Towing upgrades?

Austin Elkins

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Hey guys,

Haven’t seen much in this forum regarding Gen 3 upgrades to improve towing experience. I have a 37pp and don’t want to mess with the suspension much, but typically tow a 8.5’x18’ trailer with Polaris Turbo R and Dirt Bikes. I believe it fits under the towing limits, but it does squat a bit. I’m installing a W/D hitch onto the trailer which should help.

I drive from northern to southern Utah quite a bit and there are some climbs along the way. My truck definitely sucks air and searches for gears. Wondering if I should add any performance upgrades to make sure engine stays cool… ie CAI or Intercooler.

Would love suggestions.

189BEBF9-9387-4BC7-9130-801D5E6134F6.jpeg
 

Littlefx4

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Use the search feature and type in “towing.” This topic has been covered in great detail. One owner says Timbrens will help improve sag. Happy readings…
 

blwn

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The WDH should solve most of the squat when properly setup. Lock out 9th and 10th gear while towing and you should be fine. An intercooler won't hurt though
 

Ox3721

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What does your trailer weigh and what is the tongue weight?

I’ve been towing a 20’ travel trailer from the valley (Phoenix) to the AZ mountains (1,000’ to about 8,000’+) The trailer empty weighs about 4100# with a tongue weight of about 570#.

With my wife and I, a full tank of gas, a 2500W generator, camp chairs, and other miscellaneous gear loaded in the truck, we have about 800# of payload remaining (out of about 1400#) for tongue weight.

That only leaves about 230# of wiggle room for overall payload. We try to only tow with empty water tanks in the trailer, since we would easily exceed payload with a full fresh tank (55 gal/456#). And that’s before we even account for food in the fridge and other cargo in the trailer, so we’re actually probably very close to or slightly over max payload.

2021 37PP using the Andersen WD hitch.

Powertrain wise, it’s been very good. It pulls all of it up steep hills just fine and rarely revs above 3500. Don’t feel it’s lacking power at all. Even at 5,000’+ and ambient temps over 100F it’s smooth and steady. Engine and trans temps stay pretty much nominal. Going downhill, I try to bring the speed down considerably BEFORE picking up unwanted momentum to save the brakes and minimize high engine braking revs.

If your truck is struggling with power, I suspect you may be asking too much of it and/or overloaded.

From your picture, it looks like you are running non-OE tires/wheels. If still 37’s (or larger), I would guess they are quite a bit heavier and since they appear significantly wider, most likely causing a decent amount more frictional and aerodynamic drag. That won’t help your cause.

As far as mods to improve towing, I’ll reiterate, that we are very restricted in these trucks by payload and that’s not something that can be improved unless you want to talk about changing axles or spending 10’s of thousands of dollars on CF or titanium lightweight parts.

A larger front mount intercooler may help some in extreme heat, and at some point, Eibach and others should offer heavier rear coils to help with rear sag.
 

pnwobrigade

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What does your trailer weigh and what is the tongue weight?

I’ve been towing a 20’ travel trailer from the valley (Phoenix) to the AZ mountains (1,000’ to about 8,000’+) The trailer empty weighs about 4100# with a tongue weight of about 570#.

With my wife and I, a full tank of gas, a 2500W generator, camp chairs, and other miscellaneous gear loaded in the truck, we have about 800# of payload remaining (out of about 1400#) for tongue weight.

That only leaves about 230# of wiggle room for overall payload. We try to only tow with empty water tanks in the trailer, since we would easily exceed payload with a full fresh tank (55 gal/456#). And that’s before we even account for food in the fridge and other cargo in the trailer, so we’re actually probably very close to or slightly over max payload.

2021 37PP using the Andersen WD hitch.

Powertrain wise, it’s been very good. It pulls all of it up steep hills just fine and rarely revs above 3500. Don’t feel it’s lacking power at all. Even at 5,000’+ and ambient temps over 100F it’s smooth and steady. Engine and trans temps stay pretty much nominal. Going downhill, I try to bring the speed down considerably BEFORE picking up unwanted momentum to save the brakes and minimize high engine braking revs.

If your truck is struggling with power, I suspect you may be asking too much of it and/or overloaded.

From your picture, it looks like you are running non-OE tires/wheels. If still 37’s (or larger), I would guess they are quite a bit heavier and since they appear significantly wider, most likely causing a decent amount more frictional and aerodynamic drag. That won’t help your cause.

As far as mods to improve towing, I’ll reiterate, that we are very restricted in these trucks by payload and that’s not something that can be improved unless you want to talk about changing axles or spending 10’s of thousands of dollars on CF or titanium lightweight parts.

A larger front mount intercooler may help some in extreme heat, and at some point, Eibach and others should offer heavier rear coils to help with rear sag.
That trailer is likely close to or under 3k lbs as most aluminum 8.5x16-18ft V nose are unless modified. Add about 2k pounds for a RZR (similar to what my loaded X3 weighs) and say 500-600lbs for 2 dirt bikes and you are under 6k gross assuming not a ton of other stuff in the trailer. That is well under the tow rating and assuming the 10% rule that is likely ~600-700lbs in tongue weight depending on where the RZR is situated in the trailer, assuming further back over the trailer axles. I've always felt anything above about 6k lbs WDH helps a lot especially on half tons and likely even more for Raptors. I definitely agree about heavier tires/wheels not helping the cause though.

In terms of your example is that tongue weight MFG specified or actual? WDH will change this and usually have a positive impact. I would also suggest if you are towing a relatively small and light trailer as that load the trailer with your items before the truck bed if possible to reduce your impact on payload since you are well under the actual tow rating. Even water tanks are usually towards the back of the camper and don't significantly alter tongue weight if you are clever about how you distribute items on the trailer. I typically tow a heavier 23ft camper pretty full and it's north of 6,500lbs. Always worth stopping as a CAT scale to verify if your concerned.

For the OP a CAI likely won't do anything here besides sound. The 10sp is also known to gear hunt a bit and as mentioned you can lock in gears to help mitigate that. An intercooler will help if you are towing in hot temperatures but it's more so consistency. Obviously, a tune will help once they are out but any major tune like Cobb or GooseTuned will recommend you not run the tune while towing heavier loads, I already asked. For squat, WDH is your friend and then Timbrens or similar as mentioned. Some airbag solutions and daystar cradles are another option but obviously some pros/cons there as well.
 
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