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Old 09-26-2016, 09:31 AM   #1
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Upgrades to Half Ton

I have a fairly bare bones 2011 Nissan Titan with a tow package. I pull a 31 foot ultra lite. The dry weight is about 7800 but the total length it 36 feet. My total length connected (with an equalizer hitch) is 58 feet from the front of m truck to the spare on my camper.

I know there are people who will say "You can't tow that!" but the camper sits nice and level on the truck it pulls pretty well and I have enough power. Sometimes I don't like the way the wind blows, and on occasion, I come across a hill that I would rather not have to climb, but my little Titan gets us where we want to go.

Obviously, I have considered getting a bigger truck. But I drive this to work every day and the mileage is tolerable to me. So I am considering some upgrades to keep a little wobble out and protect my suspension and transmission.

What are some effective, and reasonably priced options to help my truck out. I have considered getting a set of air helpers and I have read a little about towing computer chips to better shift and set air fuel ratio.

Any input would be appreciated.

Ron B
2011 Flagstaff Ultra Lite
31 Footer Decked Out
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:58 AM   #2
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Bilstein 5100 shocks.

Current vehicle list: 17 RAM 3500 4x4 Cummins Aisin 4.10, 16 Flagstaff 832IKBS, 14 RAM 1500 4x4 Hemi 3.92 Bilstein 5100's Derale oil cooler, 97 F150 4x4 5.4L 278,000 miles, 80 Firebird Esprit Aussie Burnout Car, 78 Harley Davidson FX 79,000 miles dad bought new, 71 El Camino ZZ3 TH400 12-Bolt, 37 Ford 3 window 502 Chevy dad built
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:15 AM   #3
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Your towing package probably included a transmission cooler (separate radiator for tranny fluid.) If the factory / dealer did NOT disconnect the "normal" tranny fluid lines from the engine cooling radiator, have them do so. (NOTE this recommendation is for a TOW-centric vehicle and not one that gets lots of non-tow use in cold climate.)
Get a transmission temperature gauge installed. GlowShift makes a particularly nice digital one.
HEAT is the DEADLY Enemy of your transmission.
We recommend the Derale Transmission cooling pans, or equivalent ... they add more fluid and provide a passive cooling capability as well.
You said you already have the equalizer hitch (sway/torsion bars) so you are gold there. If you are not sagging from the tongue weight, then ... "Excellent."

Jeff and Abby
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:28 PM   #4
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Look into the Supersprings, they also help with rear end sway
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:03 AM   #5
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Ignoring basic overload breakage possibilities...

Have you weighed your combination? Compared the rear axle weight with your vehicle's rear axle gross weight rating?

Having done just this myself and found myself a couple hundred over I find your question very interesting.

A spring will bounce or oscillate at a certain "natural" frequency. As you increase the weight on a spring that natural frequency becomes lower. This is how you get cushy Cadillac suspension. Ever notice how differently your truck rides empty compared to loaded? Empty is jiggly which corresponds to a high natural frequency and loaded is floaty/bouncy which corresponds to a low natural frequency.

So the first step is to increase the spring rate(s) to handle the increased weight and get the natural frequency back up. For leaf springs this could be as simple as adding a leaf. For coil springs it might mean having custom springs wound or finding an interchangable spring with a higher rate.

Once you increase the spring rate you will also need to increase the damping of the shocks to match. Again off the shelf will not work and you are looking for something outside the box. There are shops which can custom calibrate shocks or help you obtain custom calibration.

These options may not be cheap... until you compare them with the cost of a new truck
2015 Rockwood 2604WS (sold as 2016)
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:56 PM   #6
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If you don't have them already, you will love a set of LT tires vs the "passenger car" rated tires that many (most, all?) 1/2 ton trucks come with.
'04 GMC Sierra 2500HD, CCSB, D/A, MaxBrake, B&W Companion, Retrax Pro, AR Power Steps
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2Evil4U View Post
Bilstein 5100 shocks.
X2. Addes those to rear of my 2016 F-150. Solved a host of towing problems. Truck only had 5400 miles. OEM mudt be weak
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:30 AM   #8
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Add, add, add. Once your done spending a wad of cash trying to turn a sows ear into a silk purse, you still going to be stuck with an under rated vehicle for the job your asking it to do. Been down this road, believe me its not worth it. At the end of the day you will still have passanger car rear end, wheels, and a light duty frame that is simply not designed to handle what your asking of it. Save your money and either buy a smaller trailer more comparible with your TV. Or trade for a 2500 series gas motor truck.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Seachaser186 View Post
Look into the Supersprings, they also help with rear end sway
Marcel & Jenne
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:03 AM   #10
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Load range E tires, when you are ready for an upgrade... don't forget to get metal valve stems installed at the same time...
less flex in the sidewall gives less sway to the rear of the truck...

air them nearly to capacity for towing, then drop 20# or so when driving for a less bumpy ride

Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” – Mark Twain

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