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Old 08-15-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
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Jacked Up Tow Vehicles

What are the positive and negative effects of a jacked up tow vehicle for towing AS trailers?

So many trucks and suvs with lifts. Wouldn't this have an adverse effect on towing and mileage efficiency?

Should one stay away from purchasing a jacked up tow vehicle, i.e., Excursion, F250, F150, Ram, GMC, Chevy etc?
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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What are the positive and negative effects of a jacked up tow vehicle for towing AS trailers?

So many trucks and suvs with lifts. Wouldn't this have an adverse effect on towing and mileage efficiency?

Should one stay away from purchasing a jacked up tow vehicle, i.e., Excursion, F250, F150, Ram, GMC, Chevy etc?
Negs...
Jacked usually equals stiffer, stiffer can cause rivet poppers and frame damage. To high will require a custom drop stinger.
High CG, poor drivability, handling & comfort.
Old farts have a hard time enter and exit.

Positive...
Looks manly cool.... Not so much.

Better to have a TV thats comfortable for the long jaunts.

Bob
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
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I can't think of any positives. Functional or aesthetic.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:14 PM   #4
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All negative for a TV. All you really need is a "leveler" for the front end to make your TV level if it isn't. Otherwise, you are moving your entire stock vehicle center of gravity to some unknown future disaster.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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Jacked up vehicles really don't belong on the road. They are an abomination. Ideally you want the hitch centerline to be the same as the axel centerline. This keeps the tow vehicle from pitching up and down during stops and starts. The higher the center of gravity, the worse the handling. Unfortunately, trucks are getting taller and taller because of the, my truck is bigger than your truck, syndrome but it handles like crap, you need a ladder to get in it or put anything in the back of it. Another stupid idea are the low profile tires.

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Old 08-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #6
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The fact that trucks are getting higher and higher is the main reason I don't have a new truck. It becomes more difficult to reach items at or near the front of the bed, and for no good reason. I really don't care if my truck is bigger than the other guy's truck. It looks good, drives nice, tows great and fits nicely into my garage.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:11 AM   #7
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When the air suspension was installed, I had the truck bed brought level with the front of the truck as the air suspension will keep the truck level regardless of payload. I think sitting level the truck it is still too high, but a 4x4 sits high for some really stupid "sales" idea versus sound engineering and safe handling.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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I would not consider buying a lifted vehicle because there are too many factors at work here with the suspension. Higher center of gravity ... Steering is affected adversely ... If a fella is gonna jack up the suspension he will probably jack with an after market tuner, wheels, transmission mods, &/or other engine mods ... Most of the mods are added because someone has too much money and time on his hands and will do little or nothing to contribute to a positive towing experience.

Steer clear & look for a mostly stock vehicle.

Happy motoring!
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:21 AM   #9
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The kind of mods that make sense to me are the ones done to make for a more positive towing experience.

I would like to see more discussion about the air suspension that Switz had done to his Ram.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
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I just replaced my 99 2 wd full size pickup with a 4x4 2013 full size truck of the same brand.. The 4x4 is probably 3 to 4 inches higher which does make getting things in and out of the bed and stepping into the thing more difficult.
I really don't think it will have an adverse affect towing but it did require a 5 inch drop bar. Airstream ball height is lower than most box trailers.
The little i have towed so far it has been great, but then I have 12000 pounds of towing capacity left after hooking up a 5K trailer'

As an earlier poster said, I wouldn't touch a truck that has been raised after market, for the reasons mentioned and would never consider a truck with chrome stacks and other "go faster" goodies as it has likely had other add ons or a lot of chrome bought with money that should have been spent on maintenance.
When I was delivering trailers I always found it interesting that the guys who cried poor all the time were the first to head for the chrome shop if things were a little slow
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #11
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The kind of mods that make sense to me are the ones done to make for a more positive towing experience.

I would like to see more discussion about the air suspension that Switz had done to his Ram.
Were it on my truck my sig would read "Keldermann Air Ride". The 2014 hydraulic cab mounts would be retrofitted as well. (The finishing touch would be air ride seats).

One would need to distinguish 1/2T from 1T trucks. Lots of stuff for the lighter vehicles . . but is it up to snuff with the weight and stresses of towing? OEM doesn't compromise, aftermarket plays with trade-offs.

As to mods there are those of us who have added a larger front anti-roll bar to pickups and installed one on the rear where the factory did not. As this changes handling -- not always to the better when solo or unloaded -- I'd hesitate to "discuss" it where advantages/disadvantages are not understood. Fred Puhn's book on handling is a basic, for that. Trucks are prone to spin out prior to roll over, so it's a set of trade-offs where rear axle resistance to this is diminished. For me, with a truck loaded past 8k all the time over the 6.8k base -- and tire weight values are within 40-lbs of each other, solo vehicle -- I am willing to experiment. My top speed, anyhow, is 58-mph towng or solo. Tires are a slight improvement over OEM in re handling.

