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Our Previous Tow Vehicle

All photos are thumbnails, click to see an enlarged version

F150a.jpg (75529 bytes)Our previous tow vehicle was a 1995 Ford F-150 Super Cab, 5.0 V-8 Electronic Fuel  Injection, Cruise Control, Automatic Transmission with overdrive, 3.31 rear axle, w/towing pkg. 

The tow ratings were:

GCWR 11,500 Lb
GAWR (Front) 3,275 Lb
GAWR (Rear) 3,777 Lb
Trailer Weight Range 0-6,800 Lb

 You should be aware of all of these numbers and maintain your towing well within your limits.  Remember, the job of an RV salesman is to sell you a camper.  It is not their job to 

I was never happy with the way the truck "sat" with the pop up on the rear so I began investigating ways to make it ride more level.  Suggestions included air shocks, leaf spring overload kits, air bag systems, and coil spring/shock systems.

I eliminated anything having to do with the shocks (i.e. air shocks and spring/shock systems) as this moves weight to the shock mounting bolts which were not designed to carry a load.

I narrowed my choice down to two, a leaf spring overload system and Timbren Aeon Rubber Springs.  I must admit, price won out.  The leaf spring system was $185 + $15 shipping and the Timbrens were $278 for my truck.

The three leaf overload installed in less than an hour right in the driveway.

The added springs are the white area in the photo above.  For your safety, read all instructions and follow them.  You may need to get your brakes adjusted after installing this kit.  I purchased mine from:

logo.h1.gif (5635 bytes)

Please understand, the addition of any type of "overload" system will not increase your weight ratings.  It will only allow you to tow the weight in a more level position.  I highly recommend that you know your weight ratings and have your rig weighed while loaded for camping on a regular basis.

 

As you can see in the photo to the left, I added a transmission temperature gauge so I could keep an eye on how hot the transmission was running.  Normal "non towing" temp runs less than 150. Heavy stop & go city driving increases that to around 160

Normal highway towing starts at 160. and increases as you get into the mountains. The only time I got close to 200 was in an area of 6% uphill grades.

I got the gauge from Summit Racing.  They have a huge selection of styles and the service was excellent! I selected the Auto Meter brand because they made the mount that went on the "A" pillar of the vehicle.

A I didn't want to fool around with the transmission, I had the shop that does my service work install the sending unit into the transmission. Reading the Summit Racing web site and the Auto Meter web site made me believe that they would need to tap/braze the sending unit into the trans oil pan, but the mechanic found a capped pressure take off port on the side of the trans that the sending unit screwed right into.

 

Restless Wheels added a bolt on Reese Class III hitch and a friction sway bar.  Here you see the additional smaller ball for the sway control.

 

Our Class III bolt on hitch receiver

 

   Revised: May 08, 2007

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