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Old 02-12-2020, 06:00 PM   #1
mcgeno99
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Exclamation Vehicle Suspension Improvement Question

Looking to make sure I've got my 2500 Suburban suspension dialed in for pulling our TT, a 2017 Cougar 33SAB.

Already set up with a sway control hitch, but was thinking of either adding Timbren suspension stops or possibly adding a Road Master Active Suspension kit. Anyone here have any pros / cons using either of those I mentioned or have an even better suggestion....

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Old 02-12-2020, 06:08 PM   #2
sourdough
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I'm sorry for jumping in this direction but it is just glaring to me. Can you provide the driver door sticker for your Suburban so you could share payload, axle limits etc.? You're looking at a 11500lb., 37' trailer strapped on the back of a Suburban. On first glance that is a no go to me. I assume, with the Suburban, you have a family. I'm afraid there aren't many ways to "dial in" a suspension.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:13 PM   #3
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If I remember correctly, your trailer is about three months old and you haven't towed it for any appreciable distance yet ???

If so, I'd make sure you've got a quality weight distribution hitch with sway control, get it "dialed in" properly, weigh the rig to make sure you're "good to go" and then get some "feel for how it performs" before you start spending money on "upgrades that might not be needed"... Towing isn't about how many "gizmos" you can install, but on properly adjusted basic equipment and properly sized tow vehicle for the trailer weight, length and towing conditions.

You may, in the future, find that you need to upgrade the suspension, but if you do it now, you'll never know if it was necessary or just wasted money. If you use the system you have, you'll be able to identify any "shortcomings" and then can tailor any specific upgrades to "necessary deficiencies" rather than a "shotgun approach" of "let's try this and see if it makes things better (without knowing whether "better is even needed")
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:25 PM   #4
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Our camper is 8750 not 11500. The suburban can tow close to 9700. I've done all the research before we bought the camper... a bigger truck will happen in the future, but for now this is what we have, and we won't be taking extended or long distance trips for the next couple of years....
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:33 PM   #5
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That's great. I don't find anything that says your trailer, loaded, is 8750. You have to understand that "dry weights" have nothing to do with what you are actually going to be using; generally thousands of pounds more.

Since your objection to weights I looked at websites again; Here are a couple;

https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2017-...-33sab-tr29016

This is from rvusa that shows a gvw of 11330 - far beyond the capability of the Suburban. This one is from rvguide;

http://www.rvguide.com/specs/keyston...ite/33sab.html

This one comes in at a gvw of 9845 and a payload of 1455 (extremely low). I find that suspect for trailer 37' long. ALL beyond the capability of your Suburban.

You said you've done all the research and I suppose all the numbers. Again, what are the numbers from the sticker on the driver door of your Suburban? You could not have done any definitive research without knowing those. The "towing capacity" of your vehicle is meaningless. It sounds as if you know you are beyond the capabilities of your tow vehicle, know it, and looking for ways to "make it better".

Remember this, "won't be taking extended trips", "long distance trips" etc. has absolutely nothing to do with when the catastrophic accident attributable to cutting corners, overweight etc., happens and you and the family pay the price for your decision to "wait" until you had the proper TV. JMO. Good luck and sleep well.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:33 PM   #6
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I will totally agree with John.

One extra comment beyond his is, I would say is take it very easy on a day like today for towing. You have a vehicle that has a wheelbase of 130” (if the internet is telling me properly - and boy I hope it’s wrong), and a trailer that is 37 ft long. General rule of thumb for length of tow vehicle to length of trailer is: 120” of wheelbase length gets you 20’ of trailer length. Every 4” beyond the 120” gives you another 1’ of trailer length. So, if I’m figuring correctly (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong!), the rule of thumb says you could tow around 25’ of trailer safely/ easily.

