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Old 09-01-2016, 07:31 PM   #1
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Looking for input on tires and suspension/clearance

Ok, rule one, pls don't make this a model vs model discussion.

I am looking for input on best way to improve ground clearance on my TV

I am also looking for a "hybrid" truck tire....good for hwy and good for light/moderate off road. If I find a good one, may switch trailer tires when news ones needed.

Here are my facts:
2014 Ford F 250 super duty, 6.7, super crew, lariat 4x4. I have put 63,000 miles on the truck in last 2.5 years, lastly towing our airstream.
First set of tires were Michelin 20" 275/65/20 at's. They were worn out at 35,000. Bought same brand, size but MS 2's....same as on trailer but 16"
I will be lucky to get 45,000 on this set.. I rotate every 5,000, keep 80 psi in them when towing. We spend a good bit of time on FS roads. Last week drove 80 miles looking for slot canyons near Hanksville UT. Today we drove 70 miles on Hole in the Rock Rd near Escalante.

This brings me to the others issue, ground clearance. I installed a Titan 50 gal under carriage fuel tank, lost nearly 6 in of clearance. For the most part no problem....but, I always like to be properly equipped for what we like to do.

I have spent considerable time on ford 4x4 forums, with same request. Feedback is get all new suspension in lieu of lift kit, go for big off road tires.

So in keeping it in the family, do you guys have a so.ution that has worked for you in similar circumstances? Again, don't care if ford, gmc, Chevy, Toyota, etc.

Last point. I raised my trailer with a Dexter lift kit....actually my good friend Gary did. Also have 16" wheels.

Sorry for the long post.

John
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:25 AM   #2
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John,

I saw the title, then it was you and I was going What Happened? Then I see its about the Ford, whew. Just remember hitch goes up with TV.

Maybe you guys just need to schedule all KOA's and Yogi Bear sites, I don't think you'll need a lift kit there.

Safe travels.

Gary
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:36 AM   #3
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Tow vehicle question re: 2014 Ford F 250

Sorry I can't help with any personal knowledge, but did want to post the above headline, to clarify that this thread concerns the tow vehicle's tires etc., and appears in the Tow Vehicles sub-forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:04 AM   #4
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I have heard a diesel engine in a 3/4 ton increases tire wear compared to a gas engine. Engine weight increases front wear and more torque increases rear tire wear.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEagle6 View Post
Ok, rule one, pls don't make this a model vs model discussion.

I am looking for input on best way to improve ground clearance on my TV

I am also looking for a "hybrid" truck tire....good for hwy and good for light/moderate off road. If I find a good one, may switch trailer tires when news ones needed.

Here are my facts:
2014 Ford F 250 ...
First set of tires were Michelin 20" 275/65/20 at's. They were worn out at 35,000. ..."
I will be lucky to get 45,000 on this set.. I rotate every 5,000, keep 80 psi in them when towing. ...

John


Did you actually mean that your inflate your Ford's tires to 80 psi when towing?
That might explain the low mileage on tires.

In any case, if you're looking to drag an Airstream into the outback, ...even a lifted AS...., your Ford P/U is not going to be your ground-clearance problem. It's going to be your AS axle.

If you're simply concerned with your add-on fuel tank, you might consider a skid-plate for it.
Jacking/lifting your truck will surely change it's towing/handling characteristics, and might even be dangerous. Heavily-treaded "mud/all-terrain" tires can get pretty squirrely when that tread "wiggles" on the highway, especially if that trailer gets out-of-line.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:55 AM   #6
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Not going to speculate on how to lift your truck for more clearance, but will suggest BF Goodrich T/A KO2 tires as a good all around highway/off road tire. Has 3ply sidewalls as opposed to 2 ply found on most all terrain tires. Also made by Michelin.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:50 AM   #7
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I tow with my Ram Power Wagon, and it has the advantage of sitting 2 inches higher than your F250.

The 4x4 guys are mostly correct. However there are a few minor options. You can upsize your tires, but the problem you'll encounter is you are running 20-inch wheels that are close to 33 inches in size. Going to a 35 will give you about 1.5 inches of clearance, but unless you downsize your wheel size, you're going to be buying very expensive tires.

The next thing you can do is buy a leveling kit. This will raise only the front end of your truck to the same height as the rear. You might notice your truck has a natural rake to it. All trucks do.

