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Old 09-10-2021, 07:23 AM   #1
malibu43
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OK to use Helper Springs with WDH?

I posted this in a GM Truck Forum, but thought I'd repost here since there is probably more of a focus on towing here...

We just bought a Passport 219BHWE as well as a new 2021 5.3 1500 Silverado Z71 that I will use for towing as well as daily driving. GVWR of the trailer is 6400lbs. I have a WDH (RV dealer set it up and so still needs some dialing in) that I will always use for towing.

I also have a set of EZ 990 helper springs from my 2015 Silverado laying in the garage. I know the helper spring is not an alternative to the WDH, but I was thinking of using them in conjunction to take some of the squish/bounce out of the back the truck when towing, and also to reduce the sag by just a little. It's Ok to put on the helper springs as long as I go through the WDH setup again, right? I was researching online last night, and while a lot of people say you shouldn't need helper springs with a properly set up WDH, I also saw that the Max Tow package from GM includes stiffer rear springs, so there must be some advantage there...
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:06 AM   #2
sourdough
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I am assuming the helper springs are the same as overload springs??

IMO I wouldn't worry about them at this point. Get the wdh dialed in; it will help a LOT with getting everything leveled out. As far as the squish/bounce the first, and best thing, to do is get rid of the car tires that came on the truck and put LT tires on it. You need them for the load capacity and they definitely are one of the first/best things to do to minimize the squish/bounce. P rated car tires are on there for getting groceries and having a "soft", car like ride - not trying to control a trailer thrown behind the back bumper.
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:07 AM   #3
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I agree. If the WDH is set up properly, that is all you need. What WDH system did you get. If the rear of your tow vehicle has squat in it, it's definitely not set up correct. So, first, need to know what type of system you have.
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:12 AM   #4
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Just realize that every pound you add, whether people, pets or helper springs, comes directly off of the already limited payload of a 1/2 ton truck.
With that rv you're already at 800+ lbs of tongue weight + the weight of the hitch off of whatever the the yellow sticker states on the the driver's door jamb.
If I recall GM is now listing tow weights for "conventional trailers" & "gooseneck trailers" on the door jamb, you need to also realize that those ARE NOT RVs. The manufacturer arrives at those weights using "conventional" trailers where the weight can be placed directly over the axles lowering the tongue weight considerably, you're unable to do that with a RV. The average tongue weight of a TT will be 12-13% of the GVWR posted on the front corner of a particular rv.
All this to say adding helper springs may reduce the sag, but does nothing to increase the payload of any truck, but rather reduces it due to the weight of the added equipment.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:44 AM   #5
malibu43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
I am assuming the helper springs are the same as overload springs??

IMO I wouldn't worry about them at this point. Get the wdh dialed in; it will help a LOT with getting everything leveled out. As far as the squish/bounce the first, and best thing, to do is get rid of the car tires that came on the truck and put LT tires on it. You need them for the load capacity and they definitely are one of the first/best things to do to minimize the squish/bounce. P rated car tires are on there for getting groceries and having a "soft", car like ride - not trying to control a trailer thrown behind the back bumper.
Good point on the LT tires.

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Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
I agree. If the WDH is set up properly, that is all you need. What WDH system did you get. If the rear of your tow vehicle has squat in it, it's definitely not set up correct. So, first, need to know what type of system you have.
Thanks. Will leave the Helper Springs in the garage for now. I do know for sure that the RV dealer set my hitch height too low relative to my coupler height. I’m going to have them fix that next week.

