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Old 10-14-2018, 12:17 AM   #1
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Ram 1500 Suspension Upgrade for Towing

Good Evening:
My wife and I have a 2014 Ram 1500 4X4 Outdoorsman that we use to tow a 2018 19 ft Escape (Love it!). Our hitch weight is around 430 lbs. With the additional camping supplies we carry in the back of the truck along with the driver and passenger, we are still under our weight rating but getting close to our limit. As a result, the back of our vehicle squats more than I would like. I would prefer to stay away from the weight distribution system or air bags if possible. I am now considering heavy duty Coil Spring replacements for the back. I was looking at Super Springs or Tuftruck Coil Springs as a possibility. Has anyone had experience with these or any other brands.

Thanks

Larry
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:29 AM   #2
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We have a 2014 Ram 1500 V8 . We added Air Lift air bags to our rear suspension and they do help level out the vehicle when towing .
One thing to remember is that the Ram rear axle is only rated for 3900 lbs , a lower rating than a similar size Ford or Chevy.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:33 AM   #3
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I would install the firestone riderite airbag kit for you truck, that way it will ride nicely when its empty, AND when its heavily loaded, simply by changing the air pressure (typically 5psi when running light, and I found 30-40 PSI worked great on my Tacoma at maximum load levels, but your dodge may be different, the riderite bags can go as high as 80 PSI.... I used a tire inflator, or bicycle pump to inflate my airbags.

stiffer springs, like a coil spring upgrade, will make your truck ride harder empty. the leaf 'helper' springs don't engage til the suspension is pushed halfway down
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We have a 2014 Ram 1500 V8 . We added Air Lift air bags to our rear suspension and they do help level out the vehicle when towing .
One thing to remember is that the Ram rear axle is only rated for 3900 lbs , a lower rating than a similar size Ford or Chevy.
Thanks Steve for the quick reply. I went through the exercise of weighing all the stuff we are carrying with an inexpensive spring scale. I've estimated that we are carrying around 980 lbs. Our Maximum load rating for our truck is 1121 lbs. I may need to consider air bags at some point but first I would like to investigate the use of coil spring replacements as it seems like a simpler solution.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I would install the firestone riderite airbag kit for you truck, that way it will ride nicely when its empty, AND when its heavily loaded, simply by changing the air pressure (typically 5psi when running light, and I found 30-40 PSI worked great on my Tacoma at maximum load levels, but your dodge may be different, the riderite bags can go as high as 80 PSI.... I used a tire inflator, or bicycle pump to inflate my airbags.

stiffer springs, like a coil spring upgrade, will make your truck ride harder empty. the leaf 'helper' springs don't engage til the suspension is pushed halfway down
Thanks John:
This is interesting as I thought you had to have an air compressor mounted permanently under your tow vehicle somewhere. Sounds like a portable compressor would suffice. I will check out the Firestone Riderite.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
... I used a tire inflator, or bicycle pump to inflate my airbags.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerls View Post
This is interesting as I thought you had to have an air compressor mounted permanently under your tow vehicle somewhere. Sounds like a portable compressor would suffice.
Vehicles with air springs as the primary spring normally have an air compressor and a height-sensitive valve which automatically keep the springs inflated appropriately (although those are often vehicles which have an air compressor anyway for air brakes). For auxiliary air springs, especially aftermarket products such as Firestone's RideRite and CoilRite, it is common to use a tire pump; for our CoilRites, I used the 12-volt compressor I carry for tires.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tannerls View Post
Thanks John:
This is interesting as I thought you had to have an air compressor mounted permanently under your tow vehicle somewhere. Sounds like a portable compressor would suffice. I will check out the Firestone Riderite.
having the onboard air system makes it really convenient, you have an air gauge in your dash, and can pump them up on the fly by pusing a button.

but, really, I'm loading the tacoma for a trip, I hook up my tire inflator and pump each side up til the ride height is the same as before i started. it always seems to be about 35-40 PSI with a full load plus trailer, so frankly, I just pumped them to that. now, I have an F250 diesel which has 2000 lb payload and 12500 lb tow, so I've not even hit the factory helper leafs yet with the sorts of loads I typically carry on an extended trip.

you mentioned coil springs.... really, the dodge 1500 uses coils in back? most trucks use leaf springs... coils are more commonly found on cars and SUVs.

edit: ok, looked it up, there's two kits for those Ram trucks.... RideRite 2595 replaces the coil with an airspring, while CoilRite 4185 fits inside the stock spring.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Vehicles with air springs as the primary spring normally have an air compressor and a height-sensitive valve which automatically keep the springs inflated appropriately (although those are often vehicles which have an air compressor anyway for air brakes). For auxiliary air springs, especially aftermarket products such as Firestone's RideRite and CoilRite, it is common to use a tire pump; for our CoilRites, I used the 12-volt compressor I carry for tires.
Thanks Brian.
A portable air compressor sounds practical to me. I'll also investigate the CoilRite brand.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
having the onboard air system makes it really convenient, you have an air gauge in your dash, and can pump them up on the fly by pusing a button.

but, really, I'm loading the tacoma for a trip, I hook up my tire inflator and pump each side up til the ride height is the same as before i started. it always seems to be about 35-40 PSI with a full load plus trailer, so frankly, I just pumped them to that. now, I have an F250 diesel which has 2000 lb payload and 12500 lb tow, so I've not even hit the factory helper leafs yet with the sorts of loads I typically carry on an extended trip.

you mentioned coil springs.... really, the dodge 1500 uses coils in back? most trucks use leaf springs... coils are more commonly found on cars and SUVs.
Yep... That's right. I don't know when they started doing this but my complaint is that I bought a 1/2 ton truck to be a truck. Not a soft riding limo. The truck rides like a dream but squats when hitched up and loaded. Would love to have a 3/4 ton F250 diesel. I'm jealous.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:59 AM   #10
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Since the Ram 1500 is designed for either coil or air springs, it is possible to entirely replace the coils with air springs; there's even a kit for that. That would work well, but I don't think that I would do it without a built-in pump and automatic air pressure adjustment, because if there's a leak somewhere the truck will become undriveable.
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