GM Truck Club
THE PREMIER CHEVY TRUCK & SUV FORUM
Founded in 2004 ~ We're the #1 Chevy Truck & SUV Forum.
Silverado & Sierra | Tahoe & Yukon | Suburban & Yukon XL | SUV & CROSSOVER

Reduce rear sag when towing?

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by Ridyn, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Ridyn

    Ridyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are there any options out there available to reducing the amount of drop when towing in the rear?

    Can we just add stronger leaf springs in the rear, or do I do something like airbag suspension modification for towing?

    I'm just curious because I'm doing the leveling kit and I don't want my truck to ride lower in the rear while towing.

    2012 Crew cab 1500 with HD towing kit
    #1
  2. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,038
    Likes Received:
    1
    Do you have load bearing shocks? I have the shocks with springs over them (load bearing) and my truck doesn't sag much.
    #2
  3. Ridyn

    Ridyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nope, unfortunately my truck only came with standard rear shocks with leaf springs. Where can I find these shocks you're talking about? They sound very good, hopefully not too pricey either.
    #3
  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,405
    Likes Received:
    25
    One issue with overload shocks (also described as coil overs) is they stiffen the ride, these new Chevy trucks ride nice so it's a shame to ruin that comfort factor.
    You could also use Add A Leafs (AAL's) and again it'll ruin the ride.
    The one option you have to maintain the factory ride and stabilize the rear end for towing is air bags, Firestone makes what I feel are the best bags in the buisness but theres a few other manufacturers on the market too.
    Air bags can be intalled as a full kit with airtanks and an onboard compressor (thats able to use air pressure for other chores) or you can install just bags that you'll need to charge up with air everytime you tow then let some pressure out afterwards.
    Yes airbags are more expensive, but in my opinion if you put many miles on your truck you'll quickly tire of the stiff suspension other methods offer.
    #4
  5. Boonduff

    Boonduff New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    1
    Stay away from the load bearing shocks. Shocks are meant to damp the movement of the springs, not help support the load. If you use them long enough and haul heavy enough loads I've seen them rip the shock mounts off the frame and or axle. On my Suburban I use the Firestone airbags and love them. When I tow I just pump up the pressure to level the truck and go. When I'm unloaded I run them with no air and enjoy the factory ride. Also, if you're pulling heavy trailers you should be using a equalizer hitch. They will also help level the truck out when towing and some designs have sway control built in.
    #5
  6. Ridyn

    Ridyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input guys, looks like I'll be going with the airbag set up. I am a little on the lazy side and would rather have the luxury of having a compressor mounted into the bed of my truck. I'll be looking into one of those hitches as well, my main concern besides looks is I feel that the truck will be a bit more stable riding close to factory height without the rear sagging lower than the front too much.
    #6
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,405
    Likes Received:
    25
    The compressors for these systems are small enough it'll mount under hood, the optional battery tray is a perfect place to put it.
    Another factor when towing a trailer is making sure the truck mounted hitch is level with the trailer hitch, depending on trailer height you may need a drop or lift hitch, to much tongue weight will cause the rear to sag and agravate swaying while towing so it's important to get it right.
    #7
  8. Grizzly Guy

    Grizzly Guy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd take tbplus10s' advice,He's right on the money with the airbag setup.
    #8
  9. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    7
    What you want is called Roadmaster Active Suspension. It eliminates body roll, wheel hop, sagging springs and is AWESOME for towing a load. Check them out at www.activesuspension.com. Surreal just got one too. Ask him what he thinks of it!
    #9
  10. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    10,778
    Likes Received:
    13
    With RAS installed my (6") lifted truck feels very close to stock in terms of body roll on curves, clover-leaves, and the like. The body roll reduction was immediately noticed after installation. Sagging is definitely reduced while towing, too ... WITHOUT the ride being stiffened nearly as much as it would be with the addition of overload leaf springs. (You cannot, by the way, use RAS and overload leaf springs at the same time; it's basically an overload spring that uses an extension spring instead of a leaf spring.) RAS is one of the best upgrades I've done ... and was very fairly priced around $300ish bucks.

    It cost me $315.00 including shipment to my door (it's normally $350ish plus S&H, but I got a heck of a deal through Summit Racing). After talking direclty with Roadmaster prior to installing their equipment, Roadmaster is willing to honor the same $315.00 to the door that I got ... for other GMTC members in the CONUS. The goal is to increase product awareness by getting more product out there. If interested in purchasing the product at that pricepoint you must call Roadmaster at 800-398-5036 and ask for Ryan ... and tell him that you're a GMTC member referred by Moogvo and SurrealOne and that you want to purchase at the $315.00 price point that I got.