So, what I’m getting at, is on a day like today with the “breeze” we had a little bit north of you, please take it easy when towing your camper. I would hate for the tail to start wagging the dog.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgeno99 View Post
Our camper is 8750 not 11500. The suburban can tow close to 9700. I've done all the research before we bought the camper... a bigger truck will happen in the future, but for now this is what we have, and we won't be taking extended or long distance trips for the next couple of years....
As already suggested check the door jamb sticker on YOUR Suburban for it's specific weights then compare appropriate percentages of the GVWR of YOUR RV from the manufacturer label on the drivers side front corner.
As has been said here numerous times, your max tow weight means nothing if payload is exceeded, most likely is in your case & dry RV weights mean ABSOLUTELY nothing to you in any of your calculations.
Upgrading, improving nor adding anything to YOUR tv suspension WILL NOT add payload or increase any of the posted numbers. More than likely any thing you add will add weight which is deducted from your limited payload.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:57 AM   #8
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We have been pretty lucky that for the last 15 years or so those payload stickers have been on vehicles. Before that we had to go through the manual and get general information. Still amazes me that many have no clue to just bend over and read the sticker.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ken / Claudia View Post
We have been pretty lucky that for the last 15 years or so those payload stickers have been on vehicles. Before that we had to go through the manual and get general information. Still amazes me that many have no clue to just bend over and read the sticker.
I guess you can bend over to read the sticker or bend over for the lawyer hired by the nice folks you bump into when you can not stop or control your overweight TV and TT.
All of the post after the OP speak the truth. If the rig looks like it needs an upgrade to the suspension after you hook up, that should be taken as a warning and not as an incentive to correct. Especially when "the numbers" displaying limits are challenged. Just 2 cents worth here.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgeno99 View Post
Our camper is 8750 not 11500. The suburban can tow close to 9700. I've done all the research before we bought the camper... a bigger truck will happen in the future, but for now this is what we have, and we won't be taking extended or long distance trips for the next couple of years....
I love these statements of "only tow short distances". How does the truck know this? I must have missed the "I'm only towing a short distance" switch that changes the suspension.

I'm my thinking, when someone is looking to add to or alter their suspension to handle the load they are "compensating" for not having enough truck which is a compromise to the safety.

JMHO
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:28 AM   #11
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To the OP:
The responses on here are not an insult on your intelligence. They are based on many years and miles of experience and seeing first hand the result of inadequate and unsafe towing combinations. Sometimes those results have come directly out of our pockets and sometimes they are surrounded by blue and red lights on the side of the road. So while the "passion" in the responses may seem somewhat rude or intimidating (mine included,I apologize), I assure you it that is not the case. I know I speak for all when I say that the info in this thread is intended to ensure you and your family have safe travels and happy memories. For what it's worth, good luck.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:39 AM   #12
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I drive a 2012 2500 Suburban 4wd LS version for work. Payload is 2150lbs. That seems both tongue heavy and overall heavy for that type of vehicle. We have an Emergency Response foam trailer I towed with it once. Trailer ways in at 11,000lbs. It was a short distance for maintenance not a response. That trailer will never go on that vehicle again.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:50 AM   #13
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I won't bother you with all the weights and length and numbers I'll just say you're not gonna like towing that camper with a Suburban. Honestly travel trailers are the worst riding worst handling trailers there are in my opinion. I probably wouldn't like towing that camper with my F350. What's done is done, take it easy and safe travels.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:40 AM   #14
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I'd check the weight ratings on the axles, tires, payload, GVWR. those ratings are done for a reason. The door sticker is unique to your VIN, its the capacity of the vehicle with all the factory options etc that is on YOUR vehicle.

The door sticker is regulated and required NTSA. Your trailer has one too.

Add up your cargo, kids, dogs, cats, wife, any and all other crap in the vehicle and hitch weight..... if you're over on any of the limits (prob all), most likely over on the capacity of the truck... Nothing will change that, especially not aftermarket suspension stuff.

You can break an axle, blow a tire, drop the hitch causing serious injury or death to you, or someone else just driving on the road.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:29 AM   #15
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Feeling bounced a bit? LOL.

Anyway, yes there some thing you can do.
Hard part is, how far do you want to get into the Suburban before you have decent down payment. And you won’t get anything back from the add ones when you goto sell.

Best things I’ve done in the past: tires with more weight carrying capacity, upgrade to 3500 rear springs. Your shocks are most likely worn out, replace with high quality shocks. One of the best mods I’ve done was Hellwig sway bars. They are insanely stiff and nice. Air bags are more for leveling, they will mess with you weight hitch and it’s hard to dial it in. Timbres are nice, but again they can work against your hitch. Buy as nice a hitch you can afford Fastway E4 or Equalizer with the friction type set up on the bars tend to be good bets
.
Kudos for you WANTING to tow more safely. What some forget it that at least some are trying to make things better instead of just going at it blind. Yes you might be over the stickers, but here we are.

