New Truck, Harsh Ride Unloaded

dasadab

Member
Hi,
My 2500HD Silverado Z71 4x4 Duramax Diesel will be a daily driver when not loaded with my camper. The camper is a Hawk on order from Four Wheel Camper, and should weigh in loaded at around 1500 lbs. The roads in Southern California are full 3d World in many places and the truck, unloaded, is rides harsh--really stiff. Tires are Michelin LTX A/T2. Recommended pressure is 60 psi front, 70 rear.

I have been reading about various airbag options and other suspension options. I am going to keep his truck a long time and I don't mind spending money if there is a viable option that will soften the harshness when unloaded, without compromising load carrying.

I know it's a truck, so please don't tell me, "it's a truck, what did you expect." I knew what I was getting into when I bought it. Just remember that roads in L.A. are a pothole every 10 feel.

I appreciate hearing from folks with solutions.

Thanks a lot.
 
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Stan@FourWheel

Explorer
Running E Rated tires on my last 2 trucks, I would usually keep the tires at 40 - 45 psi when the truck was empty. Never had any problems doing it that way. Not sure of what the right thing is, but it worked muck better for my needs.
 

dasadab

Member
Thanks. I wasn't sure how low to go. Maybe drop 5psi? I could not find any information on the Michelin site about psi ranges for the tires.
 

muskie

New member
load the bed with weight , yes mileage will be different, 20 bags of play sand will make a huge difference,, bet you love the way it rides with the camper, sand bags will easy to remove if you need bed space
 

T.Low

Expedition Leader
I assume you NOT on 20" wheels?

On my F 150, I ran 20s in the summer , then 18s in the winter. Was always amazed at the ride difference. Just pulling out of the tire store it felt like being completely different truck.
 
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jackattack

Observer
Hi,
My 2500HD Silverado Z71 4x4 Duramax Diesel will be a daily driver when not loaded with my camper. The camper is a Hawk on order from Four Wheel Camper, and should weigh in loaded at around 1500 lbs. The roads in Southern California are full 3d World in many places and the truck, unloaded, is rides harsh--really stiff. Tires are Michelin LTX A/T2. Recommended pressure is 60 psi front, 70 rear.

I have been reading about various airbag options and other suspension options. I am going to keep his truck a long time and I don't mind spending money if there is a viable option that will soften the harshness when unloaded, without compromising load carrying.

I know it's a truck, so please don't tell me, "it's a truck, what did you expect." I knew what I was getting into when I bought it. Just remember that roads in L.A. are a pothole every 10 feel.

I appreciate hearing from folks with solutions.

Thanks a lot.
I pulled this off another site. I have the same tires on my Superduty. I just need to get to a scale to weigh it empty to get the axle load.

 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I assume you NOT on 20" wheels?

On my F 150, I ran 20s in the summer , then 18s in the winter. Was always amazed at the ride difference. Just pulling out of the tire store it felt like being completely different truck.
I'll never understand why the manufacturers went with 20's and rubber band tires. Max bling I suppose. 18's max and to the op lower the psi unladen to 50 front,40 back. I run my Toyo AT2's at 55-60 all around loaded. 50 front 35-40 back unladen. If your truck is DEF equipped somebody's got a skid plate for it.
 

doctorit

Adventurer
I run my F250 w/Michelin LTX at 45-50 when empty, 65 when loaded with camper. It definitely makes a difference.

If you want to spend some money, you could install some adjustable dampers. Lots of folks in the TC world running Rancho RS9000XL, which you can set at 1 when empty, and 7-9 when loaded. I don't have them, just sharing what I've read on many truck camper discussions. Personally, I would rather deal with a stiffer ride (or buy a $2500 cream puff commuter) than go modifying a brand new HD truck while under warranty.
 

goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
I'll never understand why the manufacturers went with 20's and rubber band tires. Max bling I suppose. 18's max and to the op lower the psi unladen to 50 front,40 back.
Less unsprung weight & shorter sidewalls = better fuel economy and better handling.

And yea, a bit of bling.

[sarcasm]With the road conditions the way they are, maybe we'll see the trend reverse.[\sarcasm]
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
It wasn't clear whether your truck is new, or just new to you... If you're not the first owner, I'd suggest that some fool may have put "Heavy Duty" shocks on it. My truck rode pretty well empty with the stock shocks, but was too soft with the truck camper in the bed. I upgraded to Gabriel "Ultra" shocks and it now rides decent with the camper in the back, but it's a back breaker empty. Next set of shocks are going to be Bilstein I think. Very few complaints on them.

Airbags don't really change the ride much if they inflated appropriately, except that they do slightly stiffen the ride when empty, since you're not supposed to air them down to zero.

Finally, the combination of 18" wheels and OE sized tires are KILLING your ride. Next time you put tires on it, bump up a size so you have a little more sidewall. That will improve the ride noticeably after you put the correct pressure in them. (Tire shops usually air them to the max...) It's a 3/4 ton truck... Handling is not affected enough to notice. At least you don't have 20's... :) I think my truck says 60psi front, and that's what I run with one size larger tire. I run the rears at 45-50 empty most of the time. (My truck is more than a bit nose heavy, thanks to a duramax and a winch bumper.)

With the truck camper on the back, or when towing a gooseneck, I usually run 65-70psi.

The only downside to running the proper air pressure for load condition is that on a newer truck you'll be staring at a TPS monitor light most of the time. But it's worth it for the improvement in ride quality, as well as tread life. (Particularly if you have a diesel, which can burn tread off over-inflated tires REALLY fast!!) :)
 

dasadab

Member
Thanks. It's a new truck, 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4, CrewCab, Standard Bed. I have been cross posting to the truck camper forum on RV.net. A lot of useful comments there also. Here is my latest post there:

Thanks for the comments. I have learned a lot. After watching this video, I ordered the Sulastic kit. I also spoke with a local Truck/4x4 speciality shop with an excellent reputation. They said they had excellent results with the Sulastic Kit. They also suggested Rancho 9000XL shocks. They also suggested airing down and loading the bed with some weight. I think that I am going to do all of the above.

Links below. I have no connections with any company, just trying to set up my new truck for the next 10 years, with camper on sometimes, and camper off most of the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcFZiKlL4PY

Sulastic.com
 
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