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Help With Rear Suspension For Trailer Towing

Discussion in 'Towing & Hauling' started by cbalch, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Apr 15, 2014 at 7:10 AM
    #1
    cbalch

    cbalch [OP] New Member

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    Clifford
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    2011 Tundra doublecab with 5.7l
    Hi, I'm new to this forum and did'nt realize there was a separate tow/haul section so I posted this same thread in 2nd generation section. Sorry. I have a 2011 Tundra doublecab with a 5.7L. I want to tow my son in law's 30 foot camping trailer. Obviously power is not an issue but his trailer has an approximately 900 lb. tongue weight. Even with the weight distribution hitch it makes the Tundra sit down pretty low and creates a lot of bounce. My local 4 x place says that air bags are the answer and I tend to agree. He also says that Rancho shocks are necessary. I am not opposed to them if they are really necessary but I don't want to lose the regular ride the truck has that I really like. Any thoughts would be welcome.
     
  2. Apr 15, 2014 at 8:18 AM
    #2
    jberry813

    jberry813 The Mad Scientist

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    Lake Tahoe
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    Metric shit ton of parts
    There's a lot of things to take into consideration. I'll start off first by saying your local 4x place is stuck in the 90's. Rancho's are a joke. Airbags on the other hand can be exceptionally helpful...but the real answer is "it depends." With that...let's take a better look at your setup.

    So lets talk GVWR. You're at 7200 lbs with a curb weight of around 5650. That puts your payload at 1550 lbs. Lets assume 25 gallons of gas, which is roughly 156 lbs. That brings you down to 1394. Let's assume 2 adults riding inside at 150 lbs each, that's now down to 1094. Remove your 900 lb tongue weight and you're left with 194 lbs. Now the reason I went through this math exercise to point out how LITTLE weight you are left with to put into the bed. So hauling this monster trailer, my question to you is what's in the bed? Anything more than 200 lbs (or adding two more adults) and you are exceeding the GVWR of the truck. Remember, even though the tundra can pull 10k lbs, at the end of the day it's still a half ton truck and has half ton payload.

    Next...you mentioned you have a WD hitch. I've seen it time and time again where people claim they are using a WD hitch and still have problems. Posting a picture normally clears this up...and identifies that the hitch is setup incorrectly. Several things to take into consideration:
    • When a WD hitch is installed properly, the suspension should drop EQUALLY both on the front and rear. Measure from center of the hub to the bottom of the fender unloaded and loaded, both front and rear, and do some math. Ensure that at most, the rear should drop no more than 1" more than the front.
    • If the rear is dropping significantly more than the front, then either the ball hitch itself is too low (trailer frame should be level), or the WD hitch load bars are not brought up high enough. Depending on what WD hitch you are using, you would either bring the load bar up to the next highest link in the chain, or bring the adjustment bars up. After adjustment, remeasure your front/rear hub-to-fender.
    • If the front is dropping significantly more than the rear, the opposite of above is true. Either the ball is too high, or the load bars are too high (overloaded).
    • Ensure your WD hitch is rated for your application. Given that you have a 900lb tongue weight, you would need a 10k WD hitch system.
    Now with the above taken into consideration, you mentioned airbags. Airbags only help in bringing the ass of the truck back up when it's severely squatted. However, as I pointed out above, if your WD hitch is setup properly, the rear of the truck will be neither squatted nor raked. I personally don't believe in airbags used in tandem with a WD hitch as they oppose each other in terms of forces and create an even rougher felt ride. I would only suggest airbags with a Non-WD hitch towing load.

    In terms of shocks (rancho's aside), shock valving can play a lot into the felt perception of the truck's ride. Factory shocks aren't great, but they aren't bad. They are more tuned for the majority of your day to day driving experience (and that would be NOT towing). Rancho's are going to be virtually identical feel unless your shocks are blown. Without diving down the shock valving rabbit hole, just know that you cannot have both at the same time You can purchase shocks that have some level of adjustability and revalve capabilities (bypass shocks or compression adjuster shocks), but be prepared to shell out some coin. A pair of my bypasses costs around $1300 bucks. At the end of the day, don't expect the truck to handle the same way loaded, as unloaded. Given everything you've stated, I'm inclined to think the WD hitch is not setup correctly and that is amplifying the felt problems inside the cab.

    Hope this helps...happy towing.
     
    dragon_coma, zac808, BS1981 and 2 others like this.
  3. Apr 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM
    #3
    cbalch

    cbalch [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the detailed input. You've given me a lot to think about. Now I've got some
    work to do.
     
    Bob likes this.
  4. Apr 15, 2014 at 3:31 PM
    #4
    WyoBull

    WyoBull New Member

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    I just installed the Roadmaster Suspension kit on my 2007 Tundra DC 4X4.
    It made a world of difference in how my truck handles, tows, corners etc.
    I was told it is better than adding a leaf or installing airbags.
    Check them out online, they have a great website and the installs in about an hour.
     
  5. Apr 16, 2014 at 7:24 AM
    #5
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Welcome to Tundras.com!!
     
  6. Jun 9, 2014 at 5:04 PM
    #6
    Waterproof2

    Waterproof2 New Member

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    Trd intake and sway bar
    I added the TRD sway bar it seemed to help with stabilization while towing , and it's cheap !
     
    partsrunner1794 likes this.
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