Ram 1500 Suspension Upgrade for Towing - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Me | General Topics > General Escape
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-14-2018, 12:17 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fullerton, California
Trailer: 2018 19 ft Escape, Tow: 2014 Ram 1500
Posts: 63
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
__________________

__________________
Larry & Janet
tannerls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:29 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North of Hertel, Wisconsin
Trailer: TBD
Posts: 2,147
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.
__________________

__________________
The Danbury Malcontented Curmudgeon
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:33 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,554
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
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:51 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fullerton, California
Trailer: 2018 19 ft Escape, Tow: 2014 Ram 1500
Posts: 63
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.
__________________
Larry & Janet
tannerls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:58 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fullerton, California
Trailer: 2018 19 ft Escape, Tow: 2014 Ram 1500
Posts: 63
Quote:
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.
__________________
Larry & Janet
tannerls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:25 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,917
Quote:
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.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:39 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,554
Quote:
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.
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:40 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fullerton, California
Trailer: 2018 19 ft Escape, Tow: 2014 Ram 1500
Posts: 63
Quote:
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.
__________________
Larry & Janet
tannerls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:55 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fullerton, California
Trailer: 2018 19 ft Escape, Tow: 2014 Ram 1500
Posts: 63
Quote:
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.
__________________
Larry & Janet
tannerls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 01:59 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,917
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.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 02:04 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,554
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerls View Post
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.
my 2002 F250 7.3 diesel rides like a brick on rough roads when its empty, its brutal on concrete freeways with expansion cracks, like riding a bicycle over railroad ties. the LT265/75r16 load range E tires take 70 PSI in the back :-O
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 02:23 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 11,917
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
my 2002 F250 7.3 diesel rides like a brick on rough roads when its empty, its brutal on concrete freeways with expansion cracks, like riding a bicycle over railroad ties. the LT265/75r16 load range E tires take 70 PSI in the back :-O
You might consider a lower pressure when unloaded. Some vehicles even have published pressures for normal and high loads, but you could work out an unloaded pressure for the truck based on load-inflation tables and the rear axle load.

From a Ram support website (brand doesn't matter because these are industry standards), for an LT265/75R16:
1,940 lb @ 35 PSI
2,205 lb @ 45 PSI
2,625 lb @ 55 PSI
2,910 lb @ 65 PSI
3,065 lb @ 75 PSI
3,195 lb @ 80 PSI

For instance, since Ford says 75 PSI is needed for full load, and that includes at least a ton of cargo on the rear axle, roughly half a ton less per tire or 45 PSI would likely be fine for load capacity with no load in the truck. Vehicle handling may call for a somewhat higher pressure than that. Of course, pumping the tires up to put in cargo can be a hassle.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 07:50 AM   #13
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,659
I have a 2014 Ram 1500 Sport and I installed the air bags that fit inside the factory coils, easy job and inexpensive. I keep them at 20 psi to keep the rear end from squatting. I also carry a full fresh water tank which keeps my tongue weight on the 19 at 425#. I do the same with the 21 Escape which has a t/w of 500#. I recommend you obtaining a Sherline tongue weight scale to measure your tongue weight. One more thing, check your spare, it is more than likely a temporary spare, unsuitable to use while towing. I had to purchase another full sized wheel and tire and carry that in my truck bed, under a tonneau cover.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 08:35 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Trailer: 2014 Escape-21
Posts: 268
An other option is the Timbren DR1500DQ. You replace your rear axle bump stops which takes about 5 min. With no load you use your stock springs, when loaded the axle rests on the DR1500DQ and bump stop pads. Works good with a heavy constant load or empty. A little rough when hitting a rail crossing empty or a light load when the DR1500DQ are not fully in contact.
Eddie
timbren.com/blog/products-page/dr1500dq/
elongest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 09:23 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
escape artist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2016 Ram Eco Diesel 4X4
Posts: 6,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerls View Post
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
Hi: tannerls... Guess I can count myself lucky. I bought a used 2016 Ram EcoDiesel 4X4 w/ trailer tow pkg, and I found it had been used to tow a contractors trailer. Already had air bags in the rear coils and I actually had to remove some air to make it comfortable. Also had a full sized spare on a steel wheel too. No squats when hooking up our 5.0TA either. I'm running about 35psi in the bags both towing and non towing. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1040874.jpg (362.3 KB, 24 views)
__________________
Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
'16 Ram Eco D. 4X4 Laramie Longhorn CC & '14 Escape 5.0TA
St.Thomas (Not the Virgin Islands) Ontario
escape artist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 10:08 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: North of Hertel, Wisconsin
Trailer: TBD
Posts: 2,147
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannerls View Post
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.
To be fair your half ton truck is rated to carry over half a ton (1121 lbs )
Most 1/2 ton trucks are commuter vehicles and never see anything but pavement and never haul anything but a driver & possibly a bag of groceries . They are designed to be pleasure vehicles not work trucks
We are considering a new truck and are torn between buying a 1/2 ton or a 3/4 ton..
The idea of buying a 1/2 ton and then spending an additional $2K or $5K to upgrade the suspension / tires / etc and when done still having a 1/2 ton truck ,does not appeal to me .

