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Old 04-19-2015, 05:19 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Towing with the new setup: Bilsteins + TTC-1223 + Toyo 275/65R20

Got everything hitched up today to take the Airstream to get washed. Our 10 day count down till we leave for our full time adventure starts tomorrow. We'll be towing the Airstream from place to place, generally only staying at one place for one to two weeks at a time. So consistent towing for the next year.

I have Bilsteins 5100s, front and back, with the fronts set to 2.8 and out back I ditched the OE coils and Airlift 1000 bags for the TTC-1223 springs, 50% over OE capacity. Combined with Toyo Open Country AT/II's (275/65R20).

Unloaded the front sits at 39 1/2 inches and the rear at 43 1/2 inches.

Anyways, photos





Hitched up the front came up to a full 40 inches and the rear dropped to 42 inches. Adjustments on the WD hitch only went so far. As you can see clearly in the photo, I need to lower the hitch. But I'm on the last postion, so looks like a new drop hitch is in order. Going to take some final measurements, but I believe I'll be getting this Reese drop hitch: Reese Weight Dist Shank - Drop Only - 14" Long - 4-3/4", 6-1/2" Drop - 1,500 lbs TW Reese Accessories and Parts RP63971

Presently I have a Reese RP54970

I'm pretty impressed with everything overall and happy with my decisions.



Over-all we drove around 20 test miles today, and I'm very happy with the suspension setup. And even the power seems unaffected by the heavier tires. I'm sure it is technically, but perception wise, was another story.

Just need to get that hitch dialed in and adjusted before we leave.

One more the Air Rig and Airstream together.



So clean and shiney!



Anyways, thought I'd report and share for those with Ram's and interested.

PS, NO RE-END SAG HERE.


Quietly awaits negative comments...
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:54 PM   #2
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We have a local machine shop build our extra drop shanks. All the off the shelf ones add considerably to the rear overhang. These keep the ball as close as possible which improves the ride and stability. It also eases the strain on the hitch receiver.

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Old 04-19-2015, 06:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
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We have a local machine shop build our extra drop shanks. All the off the shelf ones add considerably to the rear overhang. These keep the ball as close as possible which improves the ride and stability. It also eases the strain on the hitch receiver.

Andrew T
If I had time, I would love to have that done. I don't know of anyone here locally, but if I'm in your area in the future, I will pay a visit to Can-Am for sure.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:25 AM   #4
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Pay the freight, IMO. And enquire about hitch receiver reinforcement plans that can be handled by a certified welder of your choice.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:43 AM   #5
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I see you took measurements but visually it looks like the truck is still high i in the back (too much rake). Once you get your household loaded up into the truck and trailer it may squat a bit more. Probably some quality time at a scale to give you an idea of the loads. Your also likely to "gain" some stuff (weight) while traveling around the country.
Did the Bilstein 5100 shocks give a stiff ride? I replaced the OE shocks on my truck with the 4600 series (3/4 ton) and they seem "just right".
I have always liked the color combination of that truck and trailer.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
We have a local machine shop build our extra drop shanks. All the off the shelf ones add considerably to the rear overhang. These keep the ball as close as possible which improves the ride and stability. It also eases the strain on the hitch receiver.

Andrew T
Actually we will be in Syracuse, NY in June. Might be worth paying a visit! Only a 4 1/2 hour drive.

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I see you took measurements but visually it looks like the truck is still high i in the back (too much rake). Once you get your household loaded up into the truck and trailer it may squat a bit more. Probably some quality time at a scale to give you an idea of the loads. Your also likely to "gain" some stuff (weight) while traveling around the country.
Did the Bilstein 5100 shocks give a stiff ride? I replaced the OE shocks on my truck with the 4600 series (3/4 ton) and they seem "just right".
I have always liked the color combination of that truck and trailer.
I don't see us gaining weight, as that's the one of the reasons I chose a half ton. To force us to consider everything.

There is still to much rake, but I have more adjustments, we aren't fully loaded just yet. But she hasn't been out of the shop in months, wanted to get her out, see where I needed to go from there and get her a bath.

The Bilstein 5100's ride smooth for me, the tires changed the ride more than the shocks. Since I had the shocks on for a week with the old tires.

But the new tires just ride firmer. And I like it better. The old Wrangler SR-A's where a terrible tire. They just kind of went all over, very soft sidewalls.