The WDH they installed for me is the Husky TS 800-1200 lb. Without the WD bars engaged, I get almost 3” of sag in the back and I think the front came up about ” (wrote the numbers down, but they’re not right in front of me). With the WD hooked up, I get 1 ” of drop in the rear and the front comes down ”. The instructions for the WDH say I should get the same amount of drop in the rear and the front, but I’m not going to set the WD more aggressively until the hitch heigh is corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
Just realize that every pound you add, whether people, pets or helper springs, comes directly off of the already limited payload of a 1/2 ton truck.
With that rv you're already at 800+ lbs of tongue weight + the weight of the hitch off of whatever the the yellow sticker states on the the driver's door jamb.
If I recall GM is now listing tow weights for "conventional trailers" & "gooseneck trailers" on the door jamb, you need to also realize that those ARE NOT RVs. The manufacturer arrives at those weights using "conventional" trailers where the weight can be placed directly over the axles lowering the tongue weight considerably, you're unable to do that with a RV. The average tongue weight of a TT will be 12-13% of the GVWR posted on the front corner of a particular rv.
All this to say adding helper springs may reduce the sag, but does nothing to increase the payload of any truck, but rather reduces it due to the weight of the added equipment.
Good point about the weight of the helper springs eating away at payload capacity. It is true that with a ton there is not a whole lot of extra weight to work with.
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:37 PM   #6
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Really get rid of the P tires on the truck. LT tires will be like night and day. They may not end all issues, but will never hurt. Lets say max psi on LT tires is 60, do that when towing the RV, you can air them down when not towing.
It's a little work to air up and air down. I did it for many years when carrying a in bed truck camper.
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Old 09-10-2021, 04:04 PM   #7
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The short answer is that you shouldn’t need helper springs.

The longer answer involves the very specific combination of your particular truck, your WDH, your trailer, how you load both vehicles and how you combine all of it together.

For example, my truck has a 2” rake (rear sits 2” higher than front on level ground), my trailer is 7,000 lbs. GVWR with a scale-checked 980 tongue weight and I use an Eaz-Lift Trekker WDH with 1,200 lb. bars. When connected, the rear drops 1” and the front remains the same. Without the WDH connected, the rear drops 4” and the front raises 2”.

In other words, spend some time dialing it all in, find what’s right for YOUR setup and go with it.

and x2 on the LT tires….huge difference
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Old 09-11-2021, 11:02 AM   #8
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I firmly agree with what was suggested above. LT tires first. A good brand, not the Sokatume Road Grips! Then spend the time to get that hitch dialed in, even contacting your tech at Keep us informed with what you do. And like Danny said, watch that added weight.
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Old 09-12-2021, 05:25 AM   #9
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O.p dont forget that although i think you do need LT tires they are also heavier then p rated tires. This will have the same effect in weight as helper springs against your payload weight. Depending on what tire you go with the weight maybe a lot per tire. Just something to think about when tire shopping.
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Old 09-12-2021, 08:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ribtip View Post
O.p dont forget that although i think you do need LT tires they are also heavier then p rated tires. This will have the same effect in weight as helper springs against your payload weight. Depending on what tire you go with the weight maybe a lot per tire. Just something to think about when tire shopping.
Unless you are upgrading the spare tire, I am curious as to how upgrading the four tires in contact with the ground (unsprung weight) reduces your cargo carrying capacity?
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Old 09-12-2021, 08:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
Unless you are upgrading the spare tire, I am curious as to how upgrading the four tires in contact with the ground (unsprung weight) reduces your cargo carrying capacity?
Have seen two schools of thought on this, so curious as well.

However, since payload is defined as GVWR - Curb Weight, and tires are certainly part of a vehicle's curb weight, how can heavier tires NOT impact available payload? Using this standard definition of payload, it wouldn't matter if the weight is unsprung or not.

Not arguing your point, just interested.....
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by NH_Bulldog View Post
Unless you are upgrading the spare tire, I am curious as to how upgrading the four tires in contact with the ground (unsprung weight) reduces your cargo carrying capacity?
Tell the cop that as he is sliding scales under your truck. Only saying the truck will be heavier when scaled. How it effects payload i have no clue
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:08 AM   #13
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Weight is weight, the GVW is not the unsprung weight, it's the weight of EVERTHING setting on the scales. Payload is GVW minus the scaled weight. Pretty simple really. I think the reduction in payload in weight is well worth the increase in safety and ability to handle/control the available payload.
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Old 09-12-2021, 11:58 AM   #14
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I was just thinking it all goes hand in hand. If your near or over your payload you are near or over your gvw
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Old 09-12-2021, 01:56 PM   #15
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Weight is weight, the GVW is not the unsprung weight, it's the weight of EVERTHING setting on the scales. Payload is GVW minus the scaled weight. Pretty simple really. I think the reduction in payload in weight is well worth the increase in safety and ability to handle/control the available payload.

