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-   -   Sagging Truck? (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/sagging-truck-125224.html)

rgwatkin 09-11-2014 04:22 PM

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.

Moflash 09-11-2014 04:29 PM

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.

Chuck 09-11-2014 04:41 PM

The hitch is most likely not set up properly. How much is the head tilted back?

dkottum 09-11-2014 04:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
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.

perryg114 09-11-2014 05:16 PM

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.

Perry

BoldAdventure 09-11-2014 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgwatkin (Post 1509274)
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.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkottum (Post 1509287)
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.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1410472005

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.

https://www.ramforum.com/picture.php?...ictureid=16214

terryV 09-11-2014 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moflash (Post 1509277)
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.

Ron Gratz 09-11-2014 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgwatkin (Post 1509274)
---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.

Ron

TG Twinkie 09-11-2014 07:00 PM

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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Moflash 09-11-2014 07:57 PM

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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BoldAdventure 09-11-2014 08:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moflash (Post 1509377)
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. :rolleyes:

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.

Moflash 09-11-2014 08:49 PM

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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dkottum 09-11-2014 08:52 PM

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.

Moflash 09-11-2014 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkottum (Post 1509401)
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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Skater 09-13-2014 07:28 AM

This is why we went with a 3/4 ton truck. The half ton probably would have handled our trailer most of the time, but there are trips where we'll have a bunch of extra weight in the bed and we didn't want to overload. If you're doing that every trip, that's almost certainly the issue. The Hensley isn't a light hitch, either, from what I understand.

The other option would be to simply replace the springs (and other parts causing the sagging). It's a lot cheaper than a new truck, even if you have to do it every other year.

SteveH 09-13-2014 07:50 AM

To the original poster, if I were in your situation, I would try a set of Timbren rubber over load springs: Vehicle Suspension for 2012 Ram 1500 - Timbren TDR1500DQ

I have used them and they work very well, do not effect the unloaded ride, and do not require adding air every time you hook up the trailer. However, you still need to get your weight distribution hitch setup correctly.

Piggy Bank 09-13-2014 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moflash (Post 1509399)
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.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

Hey, that applies to everyone, not just women!

rgwatkin 09-13-2014 10:24 AM

To the poster who mentioned ball angle...I am unclear of how that would have an effect on WD loading. I talked to our local AS dealer and he mentioned the same thing and suggested putting a washer on the Husky hitch to move the ball forward. While I try to figure out how to gain more loading I have decided to install the Goodyear independent airbags. I have come to grips in my mind that by doing so I will be increasing the load capacity of the springs and yet still well under the spring capacity, ie 3900lb/axle.

BoldAdventure 09-13-2014 11:29 AM

The hitch ball angle adjustment on weight distribution systems is designed to provide more or less distribution of the tongue weight on your trailer hitch to the trailer and vehicle axles. If you adjust the ball angle farther away from the towing vehicle, you will angle the weight distribution spring bars down toward the ground and that will distribute more weight. Angling the ball forward towards the towing vehicle puts less angle on the spring bars and therefore less weight is distributed.

At least that is how it was explained to me. We also had to adjust my hitch height. We took the hitch off the PO's F350 and put it on mine, when we hitched up my front end pointed to the sky, unhitched did a measurement and realized we'd have to adjust it. Everything is different vehicle to vehicle.

Ron Gratz 09-13-2014 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgwatkin (Post 1509910)
To the poster who mentioned ball angle...I am unclear of how that would have an effect on WD loading.---

Increasing the rearward tilt of the ball mount makes the WD bars have more downward slope, and that will make the bar tips lower when they are not under load.
If the bar tips start out lower, and you raise them to the same elevation (e.g. three loose links), you will create more upward force on the bars.
The increased upward force on the bars will cause more load to be removed from the TV's rear axle.

However, if you only can get three loose links, perhaps you are not lifting the rear of the TV high enough with the tongue jack when hooking up the WD bars?

Quote:

---I talked to our local AS dealer and he mentioned the same thing and suggested putting a washer on the Husky hitch to move the ball forward.---
I believe adding a washer will increase the rearward tilt of the ball mount. This can enable the bars to create more load transfer.

Quote:

---While I try to figure out how to gain more loading I have decided to install the Goodyear independent airbags. I have come to grips in my mind that by doing so I will be increasing the load capacity of the springs and yet still well under the spring capacity, ie 3900lb/axle.
By adding air bags, you will not increase the load capacity of the springs. The bags simply will carry some of the load which was being carried by the springs.

Ron


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