Thanks for the compliment.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:02 AM   #7
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Just curious if you were concerned about payload or ride that prompted you to install the Bilsteins and the new TTC-1223 springs.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:28 AM   #8
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
Just curious if you were concerned about payload or ride that prompted you to install the Bilsteins and the new TTC-1223 springs.
Payload is not a concern for me. I'm within spec.

I installed the Bilsteins and the springs for three reasons. My truck is 5 yrs old now, so the old shocks where a bit worn and OE. Second, I wanted to lift the truck some. The Bilstein 5100's in the front are adjustable and are set to 2.8 inches over stock ride height. Third, once I leveled the front, although I could get the truck level with the WD setup properly, the back felt soft and bouncy to me. (We don't load up the bed too much.)

Truck leveled and towing:


Continuing on point 3 - I feel the TTC-1223 just perform better, do not need Airbags to keep the rear from sagging badly like others have a problem with.

Overall, I have this as the stated mission of the truck in my build thread on the Ram Forums.

Quote:
"We purchased our Ram primarily to tow our Airstream, and haul us + our stuff around the country, full time on the road. We live to travel, and also like to explore off pavement just as much as we do on pavement. Because of this, we are trying to create a balance of a capable full-time tow vehicle with enough capability off-road to tackle trails like The White Rim trail in Canyon Lands, Engineerís Pass in Colorado or blaze out to Sublime Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Most of my mods have been aimed at supporting this mission."
That's also why I have AT's instead of highway tires like many others.

I should state for the record, my wife and I are automotive enthusiasts. So we don't see the truck as just a tool to get from point A to point B.

We actually love the new stance:


And our previous adventure mobile:


Was sold to support our goal of full-time travel.

I also sold my Corvette, which was my pride and joy:


Once you understand that, it puts some of our reasoning in better perspective. There are plenty of folks here who probably think most of our "mods" are irrational.
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:38 PM   #9
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Any rv supply will have the correct extended shank that you need.About a 30 min job with simple tools.You are way to nose high for the trailer to handle well.
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Old 04-20-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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Looks Good

Looks Good BA. You're getting there. I do like that color blue. Good combination.

I am trying to find some CAT scales to fine tune my setup with the new Michelin's.
45 minutes away. Mr Hony sent me a note the other day that really hit home. He said you're gonna be tinkering with your setup for awhile, but when ya finally get it right, it's a great piece of mind. He's on the money. Truly, ON the $.
Good luck, and keep up the good work.
All the best to you & your family.
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Old 04-20-2015, 01:48 PM   #11
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Yeah when I had it dialed in the first time it was smooth. A lot has changed, and I've added more weight than when we just went camping for 7 days. My new hitch will be here on Wed, probably adjust it this weekend some more. We have scales open to the public at a moving place I am always driving by. Keep meaning to stop in and ask the price, because the CAT scales at the truck stop are an hour away also, and where so busy last time we couldn't do the, loaded, unload, trailer only, etc.
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Old 04-23-2015, 01:24 PM   #12
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Need a segmented scale. Different pads for Steer, Drive and Trailer. Unless scale is flush with level ground and operator wling to work with you

CAT is worth the trouble as results are more easily replicated per their calibrations nationwide.

See Bridgestone site for off on how to weigh RVdor chart. Wheel by wheel
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:01 PM   #13
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Actually I think your mods make perfect sense especially since you will be full timing. Peace,jim
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:45 AM   #14
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I haven't seen Dodge recommendations on FALR. So I'd shoot for 100% as default.

Trailer tires to sidewall maximum.

Truck tires to within vehicle manufacturer door placard range.

Test TV tire pressure after 1.5-hrs steady state driving (minimal brake to come to a full stop). 5-7% pressure rise. More than 10% needs more air (5-psi at a time) per CapriRacer.

Too much air is detrimental to handling/braking despite some around here. Want to feel the rig -- as a whole -- start to come around "together". This is slower than when solo, obviously.

Second go round on scales ought to be in weighing wheel by wheel as per Bridgestone/RV Safety .pdf.

One can back off 100% FALR after weight imbalances are addressed.

In short, start with a numerical baseline and keep a file. The interaction of so many factors can make, one day, for difficulty diagnosing problems. Change the numbers with different adjustments one at a time, as you know, and test.

Good luck
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