We make our beds and have to lie in them sometimes.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:47 AM   #16
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Thank you Fishsizzle for finally answering this post with some helpful advice. The poor guy has already purchased his combination and just wants some help beefing it up and all he gets is being pounced on by the "weight freaks". Like you said, he's made his bed, and maybe hauling it down the road for the first time, he may not want to lie in it after all. Have fun, Gene.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:53 PM   #17
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Thank you Fishsizzle for finally answering this post with some helpful advice. The poor guy has already purchased his combination and just wants some help beefing it up and all he gets is being pounced on by the "weight freaks". Like you said, he's made his bed, and maybe hauling it down the road for the first time, he may not want to lie in it after all. Have fun, Gene.

Here is what the OP asked - "Anyone here have any pros / cons using either of those I mentioned or have an even better suggestion...."


I think if you will read the previous posts the "better suggestion" is that the Suburban isn't up to the task of a trailer that large. "Weight freaks" has nothing to do with it, it's more about making the OP aware of the situation he has and what he faces....period. Once a person has soaked himself with gasoline you might walk over and hand him a lighter.....I won't.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:23 PM   #18
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I have zero problems with the weight freaks. I was piled on when I first came on, and didnít ask for it. I left here but came back.

I think the regulars have their points, and I get where they are coming from. I have stated in the past that Iím not big on how itís presented sometimes, but if you can look past the delivery of their info, they have a lot of info to share on other topics.

I think there should be a ďflame freeĒ zone on here for newbies like other sites, but I donít run the site (and no desire to), so just encourage as best as anyone else.

Itís hard for the regulars, they have seen so many come and go, or ask same questions over and over that I get why they can come across cranky sometimes. But again, If you can stick it out, and try and engage them, youíll learn a lot and gain a lot of respect for what they give here
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:48 PM   #19
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I have zero problems with the weight freaks. I was piled on when I first came on, and didnít ask for it. I left here but came back.

I think the regulars have their points, and I get where they are coming from. I have stated in the past that Iím not big on how itís presented sometimes, but if you can look past the delivery of their info, they have a lot of info to share on other topics.

I think there should be a ďflame freeĒ zone on here for newbies like other sites, but I donít run the site (and no desire to), so just encourage as best as anyone else.

Itís hard for the regulars, they have seen so many come and go, or ask same questions over and over that I get why they can come across cranky sometimes. But again, If you can stick it out, and try and engage them, youíll learn a lot and gain a lot of respect for what they give here

Justin, as a "weight freak (I guess)" I appreciate your comments. And, I am probably one that MIGHT be considered grumpy at times.

Thinking about a "flame free" zone, I'm not sure what that would be. In some (many) folks eyes in this day and time if you try to point out a failure/weakness you have "flamed" them. Don't know what that is. I've guided, taught, corrected, disciplined etc. many, many (hundreds? thousands?) folks in my life with success. Nowadays if you "correct", "guide", "point out a failure/mistake" you have now "flamed" someone or made some sort of mistake and YOU are to blame....that is not the case.

In my eyes, the opinions expressed here by those that know and have experience aren't "flaming" anyone, they are just trying to educate and help...that's IT. To me, seeing someone in a bad situation doesn't mean I say OK...how can I help? I can, and will, point out the problem. We have several others that think the same thing and that's what makes us special and useful. IMO what use is a "flame free" zone where you accept anything/everything a member does and say - "that's OK", "it'll be alright"? That's what's wrong in the world today, again IMO.

Again, I truly appreciate your thoughts and comments....and "grandpa's grumpy time" is about an hour away. Have a wonderful evening.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:20 PM   #20
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Danny, When my kids were small they thought I was being "grumpy" or "mean" when I said no to them. There were times when I had to raise my voice to alert them and keep them safe. If a child is about to touch a hot stove I'll tell them to stop and not tell them to "try it and find out".

Some folks it seems today take offense at being told "no you shouldn't" even when it's for their own safety. The max load ratings whether it's cargo capacity, ot tire weights, or axle ratings are what the factory (the folks that designed and tested the equipment) deemed the MAXIMUM safe load. It's not a suggestion, there are no exceptions for "only going close to home", "only traveling occasionally" or "insert your rationalization here" or whatever other excuse you want to use.

So bottom line as I see it is this, this is a Forum by and for Keystone owners. If someone is asking how to compensate for towing dangerously then I for one will point that out. I will not apologize, coddle, or otherwise "hold someone's hand" during that process. One of the challenges in social media is how we interpret the "tone" of the written word. The last thing I would want is for someone to misinterpret by "reading between the lines" and think I'm writing one thing while thinking that in between the lines there is a "wink and a smile" saying it's ok.

If this comes off as "grumpy" or harsh so be it.
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