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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Question: too much camper - too little truck

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cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 07/06/21 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The simplest solution is to sell the camper and buy a lighter one.

n0arp

FT

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Posted: 07/06/21 09:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

19.5s, Supersprings, and rear sway bar would be my plans for that rig. That'll run $4-5K depending on the tires.

Skip the air bags and StableLoads, as air bags won't do you any favors for stability and StableLoads don't sound like they'll give you enough lift if you're already sagging enough to impact steering.

This combination would be a night and day difference.


2021 Ram 5500 Limited 84CA Cummins 4x4 w/ flatbed
2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 2.0T (follow or TC toad)
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2016 Arctic Fox 1140 WB 1800W/11.4kWh

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/06/21 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

The simplest solution is to sell the camper and buy a lighter one.


ROFL
Dude just drove 3000 mi 1 way to buy a new camper (gotta presume that means it's the one he wants), sounds like he's never driven a truck with a really heavy load and hasn't done a thing to improve the ride or handling. Simplest solution is to sell the camper?
He's made it 7000miles so there's that. And he's gotta get another 3000miles home, at a minimum, so why not go slap a sway bar on it.
A 3000lb or 3500lb camper will also benefit largely the same from the same mods to the truck.

OP, if ya go to the hardware store, get yerself 4 plastic felling wedges, 4 hockey pucks and 8-16 hose clamps, you can unload the camper and stuff some temporary upper and lower "stable loads" under it. That will help a fair amount for well under $100.
Sway bar will also help a bunch with any high CoG load.
Then see where you're at.

My "best setup", truck didn't have upper overloads, was a shortbed with about the same weight camper and quite a bit less OE spring capacity than a new F350. It was a Big Wig sway bar, lower stableloads (semi permanent felling wedges) and airbags. Put alot of miles on it. Towing and not towing. It was fine on the road. the body roll was most noticeable when driving through potholes, bumps or off camber approaches at low speeds. Just a suggestion.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29

kenkorona

Maine

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Posted: 07/06/21 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Folks

OP here.
First, Thanks to everyone who responded. As a novice I appreciate all the advice. If I had it to do over again I'd have bought a dually, but for now its just not in the cards.

Second, I'm sorry for posting and then not responding to comments or questions quickly. I have a small business and having just come back from a long camping trip, I needed to work a series of double shifts so that some of my employees could take a few well deserved days off.

Third, some answers to a few questions raised... this is a new 2021 F350 purchased in Feb or March. The tires are in fact load range E. And the leaf spring pack has an upper overload spring, not a lower one.

Finally, after reading connects here and researching online, I believe my course of action will be...
1) install a sway bar. I'm guessing a Big Wig to control the tippyness of the ride.

2) install better shocks to cut down on the porpoising and bounciness.

3) install either Sumo Springs or Timbrens to prevent as much rear sag as possible. One article I read claimed that adding airbags (and I assume that implies Sumo's and Timbrens) would only increase the tippiness. Any comment on that?

4) I'm kinda thinking that the Sumo/airbags wont cut down on the rear sag enough. If that's the case would it be possible to install a complete new set of leaf springs that are stiffer? If that's reasonable, do you have any suggestions about brands or where to start looking?

Thanks for your thoughts
Ken

Supercharged111

Colorado Springs, CO

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Posted: 07/06/21 08:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Airbags will level the truck, but won't add as much stiffness as more spring. Pay attention to what's actually rolling. I personally get a little camper roll before the truck begins to lean, and when it does lean it's not that much. You can feel the camper doing its thing though. I did Bilstein shocks, airbags, Hellwig rear sway, front Lance camper shocks, and most recently added another upper overload. It was a double whammy because on one hand it added spring, but being an upper it pushed both upper into the frame horns sooner just like a stable load would do. If your E tires aren't aired up to the max that will also make an appreciable difference.


2007 Lance 1131
1997 GMC K3500 crew cab supercharged dually

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 07/06/21 08:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Airbags are completely fine if adjusted correctly. Most people put far too much air in the bags. You can change the number of contact points from 6 or more to two. Obviously, that isn’t a good thing. Air bags are very popular because they work. It’s not because everyone that uses them are stupid. [emoticon]

You need to maintain contact with the overloads if you use airbags. That’s the reason for my Energy Suspension bump stops. They are a couple of inches higher than the factory overload stops. Btw, this isn’t my creation. 15 years ago when I was deciding how I would setup my SRW, I followed the advice of others that had done the same thing.

For the record, I use the same approach with my F450. It’s worked well for me for 15 years with both SRW and F450 DRW. YMMV.

You can setup airbags,Ttimbrens, SumoSpringsand Supersprings wrong or right. They all can work just fine.

E rated tires aren’t equal. They have different amounts of capacity, and even then only at the rated PSI. I’m assuming you probably have 18s. If you do, you can also go all of the way to 4080 with some brands.

