievable how much difference this tire pressure change has made.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:14 PM   #2
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I have the same truck and run 65 in front and 70 rear, with 70 in the 16" LT trailer tires. I have never had a stability issue, in fact I am amazed at the stability of the combination. The truck is a hard ride by itself but when hooked up is the prefect tow vehicle.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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I use 70 psi on all 4 while towing. Never below 65 psi on the front or the truck wanders down the highway.
Have you tried the steering box stabilizer? I put one on from Hellbent steel and helped to tighten up the steering.
Wander is also caused by worn ball joints...
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:56 PM   #4
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2006 25' Classic
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I have the same truck as OregonVista. Run 70 psi on all 4 TV tires(Michilin LTX MS2) and 65 on my AS (16" LTX MS). Have been using an Anderson Hitch for over 18K towing miles. No problems. Drives like it's on rail road tracks. Best truck I have owned.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:58 AM   #5
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I have an 2011 matching model and ditto Halimer/OregonVista's results with matching pressures on all 4 TV tires. Drives/tows fantastic at 70 lbs. I up it to 75 when the trailer has fully loaded tanks and a day of interstate asphalt looms ahead.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:07 AM   #6
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Holy crap you guys have the pressure cranked up. I run my Yokohamas Tires (103 load rating) at 35 psi (manufacturers standard) and the rig runs straight and level as can be.

I'll try something higher next time to feel out the difference.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:23 AM   #7
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What is your toe in - toe out set at?
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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2012 Ram 3500 mega cab, original 17" Firestone Transforce a/t's, 15" Carlise E's on 30' Classic, Equl I zer hitch. 60 lbs front, 75 rear. No issues with sway in 21,000 miles. Once stopped at a rest area and was surprised at how windy it was. Also, so far so good with the Carlises, about 19,000 on them, one year old. Been keeping them at 80 lbs and speed at 60 mph.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
Holy crap you guys have the pressure cranked up. I run my Yokohamas Tires (103 load rating) at 35 psi (manufacturers standard) and the rig runs straight and level as can be.

I'll try something higher next time to feel out the difference.
Are those tires load range "E" ??
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #10
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I have been towing with cold (a relative term here in Arizona in the summer) pressures of 70 psi in front and 80 psi on the rears. Pressures increase five to eight pounds as the tires warm up. The trailer tires are set at 80 psi and have similar increases in pressure. The sunny side of the rig pressures are always a few pounds higher.

After the first weighing, I dropped the trailer on their lot and crossed the scales again. Truck was nearly "camping" loaded as was the trailer.

The first column are the weights with the Classic and the second column are without the Classic from the local CAT scales. Sorry, the columns do not stay aligned in html.

Front 4,640 4,980

Rear 5,460 3,960

Trailer 7,960

Total 18,060 8,940

I have done the new tie rod and steering gear box strengthener modifications along with an all air bag suspension (all steel components replaced).

The steering has been definitely non sports car in precision, more vague but controllable. I will bump pressures on up to 80 front and rear for the next trip and see if the steering gets more precise.

I drive with both hands lightly on the steering wheel at all times, based upon the suggestions from a close friend race car driver. I also put the seat back so the arms are comfortably extended for full movement in an emergency.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:21 AM   #11
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I should have stated that before this revelation about tire air pressure, I had installed the BD-Power Performance Steering Stabilizer, Bilstein shocks on all four corners, a Bilstein steering stabilizer, Timbren rubber overload snubbers (these helped a little, but were removed because of increased ride harshness), new tie rod and tie rod ends involved in the call back, and most recently, 265/60R 20E tires and wheels. The trailer has 225/75 16R LTE tires.

All other suspension parts/components are in good condition with the truck only having 42,000 miles total. The front end alignment is as the Dodge dealer set it when the tie rod and ends were replaced.

All of the above mods helped the stability, a little with each mod, but the air pressure change in the tires helped the most.

My weights are front axle, 4560, rear axle, 4620, and trailer axles, 9100, total, 18,280 lbs.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:37 AM   #12
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My weights are front axle, 4560, rear axle, 4620, and trailer axles, 9100, total, 18,280 lbs.[/QUOTE]

Interesting. I put my truck (loaded for camping) and trailer (not loaded for camping) on the scales the other day and had 4500 front and 4600 rear, with the trailer coming in at 5700.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonVista View Post
Interesting. I put my truck (loaded for camping) and trailer (not loaded for camping) on the scales the other day and had 4500 front and 4600 rear, with the trailer coming in at 5700.
Yep, BIG difference between a 25 footer and a 34' SO. That and many other reasons are why I have 3/4 ton truck, and not a minivan.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
The first column are the weights with the Classic and the second column are without the Classic from the local CAT scales. Sorry, the columns do not stay aligned in html.

Front 4,640 4,980

Rear 5,460 3,960

Trailer 7,960

Total 18,060 8,940
Switz, I think if those were my weights, I'd tighten up on the WD bars. Just saying.....
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