    I'll be covering this in a review I need to do on the product; I've just not had time to do the write-up. And for the record, I am not affiliated with Roadmaster and I am not monetarily incented in any way by them ... I'm just a happy/satisfied customer.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
    #10
  11. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,382
    Likes Received:
    6
    the RAS seems pretty cool too (and not much more than the airbags), but since I have experience with the airbags I will say they are great. I also say that Firestone (firestone industrial not the tire firestone) makes a better bag than airride when I was looking for mine. I really like the firestones on my truck and simple to install.

    www.firestoneindustrial.com
    #11
  12. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    7
    The cool part about the roadmasters is that they install in 5 minutes and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If, in the first 30 days you decide it isn't the best thing you ever bought for your truck, they will give you your money back with no questions asked. That is a pretty solid guarantee! Call Ryan at Roadmaster and at least chat with him before you decide.

    Air bags are cool and I am not bashing them on any level, but to install them, you have to mount a compressor, run air lines, wire it all up... Maybe even do some fabrication. You have to manually adjust them unless you install a self-leveling system and they take a bit of time to inflate. The RM self adjusts instantly to changing road conditions and load. It's operation is completely transparent and you will never know it is there, aside from the greatly improved ride... even unloaded. It installs with only 2 bolts per side and without having to take ANYTHING off of your truck to install it (unless you want to take the tire off to make the front nut and bolt easier to access.) In any case, Give Ryan a call! He is absolutely a no-pressure kind of guy. (704) 523-2638. If you get his voicemail, DO leave a message... He WILL call you back!

    I have pressured you more than he will! LOL! I do not work for the company and have nothing to gain either way! I am just passionate about these.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
    #12
  13. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    10,778
    Likes Received:
    13
    Moogvo is spot-on about the installation being simple. Unload the rear axle, remove the tires, bolt the new units into place, tension the units, replace the tires, and re-load the rear axle. That's it.

    This installation is 47.5% prep work, 47.5% post-install work, and 5% actual installation. It took me 2 hours from start to finish ... and that was only because I have locking lugs (for every lug!) that are a complete pain in the butt to put on/off and, the work was being done in a shop that wasn't mine, only hand tools were used, and I was photographing things and making notes.

    The actual RAS portion of the installation took ~6-7 mins from emplacement to completion of tensioning. If my truck wasn't lifted, if I had normal lugs and wheels, and if I had been doing this in the shop I normally work in without any photos, I could have done the installation in ~45 mins from start to finish. Add in some air tools instead of hand tools and I'd dare say it's a 30 min job...

    I should also add that there's very little to go wrong here -- compared to air bags which have a lot that can go wrong (from comprssor to air lines to wiring to the bags, themselves). Also, the need for the compressor, lines, potentially a larger alternator to run the compressor if yours is insufficient, etc -- are potentially hidden costs to air bags that the RAS doesn't have.

    Oh, and if it matters for some, the RAS is 100% made in USA. It's an operation out of Charlotte, NC...
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
    #13
  14. moogvo

    moogvo Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    7
    I think they should hire us, Surreal!
    #14
  15. Ridyn

    Ridyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ahhh there's so many good reviews hard to choose one!
    #15
  16. RayVoy

    RayVoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,122
    Likes Received:
    5
    The air bag guys and the active suspension guys are giving you good advice, but if you are towing a large trailer with a heavy tongue weight, you need to listen to Boonduff and look into an equalizing hitch. It spreads the tongue weight onto the four truck wheels, as well as back onto the trailer wheels.
    #16
  17. Ridyn

    Ridyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, I'm already looking at what options are available. Should I wait until I get my suspension set up or should I go ahead and jump on this? I'm pretty much towing at my trucks towing capacity 3-4 days a week.
    #17
  18. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    10,778
    Likes Received:
    13
    This, too!
    #18
  19. RayVoy

    RayVoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2,122
    Likes Received:
    5
    If your pulling that much weight, the hitch is the first thing I'd add. Getting the weight spread over all wheels will get rid of the sag. In fact, you can actually over adjust the chains so that the rear is higher with the trailer on that when off.
    And, the same hitch will be used with, or without the air bags.
    #19
  20. Ridyn

    Ridyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thanks for the input I'm going to be jumping on this asap.
    #20

Share This Page