Whether you want higher clearance, bigger tires, or a truck that stands out in a crowd, installing a lift kit can do all three! However, if you’re an RVer who dreams of owning a lifted truck, we invite you to press pause on your plans and read this article. In all the excitement, we don’t want you to forget how lifting your truck could affect towing your RV. Let’s look at towing with a lifted truck and how it may or may not create issues for you down the road.
Is It Possible to Tow an RV with a Lifted Truck?
Yes, it is possible to tow an RV with a lifted truck. A lifted truck typically still has all of the necessary equipment. If you want to raise the body and leave the suspension and wheels at the original height, it will not affect its ability to tow. This is generally a cosmetic change to your truck.
However, if you plan to install a suspension lift kit, you should know it will reduce your towing capacity. If you regularly use your truck for towing, a suspension lift kit will likely require you to reduce the amount of weight you tow and may mean a significant decrease in fuel efficiency.
New to towing? Here’s what you need to know: How to Tow an RV: The Beginner’s Guide
What Makes a Lifted Truck a Lesser Option For Towing?
There are several reasons a lifted truck is not optimal for towing. Let’s examine each one, so you can make an informed decision.
An Unstable Trailer
By lifting your truck, you also raise the height of the ball on your bumper for a travel trailer and the bed of your truck for a fifth wheel hitch. This will cause the nose of your RV to be substantially higher and result in instability while towing.
You may not notice too much of an issue if you tow at slower speeds, but as you accelerate, you’ll quickly see a major difference. You’ll likely begin to feel a sense of instability and sway in the trailer. The faster you go, the more prevalent the sway will become. This can easily result in loss of control and lead to an accident.
Your Truck Can Sag
Towing with a lifted truck also greatly increases the sag on your vehicle. This happens by putting excessive amounts of weight on the rear axle. You can expect some sagging, but excessive sagging is not a good sign.
Putting excessive weight on your rear axle causes premature wear and tear on your suspension system. You’ll likely notice your leaf springs will flatten significantly faster.
Did you know? Some people like the saggy look of a squatted truck. However, we don’t recommend towing with this modification either!
Front Wheels Can Lose Traction
Putting excessive weight on your rear axle means it will take the weight off your front axle. Removing weight from your front axle will cause you to lose traction on your front tires, meaning you’ll have less ability to steer your vehicle. When you tow thousands of pounds behind you down the highway, you want every bit of control you can get!
Pro Tip: Considering making some modifications to your truck? Read more about Polluting for Fun: Truck Owners Divided Over Rolling Coal.
How to Improve Your Towing with a Lifted Truck
While a lifted truck may not be the best option for towing, there are a couple of things you can do to improve your towing experience. Let’s take a look.
Install a Drop Hitch
A drop hitch will lower the height of the ball on your bumper. There are varying heights, but you’ll want to be sure to consider the weight rating for your drop hitch. Using a drop hitch with too low of a weight rating can be extremely dangerous.
Getting a drop hitch with a high enough weight rating for towing can be expensive and difficult to find. However, a drop hitch won’t help you if you’re planning to pull a fifth wheel because a fifth wheel hitch sits in the truck bed. But if you’re towing a relatively small travel trailer, a drop hitch can work well.
Replace Your Shocks with Air Suspension
While the factory shocks on your truck may have done the job before you lifted your truck, adding air suspension can help a lot. When you add air suspension to your lifted truck, the airbag system absorbs some of the weight. You’ll reduce the amount of squat on your vehicle and help it to drive more level.
Is It Safe To Tow An RV With A Lifted Truck?
A lifted truck is not ideal for towing, especially heavy loads. It can be done safely at slower speeds, but traveling long distances at fast speeds is not safe or recommended. It doesn’t matter if it’s an RV or a flatbed trailer; a non-lifted truck will provide the best towing experience.
Do you tow a truck camper rather than a trailer? We have some truck advice for you, too! Check it out: What Is the Best Truck for a Truck Camper?
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Tuesday 31st of August 2021
I have a bigfoot.10.6e. I weighed it at approximately 5200 lbs. Fully loaded including fresh water. I had a single wheel 2500 gm. Way under on capacity. . So just bought a new 3500 dually. Ram. 6.4 hemi. I will never own another diesel.my payload is 7100 lbs.. I agree bigger is better and more safe to drive. Braking was a big problem. Kenneth.
Mortons on the Move
Saturday 4th of September 2021
I expect that's about what we will scale at fully loaded. I think this unit will be close to 17k fully loaded because the truck is so heavy! Still 2500 underweight on this truck tho. That makes a lot of sense on the diesel because they are so heavy.