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Old 08-19-2018, 09:49 AM   #1
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Help with tire choice on lifted Ram 2500

We're picking up our 30' Serenity in Ft. Myers in a week, and I'm uncertain about the suitability of my 2016 Ram 2500's HD diesel's height for safe towing.

I purchased it used, and it has a lift kit and is leveled, and sits quite high, so center of gravity is higher than I'm used to, as well as being a bit of a struggle for my 5'0" wife to get in and out of. The current tires are 20" 295/65, and have an off-road tread. The 2.5" hitch sits at 22.5" off the ground at the bottom and 25" at the top of the hitch. It can just get in my garage.

The dealer will install a Equalizer WD hitch system, but I've read that trucks that have been leveled with lift kits will ride too high in the front under load from travel trailer.

I'm considering having Michelin Defenders 20" 285/60 tires put on this week, which should lower overall height an inch or so. But I'm also considering whether I should lower the front of the truck. A local installer checked my suspension and said there is a "spacer?" installed on the top of my springs that would drop the front by about 2" if removed. He said trucks that are not levelled normally have the tail ride higher than the front when not towing. That seems to make more sense to me for towing. If the bed is a bit higher unloaded, then it will be more level under the AS towing load. Yes?

Looking for any advice. I don't want to get to Florida and then find I need to have more mods done to my truck in order to be properly equipped for towing. We're newbies all around, but excited for this retirement transition.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:01 AM   #2
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Airstream Ball should ride 17.5 inches to the top of the ball when hitched. For my unmodified 2500 4x4 Dodge diesel I have a 6” drop drawbar. I would reccomend taking as much lift out as is possible. The truck does not have to run level while towing but the trailer absolutely does have to be level. After her second knee operation I bought power running boards for my wife. I like them also. You adjust the trailer to level and the truck to the proper weight distribution. My truck is older and has 17” wheels so I know nothing of tires for your truck. Too big a tire is like too steep a gear ratio fo towing so I use the factory size tires. I have seen a number of these trucks towing and they the work well when set up right. I do think you should plan some time to get the hitch set up when you pick up the trailer.
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:18 AM   #3
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I would remove the lift kit.

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Old 08-19-2018, 12:25 PM   #4
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Check to make sure hitch ball shank length is correct for equalizer hitch. STD length is too long interference with trunnions. I replaced one for fellow streamer that was too long.

Learning how to setup hitch is a good self reliant thing if you’re able.

My rig is 2WD so only opinion on lowering. How do you plan to use truck?
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:44 PM   #5
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Primarily just as TV for Airstream.
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcurtisbrown View Post
as well as being a bit of a struggle for my 5'0" wife to get in and out of.

Well that just might be 90% of the answer to the question. 2% below.

Normal ride height.

Easier to load, bed access.
Improved handling maybe?
Less hitch drop to reach hitch.
Less aggressive tires as part of the return to normal height. Might contribute to better handling.

Chose wisely.

Gary
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:01 PM   #7
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I would remove the lift kit.

Mike
Yes....I would remove the lift kit and go back to the original 2016 RAM 2500 eighteen inch wheels.

My 2016 has 18 inch Michelin Defenders on 18 inch stock alloy wheels. However RAM put an 18 inch spare tire on a space/weight saver 17 inch steel wheel under the truck. Check to see what your spare is. You'd have issues with a 20 inch flat.

My RAM has factory rear auto air load leveling with Alt Trailer Height setting so the truck is always level regardless of the load. The Equalizer Hitch Head was adjusted to keep the trailer perfectly level at Alt Trailer Height, 19.5 inches to top of ball.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:17 PM   #8
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The 20” wheels were on the original window sticker as a $1400 option. Original tires were 20” 285/60, but spare is 18” 275/70.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:45 PM   #9
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There is nothing wrong with 20" wheels, and a 18" spare wheel as long as the tires are the same diameter. If you don't plan on off-roading, highway tires are a better option as the big treads on AT tires tend to collect rocks and spit them out against the front of the trailer.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcurtisbrown View Post
The 20” wheels were on the original window sticker as a $1400 option. Original tires were 20” 285/60, but spare is 18” 275/70.
My 2016 RAM 2500 manual cautions against towing with the "temporary" spare on the truck. I carried a full size 18"/18" spare in the bed on our 10,000 mile trip to Alaska two years ago.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:42 PM   #11
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I drove from Florida to Jersey to pick up mine a month ago. I'm driving a sitting pretty high 2011 Ram. I brought with me several hitch setups not knowing what I'd need. I'd go buy multiple units and return the one's you don't use.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:39 AM   #12
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Go with the factory tire size. Michelin Defender would be my choice too. That's what I have on an F250 with 20" factory wheels. You can always have the front spacers removed later. You will likely need a drop on the hitch, which will probably be adjustable, so you could make adjustments to it as needed.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:57 AM   #13
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You can put a 3" lift on the Airstream pretty cheap.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Airstream Ball should ride 17.5 inches to the top of the ball when hitched.
No, it shouldn't. Height to top of ball should be 21.5", and most tow vehicles should have the ball set to 22.5" before hitching.
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