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Old 09-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
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Sagging Truck?

Two years ago I purchased a new 2012 28ft FC (5900lb dry weight) and a new 2012 Dodge crew cab with short bed.1500. On paper the tongue weight was well within the capacity of the 1/2 ton truck. My problem statement is...my hitch is below plane on the truck, ie rear is sagging. I am using a Husky weight distribution hitch with 800- 1200lb bars and loaded to the extent I can on the links in the chain, ie three loose links. I most likely exceed the tongue weight on a ongoing basis through the fact I put a 200-300lb shell on the truck and I am sure I throw another few hundred pounds in the bed when travelling. So...what to do now? Before resulting in larger springs or air bags are there weight distribution options I should look at. I checked with the Dodge people and they recommended independent rear airbags, not ones driven by air compressor but those filed by external air compressor. When not towing they can be de-inflated.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:29 PM   #2
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With the shortage of nice late model vehicles right now dealers are paying the moon for trades.That coupled with large rebates and you may be pleased with the trade difference on a more capable truck.A lot of people never explore this as they are unaware of the current market conditions.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
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The hitch is most likely not set up properly. How much is the head tilted back?
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:48 PM   #4
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We have similar truck and Airstream weights. Our solution is to load the truck and trailer according to their capabilities. Take a look at what you carry and decide if you really need it. Load the truck lightly and forward in the bed. Balance the trailer load, and if you have bicycles put them on the back so they subtract from hitch load.

Here we are in CA returning home last spring after some 5,000 miles and 2,000 to go. The truck and trailer are not overloaded (I weighed it), no sag. It's quite capable of the job.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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You need to add the total payload which would be the tongue weight plus the weight of stuff in the bed plus the weight of passengers and other stuff. It would help to go to scales fully loaded with trailer and see if you exceed the axle ratings on the front and rear. Personally, I would tighten the bars with nothing in the bed of the truck so the truck is level. I would then add more springs to compensate for what you put in the rear of the truck. You don't want the load bars compensating for what you put in the bed of the truck. The intent is to shift some of the tongue weight to the front wheels.

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Old 09-11-2014, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgwatkin View Post
I most likely exceed the tongue weight on a ongoing basis through the fact I put a 200-300lb shell on the truck and I am sure I throw another few hundred pounds in the bed when travelling. So...what to do now?
You just answered your own question.

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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
We have similar truck and Airstream weights. Our solution is to load the truck and trailer according to their capabilities. Take a look at what you carry and decide if you really need it. Load the truck lightly and forward in the bed. Balance the trailer load, and if you have bicycles put them on the back so they subtract from hitch load.

Here we are in CA returning home last spring after some 5,000 miles and 2,000 to go.



The truck and trailer are not overloaded (I weighed it), no sag. It's quite capable of the job.
What dkottum said. And you already admitted. I've got an almost identical setup and no sag.

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Old 09-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
With the shortage of nice late model vehicles right now dealers are paying the moon for trades.That coupled with large rebates and you may be pleased with the trade difference on a more capable truck.A lot of people never explore this as they are unaware of the current market conditions.
I agree. You could add air bags, new leaf springs, skyhook, whatever, but you would probably never be completely happy with your old truck.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgwatkin View Post
---My problem statement is...my hitch is below plane on the truck, ie rear is sagging.---
How much is the rear sagging?
Many owners of 1/2 ton trucks report rear-end sag (difference between hitched and unhitched height) of 1-1.5" -- even with the WDH adjusted to return the front end to its unhitched height.
When towing a trailer, even with WD applied, load is added to the rear suspension.
The suspension is designed to deflect under added load, so "sag" is an expected result.

Quote:
---So...what to do now? Before resulting in larger springs or air bags are there weight distribution options I should look at.---
If your WDH is adjusted to return the front end to its unhitched height/load, then, IMO, you have exhausted the WD options.
If you are not concerned about exceeding the truck's GVWR and, possibly, rear GAWR, you can eliminate some or all of the rear sag by using larger springs or air bags. However, these add-ons do nothing to reduce the total load on the TV or the load on the rear axle.

