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Old 08-03-2020, 08:46 PM   #1
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Towing with lifted truck

Iím in the process of purchasing my first Travel Trailer. Iíve been looking for quite sometime and found a 2015 Eddie Bauer 27FB For sale a few hours from me. Took a look at the trailer over the weekend and fell in love. Iíve already set my financing aside, just need to follow through with the purchase. Iím excited but Iím a little concerned about towing with my lifted truck. I have a 2015 Chevy Silverado 3500 with a 6Ē lift. I know I can handle the weight, Iíve pull 10k lb trailers with it, but with a pintle hitch setup and not on the interstate. Iím curious as to what kind of control I will have with just a simple drop hitch setup without a weight distribution System. Iíve order a blue ox sway pro setup but Itís going to take an additional week. I just donít know how it will handle without it, is the sway bearable and controllable?
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:23 PM   #2
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When you lift a truck the drop in payload and towing capacity is OFTEN (not “only”) related to raising the center of mass. Basically, the connected truck and trailer rig have a horizontal center of mass and a vertical center of mass. When you brake, swerve, or basically change velocity in any dynamic way, the load shift is highly affected by the vertical center of mass. If your truck is lifted and has stiff suspension...that will help. I mean...a 3500 is fine with a 27’ AS without much worry. Maybe load 13-15% on tongue and make sure she’s level. Glad you’re thinking about this stuff. Sounds like you’ll be good based on caring!
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:21 AM   #3
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1st question, why the lift?
Is it just a 'macho' lift?
As noted above...it would tow much better at the stock ride height.
The AS has a low COG with a nice aero shape, matching the TV makes a big difference.👍

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Old 08-04-2020, 07:44 AM   #4
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It is definitely just a macho lift. I purchased the truck with it already installed with 37Ē tires. It was installed professionally and rides great. I got a great deal on the truck and couldnít pass it up. Iíd be willing to drop the lift to a 3Ē but itís still costly to do so Iím going to see how it pulls first.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:26 AM   #5
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I do not have a lifted truck or a 3500. I do have a fairly high 4 wheel drive 2500. You will need a lot of drop in the hitch to get the trailer level. My guess is that if you get the trailer level it will pull fine for a short run home before you get the BO. My guess is that it will pull fine with the BO once you get it set up. I also think that if you try to drag the trailer around with the nose pointed up you will have problems. I think you are going to have a problem finding a hitch shank with enough drop. I have about 5" drop in my rig and it sounds like you might need 10 to 12 inches.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:35 AM   #6
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Towing with lifted truck

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Old 08-04-2020, 09:22 AM   #7
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Since your truck is a 1 ton 3500. you should have plenty of power to pull that Airstream (going to 37" tires on a 3/4 ton would create a noticible power lag without a gearing change). But you may notice a difference if you do high mountain passes, etc. You'll also tend to be in too high a gear on the interstate, causing downshifts and overrevs when passing, etc.

The drop hitch should work fine. Just make sure the trailer is level. There are adjustable hitches or fixed drop ones. But long term if you try to install a weight equalizing anti-sway system you may have challenges.

One thing to check in advance is whether the trailer light cord will reach the plug spot on your Silverado. If not, you can have a short extension made in advance.

Hopefully your lift kit was installed professionally. Ones which are for 'looks' only sometimes lack longer brake lines and wheel alignment inserts. "Looks" only kits also sometimes lack a front steering stabilizer that is always part of a good off road kit. That device is very important with 37" wheels if you hit dips or bumps.

How does your Silverado drive on the interstate without a trailer? Overly stiff suspensions on a really tall one ton sometimes make it a bit twitchy over bumps and ridges, with lots of steering adjustments required. Wider wheel offsets also make control more challenging because there is less wiggle room on either side of extended wheels. Strapping on a 27' trailer behind that can make the situation worse.

Hope it goes well!
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:18 AM   #8
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pay attention to tires, too

There is a Utube video somewhere with a lifted truck/trailer combo in an "unusual attitude" following an accelerated turn. It looked like the rear wheel/tire combo rolled up as a result of the side load, which resulted in the mess. No one was hurt, but didn't look pretty.

Noting that most lifted trucks sport large tires/wheels - and soft tires are not typically your friend when towing - consider if you have the right combo or need to tweak.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:25 AM   #9
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The previous posts all have the right idea and I will just elaborate and add some technical details.

First and foremost regardless of hitch (WD or not) you won't want to tow at highway speeds until you get the top of ball height within 2 inches of the 17 3/4 labeled (you probably already know this but ...). If the shank you have will not achieve this height, try to avoid towing too far.

The standard seven hole Blue Ox shank will not have sufficient drop and I suspect their 9 hole model won't either. My receiver hole top is 21 inches and I use the 9 hole shank at position 8. I suspect your receiver will be north of 24 high. Fortunately the shanks are standard sized with 1 1/4 inch spacing so most shanks can work.

You will want to be sure the receiver is very sturdy though I suspect it is given the truck and your past towing.

To your specific question, a WD hitch like the Blue Ox will improve cornering and steering response. The 3500 has more than enough rear axle cornering stiffness so sway is not a major issue but the diffential tensioning of the Blue Ox will help reduce the resulting inside rear tire unloading caused by body roll tendency from the extra lift. You can get by without WD if you don't exceed 70 mph but for the previous reason the improved steering response and improvements in suspension performance, I think you'll find WD worth installing.

You will want to look at your tires and ensure they have good sidewall stiffness as mentioned.
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:25 PM   #10
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Building on the responses above, while it is certainly possible to tow with a lifted vehicle, it is worth considering how the forces are transmitted. From the trailer coupler, when a lateral force (sway event) is resisted by the truck, the force is transmitted from the hitch ball, up through the drop shank, which may (will) end up having a long lever arm in this case. The forces are transmitted to the receiver, which should be fairly sturdy in this case. The forces are then transmitted along the frame rails (should be fine) and down through the truck suspension, via an extended (lifted) mounting arrangement), producing another extended lever arm. The forces are then transmitted through the axle to the wheel and tire combination, which may be a taller profile and thus less able to manage those forces. The forces are ultimately resisted laterally at the tire contact patch. However, those forces went through a circuitous route to get there. That is not a good thing. It is all possible, especially if you keep your speed down, but the truck design has been compromised for towing due to the lift kit. Just make to sure to compensate for that in how you operate it.
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