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-   -   Coil springs verses leaf springs (http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=89659)

Rustymax 08-15-2011 12:21 PM

Coil springs verses leaf springs
 
I am considering buying a 2011 Hemi crew cab to use for towing a travel trailer. I have some concern about the coil springs verses leaf springs in so much that the coil spring setup would allow for greater trailer sway. It seems that leaf springs can’t move but in only one direction, up and down whereas coils can compress more to one side to the other, hence more potential for sway. Can any one enlighten me? I will be pulling about 8,000 lbs loaded with weight distribution hitch.


Thanks,

Rustymax

snrusnak 08-15-2011 12:27 PM

Leaf springs have two purposes; 1) To carry the load and 2) To locate the rear axle relative to the frame.

Coil springs have one purpose; To carry the load.

On the newer trucks with the coil spring suspension there are additional links that do the job of locating the axle. The coil suspension will probably perform better than the leaf springs as far as keeping the axle in the correct location. Leaf springs are nice because you sort of kill two birds with one stone; they are simple, cheap, and easy. The coils should perform better, however.

bombadillo 08-15-2011 02:19 PM

If you're worried about it, you can also run air bags. My local dealership will install rear bags for $500. They're manual so you'd have to pump them up when you're ready to tow, or you can run onboard air as well but thats going to cost a LOT more when you have somebody install it.

snrusnak 08-15-2011 02:23 PM

He is only claiming to be worried about trailer sway...air bags wouldn't make a difference with that...

erm 08-15-2011 02:31 PM

A load distribution hitch, along with the anti-sway feature, would be recommended.

The air bags will help if the tongue weight is high enough to really compress the springs down and you are driving in an extreme nose up position.

bombadillo 08-15-2011 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snrusnak (Post 590957)
He is only claiming to be worried about trailer sway...air bags wouldn't make a difference with that...


Aha. I'm not all that versed on trailer towing as I don't really tow much other than a pop-up trailer and once in awhile a car trailer to the race track but thats in town. Heck, I haven't even towed with this truck at all so we'll have to see how it goes. So far I don't have a hitch installed as I only have about 800 miles on it so far. I could use the bumper, but I'd really rather have a true hitch.

snrusnak 08-15-2011 03:32 PM

Yeah I don't trust bumpers for towing unless it's light duty (like a lawn equipment trailer). I agree airbags would be a huge benefit to him if he plans on towing 8,000lb, but in regards to his actually question about sway with coil springs it isn't really an issue...at least not any more than with leafs...

Canram10 08-15-2011 04:16 PM

Hey Rusty, I tow a 26' travel trailer with my 2010 Crew Sport(coils) with absolutely no issues. Make sure you use the sway bar tho, it does help. Even if you have a truck with leaf springs, use a sway bar. Hemi doesn't even break a sweat going uphill at 65mph...

Rustymax 08-15-2011 05:35 PM

Wow! Such good relies for my first post. I am trying to purchase a travel trailer that has an empty weight of 7,000lbs. I guestimate that the average trailer gets an additional 1,000 lbs of “Stuff” when loaded for camping (people, bikes, food, gear, etc.) bringing the tow load to 8,000 lbs. When I told the RV dealer that we were considering the RAM ˝ ton Hemi with tow package he suggest other ˝ trucks with leaf springs or moving up to the Ram 2500. In fact the dealer said when towing this weight,going up steeper grades, the truck would lose lots of speed and it would be "very slow going". I was already considering adding the air bags to compensate for the higher tongue weight of a trailer. The dealer almost had be talked out of the ˝ ton, glad to hear the coil spring aren’t that big of an issue, we really like the 2011 RAM hemi.

Rustymax

snrusnak 08-15-2011 05:43 PM

Quote:

Wow! Such good relies for my first post. I am trying to purchase a travel trailer that has an empty weight of 7,000lbs. I guestimate that the average trailer gets an additional 1,000 lbs of “Stuff” when loaded for camping (people, bikes, food, gear, etc.) bringing the tow load to 8,000 lbs. When I told the RV dealer that we were considering the RAM ˝ ton Hemi with tow package he suggest other ˝ trucks with leaf springs or moving up to the Ram 2500. In fact the dealer said when towing this weight,going up steeper grades, the truck would lose lots of speed and it would be "very slow going". I was already considering adding the air bags to compensate for the higher tongue weight of a trailer. The dealer almost had be talked out of the ˝ ton, glad to hear the coil spring aren’t that big of an issue, we really like the 2011 RAM hemi.
They switched to coil springs mainly for comfort and handling, but there is no sacrifice in towing capacity or stability. If you look at the rear suspension, it is VERY beefy, it is essentially a 4 link with a panhard bar, it will keep the suspension located better than a leaf spring. As far as the load carrying capacity, some think coils aren't capable of as much as leafs, but dodge appears to keep up with(actually surpasses) the other trucks as far as payload and towing capacity(my payload is over 1600 lb, that's ALOT for a half ton), and the hemi is definitely one of the stronger motors out there, it won't struggle.... A Ram 1500 with the hemi and coil rear suspension would be great for your application, don't let hard headed stubborn people convince you to get an inferior product :)


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