If you are talking about rear-end sag of up to 1.5" with WD applied, I wouldn't be too concerned about that. It doesn't necessarily mean the truck is overloaded.
If you are talking about exceeding the truck's GVWR and/or the rear GAWR -- it's up to you to decide if that's a problem for you.
If exceeding the ratings is a problem for you -- larger springs or air bags will not solve the problem.

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Old 09-11-2014, 07:00 PM   #9
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Springs or air bags will make it sit level. But they will not increase the load carrying capacity of the rear axle (bearings) etc.. Air bags would be my preference over springs. Springs will make the truck ride hard when not loaded. You can decrease the air in the airbags and get the stock ride


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Old 09-11-2014, 07:57 PM   #10
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Not all Dodge 1500's have the same payload capacities as they are all ordered differently by selling dealers so the comments that 'I have the same truck' probably do not apply.Very few are ordered alike.Without more info it will be hard to advise on a fix.


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Old 09-11-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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Not all Dodge 1500's have the same payload capacities as they are all ordered differently by selling dealers so the comments that 'I have the same truck' probably do not apply.Very few are ordered alike.Without more info it will be hard to advise on a fix.
You're first comment is to buy a new truck, and your second is to put down the advice of people who actually own the same brand.

While true, we can make some good guesses. Especially since he stated he has a crew cab, 1500 short bed. His profile: Airstream Forums - View Profile: rgwatkin states that he has a Laramie. Which would put his weights very close to mine depending on his option packages. I can guess a lot based on that though.

Ron already made some great points, it doesn't help that the Ram has a linear spring rate either.

The OP already admitted he thinks he's over weight, his choices are pretty clear.

This is like all the Ford F150 guys giving PSI advice to the guy running the same tires all us Ram guys have factory that have a limit on the rim max PSI.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:49 PM   #12
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Sagging Truck?

Only stated a option to trade because it a truly viable option. Those who take very good care of their vehicles can trade today for less than they can imagine.
I personally have ordered thousands of trucks In many different configurations for different applications in my career so I do have some experience in this matter.Also I have not ever been a brand specific band wagon guy.
They are all good and they all have their faults just like women.


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Old 09-11-2014, 08:52 PM   #13
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There is plenty of information in post #1 to know the 2012 Ram 1/2 ton is overloaded.

Moflash already recommended a bigger truck, as usual.

The other choice is to reduce what you carry in the truck and try to get the Airstream tongue weight under 1,000 lbs so the truck is not overloaded. Then ensure your your weight distribution hitch is properly installed and adjusted. If you post a photo of the truck, trailer, and hitch set up and ready to tow after a weight loss program, several members on the forum can help you get it right.

You may not be that far off on payload, there is placard in the door jamb telling you what is allowed. It sounds like a combination of too much load and w.d. hitch adjustment.

Air bags may help in some way, but shouldn't be considered a solution to an overloaded truck.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
There is plenty of information in post #1 to know the 2012 Ram 1/2 ton is overloaded.

Moflash already recommended a bigger truck, as usual.

The other choice is to reduce what you carry in the truck and try to get the Airstream tongue weight under 1,000 lbs so the truck is not overloaded. Then ensure your your weight distribution hitch is properly installed and adjusted. If you post a photo of the truck, trailer, and hitch set up and ready to tow after a weight loss program, several members on the forum can help you get it right.

You may not be that far off on payload, there is placard in the door jamb telling you what is allowed. It sounds like a combination of too much load and w.d. hitch adjustment.

Air bags may help in some way, but shouldn't be considered a solution to an overloaded truck.

Please read my post Doug as I did not recommend a bigger truck.I am not part of your conspiracy theory lol.
I did recommend that a truck built to be more capable for his application may be the best option and more cost effective than he might imagine.



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