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Extra leaf or air bags for stable towing

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Old 03-19-2017, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default Extra leaf or air bags for stable towing

I have noticed a little bit of sway in my new f150 when towing. I replaced the tires with 6 ply rated Toyo AT2's and that helped the cornering so I think that is dialed in. My last truck was an '02 Silverado and it was much worse including being pushed around corners. On that one I went with sway control on my hitch, sway bar on the truck, smaller 10 ply Toyo's and all of those made encremental changes but did not solve it. I finally had it in the dealer as it was new and they checked it over and put me in contact with a Chevy engineer. He came to the conclusion that if I added an extra leaf that would solve it which it did. The truck and trailer handled as one unit then no matter what roads I was on. Now for the question, on this truck I was thinking of going to air bags instead of an extra leaf because this truck is already a little stiffer than the Silverado, does anyone know if the bags would do the same job, I am thinking about the air lift because with their warranty if it doesn't fix it I could return them and go with the extra leaf. Attached is a picture of the current truck and trailer.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
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when towing, are you running door sticker tire pressure are upping to rated pressure on tires?
Another overlooked issue could be trailer wheel alignment, every trailer ive sent to truck alignment shop had needed corrections and took sway away after corrections
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Martiangod View Post
when towing, are you running door sticker tire pressure are upping to rated pressure on tires?
Another overlooked issue could be trailer wheel alignment, every trailer ive sent to truck alignment shop had needed corrections and took sway away after corrections
Since I switched tires to 6 ply rated LT tires I upped the pressure to the maximum 50 PSI while towing, 40 unloaded. I haven't thought about having the axles aligned which might not be a bad idea to have it checked but it did tow well with the '02 Silverado 1500 that I put an extra leaf in the middle of the spring pack.
I am going to readjust my WDH, I think I might have it a little tight, the front of the truck is down about 1/2 inch from unloaded and I just looked in the manual and it say's to split the difference between unloaded and trailer on with no WDH.
I haven't towed fully loaded yet, the trailer is only about 5700 lbs. and it will weigh about 6500 fully loaded.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:49 PM   #4
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I always have a great deal of difficulty with threads like this. I tow much heavier and with an older truck and don't deal with these issues.

Perhaps it is the driver looking for a certain "feel" when the trailer is behind them, in essence comfort level.

I would certainly attest to my F150 feeling far better than my 2002 Silverado did with my TT behind it. A far better feel of control. I would also say that when I towed that same trailer with a 3/4 ton it felt better again. However I never felt the need to make alteration to my truck for towing.

In your case, I would lean towards air bags so as not to change the ride quality when not loaded. I would also make sure there is a separate line to each bag and not simply a "T" in the line. This allows movement of air pressure from one bag to another during side loading which takes away from the purpose of the bags.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:30 PM   #5
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First. Which WDH do you have? I can't see by the picture. That trailer is not all that large for an F150. An inexpensive WDH is not worth spending money for air bags.
E load tires, rear sway bar and better shocks would be my recommendation.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:33 PM   #6
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Timbrens, love mine

Installed in 20 minutes
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KOZ45
Timbrens, love mine

Installed in 20 minutes
What do the timbrens do as far as towing is concerned. Do they stiffen things up or just help with sag?
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:50 PM   #8
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I have the EAZ Lift round bar hitch, I think the bars are 1000 lbs. This truck does tow a lot better than my '02 Siverado 1500 did before I put the extra leaf in it. The '02 handled the weight better than the F150 after I put the leaf in. I ran 10 ply's on the chevy when it was new and switched to the 6 ply's after that because the ride was just too rough and I didn't notice any towing advantage with the 10 ply's. Better shocks may help, my last truck the sway bar helped unloaded handling but I didn't notice a huge difference towing although I may put one on.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siskiyou View Post
I am going to readjust my WDH, I think I might have it a little tight, the front of the truck is down about 1/2 inch from unloaded and I just looked in the manual and it say's to split the difference between unloaded and trailer on with no WDH.
That is definitely too tight. The truck will be real squirrely like that.

You do not need any auxiliary load management. That trailer should tow easily with a stock truck.

Also, your trailer looks nose high. Backing off the WDH pressure may help. But, you might also have to adjust your ball height downward.

A rear anti-roll bar is not going to help your towing performance. Your issue is not roll control.

Last edited by acadianbob; 03-20-2017 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nighthawk87 View Post
What do the timbrens do as far as towing is concerned. Do they stiffen things up or just help with sag?
In my experience, both

look on their website for more info and specs
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