I may add a rear panhard rod. KONI FSD shocks if available for a 1T

Careful in playing with fire (as this is).

The best TV is still low COG with fully independent suspension. All is inferior to this.

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Old 08-16-2013, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jump View Post
The kind of mods that make sense to me are the ones done to make for a more positive towing experience.

I would like to see more discussion about the air suspension that Switz had done to his Ram.
After-market air bags do nothing but level the TV. No increased load capacity or help with sway control.

A properly set-up WD hitch will do pretty much the same thing.

Beware of the hype......
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Firestone air bags will increase your weight carrying capacity by
5000 pounds. I definitely recommend this system for your Burb:
Chevy Firestone Air Bags - 2000-2009 Chevy Suburban 2500 4x4 & 2wd - "Ride-Rite" Air Bag Helper Springs (Rear)

Thanks

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Cross [mailtoXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 10:59 AM
To: info@suspensionconnection.com
Subject: Airbag Chev Suburban

I am wondering how much more payload I will gain by adding rear bags to
my 06 3/4 Burb. Not sure of what the "level load capacity" of the Burb
is now.
I am concerned about overloading the axle as I tow an RV. How much would
I gain by upgrading the suspension with a quality air bag system.
Look forward to your recommendations.

Thank You
Bob
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:15 PM   #13
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So, Bob, then are you saying that even adding the air bags would still not be an improvement over stock?

We are also considering a new tv and are unable to find a 2wd ... Only 4x4 are available in a Megacab. speaking strictly from ease of entry and exit, I was considering lowering a new truck. I guess I should consider my own words regarding suspension alteration of a tv.

Good thoughts here
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:30 PM   #14
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No...what they will do is level the rear of the vehicle when loaded.

You hitch up, the rear of the TV drops, you set the WD, presto the rear rises.
If still squatting you just may be overloading the rear axle.

OEM air suspension is entirely different.

Bob
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
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What are the positive and negative effects of a jacked up tow vehicle for towing AS trailers?

So many trucks and suvs with lifts. Wouldn't this have an adverse effect on towing and mileage efficiency?

Should one stay away from purchasing a jacked up tow vehicle, i.e., Excursion, F250, F150, Ram, GMC, Chevy etc?
Their is nothing wrong with a lifted vehicle as long as you are within reason. 20" lift and 44 inch tire is not a good idea but if you are talking about 5 or 6 inches lift and 35 inch tires it would do fine and be safe. I used to do custom 4x4 builds and have used many of them to tow with. They are as safe as any other vehicle if done correctly. The aftermarket suspension kits are DESIGNED BY ENGINEERS AND ARE SAFE. I would rather tow with one of those than some of these pulling combination that are being HIGHLY recomended on here.You are definitly going to loose power and gas milage unless you regear the frt and rear differentials. YOU WILL HAVE TO REGEAR. Putting chips and performance parts on to try to compensate is still going to leave you lacking pulling power and bad gas milage. Still don.t buy into this stiff TV stuff beating the rivits out of the trailers because your trailer is independent of the TV and has it's own suspension but you will have to have a drop hitch and possibly a custom made one depending on how high you vehicle is lifted.
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:16 PM   #16
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When ALL the steel spring suspension parts were replaced by Kelderman installing their level ride air bag suspension with air compressor and 3 gallon air storage tank, the rear springs were replaced with two 5,000 pound rated Firestone air bags. Thus I have a 10,000 "spring" suspension capability on the rear, but the axle is still rated 6,010 pounds and the two stock Michelin LT 225/75R16E tires are rated 6,010 pounds at 70 psi. The front air bags have a slightly higher rating than the front springs, but that axle is rated 5,500 pounds. They also installed new shocks on the front and re-used the OEM shocks on the rear. Fifth gear is the towing gear for 55 to 65 mph.

While the door tag suggests a GVW of 9,600 pounds, the axle and tire ratings could support 11,510 pounds GVW. The 27FB Classic has a GVW of 9,000 pounds. So the door label combined GVW of 20,000 pounds would mean the truck could be supporting up to 11,000 pounds with the fully loaded trailer in tow.

There is a switch in the console that can be turned on to energize the rear air bags air dump valve and lowers the back of the truck to the stops in the air bag. As a short person, I can now easily load stuff into the truck bed. Turning the dump switch off, the bed rises back to level.

The ride was softer after leaving the Kelderman shop in Oskalosa, IA than when I arrived from Indianapolis,IN.

The Hensley hitch required the two inch drop to have a level trailer (a two inch square bar welded to the bottom of the two inch square one sticking out of the truck receiver.
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