Have fun.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


hedge

Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 07/06/21 09:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a somewhat lighter camper (3500-3700) but almost the exact same truck (2020 F350 7.3gas with Tremor package). My setup works well and feels very controlled.

my setup is very similar to the above:
-Goodyear Duratrac tires with 4080lb rating (OEM)
-Upper stable loads to bring upper overload into play sooner
-Air bags, I only inflate them enough to take some of the weight without unloading the overloads. I use 30lbs. Make sure you plumb them to be independent of each other.
-Big wig sway bar in middle setting

I did make a mistake in that I added everyting at once over the winter, I wish I would have tried one thing at a time to find out what worked best. My gut feel that the most useful would be the sway bar and the stable loads, may have got by without the air bags.


2017 F350 Platinum DRW
2013 Adventurer 89RB

cptqueeg

Idaho

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Posted: 07/06/21 10:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

cptqueeg wrote:

The simplest solution is to sell the camper and buy a lighter one.


ROFL
Dude just drove 3000 mi 1 way to buy a new camper (gotta presume that means it's the one he wants), sounds like he's never driven a truck with a really heavy load and hasn't done a thing to improve the ride or handling. Simplest solution is to sell the camper?
He's made it 7000miles so there's that. And he's gotta get another 3000miles home, at a minimum, so why not go slap a sway bar on it.
A 3000lb or 3500lb camper will also benefit largely the same from the same mods to the truck.

OP, if ya go to the hardware store, get yerself 4 plastic felling wedges, 4 hockey pucks and 8-16 hose clamps, you can unload the camper and stuff some temporary upper and lower "stable loads" under it. That will help a fair amount for well under $100.
Sway bar will also help a bunch with any high CoG load.
Then see where you're at.

My "best setup", truck didn't have upper overloads, was a shortbed with about the same weight camper and quite a bit less OE spring capacity than a new F350. It was a Big Wig sway bar, lower stableloads (semi permanent felling wedges) and airbags. Put alot of miles on it. Towing and not towing. It was fine on the road. the body roll was most noticeable when driving through potholes, bumps or off camber approaches at low speeds. Just a suggestion.



I did presume the OP bought a used TC and selling it and finding another one wouldn't be very difficult, but may take some time and effort. As far as how far he traveled it doesn't sound like he or his wife enjoyed it and sounds rather unsafe. His wife suggested a smaller camper and she experienced the entire ride. Wives may not be able to put air in a bike tire, for instance, but I've found some them to be pretty darn smart and many men would be far better off taking their counsel at times.

If the TC was new I can understand not wanting to eat the depreciation w/out trying to improve the trucks ability to handle the load. Sounds like the OP has a good plan and I'm sure it will work out for him.

Anyway I hope the chuckle made your day!

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/06/21 11:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^No worries bud!

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 07/07/21 12:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

@kenkorona
Post up a pic if you would, showing how much it’s sagging the way it sits now.
Like to get an idea of how low she’s ridin.
And also how much does it take before you’re into the overloads? Upper and lower.
F350s (and most trucks) generally don’t get into the overloads until significant suspension sagging.
By shimming the lower overload like I said and taking up the free travel before the upper kicks in will stiffen the suspension a lot.
Same with upper overloads. Can buy any number of brands of upper blocks to engage the uppers much sooner.
Timbrens are great too. If you can shim them up so that they engage early. But you’re wasting your springs capacity if the timbrens are kicking in the same or before the overloads.
Sumos are soft for what you’re doing.
Once you decide you want more springs if it needs to be stiffer, you have tons of options.
Not the least of which is airbags if you want them to effectively disappear when you’re empty.
Other options:
Add a leaf helpers
Timbrens
Additional upper overload leafs
Or like you mentioned new heavier leaf packs.

If your camper is pulling any weight off the front, it will be more noticeable as it’s over 500lbslighter on the front axle than a diesel but I guaranty it’s not light enough to make it anywhere near dangerous.

Tires and wheels will make a difference. Aside from going 19.5s, if you have base model 17” wheels, they’re junk for hauling heavy. More specifically the tires.
18s with OE tires are better but still soft. You can do a lot better. 20s are much better at 3750 lbs and the most stable of OE offerings but you can get 18s or 20s that are 3800 -4000lbs.
Shocks are probably the least of your worries being a new truck.

Bottom line, you already have enough truck. Get it set up right and the difference will be significant.
Based on my years of hauling the same size/weight camper on an older, lesser suspension truck, I can’t imagine personally having an issue at all with your setup after a few tweaks.

Recap. Do sway bar for sure.
Then block your suspension like I recommended earlier and that will tell you if you only need to do that or if you need to add more effective spring rate. I suspect it will be passable but better with a little more help.

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