My wife is not thrilled with the ride and comfort of the 3/4 ton truck but she is really tired of being told to leave stuff home because we are over our payload limit. .
__________________
The Danbury Malcontented Curmudgeon
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 11:13 AM   #17
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,659
3/4 ton truck will not fit in my garage, too wide for my garage doors. The other issue is fuel, with the semi and 3;21 rear and 8 speed, I can avg 15 mpg towing, plus the tag and registration costs more for the heavier vehicle. The air bags keep me level and the fuel economy keeps me happy. Good combo.....
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 11:14 AM   #18
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,659
Quote:
Originally Posted by escape artist View Post
Hi: tannerls... Guess I can count myself lucky. I bought a used 2016 Ram EcoDiesel 4X4 w/ trailer tow pkg, and I found it had been used to tow a contractors trailer. Already had air bags in the rear coils and I actually had to remove some air to make it comfortable. Also had a full sized spare on a steel wheel too. No squats when hooking up our 5.0TA either. I'm running about 35psi in the bags both towing and non towing. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Alf, I have to say, that is a pretty combo. I'll have to check your spare next time I see you.....
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 11:25 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
escape artist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: St. Thomas not BVI., Ontario
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0TA / 2016 Ram Eco Diesel 4X4
Posts: 6,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Alf, I have to say, that is a pretty combo. I'll have to check your spare next time I see you.....
Hi: cpaharley2008... I'll save you the squats required to get under there. It's a Goodyear Wrangler P275 60R 20 on a steel wheel. I just changed the 4 on the ground to P275 60R 20 Toyo Open Country HT's. The spare has seen little or no use so it's still under there.
Mileage on our trip up north sans trailer was 31.14 mpg's(Imperial). Gotta loveit!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
__________________
Quote Bugs Bunny..."Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it ALIVE"!!!
'16 Ram Eco D. 4X4 Laramie Longhorn CC & '14 Escape 5.0TA
St.Thomas (Not the Virgin Islands) Ontario
escape artist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2018, 12:53 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Fullerton, California
Trailer: 2018 19 ft Escape, Tow: 2014 Ram 1500
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by escape artist View Post
Hi: tannerls... Guess I can count myself lucky. I bought a used 2016 Ram EcoDiesel 4X4 w/ trailer tow pkg, and I found it had been used to tow a contractors trailer. Already had air bags in the rear coils and I actually had to remove some air to make it comfortable. Also had a full sized spare on a steel wheel too. No squats when hooking up our 5.0TA either. I'm running about 35psi in the bags both towing and non towing. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Hi Alf:
I'm beginning to think air bags inside the coil springs are the way to go after seeing your photo. I believe your hitch weight is about 600 lbs empty according to the ETI web page. Very impressive. Do you have a perminent air compressor installed? Also, do you know the name and model No. of the air bags your using?
Thanks
__________________

__________________
Larry & Janet
tannerls is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×