And you can add a spacer to the rear if you want to restore the rake. These will usually provide between 1 -2 inches of lift up front. And spacers for the rear are usually 1-3 inches, depending.

After that, you are in suspension land.

I'd recommend Toyo Open Country AT II tires. I've been running these and love them. Extremely good on pavement and off pavement. And they're wearing well.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:44 AM   #8
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Gary - ha ha, what can I say

r carl - on the diesel forums, the guys say the same thing, get a hybrid tire it will help

mojo - will look at it, hoping to stay in the Michelin family

Bold - had lots of guys on the 4x4 forums to just get a Carli Suspension, about $5,200. Makes tires that will give me a couple more inches with my 22" rims look like an easier option to swallow. We are in Escalante out in BLM, and the toyo tires are popular. At some point I may add a spring to the rear end. I'll look at leveling kit options. Thanks
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:16 AM   #9
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Are there that many places to go off road ??????

Aside from BLM land, I wouldn't think too many parks, or private land owners, would want people to go off road.

Are you planning on bringing your trailer off road? My brother had some customized off road beaters, but I wouldn't want to try to bring an Airstream to the crazy spots we went to. Heck….I got stuck on wet grass, on flat ground. Why not bring a tent?

It seems to me like, the powers that be, the environmentalists, and hikers REALLY don't want RVs in the pristine wilderness areas.

I read a post on the forum a while back. Members said that they don't like to explore dirt roads while towing, for fear that they would get stuck with no place to turn around.

Excuse my negativity…it's coming from ignorance, and... I am imagining you towing a trailer up Mount Everest, ha ha
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:16 PM   #10
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Ok, this is to clarify OP. This is about my truck. I take my truck out when looking for slot canyons, great views, etc. we base camp our trailer in NF, NP,BLM, and public land. The lift kit was added to my trailer in order for us to go out on FS roads and other access roads to the above camping areas. With the 16" wheels and lift kit my frame is about 4" higher. Yes the axle is the same height. But my goal was sewer clearance and belly clearance. When it comes time to replace the tires on the trailer, I likely will go with some kind of hybrid, not decided as the ms2 are pretty good and we are on pavement with the trailer more than dirt, rock, etc. hopefully that will clarify....we are not climbing Everest!
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:16 AM   #11
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AVOID the All Terrain Off Roading websites. These are individuals who find their 4x4 the same money pit as a boat owner on the Great Lakes! Knew many and their purpose was to travel the hardest route to get from point A to point B.

My 1956 and 1964 VW bugs with 15" wheels and a 'skid plate' was standard on them could go ANYWHERE I wanted to explore the rock exposures of the Rocky Mountains. The places I could not get to... I back packed with rock pick in hand.

Your limitation is your 'damage tolerance' to your vehicle's suspension, high centering or rolling over. Colorado always has a few who cut a switchback too tight with a 20 foot plus drop on a sharp turn, while four wheeling and roll over and down the slope. Eventually the vehicle... stops. No tow company will want to take the chance to recover the salvage in these situations.

For those of us with a trailer of any kind in tow, your trailer's clearance is the best you will be able to do. A truck leaves its muffler and the trailer its black/grey plumbing system on an outcrop.

This is for only those highly experienced. Those, like myself... can already drive a 4x4 near all of Utah's National Parks... by finding the public lands in between them. We use to camp regularly in these slices of public land. You can find your own. Nothing but planning your route by walking it... first.

BoldAventure has taken care of any clearance problems... a big nasty WINCH.

We use to snow bust in Wyoming to be the first to get into the area and they would open the cafe for the group. Everyone took turns busting into the drifts, get pulled out and go at it. My 1962 Jeep with flat head four banger... was not heavy enough to even bust a foot, with wheels turning in the air, high centered. The big 4x4 trucks with winches made it look easy.

It is fun to watch. It is fun to participate. You get to fix part failures, buy specialized engine air intake systems, lift kits, skid plates everywhere... and make a party of it. You High Center... get the guys with the winches and keep at it.

My 1962 Jeep high centered one Spring in Wyoming back country. Hitchhiked with my girlfriend from Torrington, Wyoming to Cheyenne, Wyoming. A 18 wheeler stopped and picked us up. Offered us both beers from an ice chest behind the seat.

I would go back and start the engine, keeping the battery charged on a weekend. Finally the drifts were melting and eventually was able to get out after nearly three months. That ended my 'Private Snow Busting' adventures.
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