It wasn't long ago that I was having a discussion like this with another fella. If you start trying to mull it over and think too hard on what is or isn't going on with those tires the simple fact you allude to is still there; scaled weight is scaled weight whether it's from an additional 200lbs. in tires or stuff thrown in the pass through. After that you can discuss does that 200lbs. weigh on my suspension and cause concerns or does it not - which is an entirely different discussion because that weight IS there and will certainly count toward gvw.
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Old 09-12-2021, 04:34 PM   #16
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Yep and in the case of stronger tires its the right place to add weight if needed.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by malibu43 View Post
I posted this in a GM Truck Forum, but thought I'd repost here since there is probably more of a focus on towing here...

We just bought a Passport 219BHWE as well as a new 2021 5.3 1500 Silverado Z71 that I will use for towing as well as daily driving. GVWR of the trailer is 6400lbs. I have a WDH (RV dealer set it up and so still needs some dialing in) that I will always use for towing.

I also have a set of EZ 990 helper springs from my 2015 Silverado laying in the garage. I know the helper spring is not an alternative to the WDH, but I was thinking of using them in conjunction to take some of the squish/bounce out of the back the truck when towing, and also to reduce the sag by just a little. It's Ok to put on the helper springs as long as I go through the WDH setup again, right? I was researching online last night, and while a lot of people say you shouldn't need helper springs with a properly set up WDH, I also saw that the Max Tow package from GM includes stiffer rear springs, so there must be some advantage there...
I am not sure that you need them on your new truck. On our setup, we have a 2017 Nissan Titan King Cab, and our rig is around 9100 lbs. Although the WDH helps, I wanted even more of a margin on max payload, so, I added the Roadmaster Active Suspension. Man, those things really help! Now with the WDC and the RAS, I have no worries at all. Happy Camping!
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:42 PM   #18
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I am not sure that you need them on your new truck. On our setup, we have a 2017 Nissan Titan King Cab, and our rig is around 9100 lbs. Although the WDH helps, I wanted even more of a margin on max payload, so, I added the Roadmaster Active Suspension. Man, those things really help! Now with the WDC and the RAS, I have no worries at all. Happy Camping!
Hopefully you understand that the Roadmaster Active Suspension DOES NOT add 1 ounce to the payload capacity of any truck, but rather subtracts the weight of that equipment directly from your trucks payload. It may help with the sag when hitched to the rv but adds nothing to any of the posted weights on the drivers door.
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Old 09-17-2021, 10:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malibu43 View Post
I posted this in a GM Truck Forum, but thought I'd repost here since there is probably more of a focus on towing here...

We just bought a Passport 219BHWE as well as a new 2021 5.3 1500 Silverado Z71 that I will use for towing as well as daily driving. GVWR of the trailer is 6400lbs. I have a WDH (RV dealer set it up and so still needs some dialing in) that I will always use for towing.

I also have a set of EZ 990 helper springs from my 2015 Silverado laying in the garage. I know the helper spring is not an alternative to the WDH, but I was thinking of using them in conjunction to take some of the squish/bounce out of the back the truck when towing, and also to reduce the sag by just a little. It's Ok to put on the helper springs as long as I go through the WDH setup again, right? I was researching online last night, and while a lot of people say you shouldn't need helper springs with a properly set up WDH, I also saw that the Max Tow package from GM includes stiffer rear springs, so there must be some advantage there...
overload bags or springs will firm up the rear and take away sag - thats good. You can make them very progressive or contact so they dont mess up the 'totally unloaded ride'. Depending on your state laws, you can apply for a registerd gross weight increase with no worries as long as the new GVWR is based on the stickered GAWRs - dont ask to exceed the sum. no mechanic should ever sign off on that without a serious proven inspection.


Your hitch setup should be based on coach level when towed and the truck AS CLOSE AS level when towed. wont always hit that one...


If you have an old skool hitch like me, just go bigger bars and figure out the '1/3rd rule'
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